Most people wouldn’t sit in front of a mirror for hours a day, checking themselves out, but the COVID-19 pandemic has found many doing just that.
Video chatting services such as Zoom have become a common way to keep in touch with friends, family and co-workers. But it’s also forced people to sit face-to-face with themselves with a clear view of every pimple, every wrinkle and every awkward expression they’d otherwise never see.
It’s just weird. But is it worse than that? Have our self-perceptions changed?
Research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that for most women — but not for all women — this new view of themselves has not been accompanied by any changes in how satisfied they are with their appearance. The research, carried out by first author Gabrielle Pfund, a graduate student in the lab of Patrick Hill, associate professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences, was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
As video chatting became more pervasive, “I thought, this is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I wonder if this is affecting people?” Pfund anticipated she might find that people would generally be less satisfied with their appearance the more their video chat usage increased.