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Slate, “The Gargoyle on My Screen”

Read the entire article on Slate, or read my except below:

Everyone looks awful on video conference calls. Can that change?

I’ve just clicked on the link for Zoom, the video conferencing service, for Slate’s weekly editorial meeting, and now a gargoyle is staring back at me from my laptop screen. But I can’t look away from the gargoyle because she is me, only my skin is a dull shade of greige (you know, gray-beige), there’s an inexplicable spotlight on my nose, my head is casting a weird shadow onto my neck, and I swear one of my eyes is wonky. Is that what I look like?

“It’s just like when you’re on camera in any other situation; you want to wear way more makeup than you would in real life,” Lani Inlander, a style consultant, advised me. “Even if you’re normally a minimal makeup person, it’s just because your features get so washed out. It’s really just about people being able to see your features.”

Oh and also, I was under no circumstances allowed to wear a cardigan on camera, according to Inlander. “Nobody really feels good in a cardigan,” she said. “You need a little bit of structure.” Instead, if I wanted to look polished on camera, she said, I needed to get myself a jardigan, aka a hybrid of a jacket and a cardigan; she pointed me toward the ones at M.M. LaFleur, which go for $225 or so. I wasn’t sure Slate would let me expense that, but Inlander did inspire me to ask a colleague if I could borrow the blazer I saw her wearing one day.

Read the entire article on Slate.

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