Many Koreans Feel Awkward Taking off Their Masks

      February 13, 2023 09:34

      Many people are still wearing masks both indoors and out although they no longer have to. Particularly young people who have spent nearly three years of their short lives behind masks are experiencing anxiety without them.
      In a poll of 2,200 people by Lotte last month, before the indoor mask mandate was lifted, 59 percent of respondents opposed it. Some 13.7 percent said they were against because they feel awkward without a mask.
      A 28-year-old high school teacher who has been in the job for four years has not shown her bare face to students yet. "New teachers, who started teaching in the coronavirus pandemic feel awkward not wearing a mask because they've never been in class without it," she said. "Several of my colleagues are saying they'll keep their mask on in class for the time being."
      People wear masks in a bookstore in Seoul on Feb. 5. /Yonhap
      The New York Times also attempted an explanation, saying Koreans "have taken comfort in their faces being concealed, and they feel some discomfort about revealing their bare faces."
      "Some people in [Korea] and Japan have also taken advantage of the fact that they don't have to wear makeup or smile when they wear a mask. Taking them off therefore comes with some inconvenience," the daily speculated.
      But the beauty industry is looking forward to a boost in sales. A sales assistant in Seoul's Myeong-dong shopping district said, "Customers have already increased about eight times since late last year and even more since the lifting of the indoor mask mandate."
      Plastic surgery clinics are also busy wooing customers back. One clinic in Gangnam is promoting procedures at bargain prices like mole removal for W100, facial contouring for W3,000 and botox for W9,000 (US$1=W1,265).
      • Copyright © Chosunilbo &
      Previous Next
      All Headlines Back to Top