By Denise Mann
Everyone is talking about a new, or newly-named, facial rejuvenation procedure that can make your face look trim and toned when you are Skyping or video chatting via Apple’s Facetime.
Of course, we are talking about the FaceTime Facelift, a clever term coined by plastic surgeon Robert K. Sigal, MD, of the Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, Virginia. Basically, the procedure helps do away double chins and turkey jowls which can get accentuated while video chatting due to the angle of your Smartphone. (Don’t believe me? Try texting while standing in front of a mirror!)
Sigal said that many people complained to him about how they looked when they were video chatting (including his own wife). “Patients come in with their iPhones and show me how they look on FaceTime,” says Sigal, in a press release posted on his website. “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!’
So just what does a FaceTime Facelift entail? “It is a neck lift with a lateral sling and platysma modification along with some liposuction in the central portion of the neck,” Sigal tells Plastic Surgery Practice. The scar is placed under the ears. The reason is that an under-the-chin-scar would be visible during ichats, but an under-the-ear scar is much more inconspicuous to callers. “Smart phones are just another mirror pointing out stuff that people don’t like, and it is a powerful mirror that hasn’t been recognized,” he says.
The FaceTime Facelift is lighting up the Internet – with mixed reviews. Some are laudatory, and others drip with sarcasm. The procedure has crossed over from plastic surgery blogs and sites to the technology and popular culture realm. It has become fodder on Mashable and Huffington Post, to name just two of the highly-trafficked sites that have picked up on this story.
That’s pretty impressive! It is typically only celebrity-driven plastic surgery stories (think Lindsay Lohan) that go viral.
The meteoritic rise to fame on the internet makes sense to plastic surgery consultant Wendy Lewis, the president of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd in New York City. It has all the elements needed to take off. “Choosing a great name that is memorable and witty is one of the tricks of going viral,” she says. “Even if you had no idea of what a “Facetime Facelift” might be, it piques your interest into finding out more.”
Sigal also referenced his discovery to something his own wife mentioned, which makes the story more relatable and personal, she says. “Lastly, he hitched the news to a trend – using technology to communicate – which casts a wide net.”
That said, there may be less painful ways to look better while Skyping “Most women have known for ages how to manipulate shadows and light to their best advantage. By changing the angle of your iphone or webcam, or resorting to the ubiquitous resting your chin on your hand, you can get the same effect,” says the always-knowledgeable Lewis.
As for me, I don’t Skype or videochat, but I was texting recently while getting a haircut in front of a large, unforgiving mirror.
I got a glance of the so-called Facetime effect.
I did not like what I saw.
Now, where do I sign up?