Study Shows Zoom Is Making People Go For Plastic Surgeries To Have Perfect On-Screen Presence

Have you ever realized the impact of spending too much time on virtual platforms? Well, turns out that there is a new phenomenon called ‘Zoom Dysmorphia’ that is taking over the minds of people by first making them doubt their self-image and then convincing them with indirect ways to go for facial treatments - especially to look good on screen.

As claimed by the authors of the journal Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine, there is no doubt in the fact that COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to the culture of remote work which is here to stay even if the situation gets better. While this new form has its own advantages, an important element of it Zoom taking people into the new virtual world that of course is also affecting their mindset.

As a result, the authors have stated that there is a rise in the number of patients who want to improve their on-screen presence by treating acne and pimples all because of Zoom. Furthermore, the researchers also presented an analysis of the Google search trends that included terms like acne and hair loss at the top throughout the pandemic. One can also link these trends as a reason behind the common psychological problems like anxiety and depression faced by the majority during the quarantine.

Arianne Shadi Kourosh, from Massachusetts General Hospital, US, has rightly said that people get to see themselves constantly on video calls and then they become more aware of their appearance because at the end of the day we all want to look like the best version of ourselves.

But this craze is not something that has emerged recently. Long before Zoom began to create problems, the selfie culture along with an influx of editing apps had already created chaos. People were already creating the filtered version of themselves and there existed another dysmorphic disorder like “Snapchat dysmorphia”.

In fact, in 2019, 72 percent of American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery members reported treating patients who were looking for cosmetic procedures to improve their selfie look.

According to Emmy Graber from the Dermatology Institute of Boston, US, Zoom on the other hand shows an unedited version of one’s self which not a lot of people are used to seeing and hence that can cause drastic effects like body dissatisfaction which then eventually has led more and more people to go for cosmetic procedures. The video calling app makes it much more dangerous only because while people are talking, they can see their faces speaking and displaying emotions which they may not have seen before and then compare it with the ones sitting across the screen on the call.

On top of all this, bad video quality can also create more problems in the form of distorted representation.

Diving deep into the issue of appearance, Shauna M Rice from Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study which showed that a portrait taken from 12 inches away increases the nose size by 30 percent as compared to what people perceive at 5 feet.

When you are closer to the webcams, then shorter focal lengths make your face look more rounded, eyes are set wide and the nose even becomes broader.

The study was majorly done to highlight the fact that patients should recognize the limitations of webcams and also understand that the version which they see of themselves on screen is more of a flawed representation of what they are in real life.

Moreover, the authors also turned their attention towards the facial feedback hypothesis which revolves around how the treatment of sad-appearing wrinkles have the tendency to reduce depression by making the patient appear less sad to others, and in return they feel good about themselves.

In the context of Zoom, all of it is pretty interesting because the patient himself is the viewer and the point to ponder upon right now is how can one save their real self from this mess. 

Read next: What your aesthetic preferences depict about you?
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