If I told you someone had more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, who would come to mind? A celebrity? Maybe an athlete? Probably not a cosmetic doctor. But head to Dr. Naomi’s Instagram profile and you’ll notice she’s achieved top-tier popularity on the channel. She’s most well known as founder of The Manse – the Sydney cosmetic clinic with almost mythical status – where she’s head “Dollmaker”. Come next week she’ll add Fairy Skin Mother of Dr. Naomi Skincare to her ever-expanding list of titles, one of which is arguably Chief Memer for the cosmetic industry. Through sheer force of personality, she’s getting the industry to have a good laugh at itself, lighten up a bit and normalise cosmetic treatments through humour-tinged transparency. And we can’t get enough. Recently she chatted with Professional Beauty about her unlikely status as meme Queen.
PB: Have you always been so funny?
“I don’t feel like I’m funny IRL, but I’ve always found humour in all types of places.”
PB: How did you get so good at memes as a non-digital native (from one NDN to another!)?
“I’ve been into creating online content to entertain people since before social media existed, and have always love the online world and technology. I don’t think meme skill comes from digital skills, it’s a whole other combination.”
PB: What drew you to the format?
“I love memes, they make me happy. I love philosophy and satire. It’s a natural progression.”
PB: Where do you get your inspiration from?
“I’m also a devoted TV binger – I read a lot, business books, philosophy, and I love pop culture and fashion etc., so I consume a fair bit and have for decades. But I spend more time creating than consuming. I like to expose human nature. I’m inspired by people’s stupidity, their vices, my own embarrassing thoughts and behaviours, things that irritate me, my haters, people who f**k with me, I am a bit of an anxious person and creating content calms me down.”
PB: What’s your response to people who don’t like your sense of humour?
“If people don’t like my sense of humour, then they can unfollow. Bye.
One of the biggest issues with memes and also comedy is that it’s difficult for the people with poor comprehension skills to understand. So what happens so often is they mistake the target of jokes with the subject, so they get offended by everything and think that the memer/ comedian is evil.”
PB: How do you think humour plays a role in our growing transparency around having work done?
“Humour is an antidote to anxiety, and it opens the mind to new information in a positive way,
Cosmetic patients have to laugh at ourselves.”
PB: Why do you think people (celebrities still!) were so hush-hush and serious about it before?
“I’ve never understood it. There can be a few reasons. In the Kardashian business of fame handbook, the more they deny it, the more attention they get, so it’s in their interest to deny it, The other reason is there’s this weird idea that “natural” beauty is more valuable than “fake” beauty for some people. They want to be seen as gods rather than men, I guess. Another reason is that there are some celebs who just don’t want the attention or to be the latest poster-girl for cosmetic surgery.”
PB: How do you think the overall attitude/personality of the industry is trending?
“Transparency and honesty are becoming more valuable.
The celebs lying to their fans just look like dicks. We cancel businesses who are lying to us, they even get into all types of legal issues etc, but for some reasons, a large proportion of society still accept the lying from celebrities (who really are “businesses” themselves).”
PB: How does it feel to be setting a (good!) example for other owners/influencers/practitioners globally?
“LOL I’m just trying to make people happy and to make them think about important things.”
PB: Which memes have been your favourite so far?
“Talking about memes takes the humour out of them. The JLo meme series was the most popular recently.”
PB: Are there any Instas that have you laughing every time you see a post? Would you like to share?
“I have a thing for niche memers. I love real estate memers, law memers, HR memers, consulting memers, finance memers, etc.. I feel like you get a behind the scenes inside into the industry and their struggles.”
PB: How does having a sense of humour and keeping things light benefit a business?
“Working in medicine is so serious, it’s the biggest responsibility. Cosmetic medicine is so intense with burnout, psychological and other abuse by patients, extortion – you name it – it’s a jungle out there. We need some relief.”
PB: What’s your advice for others in the industry for harnessing both technology and humour to grow their businesses and audience?
“Make the content from your heart. You don’t have to be funny or technological or anything but authentic. If you’re hot, use that “peach emoji”. If you’re into science, share that. It’s such a cliché, but find your tribe by being yourself.”
PB: And last, we noticed that recently your comment section has been full of commenters likening the pixelated images of your forthcoming skincare products to… vibrators!
“The best part about being a memer is that you end up with a more wild group of followers who are always looking for and appreciating the less serious side of life. Yes, my followers are currently obsessed with associating my skincare with vibrators for some reason and love teasing me about it! I keep telling them it’s all in the name of self-care though right?
Nothing and nobody is safe from being meme fodder. Enter my life at your own risk!”
Check out a few of the master memers creations:
Be sure to pick up a copy of Professional Beauty Luxury Edition (July/August), where we discuss all things formulating skincare with Dr. Naomi.
“Dr. Naomi skincare is inspired by our in-clinic transformations and 20 years of working on skin. It includes 18 products and 1 cleansing tool,” says Dr. Naomi. “It’s Australian made, vegan, cruelty free and highly efficacious and cosmeceutical grade. I have an obsession with brightening, so that is the focus of the whole range. I wanted to create something for the beauty high achievers to use at home.”
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