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The increased use of Zoom and other video conferencing software has led to Britons feeling more self-conscious about how they look and significantly decreased their self-esteem as a result, according to a new report by the team here at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors.

The nationwide survey, which had 1,149 responses, asked the UK population a series of questions about their use of video software throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

The study found that 69% of respondents have generally felt either quite aware or extremely aware of their own appearance as a result of an increased use of video technology.

When asked how happy they generally felt about their appearance since the start of the pandemic, 46.6% reported feeling unhappy with their appearance, compared to only 21% who have felt happy with how they look.

In addition, while the majority of respondents (54.6%) reported no change in their self-esteem since the pandemic began, 31.9% stated that their self esteem had decreased, with 9.8% reporting a ‘significant’ decrease. Only 13.6% noted an increase in their self esteem since the start of lockdown.

What’s more, 16.7% of respondents said that their desire for cosmetic surgery had also increased since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, with dental work (43.2%), botox or filler procedures (36.1%), and breast surgery (22.8%) being the most in-demand procedures.

The survey also highlighted how the pandemic and video technology has impacted age groups in different ways.

The 21-25 age group were found to be most conscious of their own appearance on video technology, with 80.9% stating they felt either quite aware or extremely aware of their appearance.

Similarly, this age group was most likely (21.3%) to feel ‘very unhappy’ with the way they look.

Furthermore, the 21-25 age group reported the biggest decrease in satisfaction with regards to how their body looks since the start of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, 48.4% stated they were either unhappy, very unhappy or extremely unhappy with their body, which had risen to 72% today.

However, the impact of the pandemic and video technology was more likely to have a stronger impact on self esteem levels of the 18-20 to age group. 62% of this age group stated their self esteem had dropped either slightly or significantly, compared to 46.2% of 21-25-year-olds.

In addition, 31% of 18-20-year-olds reported a slightly or significantly increased desire for cosmetic surgery, compared to 23.7% of 21-25-year-olds.

The full results can be found below:

How old are you?
Answer Choices Responses
Under 18 0.00% 0
18-20 2.79% 32
21-25 8.88% 102
26-30 13.58% 156
31-35 13.23% 152
36-40 15.06% 173
41-45 9.83% 113
46-50 9.23% 106
51-55 10.44% 120
56-60 6.27% 72
61-65 5.31% 61
66-70 2.35% 27
Over 70 3.05% 35
What is your gender?
Answer Choices Responses
Male 26.36% 296
Female 71.95% 808
Gender non-conforming 0.98% 11
Prefer not to say 0.71% 8
Which of the following best describes your employment status?
Answer Choices Responses
Employed, working 40 or more hours per week 23.86% 268
Employed, working 1-39 hours per week 35.98% 404
Self-employed 7.48% 84
Not employed 23.42% 263
Retired 9.26% 104
What is your marital status?
Answer Choices Responses
Single 31.88% 358
Married 39.09% 439
Domestic partnership 19.32% 217
Civil partnership 2.14% 24
Widowed 2.14% 24
Divorced 4.54% 51
Separated 0.89% 10
On average, how often have you worked at home since March 2020?
Answer Choices Responses
5 days a week 33.74% 358
2-3 days a week 14.42% 153
1 day a week 4.71% 50
0 days a week 47.13% 500
On average, how often have you used video calling software since March 2020?
Answer Choices Responses
Extremely frequently 20.36% 216
Quite frequently 30.44% 323
Not very frequently 28.28% 300
Never 20.92% 222
To what extent have you felt aware of your own appearance while using video calling software?
Answer Choices Responses
I have felt extremely aware of my own appearance 32.99% 350
I have felt quite aware of my own appearance 36.48% 387
I haven't thought about it 30.54% 324
How would you best describe how you've felt about your own appearance while using video calling software?
Answer Choices Responses
I have generally felt very unhappy about my appearance 16.02% 170
I have generally felt quite unhappy about my appearance 30.54% 324
I haven't thought about it 32.52% 345
I have generally felt quite happy about my appearance 15.83% 168
I have generally felt very happy about my appearance 5.09% 54
How happy with your body were you before the pandemic?
Answer Choices Responses
Extremely happy 2.68% 28
Very happy 6.69% 70
Happy 40.63% 425
Unhappy 38.43% 402
Very unhappy 5.93% 62
Extremely unhappy 5.64% 59
How happy with your body are you now?
Answer Choices Responses
Extremely happy 2.77% 29
Very happy 8.13% 85
Happy 34.23% 358
Unhappy 35.47% 371
Very unhappy 10.52% 110
Extremely unhappy 8.89% 93
To what extent do you feel your self-esteem has been affected since the start of lockdown?
Answer Choices Responses
My self-esteem has increased significantly 3.06% 32
My self-esteem has increased slightly 10.52% 110
My self-esteem hasn't changed significantly 54.59% 571
My self-esteem has decreased slightly 22.08% 231
My self-esteem has decreased significantly 9.75% 102
To what extent have your exercise habits changed during lockdown?
Answer Choices Responses
I have significantly increased the amount of exercise I have been doing 9.46% 99
I have slightly increased the amount of exercise I have been doing 21.51% 225
I am doing the same amount of exercise as usual 35.18% 368
I have slightly decreased the amount of exercise I have been doing 20.84% 218
I have significantly decreased the amount of exercise I have been doing 13.00% 136
To what extent has the coronavirus pandemic affected your desire for cosmetic surgery?
Answer Choices Responses
My desire for cosmetic surgery has increased significantly 4.02% 42
My desire for cosmetic surgery has increased slightly 12.72% 133
My desire for cosmetic surgery has remained the same 25.43% 266
My desire for cosmetic surgery has decreased slightly 2.87% 30
My desire for cosmetic surgery has decreased significantly 1.43% 15
I don't want cosmetic surgery 53.54% 560
Which cosmetic procedure are you considering?
Answer Choices Responses
Botox or filler procedures 36.12% 173
Liposuction 19.42% 93
Dental work 43.22% 207
Breast surgery (augmentation, reconstruction or reduction) 22.76% 109
Hair transplant 4.59% 22
Rhinoplasty 9.19% 44
Tummy tuck 22.13% 106
Facelift 8.56% 41
Other (please specify) 8.77% 42
To what extent have social distancing guidelines affected your desire to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure?
Answer Choices Responses
Social distancing rules make me significantly less likely to want to visit a clinic for a cosmetic procedure 24.22% 116
Social distancing rules make me slightly less likely to want to visit a clinic for a cosmetic procedure 30.48% 146
Social distancing rules don't affect my desire to visit a clinic for a cosmetic procedure 45.30% 217
Have you invested in any beauty treatments since the UK lockdown was eased? Tick any that apply.
Answer Choices Responses
Nails - including manicure, pedicure, nail extensions or gel nails, for example 10.99% 114
Botox or filler procedures 3.38% 35
Hair cuts or treatments 33.08% 343
Eyelash extensions 3.47% 36
Waxing or other hair removal treatments 8.97% 93
None of the above 56.51% 586
Other (please specify) 2.03% 21
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