Over the years, surgical masks have become much like the kimono – they’ve become heavily-associated with the Japanese people. If you have ever been to the country, you will see numerous individuals, both young and old, wearing these facial coverings in public.
In some instances, being in an office feels like being in an operating room because of this popular fashion statement.
So what’s the reason for the widespread use of these surgical masks?
They’re using it as a preventive measure against disease, right? Or they’re already sick but still need to go to work or school, perhaps? Well not in all cases!
According to a blog post by RocketNews24:
“Health concerns are only part of the equation.”
Several studies have “revealed multiple reasons people in Japan wear masks that have nothing to do with hygiene,” according to the website.
For example, while a 46-year-old mother admits that she wears a mask to prevent getting ill during cold winter months, her high-school-age daughter has a different reason than her.
The mom said:
“She puts on a mask and sticks headphones in her ears so that people won’t bother her. It makes it harder for them to start talking to her.”
Juvenile psychologist Jun Fujikake has come up with observations similar to that.
“When we deal with others, we have to judge whether to do things like smile or show anger. By wearing a mask, you can prevent having to do that. The trend of wearing a mask to prevent directly dealing with other may have roots in the current youth culture in which many of them are more accustomed to communicating indirectly through email and social media.”
Meanwhile, some professional models have said that they also use masks after washing off their makeups at the end of photoshoots. Other women likewise wear masks when they need to go for an errand (such as a quick grocery stop) so they won’t have to wear lipstick or any makeup anymore.
No wonder, the Japanese market is full of surgical mask sellers offering a wide array of products to customers.
Interestingly, many are marketing their masks as fashionable accessories while other disposable ones even come with different flavors.
So if you’re going to Japan some time soon, feel free to wear a mask. It’s the trend!
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