Video Call Dysmorphia causes an Increased Urge of Plastic Surgery: Experts

Google search trends during the pandemic revealed that the terms ‘‘acne’’ and ‘‘hair loss’’ are increasing in this new virtual reality

The recent pandemic has a prominent adverse effect on everyone. Lifestyle changed, work from home came in our way and the entire world now relies on digitalization. And with the increase in work from home culture and attending video meetings online has deep-rooted self-image.

Spending more time on virtual platforms could be affecting self-image of people and leading them to rush for facial treatments they may not have considered months before confronting a video screen, a new phenomenon called ‘Zoom Dysmorphia’ says the author of the journal ‘Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine’

The researchers say that due to the “Zoom Dysmorphia”, which is a disorder involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance, has led to more and more people urge for plastic surgeries in the US.

Living in the ear of social media we are in constant thought of putting out our best in the way we dress up and the way we look. Owing to the Pandemic, even though we are at home, we still manage to get ready for every video conference meetings.

This may have resulted due to people constantly having to look themselves in the video calls and raising concerns over their appearance. “We suspect the trend may also arise from people constantly seeing themselves on video and becoming more aware of their appearance,” say the authors.

“Perhaps there is a recent surge in patients seeking cosmetic procedures simply because they now see their imperfections on-camera daily, or because the wrinkles they see on screen make them look more depressed to others and feel more depressed themselves,” the authors added

While talking with The-electronics, a Bengaluru-based Psychologist Ashika Ashokan says, “In times of the pandemic, where many are fighting for survival, we have a part of the population that feels they don’t physically appear good enough because of our everyday means of communication becoming more virtual.”

“With all normal facial features resorting to such measures just to make them feel good about themselves questions how weak one’s psyche must be, to allow an entire industry manipulate their idea of self-worth, self-image and self-esteem.” She added.

Google Trends analysis has also shown that the searches for terms such as ‘acne’ and ‘hair loss’ are steadily increasing in the era of work from home culture.

“COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the number of times people see their own images on screens. The shift to online video meetings has also increased the time people spend observing themselves on screen. When people see themselves for a long period of time they are more likely to notice perceived flaws in their appearances” reads the journal further.

Not only there’s a complexity over the appearance but there’s a lot more added to it. People have started to judge themselves on the basis of their vocabulary and gestures.

“As a matter of fact that since now I’m able to see myself on the screen, I’ve become more conscious to a level that I monitor my gestures and the way I speak”, says Saurabh Kumar, a Bangaluru-based Software Engineer. “Not to the point that I wondered to get a surgery done, but to the point that I actually had a thought of going to a dermatologist to get my skin treated”, he added.

As people are spending more hours looking at themselves, it can result in harmful effects and can become a major concern when an individual becomes excessively preoccupied with real or imagined defects.


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