No, it’s not an Onion article. A Washington DC plastic surgeon is being hit with patients rendered so self-conscious by their video chatting visages that they’re asking for phone-specific facelifts. Technology is great except when it’s so, so awful.
Of course it’s not fair to blame the tech alone, here — you have to include the vain people and this doctor who seems to think FaceTime Body Dysmorphia is a condition worth treating with surgery. Literally, this man is proud of the fact that he cuts up and reassembles human faces so that they’ll look better while video chatting:
“Patients come in with their iPhones and show me how they look on [Apple’s video calling application] FaceTime,” says Dr. Sigal. “The angle at which the phone is held, with the caller looking downward into the camera, really captures any heaviness, fullness and sagging of the face and neck. People say ‘I never knew I looked like that! I need to do something!’ I’ve started calling it the ‘FaceTime Facelift’ effect. And we’ve developed procedures to specifically address it.”
Dr Robert Sigal is certainly noticing something real. Ubiquitous tech provides a mirror that’s always on. Whether we’re comparing ourselves to that better profile picture from two years ago, comparing ourselves to better looking people on Facebook, looking at our own tired eyes and thinking they look so tired shown to us with subpar webcams in poorly lit rooms. Letting your computer make you feel self-conscious isn’t new nor is it trivial — but surgery is likely the most repugnant solution imaginable. What happens when you start hating the way your voice sounds while FaceTiming? [Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery via Kottke]