From looking older to double chins, women reveal why Zoom calls have ruined their self-confidence – The Sun

THE Duchess of Cambridge knows how to stand out in a crowded Zoom call.

With a beaming smile, flawless complexion and perfect hair, she has looked radiant during lockdown.

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But for most of us, seeing ourselves on video apps like Zoom fills us with doom.

Research by FOREO found that 91 per cent of us admit to looking at ourselves more than others on video calls.

Psychologists say we are not used to seeing the mirror image of our normal reflection, or the wide frame that highlights shadows and blemishes.

Cosmetic dentist Dr Kamala Aydazada, says: “I have had a lot of enquiries about cosmetic smile makeovers such as veneers, teeth whitening and composite bondings in the last few weeks.

"I am not surprised considering the unprecedented rise in screen time.”

Jenny Francis speaks to three women who hate how they look on video apps.

Emma, 38

LEGAL secretary Emma Chequer uses video calls for work meetings.

She lives in Dublin with husband Ben, 38, a bar manager, and children Sophie, 17, Conor, 12, and one-year-old Holly. She says:

"It took me a long time to learn to love my looks. In my 20s I was quite insecure and was never ­massively confident going out.

"My weight has fluctuated a lot and in my early 30s I made a real effort to break out of my anxiety and learn to love myself a bit.

"I lost a bit of weight between ­having my children, ate a healthier diet, did more exercise and started enjoying wearing make-up to work and nice office clothes.

"Nobody at work has ever seen me without full make-up and that’s how I like it. But when lockdown started, everything changed.


"I’m still working full-time but also overseeing home-schooling and my children with my husband.

"It’s tricky and my usual routine has gone out of the window.

"I did my first ever Zoom call six weeks ago. I was late to the meeting because I am useless with technology and didn’t know how to join, and when I eventually did, it was awful.

"All I could see was loads of ­people’s faces staring at me. I didn’t even recognise myself at first. I was disgusted.

"I had basic make-up on but with a light directly overhead I had huge dark circles under my eyes and grey skin.

"My nose seemed larger than normal, the spots I thought I’d covered looked huge and the camera was at a low angle so I had a double chin. I looked like I was 68 not 38.

"I spent the whole call desperate to get off.

"I told my husband, who said I was being silly and that I looked lovely, but every time I’ve logged on since, my confidence has got lower. No matter where I position myself it’s no good.

My nose seemed larger than normal, the spots I thought I’d covered looked huge and the camera was at a low angle so I had a double chin

"My grey roots are showing because I haven’t been to the hairdresser for two months. I just don’t feel myself.

"Some days I lie and say my camera isn’t working, and log on to the call as voice only so I don’t have to see myself.

"I miss my friends and family but I’ve even been turning down group video chats and hiding in the background when my mum calls to see the ­children.

"I just can’t face seeing my drawn-out appearance on screen.

"I worked so hard on my confidence for years, but now it’s been ripped apart because I can’t work out how to look half decent on a video call."

Kully, 41

BEFORE lockdown, property ­manager Kully Robinson spent £300 a month in beauty salons.

The mum of one has son Brandon Robinson, 23, a mechanic, and is isolating alone, in Petts Wood, Kent. She says:

"I take great pride in my appearance, and twice a month I have gel nails done and have facial waxing.

"Once a month I have a haircut and a facial, and have my roots dyed every two months. Obviously, since lockdown, all my treatments have stopped.

"I was ill for the first two weeks, which didn’t help my appearance, and since then I’ve felt awful about my reflection.

"I’m stuck at home with mirrors everywhere and lots of time alone worrying about my appearance.

"My hair needs cutting, I have grey roots showing and I desperately need my eyebrows and upper lip waxing.

"We have team meetings on video calls so I’m confronted by a huge image of myself on screen every few hours.

"I put lots of make-up on but the dull lighting makes me look like I’m not wearing any at all.

"I spend the whole meeting staring at myself rather than the other people on the screen.

I’ve put on a stone since lockdown and I can see the extra pounds around my face

"I also do virtual viewings for ­properties. I feel so unprofessional looking so washed out – it’s affecting my confidence at work.

"I’ve put on a stone since lockdown as I’m not rushing around properties burning off calories, and I can see the extra pounds around my face every time I pass the hallway mirror.

"I miss my friends but they want to do video calls on a Friday night and I dread it.

"They all look so glam – I don’t know how they do it.

"I feel very lucky to have my health right now, but I hate to think that my work colleagues will be thinking I’m not taking my work seriously at home because my appearance is not  as professional as it usually is.

"I started doing home exercise to try and boost my self-confidence. I follow the classes online and it was starting to help but then the worst thing happened.

"Last week I’d completed a home workout when a friend video called me, and she looked incredible while I was a sweaty mess.

"It made me feel even worse and now I worry that I always have to look my best, no matter what time of day, just in case someone video calls me without warning."

Mesha, 23

MESHA WRIGHT is considering cosmetic surgery after losing her self-confidence during lockdown.

The retail assistant, from Norwich, says:

"I used to have a busy life. I’d do my make-up and hair before going to work at a high-end clothes shop.

"I’d be on my feet all day so I rarely had the time to check my appearance.

"At weekends I’d go out for drinks with friends and always felt super-confident. I’ve never struggled with low self-esteem before.

"However, I was furloughed from work six weeks ago so I’ve not had a reason to put on make-up or get dressed up.

"I used to do acting on the side, so I’ve been trying to get back into it.

"I set up video calls with producers and acting groups and when I saw my face on screen, I honestly was speechless. I looked ten years older, with huge bags under my eyes.

"I stumbled through my ideas as quickly as I could and spent the rest of the day wondering how I could look so bad on screen.

"This week someone even asked me if I was sick. I took a screenshot of the call and spent hours looking back at the picture of myself wondering how I could improve.

I looked ten years older, with huge bags under my eyes

"I look at the size of my nose and my crooked teeth and obsess over it.

"I’ve started researching cosmetic surgery online. I feel that if I had a nose job and a set of veneers I’d look so much better on camera and it would lift my whole appearance.

"I’ve had social media for years, but instead of logging on a couple of times a day, I’m on it for hours passing the time.

"Everyone looks amazing on their Instagram stories, but every time I try and film one I give up because I can’t stand how I look. I’ve tried using different filters and angles.

"I’ve tried to find alternative areas of the house to take pictures in and wearing different make-up or different outfits. But nothing works.

"I feel that if I don’t get a lot of likes for my posts, it’s because I don’t look good.

"It’s hard because not being able to leave the house much means I just sit constantly thinking about it. It’s really unlike me, but I’ve become hugely self-critical.

"I have way too much spare time now, which means these negative thoughts about myself just fester all day and I don’t have anything to take my mind off of them.

Be great like Kate

HERE are some simple steps you can take to improve your look on video calls:


Try to sit facing the window so the natural light hits your face, rather than sitting behind it, which makes you look darker.

If it’s ­evening, then use the full light rather than a lamp, which only lights up half of your face.

Avoid spotlights from the ceiling if you can.


Keep your camera at eye level for the most flattering look.

It is unflattering if the screen is too low, so maybe use some books and magazines to prop up your device if needed.


Make sure you feel like you.

If you usually wear make-up, it’s worth sticking to your normal routine.

A little lip balm and CC cream are sure to give you a glow if you feel as though your camera makes you looked washed out.


It’s all about table-top dressing.

Avoid greys, blacks and whites on your top half as they can be draining.

Instead, inject some colour to brighten your complexion – and add statement earrings for added wow factor.


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