Having realistic expectations helps ground us. Everything else is just like the sugar on top. I remember a line from a beauty brand “You are already beautiful, now lets have some fun” this really resonated with me. We are all beautiful in our own ways. The aesthetic industry is just here to play on those qualities and lets you have fun with the looks you are trying to achieve.
I had the pleasure of interviewing John Paul Tutela.
Dr. Tutela is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in New York City and Livingston, NJ. He first rose to prominence when his patient Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi featured him on her YouTube channel in 2016 following her successful mommy makeover. Snooki then referred her former co-star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to Dr. Tutela who then operated on the reality star’s girlfriend, Lauren Pesce. Dr. Tutela continues to appear in the press for his expertise surrounding natural looking plastic surgery and his frank discussion of things like preventive Botox and bad plastic surgery. He has been seen and talked about on prominent radio shows such as KTU Radio’s “Carolina & Cubby”, and in media outlets including NewBeauty.com, Daily Mail and Reader’s Digest. Dr. Tutela uses his Instagram as a platform to connect with current and prospective patients as well as the media and other influencers. Followers get a glimpse into the daily life of the doctor shaping New Jersey, from surgeries to what he is making for dinner.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Mygrandfather and my father we’re doctors before me, and so are my two brothers, so you can say it is in my blood. I wanted to be a plastic surgeon before I even knew what it was. Like many boys at the age of five, I wanted to be just like my father. Watching him at work, I realized quickly how a kind word or a gentle touch could change a patient’s experience. Regardless of the situation, my father always put a smile on everyone’s face, patients and colleagues alike. As a busy community plastic surgeon he showed me the value of hard work, the importance of family and the benefit of loving your career. As I learned more about medicine I knew for sure I wanted to be a surgeon. I love the idea I’m having a problem coming up with plan to fix it. There was a sense of immediate gratification that only surgery could provide. When it comes to plastic surgery the things that really drew me to it is that in a world of specialists it is one of the only fields that still allows you operate from head to toe. It allows you to maintain creativity as the same problem can have multiple solutions, and multiple designs to the way those solutions are approached. We are able to tackle a wide range of problems from cancer to trauma to aesthetics.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I was in my new York city office seeing patients and I got a call from E!News asking if I could run over to 30 Rock and film live for Daily Pop to talk about a textured implant that was being recalled. I was able to shuffle my schedule around jump in a cab and entered the famous 30 Rockafeller center and filmed live coast to coast.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
It was around the 2nd year after I opened my practice, I started advertising more and I had just finished Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi’s Surgery. She was leaving my office and asked what my Instagram account was and she was gonna give me a “shout out”. I had been meaning for months to dedicate more time to my social media presence and looked at my account and realized it wasn’t updated in a while and If she was going to give my practice a promotion that I needed to get my account looking great. So I went home that day and arranged my before and after photos and spent the time to clean up my IG page.
Lessons to get from that is when you have your own business nothing beats investing in yourself. Any extra money I had from the practice went into more advertising. Any extra time I had I invested in making my IG page up to date, and keeping my audience engaged with daily stories.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Its hard to focus on just one person. I would say my family as a whole has always been my greatest asset. I grew up in a traditional Italian-American household that was constantly filled with grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles who came over every week for Sunday dinner. Living in a large close-knit family has exposed me to a myriad of emotions and taught me how to be flexible and open-minded during stressful situations. These invaluable lessons have allowed me to create solidarity with my patients. I have found that patients are perceptive to the subtleties in their caretakers and often their attitudes change depending on that care.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people? — this is where the writer and I discussed social media and how it has impacted your brand.
There are new devices that come out every year, so instead of focusing on a new product I would like to point to the impact of social media. I think that has the broadest most long term impact to the entire beauty industry then any one product could. Think about it, 10 to 15 years ago it would have been inconceivable to think that people wouldn’t be publicly posting on the Internet Photos that most people would have considered private. Not only are the photos being posted but a step-by-step way to achieve that look is being disclosed, from a facial, to injectables to Cosmetic surgery. This has shattered the taboo of getting procedures done to enhance your aesthetics. I think this helps people immensely. They no longer have to feel ashamed that they had a procedure to make them feel better about the way they look. People in turn are more informed and educated about what to look for and how to prepare for in person consultation. An educated patient is an empowered patient
Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
What you see often times are photoshopped photos and body types that are just digitally enhanced. So people can become obsessed with things that are not even realistic. This has the downside of making people feel worse about not being able to achieve that look. The way to battle that is to make sure your sources are reputable. As a board certified plastic surgeon we maintain the strictest standard not only in patient care but also in how we show things in advertising and in social media.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?
Non surgical procedure are expanding more than any other segment of the industry. It is great to see results with less downtime. It is best when it is combined with some surgical procedures as there are somethings that can only be achieved in the operating room
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
The most concerning thing that I see is that there are more and more unqualified people performing these procedures. I think there is a real risk for injury. Ultimately the best way for a patient to be safe is to go to a repudible provider. The American Board of Plastic Surgery has a list of all surgeons in the United States that are certified.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Looking your best is not only about addressing issues from the outside in. A healthy body and lifestyle, a clear mind and good positive energy is vital to looking and feeling your best. Think about it, when you are sad or depressed or just not feeling well, when you look in the mirror your face appears more sunken in, the corners of your mouth turn down and even your skin seems dull and matted. However on days that you feel great, the expression on your face becomes more inviting, you can see a twinkle in your eyes and your overall demeanor becomes warm and approachable.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Basically just what I was saying in the above question. So much of our experience is determined from what is happening inside ourselves. How we feel, how we eat and exercise will shape how we look. Feeling grateful what we have in life helps inspire others. Having realistic expectations helps ground us. Everything else is just like the sugar on top. I remember a line from a beauty brand “You are already beautiful, now lets have some fun” this really resonated with me. We are all beautiful in our own ways. The aesthetic industry is just here to play on those qualities and lets you have fun with the looks you are trying to achieve.