Zoom Face - Myth or reality? Find out moreJanuary,20,2021
We all have read of the fabled Magic Mirror from the Snow White fairytale that one could look into and ask how great (or not so great) one looks and it never lied... which then made it the paradigm of honesty in the face of the vanity.
Now cut to the current Covid lockdown and its incessant video meetings that are now the new normal and this mirror has now transformed into our smart device camera lens that we stare into so often and sometimes for hours at a go – at our scowling, smiling and sometimes bored expressions and are asking the same questions.. Ironic and funny but true.
So what is Zoom face all about?
Zoom face is a colloquial term given to self-viewing during live interactions at all video conferencing platforms (Cisco WebEx, Skype etc being amongst others) that offer group as well as one on one interfaces.
Why is this different from looking into the mirror every morning?
Unlike when we stare into a mirror in our bathrooms or bedrooms while brushing hair or applying makeup, zoom face puts us on a stage where we are in the midst of strangers (or co-workers, business contacts or worse still on an interview call!) To all of whom who we would like to show our best face forward to and not the one that we see in the privacy of our homes.
There we go then,in the search of this projection of our best face, we start looking at the evidence of flaws we may have known but never paid attention to ( dark circles for e.g.) or at long last see what others see every day – how we grin, frown – every emotion we express.
Why does zoom face affect us so much?
Self-perception or self-image is a complex mix of our own image building as well as how our body language, expressions and non verbal cues make others see us.
For example – someone not too comfortable smiling in public or someone conscious of their smile may be (misunderstood) as aloof, reserved or just unapproachable.
If we take all of our own verbal and non-verbal communication and put it ALL into the screen it makes our self consciousness of how we react (happy, sad, angry, impatient or even bored) so amplified that Zoom face is both a mental as well as physical event.
While seeing ourselves on the screen there is a psychological trigger that has affected men and women worldwide – that of insecurity and deep self-analysis – exploring every flaw, be it a slightly crooked nose, sagging cheeks or dark circles that we may find is not the best way we want people to look at us and see.
Unlike the carefully crafted Insta and FB selfies with filters, perfect pouts,poses, double takes, exotic locations and friendly faces around - a zoom face is quite the opposite as we cannot do a retake of how we speak, nor do we have the comforts of filters, locales or sometimes even makeup or a good hair day to help us out!.
But wait – this can be a good thing too!
How zoom face can help with self-esteem and self-image
Unfortunately stress levels, the constant staying indoors as well as mask-wearing have all taken a toll on our regular skincare routines. Moreover the growing uncertainty of how long this lifestyle will continue or having to change our lifestyles are accelerating signs of premature aging.
The top zoom face concerns that most users complain of are
1. Looking tired and dull
2. Dark circles
3. Uneven skin tone
4. Hair on the face and body
5. Sagging cheeks and chin
6. Uneven nose and lip asymmetry
8. Expression lines when I talk or react - on forehead and around eyes
9. Double chin
10. Scanty hairline
Luckily for us, the lockdown has allowed us the time to understand ourselves better and that includes our skin. Zoom face has forced us to read up on products and treatments that can help us to treat and correct.
Access to immediate remedies to any concerns on the face is possible thanks to the latest aesthetic treatments and skincare available to us – be it injectables like Botox and fillers to instantly lift and rejuvenate your skin to ongoing treatments like anti-pigmentation facials, lasers, peels, etc. as well as sunscreens and under-eye cooling patches that go to work instantly to boost your skin health and rejuvenation as well as rebuild your self-image and confidence as well.
So are only women affected by Zoom face?
In fact there is a swing upwards with male users who have understood the value of face image and have started paying more attention to their skin with facial hair grooming, skin texture as well as the top concerns echoed above.
Women have traditionally been more conscious of their skin, but now Zoom face has given them a 3D snapshot of how their skin ACTUALLY is – when they frown or smile, each line and crease can be pinpointed exactly to your own eyes, rather than a Doctor or skin specialist telling you, so the conviction to self-correct is much higher than before.
Top tips for a fantastic zoom face
1. Grooming – hair and skin grooming goes a long way to get a great onscreen presence – make sure your brows, skin, and hair are prepped and ready for Showtime
2. Posture can make your face look older plus the obvious back and neck aches (e.g. - hunching or lazing back) so sitting upright makes your posture seem alert as well as face and neck well balanced.
3. If you’re conscious of the hair on your eyebrows, upper lip, face or anywhere else on your body, opt for laser hair removal – it is a permanent and pain-free solution to all your body hair concerns. Why wax, thread or shave every couple of weeks when you can have a permanent solution.
4. Or an uneven skin tone, there are some great in-clinic peels and lasers that you can opt for, there’s no reason to not work on issues that can easily be resolved. An even skin tone can go a long way in giving your confidence and reducing your dependency on makeup to make you feel more confident
5. Signs of aging – identify the major areas on your face that make you look drastically different when you speak (e.g. – lines around your mouth seem to get deeper when you are talking) or while listening sudden bands of wrinkles show up on your forehead
6. Do an online consultation with a reputable skin expert – online consultations are a great way to show and tell – they also allow the expert to see your zoom face! And can advise remedies that would work
7. Try and practice good non-verbal communication – use of nodding, smiling and other positive gestures always help to put your point across without much strain to your face muscles
8. Take time off – a zoom face should ideally help you see yourself in a positive light, but if you feel the constant staring into your own face is wearing you down, opt for backgrounds or just turn the camera off and take a time out!
So, just like the magic mirror...the next time you look into the zoom camera for your next meeting – make it one that you know the answer to the question “mirror mirror on the wall”