Let’s Keep the Psychological Impact of the Lockdown in Mind: Body Dysmorphia

More people are looking in the mirror and analyzing their imperfections in the new normal

Kacy Burdette
Headshot of Peter Jobes

The trauma of lockdown can even be powerful enough to actively change the personalities of those taking part. Periods of isolation can lead to loneliness, anxiety, and even depression. It can also cause us to spend more time assessing ourselves, and comparing ourselves to others.

Marketers need to consider the changing mindsets of consumers, and how their campaigns can play a key role in confronting their concerns. 

Shifting mindsets

Increases in isolation and more time spent on apps that make us more aware of our looks appear to be leading to more self-analysis that can result in dysmorphia. 

Although changes in self-perception may seem like an opportunity for marketers when launching campaigns geared towards self-improvement, University of Cambridge stats suggest that this body consciousness comes from a place of loneliness. With more downtime and fewer opportunities to socialize, consumers have channelled their negative emotions into their appearance. 

Isolation means that more of us have time to stop and inspect ourselves in the mirror. Technology has also led more people seeing mirror images of themselves. With popular collaboration apps like Zoom, users see regular videos of themselves while talking to friends, families and colleagues—perpetuating their perceived imperfections. 

Marketing ramifications 

Marketers will understand that with more binge eating and less exercise, consumers who were receptive towards more persuasive campaigns for fitness or beauty products may now resent seeing idealized body images. 

This view of perfection is carried to extremes by public figures, which has left individuals obsessing at a lost pursuit for perfection that can’t be replicated. An example of this is a TikTok bleaching trend started by a micro-influencer using 3% hydrogen peroxide to alter the shade of her teeth. 

The Zoom Boom correlated with enquiries regarding plastic surgery, with more people confronting their imperfections. This is another area that marketers may need to rethink while transitioning into the “new normal” landscape. As body confidence falls, our tolerance of manufactured perfection may drop too. 

Self-improvement campaigns may help marketers find success based around healthy living. It could be worth avoiding negative reinforcement when appealing to an audience. Body positivity or humorous campaigns may aid individuals suffering in the age of coronavirus as well as help them to respond favorably to brands.

Marketing towards new mindsets

Campaign laid down ground rules for body-positive advertising, highlighting the importance of avoiding airbrushing models and brand opacity. 

Sure deodorant established successful hashtag campaigns #MoveMoreAtHome and #KeepMovingMore as the company looked to inspire consumers to exercise throughout lockdown.

Marketers tend to be quick when adapting to change. With evidence that consumer mindsets could be different post-lockdown, 2021 may bring new advertising trends geared towards more sympathetic and wholesome campaigns. Fundamentally, marketing in the new normal will offer plenty of opportunities to rethink how brands are to be perceived by consumers. 


Peter Jobes is the CMO at Solvid.
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