What is Zoom dysmorphia

with the boom of video calls due to smart working and lockdown we are more and more on video and we see each other uglier. This increases the requests for touch-ups to erase wrinkles, double chins and crow’s feet. But, before resorting to cosmetic surgery, there are other softer remedies

The first to give a name to this phenomenon were the American dermatologists who, with the pandemic, noticed a boom in requests for aesthetic ” touch-ups ” With the increase in smart working, videocalls and the use of platforms such as Zoom , the time spent in front of PC and smartphone screens also increased. The trouble is that we don’t always like our image, on the contrary: it is very common to find defects, from acne to hair, passing through the lips, nose or too many wrinkles. Here, then, is the appeal to the specialist.

Zoom dysmorfia

You turn on your computer (or mobile phone), get ready for the video call, check that your suit is in order and then connect to the video call platform. But here at this point the problems begin: observing our image you notice the tuft of hair out of place , the pimple that appeared mysteriously in the night or the bags under the eyes that together with the wrinkles seem to have appeared all of a sudden. Where were they until some time ago? How did we not notice them before? The phenomenon is called dysmorphia (from the Greek dis, “bad”, and morfia, “Image, aspect”). And the fault – for having pointed them out – would be Zoom and related platforms.

Arianne Shadi Kourosh, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-author of research published in Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine explains why : “A disproportionately spent life on Zoom can trigger a self-critical comparative response , which leads to running to the doctor for treatments that they would not have considered before having spent months in front of a screen, is a new phenomenon called precisely Zoom’s dysmorphia ». In short, we are only now noticing our own defects (or considered as such), due to the binge of video calls and video meetings.

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According to Dr Benjamin Marcus of the University of Wisconsin, “The pandemic has radically changed the frequency with which we confront our image. The shift to online work, learning and even socializing has greatly increased the time we have to observe ourselves. ” «More than looking at each other more, I believe that we see each other more and above all we see ourselves in a new way: no longer statically, as in classic photos or screenshots, but in motion . This leads to note, for example, wrinkling wrinkles such as those between the eyebrows, “explains Stefania De Fazio, aesthetic plastic surgeon, National Councilor of Sicpre, the Italian Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery andInternational Member of the American companies Asps and Asaps.

The main defects: acne, wrinkles, hair

Experts have no doubts: pimples and skin imperfections in general, including acne (even in adult women!) Are definitely noticed . But it is above all dark circles, wrinkles on the forehead and crow’s feet that dominate : «When you are in front of the screen, you notice more, especially if the room lighting is wrong. On the other hand, when the camera is positioned at the bottom, the double chin, the so-called sagging neck, stands out. Which is one of the various problems that you notice in a videocall »explains the expert.

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Following our attention is focused on the hair , but not only because we are often not satisfied with the cut, color and hairstyle . Analyzing the searches on Google, in fact, it emerged that many notice the loss of their hair : “Especially in males, the vision of group photos from behind or from the side triggers unexpected reactions, because one realizes that receding hairline is not otherwise possible. they would notice, especially in people in whom hair loss in the temporal area is more contained “says De Fazio, who urges to resort, first of all, to the help of lights:” You must always remember to have frontal lighting, which helps to thin out the lines and shadows on the face ».

Tips to look more beautiful in video chat

«In the meantime, I would recommend a good trick : since there is no need to keep the mask, at least in video calls we can rediscover the importance and pleasure of putting on make-up, even the mouth with a nice lipstick . Proper skin hydration is also important to reduce the visibility of wrinkles . If you are really not satisfied, you can resort to the specialist, gracefully, without exaggerating: the use of botulinum toxin is required to reduce wrinkling lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows and can also have a preventive anti-aging effect. but it must be moderate in order not to lose the so-called smile of the eyes, the expressiveness of the face ».

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How to choose the best light? “Surely it must be frontal , to avoid unsightly shadows on the face, especially under the nose and eyes” advises De Fazio. Experts recommend positioning about 60 centimeters from the light source, possibly to be placed behind the screen. Therefore, never put yourself with a window behind you, to avoid the silhouette effect.

At what height should the webcam be? Also in this case the position is fundamental and the ideal is to keep it at eye level: too high will crush the figure, too low will increase the shadows on the neck. To choose the right height you can help yourself with special supports or simple books under the laptop or smartphone tripods.

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The technological aids

To the rescue of those who do not want to resort to the cosmetic surgeon, technology with specific apps that limit, camouflage or hide imperfections (or those considered as such) can also be useful. Some video calling software includes extra settings, such as Touch up my appearance for Zoom . It is found in the settings and offers a “smoothing effect” on the face, because it softens wrinkles or slightly blurs the image. A similar effect can also be obtained with Skype by selecting the Blurred screen function , which leaves only the image of the person in the center sharp. With the Voov appInstead, you get to real retouching concerning wrinkles, eyes (which can appear larger) and styling that can be changed.

 

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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