The Ongoing Mask Debate plus a little RBF🎭😷🎭
As I wrote in this article a few months ago about masks,
It seems that “The new normal" is the sexy thing to say. But for this somewhat introverted momma, nurse, wife, and wanna be writer; masks are like living in a luxury resort.
Oh plus, I forgot the most important reason: RBF .
Resting bitch face.
Yup, I’ve always had it. If I had a dollar for how many times : “Are you ok? you look upset”.
“Nope, this is just the way I look…how bout you? What’s your excuse for your face?”
Just kidding. Of course us fellow RBF’ers can’t say that. Any more than we can respond to the bubbly hair dresser who says “You’re so quiet” “Ya, you’re so annoying- er I mean talkative…so what???”
But about those masks. See, when wearing a mask, I don’t have to really explain to ANYONE why I look angry or sad or even happy. Because it’s all covered up!
At work one night, the nurses aides who were working with me, left an at- risk patient alone with contraband that may have harmed them. I went barreling into the break room and asked who had left the patient alone. They responded non-chalantly some lame excuse WITHOUT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING my anger!! They didn’t even say sorry, “we’ll come right out”. I left the room frustrated that they DIDN’T see my ANGER! But then I realized: they couldn’t! They couldn’t see my red face, they couldn’t see that my normal resting bitch face had turned into angry nurse Sam face. Because of the mask! Since I don’t have a loud voice anyway, even when angry, there was nothing really to show them how mad I was.
And that’s how it goes. With masks, we can basically live in our own private world of emotion without the world reading the signs on our face.
Body language experts are cringing about now I’m sure, saying “But Sam, c’mon, we all know about body language.” I know, there are hundreds of studies showing how we say everything with our body language, despite what our face shows.
The thing is. Those studies are pre- Covid. I would love to see a body language study in China or Thailand where they’ve masked up for years. Then again they might have become so acclimated to masks that it forces people to monitor body language in and of itself without comparing it to facial expression and against the actual words coming out of the mouth.
It’s worth pondering.
I’m sure you’ve noticed in your own interactions how what are you saying is not received as intended even more so than before.
So, despite the inconveniences & misunderstandings of wearing masks during our interactions, personality types like mine ( RBF & introverted) are in our own little sauna breath heaven.
It’s kinda like the internet. Suddenly, just by the sheer anonymonity of a screen (aka mask) we can be and say anything we want and no one really truly knows who we are behind the screen ( mask).
We know what blessings and horrors have come of this phenomenon, so it remains to be seen what will become of this new normal.