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Lookism an ugly issue for Tampa Bay

Image Lift® founder reporting increased numbers of patients pursuing facial cosmetic procedures to battle look discrimination
Tampa, FL (September 20, 2010) – The problem with lookism in Tampa Bay may be much uglier than most people think. Much like ageism, weightism, and even racism, lookism refers to discrimination or prejudice against others based on physical characteristics that from birth, accident, disease, or natural physical development are beyond their control. Since the beginning of 2011, Image Lift’s founder, double-board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Richard Castellano, has recorded a significant increase in the number of Image Lift® patients sharing painful personal experiences about being judged or passed over based on looks.

lookism   “While the concept of lookism is a real and documented issue in the United States, it is my opinion that it is even more prominent now that our lifestyles are more competitive. Whether fighting for a job in today’s economy, or re-entering the dating pool, my patients vocalize serious self-image concerns. They describe being judged in cruel ways based strictly on their looks,”says Dr. Castellano.“Feeling less attractive costs them self confidence and the will to put themselves out there to meet people and gain opportunities.”

A recent study in the American Economic Review revealed that lookism is a powerful force in the labor market for both men and women. The study states, “wages of people with below average looks are lower than those of average looking workers and there is a premium in wages for good looking people. The wage differential between attractive and ugly people is about 10 percent for both sexes.”

So why is a facial plastic surgeon the first to announce an increase in Tampa Bay’s lookism cases? “For many reasons,” explains Dr. Castellano. “First, Image Lift® offers our patients a warm, family-like experience, so they feel comfortable sharing their true emotions. They confide in us. We make it our mission to support them while working toward rekindling their confidence and passion for life. But the most obvious is that we help people change their outward appearances – to match on the outside how they genuinely feel on the inside. It’s as though they have to get out of the darkness so they can be confident being seen. Lookism can push people into the shadows of life.”

But the real question is, shouldn’t we value people based on their intelligence, accomplishments, and character rather than their level of attractiveness? “In a perfect world, yes,” explains Dr. Castellano. “However, countless studies show that the inclination toward what society considers ‘beautiful’ begins at a very young age and may even be hardwired in our DNA.”

Liz Caldarone, an Image Lift® patient, couldn’t agree more. “I’m not guessing I’ve been discriminated against based on looks, I’m sure of it. When searching for a job, I was passed up in favor of younger candidates with less experience. On paper, I had incredible experience and I always nailed my phone interviews. Once I made it to the in-person meeting, I felt I was dismissed based on my looks. I’ve always had a vibrant and youthful personality, but as I’ve aged, my skin was starting to sag, my chin was drooping and I just didn’t feel my best. My lack of confidence cost me in my social life and in the workplace. I just wanted to feel better – and now that I look better, I feel better!”

“Thankfully, facial rejuvenation has evolved in ways that makes it safer and more affordable with less downtime than ever. With the dramatic increase in lay-offs in today’s economy, it can be more important than ever to carry a full arsenal of tools – and an age appropriate, fresh appearance is one of them,” explains Dr. Castellano. “First impressions count, and the first thing anyone notices is your face and confidence when determining job viability. Now, I’m not saying that changing one’s appearance is the silver bullet to finding happiness and success, but I strongly believe that a key deterrent for any type of prejudice is confidence. When people are pleased with their appearances, they believe in themselves. They are better prepared to take on challenges and allow doors to open. Patients actually tell me they now feel like they can conquer the world!”

To interview Dr. Castellano and one of his patients that have experienced lookism, please contact Kelly Diedring Harris at (727) 744-9894 or >

Media Contact:
Kelly Diedring Harris
Image Lift® Media
(727) 744-9894

About Image Lift® and Dr. Richard Castellano:
The Image Lift Experience™ is the creation of Richard Castellano, MD, a double-board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology in Head and Neck Surgery. Based in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Castellano has performed over 3,500 facelifts, mini-­‐lifts and eyelifts making him one of the most experienced facial plastic surgeons in the United States today. Through the Image Lift® technique, Dr. Castellano has developed a specialized approach that allows each patient to undergo their own individual personal transformation, while maintaining their natural appearance and looking more youthful. He is well known for delivering world-­‐class care to his patients and he utilizes his extensive experience in office-­‐based facial plastic surgery to ensure the very best outcomes. For more information, visit or call (877) 789‐4624.