Posted: November 26, 2012
With the popularity of Iphones, video chatting using apps like Facetime are part of everyday life. Whether you are chatting with friends and family, dating, or doing a job interview, video chatting is influencing how we perceive ourselves. For many, seeing one’s self on a video chat is an eye-opening experience. The reflection always seems to accentuate our worst features. This has to do with the angle at which the phone is held, with the caller looking down in to the camera. At this angle, with unflattering lighting, our reflection looks heavy along the lower face and neck. Lower face and neck skin looks excessive and saggy, and wrinkles are evident. We look older than our stated age.
People look better to themselves in the mirror than they do on Facetime or Skype. Patients come in to the office and say; “I didn’t really notice how much neck skin sagging I had until I saw myself on Facetime.” Things that go unnoticed in the mirror are visualized while video chatting. So it’s not surprising that some people are looking to change what they are seeing.
I can relate. In my mid-forties, I feel like I need a necklift sooner rather than later.
My good-looking husband refuses to do Facetime because he notices his appearance and doesn’t like what he sees. Or, during the obligatory call with his parents, he reverses the camera so the kids are on the screen instead of him.
Even my handsome, fit and confident 14-year-old son mentions a term “Facetime Fear”. He says he cannot Facetime while lying down because he notices a double chin (which he does not have) and he thinks he looks fat (he is not). So he sits up straight while video chatting with his friends.
Self-presentation has become a priority. Because of social media, we’re showing more of ourselves to everyone more often and undergoing more cosmetic surgery procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the numbers of facelift and chin augmentation procedures have increased over the last few years. Surgery can do wonders when an awkwardly angled camera phone wreaks havoc with your face. Facelift and Necklift procedures tighten loose skin of the face and neck, improving jaw line definition while rejuvenating the face. Blepharoplasty surgery corrects bags and wrinkles around the eyes. Chin augmentation enhances the jaw line to better balance facial features, creating a more attractive profile and Facetime image. Rhinoplasty can straighten a nose that looks crooked when you hold an iPhone at arm’s length for a Facetime session. Forehead furrows and crows feet can be treated with Botox. Thin lips and wrinkles around the mouth can be filled out with injectables like Juvederm or Restylane.
Video chatting is influencing how we perceive ourselves and is spurring an increase in certain facial cosmetic procedures. The decision for a cosmetic surgical procedure should not be undertaken lightly. Procedures should be performed only using board certified plastic surgeons and fully accredited surgery centers. Patients need to have realistic expectations with the goals of enhancing their own natural beauty so they feel self confident and beautiful both inside and out.
Alternatively, an easier and less expensive way to improve your appearance on a video chat is to point the Iphone camera level with your face and tilt your chin down slightly, making the neck invisible. Or, don’t use Facetime at all.
Dr. Hayley Brown MD, FACS
Plastic Surgeon in Las Vegas
Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center, Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada