The Psychology of Mask Fashion: Expressing Identity and Emotions
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have transitioned from being primarily utilitarian to becoming a canvas for self-expression and style. Beyond their practicality in safeguarding public health, masks have taken on a new role, as they now reflect the wearer’s identity, emotions, and even values. This evolution speaks to the profound psychology of mask fashion.
Identity Expression through Design
Masks, once seen as mere necessity, have transformed into a powerful tool for expressing one’s identity. From vibrant patterns and bold colours to unique prints and fabric choices, the design of a mask can communicate a lot about the wearer. For instance, someone sporting a mask adorned with floral patterns might be expressing a love for nature or a vibrant, cheerful personality while a monochromatic or sleek design could reflect a more minimalist or reserved style.
Emotional Resonance in Mask Choices
Masks also serve as a medium for expressing emotions, moods, and sentiments. For example, a bright-coloured mask can convey how a person feels light. It can show how a person has a brightness inside that allows them to spread the love and the joy they feel inside. A dark-coloured mask, on the other hand, can show how a person feels a sense of solemnity. They feel the need to operate in silence, without others noticing their every step.
Creating a Sense of Belonging
Mask fashion can foster a sense of belonging and solidarity, especially in trying times. More specifically, many people used masks to feature logos and symbols associated with social causes. One great example of this was in the NBA bubble last 2020, as the players wore masks together to show solidarity to the rest of the world who were struggling to bring life back to normal. In wearing masks in the bubble, they showed the rest of the world that they could bring life to normal if we all worked together.
*Photo of Jrue Holiday wearing a mask for social justice.