I’ve got nothing against a little Botox now and then, but news of the latest cosmetic procedure, the “Face Time Face Lift,” really got to me. Just how vain are we women getting? This new cosmetic procedure was invented by plastic surgeon Robert Sigal after his 50 year old wife discovered she was unhappy with her Face Time face (what a guy!) The procedure is becoming quite popular among wealthy, older and (obviously) insecure video chatters. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we women had taken a little step over the edge. And then I decided to really look at how my own face appeared on Face Time. Without make up.

I don’t recommend doing this (and I’m warning you, apply makeup first if you must). It’s much, much worse than listening to your voice for the first time on a tape recorder. You’re not going to like it, no matter what. If, like me, you are the type of person that stares into the mirror every morning holding your face cheeks back to see how much better you would look with a little uplift, this exercise is definitely not for you.

I reversed that camera view on my iPhone and took a good, hard, look at myself. My fabulous phone, my life connection to all things virtual, morphed into a distortion mirror. As I stared into that camera, the woman that stared back at me was a good 10 years older than I, and she hadn’t slept for a year. She was heavy in the face. Her pallor was pale, yet oddly blotched. Her eyes were heavy and puffed, her skin sagged, and there were deep crevices around her mouth and around the bottom sides of her nose. Her neck was full and deeply creased. The pimple on her cheek stood out even in the muted tones of the camera. She looked old, serious and sad. Who was that woman?

Would I want anyone to see me like that, virtually or otherwise? The answer was clear. I would not. I thought about the Face Time Face Lift. “I totally get it,” I thought, immediately followed by, “get a grip.” I could not believe that I was letting my electronics make me feel self conscious! I applied some “perfecting formula” cover up and a bit of blush, and thought about the millions of dollars I would make when I introduced my new line of Face Time Face Makeup.

With my new face, I tried that phone camera again, hoping for better results. I held the camera high, and my forehead was accentuated and my eyes bulged out like a King Charles Cavalier. I held the camera down low, and it was much worse, accentuating the sagging on the sides of my face, giving me a proper double chin. The makeup didn’t work. Neither did altering the lighting. I Googled, “How to make your face look better on Face Time,” and for the first time, Google let me down. There were, however, some brilliant commentaries on vanity and today’s plugged in society. I particularly liked the comment, “ubiquitous tech provides a mirror that is always on.” So true (whatever it means.)

Through a good half hour of experimentation (slow day at the office), here’s what I figured out: Zoom out. Zoom out as far as you can. If you don’t have the time, money, or inclination for the Face Time Face Lift, simply extend your phone arm as far as possible. Keep your elbow straight, and with the palm to the sky, angle your arm up about 20 degrees. As you zoom out, wrinkles and fat magically disappear. The value-add to this procedure is nicely toned arms (switch arms for even toning.)

But perhaps it is best to avoid Face Time altogether. My college daughter asked me, “Who do you Face Time with anyway?” After some thought, the answer was simply “You.” She eased my mind when she explained that if that is the case, she would rather not Face Time with me anyway. You see, Face Time requires that she give me her full attention, and she would rather do other things while talking to me. Like what? Like anything. Like walk home, like browse Facebook, like do her homework, like return emails. And you know what? I often like to do the same. So screw you, Face Time!

And if that was not reason enough, another comment online made it perfectly clear that Face Time was not for me anyway: “Face Time isn’t …about looking good, it’s about jamming your phone in your pants to show your girlfriend your private parts from work.” Now this raises a whole new set of issues, doesn’t it?

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