Skype may be a wonderful tool for bringing people together visually around the world, but is it also having an unexpected effect on our self esteem? ShinyShiny's Becca Caddy investigates...
A lot of people hate the way they look so much they're willing to have their faces slashed open and moved around, but is Skype and video chat really to blame for our self-loathing?
As we all happily bumble through life many of us are all far too familiar with the tragic moment when we catch sight of our stupid laughing faces in the mirror or see a photo that shows just how hideous our teeth REALLY are. Your poor bruised little subconscious whispers to itself, "Ohhh so that's how my face ACTUALLY looks?!" and for the rest of the day you feel a bit like Quasimodo. Or maybe that's just us, you beautiful, beautiful Shiny Shiny readers.
Obviously the fact we take 3,253,475 photos for Facebook/Instagram/Hipstamatic/Path now makes us well aware of our quirky and endearing (see:gross) little traits, but some are suggesting the biggest culprit for making us all feel rubbish about our faces could well be Skype.
According to stats published over on io9, there's been a big, scrap that HUGE rise in the number of people deciding to have chin implants over in the US. The American Association of Plastic Surgeons has said that there was a 71% increase in the surgery (known as a mentoplasty because they shove mentos in there) last year, which is nearly 21,000 chin hating people over in the states alone.
Wait, so what the hell has Skype got to do with this we hear you say. Well, when these fancy plastic surgery experts were asked why there's been such a meteoric rise in the number of surgeries they began to attack the world of tech.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
"The procedures were about evenly divided between men and women, with the largest increase in patients 40 and older.
The group's president, Malcolm Z. Roth, suggests one reason may be the fact that more people see themselves on video-chat technology. "They may notice that their jaw line is not as sharp as they want to be."
Now we can see how this makes sense. We're not psychologists here, but we'd assume that the more you see your imperfections the chances are you'll either learn to accept them more and more (that's the grounded, positive ones amongst us) or instead you'll just loathe your face more and more. However, if it makes anyone feel better we're convinced no one looks good that moment they accidentally turn on their web cam and see their NINE chins staring back at them.
We've got some answers to this problem, because we're concerned this fact-hating, chin-implanting trend will spread like some kind of plague across the globe. Firstly, Skype and other video chat tools could introduce lovely filters to tone down our ugly, isn't that why Instagram is so damn popular?! Secondly, we could all just go tweak our Skype settings so we only see the face of the person we're talking to, not our own ugly mug. Thirdly, we could just all learn to love our quirks and weird traits. OK scrap that we want vintage, blurry filters EVERYWHERE and we want them NOW.
(This post originally appeared on ShinyShiny.tv)