'Zoom Dysmorphia': Are video calls causing a surge in plastic surgery procedures?

  • Many people who work from home regularly engage in video calls 
  • Some of these people are unhappy with their appearance on video calls
  • This has led to an increase in the number of individuals seeking plastic surgery to improve their looks

A study has revealed that many people are looking into getting plastic surgery because of what they look like on their Zoom video calls.

Many people continue to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and engage in regular video conferencing meetings on various call platforms.

Researchers discovered a recent surge in plastic surgery procedures – and they concluded that people are going under the knife because they are unhappy with their appearance on video calls.

Patients were particularly concerned about their noses, acne, and wrinkles.

Obsession with appearance

Dr Benjamin Marcus, an author of another study that investigated self-observation, self-criticism and narcissism commented on the results of the study: “The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the frequency with which we are confronted with our own image. The shift to online work, learning, and even socialising has dramatically increased the time we have to observe ourselves.”

The study was published in the journal Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine.

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Researchers also noticed that “hair loss” could also be a reason behind the surge in plastic surgery. The role played by hair loss and acne could be attributed to anxiety and depression, which have seen a big increase during periods of lockdown and quarantine.

In a statement, Dr Arianne Shadi Kourosh, along with her co-authors, said, “A life disproportionately spent on Zoom may trigger a self-critical comparative response that leads people to rush to their physicians for treatments they may not have considered before confronting a video screen – a new phenomenon called ‘Zoom Dysmorphia’.”

The phenomenon of Zoom Dysmorphia has been developing for a while. In an Allure article, which looked into plastic surgery during the pandemic, Jessica Weiser – a dermatologist in New York City – noted that people had started finding fault with their appearance on video even before the pandemic.

“No one has ever really looked at themselves in this way – for this long, or this frequently – and I think that’s driving a lot of the demand,” Jessica Weiser told Allure.

'Snapchat Dysmorphia'

This isn’t the first time that the camera on electronic devices has been a catalyst for some users to become severely self-conscious about their appearance.

A few years ago there was speculation that, following the creation of the social media platform Snapchat, “Snapchat Dysmorphia” became an issue.

A study was conducted to determine if Snapchat Dysmorphia was a real issue.

The research indicates that plastic surgeons receive numerous requests for procedures to recreate the “filtered” appearance created by the social media platform.

The conclusion of the study was that these patients did not require plastic surgery, but rather needed psychological and mental health interventions.

WATCH | How plastic surgery has evolved

Image credit: Chris Montgomery, Unsplash

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