The World’s New Fashion Statement — Masks


Photo by Erika Richards

Showing off their mask fashion at the Homecoming Pep Rally are Seniors Christopher Golson with a tie dye Streetsboro mask, Colin Agra with a Nike mask, Tyler Bodovetz with a disposable blue mask and Colin Boldin with a neon yellow mask.

Cel Magana

Senior Wajd Aldhohayan wearing her maroon stripe plaid mask (Photo by Vivan Hall)

Wearing face masks for protection against COVID-19 has turned into fashion statements for some people, while creating a nuisance for others.

Varieties range from plain masks that can be bought in stores, to fancy ones found online, and all the way to homemade masks. 

“I have only worn plain masks and my football mask,” said junior Jacob Zimmerman. “I don’t enjoy wearing masks, but I know we have to wear them in order to get the virus under control.”

Science teacher Amanda Hudnall, respected around the school as a human rights supporter, has worn mainly political and social justice-related masks. She knows that raising awareness for topics such as civil rights and social justice in any way can make a huge difference. 

“I intend for people to see my mask and be encouraged and inspired to fight racism in our community,” Hudnall said. “I want to promote an awareness of racial inequality and to encourage diversity and diverse aspects of the student population.”

Junior Kristen Morgan shares Hudnall’s desire to make her mask worth more than just safety.

“I like to make a statement with my clothes, so a blank mask just won’t cut it,” Morgan said. “I want my mask to be meaningful and inspire people to learn about what’s on it.”

In the front is Senior, Sydney Mccolloch, in the background is Junior, Meghan Epple and Sophomore, Rachel Boger. These girls are wearing the Streetsboro masks provided to all band members and they are labeled with their names.  (Photo by Erika Richards)

Morgan has worn a number of different mask designs throughout the school year: tie dye, school spirit, Black Lives Matter masks, and her favorite, a Ruth Bader Ginsberg mask which was gifted to her by Hudnall.

‘When you go to the store, you’re bombarded with all different kinds of designs on masks,” Morgan said. “It was kind of hard to choose which one to buy. I ended up buying some online that were unique to what I liked.”

On top of the different designs, some people have used various materials to make the masks. Most people’s are cloth, but some masks are made of other materials such as denim and plastic. 

Masks can also be secured in many different ways. They can go around the ears, tie behind the head, tightened with beads or fasteners, and even expanded or condensed to fit differently around the chin and nose. 

Aside from the freedom to choose mask designs and materials, and to make fashion or other statements, there are downsides to having to wear a mask throughout the school day, though. Those with beards or stubble often find themselves scratching their itchy faces the whole day. 

Masks can also lead to what has now been labeled “mascne,” which is the result of not washing or over-washing your mask with harsh chemicals, as well as sweating underneath the material for hours at a time.

“I have definitely been the victim of mascne,” Zimmerman said. “I always forget to wash my mask. It’s such an easy thing to overlook.”

Juniors Emma Flick, Mariah Embry and Mckenzie Mobley wearing their “Streetsboro Rockets” masks that were gifted to the girls’ soccer team (Photo by Erika Richards)

Junior Rodney Hubbard is having to wear his mask even at home as protection from his sister, who was not feeling well and said he was getting mascne breakouts. This has led to the family having to buy a special acne face wash to help combat the issue. 

“I want to stop wearing a mask because of the breakouts,” Hubbard said.

Regardless of the effects of masks, it is important to know that wearing a mask can help slow the spread of the virus. 

“Everyone has an important role to play in beating this virus,” Hudnall said. “The most impactful thing all of us can do during a global pandemic is to care about each other, and that means wearing a mask for everybody’s sake.”