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Post-lockdown cosmetic procedures are on the rise

As lockdown lifts, cosmetic doctors are seeing a rise in demand for face-based treatments. With more time to look at ourselves in mirrors and computer screens, is this a trend that’s here to stay?  

Over the last year of lockdowns we’ve spent a large portion of our time indoors, being forced to stare at reflections of ourselves on Zoom calls or FaceTime.

At the same time we’ve also been isolated from our friends, family, and other members of our local communities.

When the most common representations of people in the outside world come from perfectly edited and heavily filtered photos on social media feeds, it’s been easy to lose sight of what normal faces and bodies look like.

Cosmetic doctors and plastic surgeons around the world have seen a 70 percent increase in the demand for post-pandemic procedures over the last year – in what is being called the ‘Zoom Boom’ – with a rise in male clients being the most notable change of all.

It seems apparent that hours spent in front of the camera have led us to become more self-critical. As cosmetic procedures become less invasive, more people are booking consultations for beauty treatments that resolve the appearance of features commonly highlighted by camera angles, such as jawline contouring and filler for wrinkles.

Distorted body image
, the ongoing epidemic

Studies have shown that Gen Z are the most impressionable age group and can be easily affected by beauty standards via social media.

They suffer most with body ideal internalisation – the pressure to live up to a certain body type or appearance – to the point where it can cause uncomfortable emotions such as shame and anxiety.

Over 40 percent of young people cite regular exposure to photos of the ideal body type on social media as a cause of their distorted body image. Girls are disproportionately affected by this, with 54 percent of them admitting to having negative feelings about their body due to images they see online, compared to 26 percent of boys surveyed.

Here at Thred, we’ve already written about Tik Tok’s new measures to remove or ban hashtags which promote negative approaches to diet and lifestyle habits. However, Instagram has thousands of popular skin-smoothing, lip-plumping, and face-slimming filters which are contributing to dissatisfaction with our appearances.

While there’s nothing wrong with caring about your personal image, constant fixation on our own appearance can lead to perceptual distortion ­- which happens when we focus disproportionately on a single perceived flaw until it becomes magnified.

Have you ever pointed out one of your physical traits to a friend, only for them to respond they don’t know what you’re talking about because they’ve never noticed it? Yep, that’s perceptual distortion.

Gen-Z receives mixed messages on body image

Today, media messages and brand campaigns promoting body positivity and inclusivity are more prominent than ever. The freedom to accept and express yourself however you choose is at an all-time high, but the pressures to look your best while doing just that remain.

Young celebrities of all body types are speaking out about the pressures and criticisms they’ve faced to try to achieve the ideal body type.

Where the stereotypical supermodel body dominated the pop culture world for millennials growing up, Gen-Z audiences tend to focus more on the artistic ability of artists and actresses ­- and their attitudes towards body positivity are an added bonus.

It’s a tough line to walk: learning to accept yourself fully, while the opportunity to present a filtered version of yourself online becomes increasingly normalised.

Not to mention, as generations get older, the accessibility of cosmetic procedures offers the temptation of a permanent solution to self-perceived faults.

As we emerge from lockdown, it’s important to maintain a sense of self-appreciation for getting through one of the most socially, mentally, and physically challenging times in decades. Whether or not it’s visible, the experience of the last year has changed everyone in some way.

Besides, your mates won’t care what you look like, they’ll just be happy to see you.


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