New research shows that face masks actually make you more attractive

It turns out that a face mask could be the best wingman to secure your next date.

A British study has discovered that medical face masks can actually increase the “attractiveness of the face”.

Researchers at Cardiff University found that men were perceived as more attractive when the lower half of their faces were covered.

The study involved showing a group of women some male faces with varying ‘attractiveness’, which were covered by either a blue medical mask, a fabric mask, a book or completely uncovered.

They were then to assess attractiveness on a scale of one to ten.

A man wearing a protective face mask in Brisbane.
Camera iconVarious venues in Queensland are facing stricter rules for wearing masks as COVID-19 cases increase. Credit: AAP

While it was found that face coverage increased the appeal, it was also discovered that the type of cover also had a big impact.

So while fashionable fabric masks are trendy, it might be time to switch back to the humble one-off.

The study showed that the blue medical masks were the most appealing.

Dr. Michael Lewis, from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, said this could be due to positive connotations that the masks are associated with.

Blue medical face masks associated with healthcare professionals
Camera iconBlue medical face masks associated with healthcare professionals Credit: Antonio Diaz/AntonioDiaz –

“We are used to health professionals wearing blue masks, and now we associate these with people in nursing or medical care.”

“At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find it reassuring to wear medical masks and therefore feel more positive about the wearer.”

The study was conducted in February 2021, 7 months after face masks were made mandatory in the UK.

Researchers say the results had clearly changed from before the pandemic.

A public digital poster urging people to wear face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Camera iconA public digital poster urging people to wear face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus. Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

“The results contradict the pre-pandemic research *, where it was believed that masks made people think about disease and the person should be avoided,” said Dr. Lewis.

It is believed that the increased appeal of masks is due to evolutionary psychology and the desire to choose the best possible partner.

“Illness and signs of illness can play a big role in choosing a spouse – in the past, any sign of illness would be a big turn off.”

“Now we can observe a shift in our psychology so that face masks no longer act as a signal of contamination.” said Dr. Lewis.

Further studies are being conducted to see if the results are true for both sexes.


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