about the mask fashion blog
I started a blog because I felt that there was a niche that needed to be filled. I’ve observed for years that
1. Protective masks are often a very effective way to avoid allergens and pollutants that otherwise might be difficult avoid, as well as reducing the risk of colds or infection (when used properly), and
2. Westerners—Americans in particular—feel a ambivalent about wearing such masks in public outside of hospitals, their own homes or construction sites.
Other people around the world—particularly people in Asia—have no such qualms about wearing such masks when needed. Indeed, a look at the Internet will show a wide variety of mask styles in Asia, and multiple efforts to make the mask fashionable. Some people have even identified mask fashion trends in some parts of Asia.
I have personally known people—usually those suffering from chemical sensitivity—for whom wearing a mask was an absolute necessity for their health—that the failure to wear one in certain situations could leave them bedridden for days. Yet many of them are forced to deal with a certain stigma that the mask has in Western culture. Some people may label them “paranoid” or “hysterical.” Many of them push through that stigma because they have no choice, but it’s yet one more hurdle they are forced to overcome. (At this point in my life, I have mild to moderate sensitivities to certain select substances).
As for everyone else, I think the only difference between those who are severely sensitive and the rest of the population is a difference of degree. The growing rates of cancer and COPD are a testament to the toxic world we live in.
Skeptical people will say, “well, you will have to die of something.” The thing is, I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of not being able to live well. I’m afraid of a decade or more of chronic pain and inability to do things that I now take for granted. This is not to say that I will fully be able to avoid that, and it’s not to insult those already dealing with chronic illness, since many have learned how to make the most of their limitations. But I’d like to improve my chances at living a long, healthy life.
So in creating this blog, I wanted to help create a forum in which people could become more comfortable making that masked fashion statement when the situation calls for it. Whether it’s for allergies, chemical sensitivities, preventing the spread of germs or just because there’s something in the air you feel shouldn’t be in your body, this is a place where people can feeling comfortable “taking off their masks”–by putting them on.
BTW: I wish to give proper credit to the photos included in the banner of this website. Clockwise from left: Dan Tentler, Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, …—…, dana robinson, Beatrice Murch, Raquel and Soren,Joshua Kaufman, Rev Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)