Now that we’re eight or nine weeks into lockdown – who’s counting anymore? – it seems we’ve become accustomed to a new way of life.
Only a mere number of days ago we would have been offended by fashion brands and sports brands selling masks for profit, instead of giving them to key workers.
Now though? We’re all lining up to buy the newest accessory and no one seems to be batting an eyelid.
GET ‘EM QUICK
We knew it was coming and the fashion brands and e-commerce sites knew it was coming long before we did.
When we’re forced to wear something, we don’t want to look like everyone else. We enjoy standing out and putting our own stamp on things. That’s why we have designer glasses and sunglasses. It’s why we have our own sense of style and so many websites to buy from.
I would say it’s why we have filler and botox, but that’s more to look like Kim Kardashian and other Instagram models than it is to look unique.
Anyway, head over to your favourite fashion site right now and I bet they’re selling masks. If not, head over to the NBA website and choose a mask in your favourite team’s colours. Otherwise, head to Etsy or eBay and you’ll find a lot of unique designs and creations.
SHOULD I FEEL GUILTY BUYING ONE?
I might sound like I’m moaning about it, but I’m not. I’ve even succumbed and bought a mask with the American flag on. Looking back, I probably should have purchased one with an Irish flag as I’m sure I look like a Trump supporter walking around New Jersey and New York.
But yes, I’ve purchased a nice mask because I’ve accepted the fact that I will be wearing this mask quite a lot in the future. The masks they sell in our local grocers are disposable, and now I have a cotton mask with cotton strings around the ears to make wearing it more comfortable and I can wear it as many times as I like and stick it in the washing machine.
If you’re going to be wearing it every time you step out of your front door then why wouldn’t you want to feel good about wearing it? It might not be a ‘good’ feeling when you wear it, even if Paul Mescal from Normal People’s face is on it, but having a pattern or picture on the mask may make you feel slightly better about wearing it.
I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to help convince children to wear them. I imagine masks with cartoon characters, gaming characters and sports teams to be created and marketed towards children. Hell, if this happened back in 2012 I would probably be walking around with a mask covered with One Direction’s faces.
EXPLOITATION OR NECESSITY?
Only a few weeks ago, this may have been seen as exploitation; companies grabbing money to capitalize on a worldwide pandemic.
But this is the world in which we now live. I recently wrote a blog post about the twenty things I expect to change in a post-COVID-19 world. One of those things was that we’re all going to be wearing masks everywhere we go.
That’s already the norm here in New Jersey and New York and I expect it to soon become the norm back in the UK too, if it’s not already.
THE NEXT FASHION STATEMENT
But remember only last month when everyone was complaining about I Saw It First giving free hand sanitizers with every online order? Would we think differently now, that some time has passed?
Perhaps the masks and hand sanitizers were a time sensitive subject and at the time, there was a worldwide shortage. Now that we are in abundance of masks, I guess it’s ok to start making them fashionable and to be earning a profit on them.
Should we be slating brands that are making these masks to capitalize on the situation? Should the brands be donating a mask to frontline workers for every mask sold to a member of the public? How best should brands go about this without looking like they are being insensitive?
Perhaps these masks will be the next fashion statement. Maybe we’ll see Gucci, Nike and Versace creating their own lines in the next few months. Will it be a new fashion accessory on the runways? Most likely.
I guess it only takes one brand to start selling them before everyone else jumps on board and produces their own design and their own line of masks.
DO WEAR IT
The one mask will do for me right now, as I don’t see the need to have more than a few. Although, someone else seems to be starting a collection already buying a New York Knicks mask and a New York Jets mask along with the three he already owns.
Two of our neighbours walked past us at the weekend with masks reading, “This was avoidable,” and “If you’re reading this, you’re too close.” You can ever share your political opinion through your mask. #MakeAmericaCoronaFreeAgain.
Wear your mask how you like, with whatever you like plastered across it. Just make sure to wear a mask.