I Don’t Like Your Face

January 24, 2022

It’s not you, it’s me… no really, it’s me. I don’t like your face, but that isn’t your fault. It’s the pandemics. 

As we wrap up the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, my mind has become accustomed to people wearing face masks.

I go to work and I put on a mask. I go to the bank and I put on a mask. I go to the store and I put on a mask. I go to the gym, and after I get done internally crying about the fact that I have to work out or else I will gain weight, I put on a mask. 

Masks have become a huge part of our everyday lives. The only time I like to wear my mask is when it is freezing outside and it keeps my face just a tad warmer. 

Beyond the general annoyance of masking, the problem this has caused me is that I am no longer used to seeing people’s faces in their full glory. My brain has adapted to recognizing people based on 50% of their face. 

This means that your face, without a mask, isn’t something I am used to. It’s just weird.

Especially if we met for the first time during the pandemic, you without a mask is not something my brain enjoys seeing. This doesn’t mean you are ugly per se, it just means that your face is not what I imagined it as, and now I’m stuck looking at someone I thought I knew but I apparently don’t. 

All of these emotions happen before someone talks. 

In addition to people not appearing how I imagined them, I have seemingly forgotten that mouths move. When someone is wearing a mask, the mask jiggles slightly with jaw movement, but we don’t see the mouth physically move. 

After not seeing people move their mouth for so long, this is a weird sight. 

When I first began seeing people talk without their masks on, I couldn’t figure out why the mouth was so odd to me. I mean, I have binge-watched countless TV shows and movies since 2020; it’s not like I haven’t seen someone speak since the pandemic began. 

Then I remembered that most actors in TV shows wore masks during filming, meaning we didn’t always see them talk there either. This further limited my brain’s exposure to the human face. 

While I’ve masked in most places, I have seen some people without masks. Typically these people are family members, or long-time friends who were also fully vaccinated and comfortable to socialize unmasked. 

These individuals do not stun me while they talk as I am accustomed to them talking without a mask on. It is only the people who I have met and gotten to know while masked that I am experiencing this hatred towards. No offense. 

Hopefully one day I won’t hate your face without a mask, but today is not that day. 


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