Dr. Michelle Zweifler | The Beauty Within and Beyond Physical Standards


Society went to great lengths to generate initially achievable beauty standards that seemed to become more absurd the more we approached the advancement of the Digital era that circulates about 60 million photos daily on Instagram alone. While an avid social media user myself I realize that aside of its tremendous benefits it can also create a negative impact if not utilized as a positive shaping tool. Women are exposed to highly airbrushed selfies and lifestyles that may seem quite unrealistic for most. Nolens volens we may start to succumb to the idea of looking a certain way.  

Plastic surgery arose not only as an answer to solving insecurities and to make people feel better about themselves, but it also created the opportunity to prolong the longevity of a youthful appearance. And who doesn’t want to be Forever Young? I was introduced to renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Zweifler by a mutual social media connection and the first encounter turned out to be a genuinely uplifting experience. She is naturally beautiful, well maintained and a kind, genuine person. I didn’t feel my appearance being scrutinized during our interview, and very much enjoyed her fashionable office location on Fifth Avenue.   

How did her journey start?

“I was in high school, and I wasn’t born with a beautiful nose, but I was happy with the rest of myself. And I had a rhinoplasty and while waiting for the surgery I was fascinated by the operating room. I was happy, not anxious and the nurses noticed my excitement. It started right there.”

It was a long road for the multi-award-winning plastic surgeon: today Dr. Zweifler is a well-respected authority in her field, unanimously appreciated by her colleagues and patients for her skillfully executed facelifts and cosmetic breast surgery procedures. After graduating from Cornell University, she went on to further her education at the SUNY Downstate Medical School followed by her fellowship in California. She chose San Francisco, a city known to prefer natural looking facial rejuvenation procedures.

“I learned there great techniques in face lifting, and I opened my practice in New York right after: in Aug. 2001. Things changed dramatically that year in NYC, but I knew from day one that I wanted to be my own boss.”

A natural born entrepreneur Dr. Zweifler didn’t mind the challenges that the highly competitive city of New York brought along.

Dr. Michelle Zweifler | Copyright © Vital Photography

“There are so many talented plastic surgeons and it can be hard to differentiate yourself. I believe that my sincerity, down to earth approach and the desire to further educate my patients, who already come well informed due to access to so much information, are elements that create a comfort level within my patients.”

With plastic surgery it is very important to be realistic about the results: “A subtle physical transformation can completely transform someone’s life. Natural looking breast implants(my specialty) or lips are beautiful. The moment we tap into becoming delusional and want dramatic changes we have to think about the side effects and long-term repercussions. I like to discourage patients to go too large with lip fillers or implants because there are certain risks associated with going too big. As a doctor, I also have the responsibility to think about my patient’s health.”

She is equally passionate about the facelift procedure due to its ability to restore someone’s appearance back to what it once was and the relatively fast recovery process:

“Gravity and sun exposure do influence the aging process. I love recreating the young version of my patients and preserving the natural look. Facial harmony is important and I always pay attention to details”.

To what extent did social media change patients’ expectations:

“I get patients in their ’20’s and 30’s wanting fillers. This didn’t happen ten years ago. They take selfies and constantly compare themselves to the images they see online”. Subsequently, the highly publicized topic of bullying comes into discussion. Dr. Zweifler is supporting the idea to assist children who are constantly being teased in school because of prominent ears or exacerbated featured to get plastic surgery corrections when age appropriate: “Some feminists may argue with creating changes in appearance. I believe that a change in appearance that can preserve the well-being of a child or person and enhance the overall confidence is beyond worth it.”

What’s the greatest achievement in Dr. Zweifler’s career filled with so many accolades:

“The joy that I get when I see my patients looking at themselves in the mirror for the first time post-op cannot compare with anything else. Witnessing their happiness and excitement fills my heart with gratitude and gives purpose to my life.”

Header Photo by Patrick Brinksma | Talent Alicia Carrasco