Bai Shufang, a doctor at a vitiligo hospital in Beijing, China, has been dressing up as a traditional opera character, complete with elaborate facial makeup, as a way to make her patients feel more relaxed.
After noticing that many of her patients had trouble opening up to her about their condition, which affected her ability to prescribe the best treatment for them, Chinese dermatologist Bai Shufang decided to help them relax by adopting a different persona. Many people are uncomfortable and tense around doctors, so she thought that by radically changing her appearance, she should help them get over their nerves. For the past couple of weeks, Bai Shufang has been spending about an hour every morning, dressing up as a Chinese opera performer, and putting up layers of thick traditional makeup.
Photos of Bai Shufang with her face caked in makeup have received mixed reactions on Chinese social media. While some people applaud her efforts to make patients more comfortable, other question the necessity and effectiveness of her unusual attire. But despite negative comments, the doctor stands by her decision, claiming that she is already seeing results – her vitiligo patients are more relaxed and willing to open their hearts to her. She also has the support of the hospital’s manager, who believes that her method could have positive effects on patients.
Bai spends an hour putting up the intricate makeup, and about another hour cleaning her face when she’s done for the day. The heavy makeup is already taking a toll on her skin, but she claims these small sacrifices are all worth it if they help make the visit easier for patients.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that medical personnel adopts unusual methods to make patients feel more relaxed. Back in May, we wrote about a Thai hospital that provided colored masks to both visitors and staff, to make them feel more comfortable about getting a pap smear test. Whatever works, I guess.
After photos of Bai sporting her unusual look went viral, some people started calling her China’s real-life Patch Adams.