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COVID-19: Plastic surgery demand spiked during work from home as people wanted to ‘look good’ on video calls

Hate switching on your camera during official Zoom meetings, because you think you don’t look good? You are not alone. Apparently, Zoom video meets have triggered the demand for plastic surgeries in many parts of the world as people demand to look good.

According to a new study, researchers in the United States found that patients are seeking plastic surgery in record numbers, citing their poor appearance on Zoom as a cause. British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says that the doctors reported a 70 per cent increase in requests for virtual consultations for plastic surgery.

Cosmetic doctors and plastic surgeons around the world call it a ‘zoom boom’. In its report, it says spending a long time in front of video calls have prompted many – including men – to consider cosmetic surgery procedures.

Injectables were the most asked for treatments, followed by more invasive procedures, such as breast augmentation and liposuction.

UK based practitioners say that the Zoom Boom is driving interest in non-invasive facial procedures, like Botox, fillers or skin resurfacing that correct lines caused by the facial expressions and also to tackle wrinkles. There’s also a surge in demand for ‘neck rejuvenation’ and ‘jawline contouring’, as people spend more time looking down into their computer’s camera and focusing on those areas of their body.

Although women historically account for a far larger proportion of cosmetic procedures than men, the Zoom Boom isn’t just for women. Dr Munir Somji, a cosmetic doctor who works at London’s Dr MediSpa Clinic in UK, says he’s received an increase in men requesting hair transplants, due to the time they’ve spent looking at their hair on video calls. “When you’re looking at a Zoom call, and you’re in a well-lit room, your hair’s going to look thinner no matter what you do,” he says.

Also, there is an interesting discussion happening across social media is about ‘how to look good while Zoom video calls?’, where people talk mostly about makeup, colour correction and lighting, which play important role in presenting yourself in front of the camera.

Sarah Hart, a cosmetic doctor, based in New Zealand, says there are a few tricks people can try to improve their “resting Zoom face” before they seek professional help.

“Always place your laptop up high and look up – a more flattering view which tightens the jawline and lifts the cheeks – and made sure the light was directly on her face, rather than from above, which can cause shadows. These kinds of small but important things really will make a huge difference,” she said.

She also added that the problem is usually a lot to do with bad lighting and angles while using a laptop to make a call. But it’s also because people aren’t used to seeing their own faces in action.

New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine president Hans Raetz says there was “no doubt” there had been an increase in clients seeking cosmetic treatments. Ratez believes the rise of video conferencing could be an unexpected boon for the industry.

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