CLEVELAND — Plastic surgeons have seen a massive increase in both surgical and non-surgical facial procedures since the pandemic began and everyone started connected so much more over video, which brings up questions about the beauty standards we're being bombarded with.
On this week's 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast, I'm joined by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Wojtanowski of the Ohio Clinic for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic psychologist and body dysmorphia expert Dr. Susan Albers, and esthetician and facial enhancement patient Jana Weaver to talk about how what we see on camera and online can be misleading.
The talk centers around about the impact of living our lives staring at our own faces over Zoom and on social media, comparing ourselves to unrealistic images, and the expectations we place on ourselves.
Listen here on Spotify, or scroll down for the video version and for links to listen on your favorite podcast platform
Dr. Wojtanowski practice for cosmetic enhancement initially closed for about two months at the start of the pandemic in 2020, but when it reopened, business has already been impacted.
"It's like the floodgates opened, not just in my practice, but nationally," Dr. W. says. "The national plastic surgery world has seen a significant increase in the number of people coming in for cosmetic procedures, both nonsurgical and surgical procedures."
The mental health profession has seen a similar result, according to Dr. Albers, who has seen an increase in patients seeking treatment for body images issues.
"Body dysmorphia is not something that’s new. It’s been around for a long time but during this past year it has just exploded in terms of the number of patients that are coming in and getting treatment for this particular disorder," Dr. Albers says. "In my practice, I moved from in-person [sessions] to teletherapy and I noticed right away, because what happens is that people become very distracted by looking at themselves."
Jana, who has worked in front of the camera for decades as a model, confirms that there's something different about seeing herself on a screen while taking part in Zoom work meetings and social gatherings.
"Every flaw, it’s just so in my face when you’re on Zoom," Jana says. "That’s all I look at and it is very distracting, because I’m like, 'Oh gosh, I could fix this, I can fix that, I need to fix this... how are people seeing me?' I think there’s kind of a fix for everything these days. It's like, 'What filter can I use?'"
When it comes to social media filters, one trend online has been to expose how they can warp your face, with a split screen that shows half of your face without a filter and half of it with a filter that transforms your appearance.
You can see the face-warping social media trend that shows how fake filters can be, tested out by Jac Vanek, here.
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