“People often find themselves much more unattractive than usual on FaceTime calls because apparently, the front-facing camera is an extreme wide-angle, which can cause shadows around the eyes and nose, highlight one’s facial imperfections like blemishes and wrinkles and add enough bloating that it can look like one has a double chin,” says Yvonne Thomas, an L.A.-based psychologist, whose specialties include self-esteem and body image.
“From a psychological perspective, if a person already suffers from insecurity about how he or she looks and/or has a poor body image and shaky self-perception, seeing oneself on FaceTime with any of those effects can hurt their self-image and confidence in one’s appearance even more,” Thomas continues.
There are some other theories as to why we loathe our FaceTime-selves so deeply, too. Put simply, the primary way we view ourselves is in a mirror. But this is simply a reflection of what we look like –– that is, a reversed image. On an iPhone, both selfies and FaceTime calls taken on the front-facing camera re-flip our image, thus presenting ourselves with the version the outside world sees. The differences are subtle, but your brain is an anxious idiot. Rather than registering as a portrayal of your normal self, your brain takes a look at your FaceTime face and is like, “Who the **** is that?”
According to Thomas, though, our FaceTime ugliness is probably primarily the result of the [low quality] camera, and not because you’re actually ugly in real life. “It’s very important to remember when doing a FaceTime call, that what you see of yourself is probably the result of the apparatus and mechanics of the FaceTime device, rather than an accurate image of how you really look,” she says.
Yvonne Thomas Ph.D. is a therapist in Los Angeles. To read the full article “Why You’re The Ugliest Version of Yourself On Facetime” visit melmagazine.com