Quote:People wearing face masks are deemed to be more attractive than when they have nothing covering their faces, according to a new study.
Face masks have become a common sight around Britain in response to the global Covid pandemic.
And Cardiff University researchers claim that the masks make both men and women more appealing on the eye.
The study, which began in February 2021, asked 43 women to rate images of men based on attractiveness.
The pictures were shown with a two different kinds of face mask, with a book partially covering the faces and with nothing covering the faces at all.
Both a blue medical mask and a plain cloth mask were used in the study, and participants said that those faces wearing surgical masks were the most attractive.
Dr Michael Lewis of the university’s school of psychology said that the study proved our preferences have changed over time – with face masks deemed to make a person less attractive before the pandemic.
He said: ‘Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks. This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions. At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of medical masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer.’
Lewis added that it was possible face masks made people more attractive because it directed the participants’ attention towards the eyes.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications – while the results of a second study, asking men to rate women’s attractiveness have not yet been released, but Dr Lewis said the results were similar.