Wearing masks has caused a rise in insecurities


Sania Hasan

Assistant Opinion Editor Lila Shields writes that wearing masks causes insecurities when people use them to hide parts of themselves.

Lila Shields, Assistant Opinion Editor

As a result of the  COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have become accustomed to wearing masks, hoping to protect their health by covering their face. For a time, it was mandatory to wear a mask in public spaces, and though this ensured safety, it has also sparked insecurities.

Having a mask felt like an invisible cloak for some, hiding their “flaws” and expressions. Masks have grown to become a blessing and a curse; some wear them solely for safety, but also to conceal parts of themselves.

According to The CDC, masks are scientifically proven to provide protection from disease, and now more than ever, they encourage people to wear masks while physically ill.

The increase of internet use has not been a help. Trends have sparked where people rate their features or shame their side profiles, especially after the recent rise of social media platforms centered around beauty and comparison. The standard to have a small nose and big lips is not only unrealistic but dangerous, as  people have gone to extremes to reach this appearance. Science Daily states how plastic surgeries have increased 115% since 2000, more and more people are normalizing these serious procedures leading to teenagers counting down the days until they are eighteen and eligible for operation (without parental permission). Low confidence has spread to others who feel embarrassed or even ashamed of their features, leading them to cover up with a mask. 

In an article from The Guardian, some people who work in customer service oriented jobs have expressed the feeling of safety while wearing a mask. Wearing a mask is known to cover your smile, which lowers passive-aggressive comments towards employees, including the ever-famous “you would look prettier if you smiled.” In general, masks have allowed people to rest their faces comfortably without the fear of being judged, belittled and having people get the wrong impression. 

Not to mention, face masks can cause acne, referred to as “maskne” by some, especially on sensitive skin. Cleveland Clinic has dove further in depth revolving around why masks can cause skin irritation.. This has not only led to a never-ending cycle of masks covering insecurities, but also being a cause of them. 

Luckily, masks have created an effective way to save lives, though it has also led people to rely on wearing a mask to hide their faces. Small insecurities have since turned into bigger ones.

People worldwide have used masks as a way to hide their face as well as ease social anxieties, though becoming overly reliant on anything can negatively impact one’s life.