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Technology Planning and Analysis

The worrying craze for beauty tech

In the days before Facebook and everywhere-photography many people had an alarming obsession with their appearance… but nowhere near as badly as they do today. This is because people just didn’t see themselves in comparison to others as much, there were no virtual forums for outsiders to comment, and mirror-gazing aside, there was far less potential for anyone to stare at themselves from multiple angles. Back then, normal people were less confronted by their aging hideousness, so it was less of a mental problem.

Now high definition images of yourself are available everywhere – they’re hard to avoid - and the latest technology is heightening the trend for 24/7 naval gazing. In fact, Panasonic’s new smart mirror, proudly on display the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, analyses your face for spots and wrinkles and suggests ways to cover them up. While Oku, a “personal skin coach” also on display, scans your skin, sends the results to your phone and tells you what you need to do to sort your flaws.

There is something highly seductive in all this - most people want to be the best version of themselves. Yet physical flaws are a fact of life and fixating on them certainly won’t make them go away. If anything it is more likely to make people ultra-competitive and extremely-unhappy.

Besides, would you trust an app expert which thinks life is one long photo shoot and was created to flog you products? All those false-tans and other solutions might look glamorous in snaps… but they can just appear orange and silly on a bus.

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