Video calling boosts interest in plastic surgery, according to aesthetic doctors

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

The 'Zoom boom' during lockdown has led to more of us seeking to change our appearance. According to leading aesthetic doctors, the increase in usage of social video platforms has left people more aware of, and seemingly dissatisfied with, their appearance – dictating an increasing interest in cosmetic surgery and procedures.

Gerard Lambe, an influential cosmetic surgeon and spokesperson for industry body British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says, "The ‘Zoom factor’, with people using cameras more than ever and their visual appearance being scrutinised on apps, has certainly boosted enquiries for cosmetic tweaks and procedures. Many people are also aware they are likely to be working from home long-term and want to now start planning their dream procedures".

Subsequently, at his Reflect Clinic in Manchester, he's seen requests for 'virtual cosmetic surgery' (consultations which simulate 3D plastic surgery) treble during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cosmetic doctor Tijion Esho, who runs clinics specialising in non-invasive procedures in London and Newcastle, tells Bazaar that "any platform which makes us more visually aware has always had an effect on drive for procedures". This happened with the adoption of mobile phone selfies, and then heightened by platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, "but more so with live video calls as they give increased depth and therefore highlight more issues than a static photo".

It links to his so-coined 'Snapchat dysmorphia' theory, that we are triggered by how we look on social media, and seek to alter for perfection on the platforms by doing so in real life. "The growth of Zoom provides another outlook for this," Dr Esho explains.

Increasingly, clients are mentioning this new aspect of appearance anxiety during consultations (via Zoom calls – of course) with the doctor, and he notes how it tends to be about facial features that are closest to the camera such as the nose. "They are shown more disproportionately on Zoom," Dr Esho explains.

Whether 'virtual reality surgery' appeals via a consultation or not, it's reassuring to know that you're not alone in feeling more dissatisfied with your appearance at the moment, and that, as usual, it's all down to perspective – just visible via another platform.

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