In a recent article by Patience Haggin in The Wall Street Journal, she writes about how webcams add 10 pounds under your jawline. She tells the story of Liza Lane, a professor of social work at the University of Houston.
Professor Lane was about to begin a videoconference lecture when she cringed at something horrible on the screen: the dreaded double chin. She grabbed her laptop and put it on her baby son’s high chair so her face would be caught at a more flattering camera angle. She had perfected this technique while dealing with clinical therapy people on Zoom. Her husband saw her and snapped a picture, which he shared with her class. They had a good laugh, happy to know that they weren’t the only ones worried about the all too common double chin look.
As quarantine because of Covid-19 continues to mandate remote working, more people are trying to figure out what to do about the 10 pounds that webcams tend to add under the chin.
Alan Matarasso is a New York plastic surgeon. Since Covid-19, his office has received more queries about double-chin reductions and liposuction. Dr. Matarasso says that anyone staring down into a laptop camera is going to look bad.
Dr. Matarraso’s services are deemed nonessential. He can’t perform any anti-double chin procedures at the moment.
With all the videoconferencing going on, even people with perfect chins have become paranoid about chin problems. Douglas Dedo is a West Palm Beach plastic surgeon. Years ago, he developed a one-to-six scale to measure under-the-chin girth. “Swan-necked” number ones and slightly looser number twos don’t have double chins. But now, thanks to laptop cams, even those people are asking about chin procedures.
The most unflattering cameras are those located under the laptop screen. Dell Technologies, makers of XPS Ultrabooks, backed down from that design after users began labeling it “chin cam,” “nostril cam,” knuckle cam” and even “navel cam.”
According to Donnie Oliphant, Dell’s senior director of XPS product marketing, “We don’t want our customers to have to do yoga to basically use their camera in a way that is flattering to their appearance.”
Perhaps all this has heightened the desire for stands that prop up electronic devices. Heckler Design, maker of office furniture and accessories, had been planning such product even before the pandemic hit. But once people went into lockdown and crossed over to morning Zoom meetings, they saw for themselves how great the need was.
According to Chief Executive Dan Heckler, people began asking for prototypes. The company even marketed them as “double chin concealers.”
Laura White is director of a San Diego non-profit that helps military families. When video call made her self-conscious about her chin, she decided to channel Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker.” She leaned forward, balled up her fist and put it under her chin.
Lexia Frank, a Portland, Oregon wedding and portrait photographer, practices another tactic. She rolls back her shoulders and pulls her face away from her neck. Bradley Warschauer teaches writing at Tulane University. He noticed that since he’s been teaching via Zoom his students have been a bit more self-critical.
“All of a sudden they straighten up or they change the way they’re sitting or standing. Or they change the angle of their laptop,” he said.
Of course, some men have found that a beard does the job of hiding a double chin. According to Boston-based radio host Jim Polito, “It works for some people to hide it, but for others it makes it look like you got a squirrel underneath your neck.”
Michaela Scherrer is a product and interior designer in Pasadena, California. She didn’t like the way the camera highlighted neck wrinkles and created a double-chin effect. So, she went low tech for her solution. She pulled back her skin with tape, then tested it out with friends on Facebook. “One of my friends was like, ‘Oh. You look so good. What did you do?’ And I was like, ‘My face is taped up!’”
She said her neck looked a good eight or nine years younger.
Long live the double chin.
Provided by MDB Communications, a Capitol Communicator sponsor.