Zoom Dysmorfia follows people in the Real World


Last summer, when The clinics are starting to reopen, dermatologist Shadi Kourosh has noticed a worrying trend — an increase in appointment requests for appearance-related issues. “It seems like, at a time like that, other things can come to mind, but a lot of people are really worried about feeling that they look worse than usual,” he said.

Kourosh, who is an assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, later discovered that others in his field and colleagues like plastic surgery had noticed a similar phenomenon. And when he and his colleagues asked patients what motivated their decision to seek treatment, many of them cited videoconferencing. The pandemic catapults them into a world of Zoom calls and Teams, and focusing on their own face on a screen all day every day destroys their own image.

In the age of Zoom, people are more concerned with sagging skin on their neck and jowl; with the size and shape of their nose; with white skin on their skin. They like cosmetic interventions, from Botox and facial fillers and nose jobs. Kourosh and colleagues surveyed doctors and surgeons, examining the question of whether videoconferencing during a pandemic was a potential contributor to dismorphic body disease. They call it “Zoom zoom. ”

Now, with the rise in vaccinations that seems to be pushing the pandemic backwards, new research from Kourosh’s group at Harvard has revealed that Zoom dysmorphine will not disappear. A survey of more than 7,000 people suggests that mental reports of coronavirus will stay with us for several hours.

Even before Covid, plastic surgeons and dermatologists saw an increase in patients who came to them with demands that were “unrealistic and unnatural,” Kourosh said. The term “Snapchat dysmoratian ” made in 2015 to describe the growing number of people who want to see that they are being passed through a filter that can change the face of real life, all big eyes and glowing skin.

Before this, a patient can go to the plastic surgeon’s office with photos of a famous person they want to look like in a magazine. Even before the rise of social media, psychologists found that people staring at themselves in a mirror became more self -conscious.

But Zoom dysmorafi is different. Unlike Snapchat, where people know they’re viewing themselves through a filter, video conferencing distorts our appearance in ways we don’t know, as Kourosh and of his colleagues in their original role.

The front-facing cameras distort your image like a “funhouse mirror,” he says-they make the noses bigger and the eyes smaller. This effect is exacerbated by the proximity of the lens, which is generally closer to you than someone who would stand in a real life story. Looking at a smartphone or laptop camera is the lowest angle-as anyone from the MySpace generation will tell you, the best position of the camera is from a height, hence the placement of the selfie stick.

We’re also used to seeing ourselves feeling when our faces relax-the more wrinkled (or agitated expression) you wear in the Zoom meeting rooms with the image of yourself getting used to. you can see in the mirror. “Changes in self-perception and anxiety as a result of frequent video talk can lead to unnecessary cosmetic procedures, especially in young adults with increased exposure to online platforms including videoconferencing, social media, and disease -wide filters, ”wrote Kourosh, Channi Silence, and other colleagues.

The term “Zoom dysmorfina” was picked up by the international media, and Kourosh was filled with emails from friends and strangers calling it quits. In the new follow up study due to be published on International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, the research group found that 71 percent of the 7,000 people surveyed were worried or stressed about returning to self-activities, and that nearly 64 percent sought mental health support.



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