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La Ross bares all!

Blog By Kate Monteith-Ross

Pre covid the world was a different place; we know that but what has definitely become apparent is how much this phase has left its mark. During 2020 we were introduced to the term, ‘zoom face’ and this being a concept that due to the fact the world began to work remotely we began analysing our faces more than ever before. According to Devon Nagelberg, the co-founder of the medical spa, JECT, ‘We are all seeing our faces a little more than usual these days so of course, were noticing new things- things we may not have noticed before. We all learned an important lesson during quarantine: just how big a factor looking our best plays into feeling and performing our best’.

Now although we have started to socially integrate once more, the remote world has definitely become popular, and many businesses remain to use this platform more than ever before! What we also see is a massive increase in those seeking Aesthetic and beauty treatments and The Times have openly said there is an obvious, ‘spike in demand’. We are also seeing professionals such as Dr Tracy Mountford of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic list their 5 top zoom face treatments and lists them as: non-Surgical facelifts using Dermal fillers, Skin tightening, Tear trough rejuvenation, Therapies to support the removal of fat around the chin and bawling and chin enhancements to improve the facial profiles whilst on zoom.

Now there are many that argue this phenomenon is a result of just not having the upkeep so we have learned to value such treatments more, but this wouldn’t explain the obvious increase in past patients pushing for more extreme changes that perhaps was never on their agenda before! Perhaps the sense of urgency came from the fear of another lockdown but now that time has passed, and those fears have been forgotten- the urgency still presides.

Filters were made popular through social media platforms, but we are now seeing filters become available for zoom platforms.. what once may have been a novelty to turn us into bunnies or comedic characters is being used to transform our anatomy! In fact, face changing filters that use Augmented Reality technology are proving the most popular and they often completely alter your appearance! With individuals transforming their social media with the image of someone that is far detached from a sibling of theirs with a different face structure, teeth and even the position and shape of their eyes!

Lisa Rush who is the Director of Lisa Rush Skin Clinic has publicly relayed concerns that body and face tuning is having impacts on their mental health and certain individuals are being consumed with unrealistic expectations and it is driving body dysmorphia. It is becoming clear that those vulnerable individuals often become disappointed with what they see in the mirror because they prefer their social media creations over reality and then not only does this impact them mentally and socially, but we are seeing these individuals disconnect from the real world and retract into a remote one where their creation proceeds and essentially, they can hide away from reality.

These filters are not natural and often look the same: pore less skin, long thick lashes, high cheekbones, square jawline, cat eyes and pixie noses with anatomically distorted lips.. This image has in the past been made even more appealing with the rise of influencers promoting their ‘work’ on social media platforms. BUT the industry is starting to slowly see through the haze of this phase and the tide is starting to change, the narrative is starting to shift!

Many social media favorites are being seen to openly discuss their change from overfilled to natural and dissolving dermal filler is at an all-time high and we are seeing more of a stance on natural beauty! Many reality TV stars have come out to discuss their battles with dysmorphia and their journeys with removing their dermal fillers and it feels that maybe we may have the beginning of a phase of change..

As a leading Kent based Medical Aesthetics and wellness clinic, we have seen a massive increase in the demand for treatments and many coming in with a filtered image as their ‘aesthetic goal’. As a collective we implemented a new process where all patients post covid has to attend a new consultation and this was designed to be based on a medical model whilst looking at them from a wider wellness perspective as opposed to simply what we can do to support the Aesthetic goal and to really understand the story and the journey that brought them into the clinic.

Following lockdown there was an obvious impact on mental health so for the past 28 months we have worked alongside counsellor who initially worked with our staff to teach them how to recognise body dysmorphia and also provide them the tools to support these patients and make referrals where plausible, and who we can refer patients should we feel they need support with body dysmorphia rather than a treatment! We refer on a regular basis and have support leaflets left within the premises for people to take with them with free resources and numbers to call when they feel ready.

As a clinic we are standing strong to support not only each other but our patients too and want to send the message that no matter what you look like you are beautiful, that every single one of us have real beauty and it is time to stop hiding behind the filters! It is time to send the message that differences are beautiful, that our story matters and that behind every scar and every wrinkle is a journey and that message is a powerful one! And we decided to kick this off with us sharing our own insecurities and to work on changing our own perspectives!

Our campaign, we hope will resonate with both men and women and will be the beginning of us celebrating ourselves and what makes us unique- with the staff celebrating their flaws because of what it reveals about them and why it makes them special! This is a massive social issue and we are not saying filters are wrong and should never be used but for some, filters have become an obsession or a wall they hide behind, an element they cannot live without and they now feel shame about who they are and what they look like without the filter…well we want those individuals to know they can ditch that filter and we are here to support them as they learn to love themselves for how amazing they are and we bared all to share the message!

Thank you for listening and I cannot wait to watch the campaign roll out!

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