Home >Magazine >All the Reasons I Love Wearing a Mask—and May Never Stop

All the Reasons I Love Wearing a Mask—and May Never Stop

Instead of fighting over whether and when people should wear masks, Jeannie Edmunds asks us to consider all the ways they make life easier.

I hope COVID goes away soon, I really do, but I plan to continue replenishing my mask wardrobe forever. I love masks.

There are so many advantages to wearing a mask in public beyond the obvious.

  1. Bad breath is never an issue, even on an airplane. Last year Hershey’s reported a 20 percent drop in sales of refreshment products (gum and mints), blaming it on masks and social distancing. Even the cheapest non-surgical masks will blow that garlic you had for lunch right back up your nose and away from your seat mate. Better you than him!
  2. There’s no such thing as “food you wouldn’t eat on a date.” Poppyseed bagels, spinach, barbecue, popcorn, all those foods that tend to get stuck in your teeth don’t matter: nobody can see what’s in your teeth when you smile behind a mask.
  3. Marionette lines, sagging jowls, chin hairs all disappear behind a mask. Any mask. You don’t need an N95 for that.
  4. Masks keep you warmer in cold weather. Ask any skier. 
  5. No lipstick? No problem! Last summer when we were all feeling a lot more confident and our masks came off, lipstick sales shot up 80 percent over the prior year. But with masks on, there’s no more worrying about picking the wrong color.
  6. Like a pair of designer glasses, masks can be a fashion statement, a projection of your personality.

Read More: Welcome to The Eyebrow Era: 6 Key Solutions as Mask Wearing Changes Your Beauty Focus

The Other Masks

In March, 2020, before we knew anything about COVID, I ordered an exotic belly dancer mask for my mother, an actress who never went out in public without dangly earrings and high heels. It covered everything from her nose to her cleavage. It took care of Nora Ephron’s central problem in I  Feel Bad About My Neck? Costume masks may do nothing to stop you from getting sick, but you look ten years younger, at least in the mirror.

Once the pandemic is over, or it’s less threatening and endemic, wearing a mask will be a choice.

One of the greatest gifts of getting older is the freedom to drop the metaphorical masks we’ve all worn as wives, as mothers, as women. In our younger years, we shielded ourselves from harassment and disappointments at work, and exhaustion and frustration at home by wearing our “everything’s OK” mask. It’s what society expected us to do, and all of us born with double X chromosomes acquired our people-pleasing skills in early childhood. Boys don’t cry and girls don’t make a fuss, that sort of thing. It’s only after traversing the long threshold of peri-menopause, menopause, and The Ultimate Freedom from Periods that we realize how much of our true selves we sacrificed wearing these kinds of masks day after day. 

As a post-middle-aged woman I’m free to be my authentic self, whether I have to wear a mask or not. Once the pandemic is over, or it’s less threatening and endemic, wearing a mask will be a choice. For practical, romantic, aesthetic,  and—in flu season—medical reasons, I think I’ll keep wearing them. Especially if they cover my neck. 

Read More: Fashion and Face Masks: The Only Accessory We Care About Right Now

By Jeannie Edmunds


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Find your tribe

Connect and join a community of women over 45 who are dedicated to traveling and exploring the world.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This