New Study Shows People Who Wear Medical Masks Will Make Them More Attractive to Others


With it being over two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all grown used to seeing the people around us all masked up, so much so that when we remove our masks we might even wonder if these were the same friends that we made a few years ago. Although that’s an interesting question to think about, that’s not the point of this article though. It’s safe to say, however, that we do look different with and without our masks.

While we can all agree that the main function of medical masks is to keep us safe and healthy, there’s another use of it that Cardiff University’s School of Psychology has recently investigated.

“Maskfishing”, a term coined recently to describe people who look more attractive when they have masks on, has been thrust into the spotlight. And it seems like this phenomenon might be true, especially in the case of medical masks and men.

As said in their study, women saw men wearing medical masks as the most aesthetically pleasing facial covering, with cloth masks, notebooks covering half their faces, and full-face ranking second through fourth respectively.

(Maybe if all the guys switched their Tinder profile photos to ones of them with masks on, we’d hear more people finding lovers. Hopefully, it won’t be a case where they feel like they got lost in translation after taking their masks off though.)

Well, back to my main point: why are masks on men so pleasing in the eyes of women? There’s one main reason why.

Masks Associate Us With Specific Professions

Although many of us may never be able to achieve our childhood dream of becoming a doctor, wearing medical masks so often may have let us live out our dreams in one way or another.

Maybe we only feel like we’re cosplaying doctors sometimes, but even that little fleeting thought is indeed something that others may think about when they perceive us with our masks on.

It is no secret that masks are often associated with healthcare professionals, and that may in turn cause others to think of us differently.

As mentioned by the researchers at Cardiff University, “The medical face mask has, in fact, become an icon of the medical professionals’ fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as illustrated by the artwork of Nathan Wyburn. Thus, the social desirability of medical mask wearers could potentially off-set the association with disease in the assessment of the attractiveness of faces with medical masks on.”

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Essentially, masks help us go from zero to hero in some sense, even if all we do is go out for our favourite bubble tea or coconut shake.

Additionally, while some of us may have never gotten anywhere close to entering the healthcare sector, perhaps prolonged mask-wearing may have inspired us in one way or another to do so, or at least appreciate the healthcare workers around us more.

If anything, this is more than another good reason for all of us to mask up properly and stay safe during this time.

And although maskfishing may be a thing, there’s still so much more to figure out beneath what we’ve got masked, whether it be in terms of this phenomenon or daily life itself.

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