In recent months, with lockdown in full swing, we’ve all been using online services like Zoom to stay in touch. However, some interesting reports have come out, suggesting that Zoom and other online platforms are having a negative impact on how we view our body image.
Namely, that being faced with our own image and having more awareness of how we look on camera, is making people wonder whether they need treatments that they hadn’t considered previously.
This has been branded ‘Zoom anxiety’ and the ‘Zoom boom’ which describes how people are increasingly using cameras to communicate, which has in turn prompted anxiety.
We’re assessing the claims and looking at what can be done to prevent this.
What Is Zoom Anxiety?
Although you may not have heard of the term, chances are that you’ve probably felt it. It’s that horrible feeling we get when we’re on zoom and we catch a glimpse of our own faces and are like ‘wow – do I really look like that?!’, or ‘I’d never noticed my [insert personal insecurity]’.
We all have hang ups, but often we don’t get confronted with them as much as we have in lockdown. Not only have we been looking at cameras all day, only to see our own insecurities glaring back at us, but being in the house has compounded this too.
With nothing much to do, we’ve all been guilty of staring in the mirror too much and obsessing on the things we’d like to change about ourselves. It’s natural – with gyms shut and motivation for healthy eating at an all time low – this is the perfect recipe for insecurity, and according to reports looking at our faces all day has increased people’s desire for procedures.
Why Is Zoom Anxiety Dangerous?
Zoom anxiety has peaked due to people viewing their faces and bodies in ways that they haven’t before. However, often on Zoom, these images aren’t necessarily accurate projections of reality.
For example, when certain body parts are closer to the camera they are likely to look bigger. If your arm is close to the camera at a certain angle, for example, it can look massive when in reality it isn’t. Likewise, lighting and picture quality can change how we perceive ourselves when in reality we may look different.
Images can be a really dangerous way to measure body image, because ultimately they can lie. The rise in Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp Calls and Google Meet have created an anxiety around being on camera and what we might look like to others, which wasn’t there before.
Why Should We Be Careful?
As a surgeon, it’s important that we make people aware of the ways that changing trends in technology might be affecting our body image. It’s all well and good getting more business after this period because people want to change their faces and bodies – however, if we don’t make people aware of this creeping anxiety, we are not doing our jobs properly.
It is so important that patients don’t rush into surgery simply because they don’t like how they looked on camera one day, or they have noticed something ‘wrong’ with their face on Zoom. A trustworthy surgeon will always delve into why you want surgery and unpick any poisonous beliefs.
Ultimately, getting a cosmetic procedure is completely up to you, however it is essential that surgeons are carrying out thorough consultations to keep you safe and happy. You need to choose a cosmetic surgeon who is committed to supporting you and making sure they have your best interests at heart.
What To Look For When Choosing A Surgeon?
Before you book anything, here’s what you need to look for when choosing a cosmetic surgeon. Asking yourself these questions should keep you out of trouble when choosing a surgeon:
- Do your research: look at reviews online, what have people said about this surgeon? Look at the results that have been achieved and ensure that they match up with your expectations.
- Ensure that they offer a full consultation face to face: if they don’t want to see you in person prior to treatment, this is a major red flag!
- Look at what post-operative care they provide, ensure that you will be properly looked after in the event of anything going wrong.
- Ask questions about their background – Who are they accredited by? Where did they qualify? How many procedures have they done?
- Look at the team they have around them. Although they will be operating, you also need to know that you have an anesthetist and nurses you can trust.
- Research the facilities they will be operating in – is it somewhere you’d feel comfortable?
Choosing to get a cosmetic procedure is not a decision to take lightly. If you have any questions, or want to book a consultation, get in touch today.