Zoom became the popular workplace app in the past year. During the pandemic, when people were asked to work from the safety of their own homes, meetings were held via video calls.
The experience of using technology to connect to colleagues who live far away from one another produced funny moments, like a lawyer mistakenly using a cat filter during an online court case and a boss who had no idea how to remove a filter that turned her into a potato throughout the meeting.
Experts also said that a year of being online and having video calls instead of face-to-face interactions also led to the increase of plastic surgery among men.
The Rising Demand for Cosmetic Procedures in the Age of Zoom
In the past year, the number of men who had undergone cosmetic procedures increased. Clinics across the United Kingdom saw a 70 percent rise in consultations with male clients. Many of them are asking for fillers and Botox, minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures.
And, it is all because of Zoom.
It is hard to avoid seeing your own face on screen during video calls. In real life, when you have to converse with someone else, you do not really look at your own face and expressions. You keep your eyes on the person in front of you. However, during a video call, you are forced to see your face, making you self-conscious. It makes you want to find out how people perceive you.
You start to notice the deep lines on your face or the dark circles around your eyes. You realize how your receding hairline is making you look older than your age.
This happened to many men over the past year. The sight of their own faces on-screen made them self-conscious. It also did not help that, according to one survey, 11 percent of men feel like they look five years older because of the high levels of stress they experienced during the lockdown.
As a result, they looked into scalp micropigmentation (SMP) services and hair transplant. They had their teeth fixed by their dentist. They got rid of their wrinkles with Botox. Moreover, they made their jawlines sharper with fillers. All these were done to look better on video calls and in real life.
And, because of the lockdowns, people recovered at home without a problem. No one noticed that they had a cosmetic procedure done because everyone was social distancing and quarantining.
On the Rise for Years
The pandemic only boosted what was a trend already on the rise. There is increasing pressure for men to look younger at their workplace. In the United States, Google settled a lawsuit that alleges that the company discriminates against certain applicants based on age. Wired also revealed in a report from 2018 that the number who have undergone cosmetic procedures, particularly Botox, has increased in Silicon Valley over the past decade.
These reports shed light on the pressure among men to remain youthful. Some workers claimed that older employees are being given limited opportunities to move up the corporate ladder. In Silicon Valley, those who are over the age of 35 are seen as past their prime.
This is not a new revelation, either. Back in 2008, professors from Tufts University in Massachusetts showed 100 psychology undergraduates the head shorts of the CEOs from the 25 highest and 25 lowest ranking companies in the Fortune 500 list. They found a link between physical appearance and perceived competence in leadership positions.
Pressure to Look Good on Social Media
Moreover, social media also plays a huge part in it. Studies have been done on the impact of Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and platforms on body image. One study found that, after browsing social media and interacting with attractive people, the participants felt worse about their own appearance. There were no negative changes in their perception of their own body image when interacting with family members on social media.
While the participants were female, it illustrates the negative impact of social media on body image. Men, too, see photos of their peers on social media, and it is impossible not to make comparisons.
Other studies found that those who went on a social media detox – or went offline for a while – had lower feelings of loneliness and depression.
There is an increased demand for cosmetic procedures among men during the pandemic because of video calls. However, more men have been getting plastic surgery and other physical transformations for years because of various factors.