Reality Bytes

How The Hills’ Spencer Pratt Landed at the Center of a Complex Piece of Twitter Performance Art

(Photo: Twitter)

For the past three weeks, the Twitter account of The HillsSpencer Pratt has sounded nothing like the notorious MTV villain we all love to hate. Typically comprised of random bro-ish missives and retweets from celebrity magazines with links to articles about the antics of he and his wife, Heidi Montag, the tone of his Twitter began to change as soon as 2013 hit. What exactly happened to the infamous Mr. Pratt?

On January 1st, Ms. Montag tweeted that, following a New Year’s Eve blowout, Mr. Pratt had lost his phone in London just before the duo were set to tape a season of Celebrity Big Brother. The next day, January 2nd, Mr. Pratt began tweeting again, but he sounded nothing like himself. “Testing…testing…,” he wrote. “Yes, cheers, everyone, this is actually Spencer Pratt!” Read More

Nip and Zuck

Facebook, Skype Give Cosmetic Surgery Industry a Lift

The 'Facebook' logo is reflected in a yo

One day in 2008, while using the popular videochat service Skype, Tina Consorti had an uncomfortable realization. She didn’t like how she looked on the little web screen. Her chin was sagging a bit, and shadowy wrinkles were forming like rings on a tree stump around her neck. It actually wasn’t so bad in the mirror—she checked—but on Skype and other social media services, the flaws seemed amplified.

“I felt like I had a double chin,” Ms. Consorti told Betabeat. “Going on Skype or FaceTime you definitely see it—it looks twice as big as it normally is. I just wanted a nice clean look when I’m conversing with someone on Skype.”

Three years ago, when she began getting into online services (Tango is another favorite), Ms. Consorti had a “Lifestyle Lift,” a minimally invasive facelift that is performed using local anesthesia. The procedure was carried out by Dr. Adam Schaffner, a renowned New York plastic surgeon with a burst of curls atop his head, who injects lips, neatens noses and chisels chins for a living. Over the last year, he told Betabeat, his practice has seen a big uptick in facial surgeries, due in large part to the ubiquitous nature of digital photos posted to Facebook and similar sites. Read More