A new study, conducted by M. Rice, Emmy Graber and Arianne Shadi Kourosh at Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine, points out that all video meetings that occurred in connection with the pandemic can destroy many people’s self-image, reports Wired.
According to the study, doctors have noticed a trend with patients who suddenly claim to have discovered “errors” with their appearance in connection with video calls. Something that the study’s authors call “Zoom dysmorphia”. There are also many indications that the destroyed self-image can persist even when the number of video calls decreases in connection with the opening up of society.
According to the authors, plastic surgeons and dermatologists have actually begun to notice that an increasing number of people have begun to make unnatural and unrealistic demands on their appearance even before the pandemic. This is due to things like social media exposure and camera filters.
What the study says becomes extra problematic when it comes to video calls is that the camera used often distorts a person’s appearance slightly and can make a nose look bigger or the eyes appear smaller. An effect that is also amplified depending on the distance to the lens. The concentrated facial expression that occurs during a meeting also differs from the relaxed face people often see in a mirror.
In a subsequent study of the same people, to be published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 71 percent of 7,000 participants answered that they now feel stressed about returning to activities in real life and 64 percent have sought help for their mental health. Three out of ten said they planned to invest in their appearance to manage to start meeting people for real again. The respondents mainly expressed great concern regarding things such as weight gain, discoloration of the skin, wrinkles and acne.
The study’s authors believe that a good way to combat “Zoom dysmorphia” is to know it as a concept and understand that many people have known about it recently.