Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The “FaceTime Facelift”

Washington, D.C.-area plastic surgeon Robert K. Sigal offers the “FaceTime Facelift”:

“Patients come in with their iPhones and show me how they look on [Apple’s video calling application] FaceTime,” says Dr. Sigal. “The angle at which the phone is held, with the caller looking downward into the camera, really captures any heaviness, fullness and sagging of the face and neck. People say ‘I never knew I looked like that! I need to do something!’ I’ve started calling it the ‘FaceTime Facelift’ effect. And we’ve developed procedures to specifically address it.”
For readers of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996), life is once again imitating art. In the novel, the use of video telephony via teleputer (TP) results in “Video-Physiognomic Dysphoria”:
People were horrified at how their own faces appeared on a TP screen. It wasn’t just “Anchorman’s Bloat,” that well-known impression of extra weight that video inflicts on the face. It was worse. Even with high-end TPs’ high-def viewer-screens, consumers perceived something essentially blurred and moist-looking about their phone-faces, a shiny pallid indefiniteness that struck them as not just unflattering but somehow evasive, furtive, untrustworthy, unlikable.
Thus they turn to “High-Definition Photographic Imaging,” plastic masks, and “Transmittable Tableaux” before returning to “good old voice-only telephoning” — “not Ludditism but a kind of retrograde transcendence of sci-fi-ish high-tech for its own sake, a transcendence of the vanity and the slavery to high-tech fashion that people view as so unattractive in one another.”

Related reading
All David Foster Wallace posts (via Pinboard)
Infinite Jest, video telephony

[I discovered the “FaceTime Facelift” via kottke.org.]

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