Sunday, April 14, 2024

Has Lockdown made us more self-conscious?

In early 2020, we were told not to go out, see our friends or even venture near the office. Enter Zoom. We quickly adapted to a world of doing everything over video chat, from planning the agenda for the next team meeting to celebrating a friend’s birthday with virtual cocktails. The pandemic was the start of us all staring at our phones and laptops for long periods of time. Not so unusual, in our digitally driven world. However, we weren’t prepared for all the extra time we’d spend confronted with our own reflections.

The influx of video calls meant we came face-to-face with our appearances on a daily basis, at times for a whole workday and often for social activities in the evening too. We began to inspect our reflections, wondering “Is my brow always this furrowed?” and “When did those crows’ feet appear?” The constant scrutiny has made many Brits jump on the cosmetic surgery bandwagon, with some seeking small “tweakments” such as Botox and fillers, while others are opting for cosmetic surgery. Here, we investigate the rise in interest in aesthetic procedures and whether lockdown has made us more self-conscious.

The pressure to look good after lockdown

In the lead up to summer 2021, many British women reported feeling pressure to achieve a post-lockdown “glow up”, to eliminate or conceal things that were making them feel self-conscious. From weight loss treatments to Botox, the appointment books appeared to be bursting for aesthetic professionals across the UK.

It’s believed the rise in interest for injectables, is due to the amount of time we’ve spent on video calls in the past 18 months, allowing us to fixate on our perceived imperfections. “Zoom Boom”, as it’s been nicknamed, is also believed to be a result of the natural look we’ve embraced during quarantine. Many UK women have shunned heavy makeup in favour of a more subtle look or have forgone cosmetics altogether, which could mean they’re seeing fine lines or wrinkles they’ve had for a while but that have previously been concealed.

Are video calls causing a rise in cosmetic surgery in men?

It’s not only women who’ve been affected by the extra time focused on our reflections over lockdown. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reports a third of its members have experienced an increase in enquiries from men in comparison with 2020.  

The trend is already more pronounced in the US, with demand having trebled in the past 20 years. The rise in interest across the pond is thought to be a result of the many male celebrities having embraced cosmetic enhancements in a bid to maintain a youthful look.

The risks of cosmetic procedures 

While they may be becoming a more mainstream option, cosmetic procedures are not without risk. No surgery or treatment is guaranteed to be successful, so it’s essential to understand the risks involved. These could range from minor issues like headaches or flu symptoms following Botox, to post-surgical infection or a reaction to anaesthesia during cosmetic surgery. There is also the risk of surgical error, which could affect the outcome of your procedure. 

It’s essential to do your research prior to any cosmetic treatment, on both the procedure and the surgeon or medical practitioner. Find out what qualifications your doctor has, the name and licencing of the product, what they will do if something goes wrong and whether they are insured. Should anything go wrong during your procedure due to a fault made by your doctor or practitioner, contact a reputable medical negligence solicitor for support in claiming compensation or taking legal action against them.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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