We’re an egotistical species. We just are. And as a result, we like to look good. This is both a good thing in the sense that it inspires us to do things like eat vegetables and exercise regularly in the hope that we’ll get our genitals touched more often. And a bad thing in the sense that when we stare at our faces all day, we start to think we need plastic surgery.
At least that’s the lesson we seem to be taking away from services like Skype and Facebook’s FaceTime:
“With a good degree of frequency, people will come in and say, ‘I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook or on my iPhone or iPad,” [plastic surgeon] Dr. Schaffner told us from his spa-like Midtown East office. “When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.”
The basic problem isn’t that these people are packing jowls like Richard Nixon, it’s the fact that they hold their phone at a low angle in unflattering light.
Allow me to put on my pretentious filmmaker hat for a minute: a low angle on a person is extremely hard to make flattering. You’re shooting up their nose, basically. You’ll notice most TV shows and most movies never get below chest level on the actors that they’re shooting. When they do, there’s usually a filter on the lens and it’s lit carefully to emphasize the best angle. This is also why most people shoot themselves from an extremely high angle — it’s flattering.
It’s the same thing with FaceTime and webcams — holding a phone at a low angle and looking down at it tends to magnify “flaw.” The guys in the photo above have placed it properly to look their best.
In other words, this problem can be fixed much more easily with two simple techniques: use FaceTime with a stand that puts your phone about level with your face…and also just don’t use FaceTime.
image courtesy Andy Roberts Photography on Flickr
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