There have been few positive issues during Covid’s birth; But British researchers may have discovered one of them: People look more attractive in protective masks. Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that participants in the study were more attractive to men and women who wore masks and covered the lower half of their faces. Also, a face covered with a disposable surgical mask was more likely to be considered a more attractive face.
Dr. Michael Lewis, Of the Cardiff University School of Psychology and a facial expert, said pre-natal research had shown that medical masks reduce attractiveness; Because they were related to the disease. He added:
We wanted to test whether this has changed since the face masks became available, and whether it affects the type of mask. Our study shows that faces covered with medical masks were considered more attractive.
The reason for these results may be that we are accustomed to health care staff with a blue face mask, and we associate these masks with people who work in the care or medical profession. When we feel vulnerable, wearing medical masks may be reassuring and we may feel positive about the person wearing the mask.
The first part of the study was conducted in February 2021, when British people were accustomed to wearing masks in certain situations. 43 women were asked to rate the attractiveness of the images on a scale of one to ten: pictures of men without masks, pictures of men wearing simple cloth masks, pictures of men wearing medical masks, and pictures of men holding valley books. The book covers the same area of their face as the mask.
According to participants, people who wore cloth masks were more attractive than people who did not wear masks or had a book in front of them; But surgical masks (usually disposable) make a person look their best. Lewis said:
These results contradict prenatal research in which masks were thought to make people think about the disease and feel that it should be avoided. Worldliness has changed our perception of the masked person. When we see someone wearing a mask, we no longer think that person is sick and we should stay away from him.
It depends on the evolutionary psychology and the choice of our partners. Disease and evidence of disease can play an important role in placental selection. Previously, any sign of the disease was an important deterrent. We can now see a change in our psychology; In this way, face masks no longer act as a sign of contamination.
Lewis said it is also possible for masks to make people more attractive because they draw attention to the eyes. Other studies have shown that covering the right or left half of the face also makes people look more attractive; Partly because the brain fills in the gaps and intensifies the overall effect.
The results of the first study are published in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. There is another study in which a group of men look at masked women. This study has not yet been published; But Lewis said the results are generally the same. The researchers did not ask participants about their sexual orientation.