Body image decline with video calls?

Hey Elphas,I never would have imagined that I'd be writing this! I'm starting to wonder if seeing myself so much on video calls lately is impacting my body image.I'm on easing towards age 40, and I'm noticing facial changes that I don't think would be as apparent if I were co-located and not taking so many video calls from my device (i.e., from a console in a conference room, I typically wouldn't see myself at all while on VC).Has anyone else experienced this?While I want to be fully aware of my remote-based surroundings while on VC (especially how I'm framed in the "shot"), maybe it's time to start experimenting with hiding my own video while dialed in?Previously working in an open office, I fell into that group of folks who are self-conscious about their body taking up space and being "watched" by coworkers while stomping around. I guess that anxious energy has contorted to self-consciousness about facial changes, now that I'm remote. :-/It's bugging me enough that I've decided to take a break even from watching beauty / skincare influencers on YouTube, as it only fuels the fire.
So get this - my laptop has the camera located at the BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN. So inevitably, any time I do a video interview, you get the most unflattering view of my face and it feels like it's highlighting the worst parts of my facial topography. Sigh... I have a YOGA Lenovo which is otherwise a fabulous touchscreen super lightweight laptop... But yes, video calls kill me every time because I'm vain ;)
Yes! Theres a part of my neck that looks fine in the mirror but somehow looks 1000 years old on the video camera!!! I try not to obsess. I mean at some point we're all changing looks -wise and we can't keep comparing to whatever beauty standards are happening. I try and look as best as I can and take care of what I have. My hair is still good, skin still decent and I clean up pretty well and can feel cute enough when I want to. I don't want to be that woman years from now that wasted time and energy on feeling bad about myself instead of enjoying life. My Mom was a gorgeous woman even as she aged but didn't realize it and relied on her looks so much that when she got older, had the worst self image and her later life was kind of miserable.
YES I LOOK RIDICULOUS!!! I can look totally fine in the mirror but put me at the same angle in front of my computer and I look like I haven't showered for days and just woke up in a dirty dark cave. For me, I feel like there's nothing else to be done except use it as a practice of self-acceptance. I use every call to test the questions: 'Can I still feel as if I'm effective even though I don't look my best?' and 'Is my client going to perceive me any differently if they think I look frumpy and weather-worn today?' So far for me, I've been able to use these moments of insecurity as opportunities to do some reality-testing and gain a bit of self-confidence instead.
Buy a cute pair of glasses. I have a few pairs, reading glasses for me as I’m 52. You’ll be much happier. And definitely get a separate camera. Don’t use the one on your laptop. It’s such a fun time, isn’t it? ;)
Heya, totally relatable. I have been doing virtual meetings on a daily basis the past years. It bothered me initially as the built-in camera tend to HIGHLIGHT EVERY FEATURE OF MINE. I would end up looking at myself a lot during client calls and get distracted. What our team did, was to buy an external camera. Especially the high quality ones that provide nice lighting and a fish-eye view. The lighting really helps to balance of weird shadows. A fish-eye view allows your face to take up less space of the background, and make it less of the centre of attention. It's less distracting for yourself and the clients are less likely to be only focusing on your face. Hope that helps!
Hi ladies! Here is a view back from 42 year old - skin unfirm and weight going up - but I love seeing myself in the video, happily always turning it on. A couple of possible reasons: my first experience with remote work was through a great employer providing separate cameras on stands just as recommended in another reply here; with great software improving the lighting artificially. So it was always a delight to see myself, take a couple of screenshots, get used to the experience. Now I am able to recreate the feeling with much less equipment and hassle. Another - my failing eyes see myself in glass reflections, in window panes and shop stalls with less detail and one imagines the skin to look good anyhow - do a lot of that looking and self-image improves :D A third possible reason: the need to be a role model and show some "old" in the working life, so that it would not be such a rarity :) helps to find a way to think about a less flattering outcome. Just some thoughts :)
Another person here relating wholeheartedly! Having worked on remote-only teams for 10 years, I've got some tactics:1. Get a good webcam and if possible put it level with your eyes, not below looking up or above looking down.2. Make sure the lighting source is bright and at the angle that is most flattering to you.3. There are lots of little programs for adding color effects to your webcam. I'm on a Mac and use one called Webcam Settings, but I'm sure there are others. Don't balk at having to pay a dollar or ten – your self esteem is worth at least that much, no?Whatever steps you take, do not beat yourself up for being "vain"! You aren't vain. It's horrible having the first thing you see when you enter a call be your own face. Imagine if across from you at every meeting table at work was a mirror! That would be a nightmare. Even though you can often hide "self view" on video platforms, it's almost always on by default to start, and it's jarring.Instead of beating yourself up, do what you need to do in order to feel your best. Take the steps, make them the default. Then you can relax and be yourself on calls. Before I took the above steps, I felt like I wanted to hide and hesitated to speak up because I knew it would switch the call focus to my face. Now I can forget about how I look and focus on the work at hand, which is what matters.