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15th Jan 2022

Wearing a face mask makes you more attractive, according to study

Simon Bland

Blue surgical masks are most appealing to the opposite sex, apparently

According to a new study, wearing a face mask actually makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.

What was once a rare sight in modern society – unless you were a dentist, doctor or someone extra-keen on avoiding everyday germs – wearing a face mask has become part of most people’s daily routine in the wake of the covid pandemic.

While there are those that remain stringently against face coverings – despite their proven benefits in helping to combat and slow the spread of coronavirus – those that do choose to wear a mask could wind up inadvertently wooing the opposite sex.

A recent survey conducted by Cardiff University showed that wearing a face mask makes both men and women more appealing to look at.

Researchers asked 43 women to rank men’s faces with different items covering the lower parts of their face. Two different kinds of face mask were used in the experiment, alongside a book and images of nothing covering the lower part of a person’s face.

Blue surgical-style face masks and plain cloth-style face masks were both featured – with the former coming out on top as being the most attractive to those taking part.

According to Dr Michael Lewis of Cardiff University’s school of psychology, this new and rather unexpected trend is likely caused by a shift in our daily routines and habits and the ways in which these have impacted our visual preferences.

“Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks,” he said, as reported by the Mail Online.

“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.”

Dr Lewis continued to suggest that another reason why using a face mask could increase your chances of pulling is due to the fact that they direct a viewer’s gaze up towards a person’s eyes.

These findings were recently reported in the journal of Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. A second survey flipping the question on its head and inviting men to rate the attractiveness of women with partially covered faces has been conducted but its results are yet to be released.

Regardless, Dr Lewis suggested that the results were largely the same.

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