Those who wear facemasks are more attractive than those who don’t, according to a new study.
Two years ago, facemasks were still fairly uncommon in most of the world, bar some specific settings; for example, an operating theatre. If you walked around the UK sporting a mask back then, you’d likely be branded a hypochondriac by your pals and colleagues.
Of course, things have changed now. Ever since the start of the pandemic, facemasks have been encouraged wherever you go, whether it’s shops, the cinema, restaurants before you’re seated, or even just walking around the streets. Now, it sometimes feels a bit strange to not be wearing one.
Despite the action of putting on a mask requiring next-to-no effort, bar those who are officially exempt, some still feel they’re a hassle. Also, everyone’s prone to a bit of mindlessness now and again – I think most people have hastily patted themselves down for a mask after walking in somewhere without one on.
However, according to Cardiff University, people are more attractive when they’re wearing a facemask. The study involved 43 women being shown photos of men wearing two different types of mask, a book covering their faces and nothing covering their faces whatsoever.
‘This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions. At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of medical masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer,’ he added.
The study cites two further effects ‘at play in the interaction between face masks and attractiveness’: ‘the reduction of facial attraction produced by the association between the mask and disease’; and ‘the increase in attractiveness produced simply by obscuring the lower part of the face’.
The results of a second study tasking men with rating women’s attractiveness have yet to be published, but Lewis indicated they were similar.
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