The Masks We Wear

We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement. In turbulent public settings, obscuring one's face can protect an individual from retaliation while evoking fear and uncertainty in others. Donning the mask of a cultural, political, or religious figure can lend that person power and further his or her legacy. Those who wear masks to protect their faces from environmental hazards may also end up sending a message of caution to outside observers. In many cases, though, masks play a more lighthearted role, allowing the wearer to take part in a festival and become someone (or something) else for a time. Once more, I've gathered here a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their faces for a wide variety of reasons.

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Most Recent

  • Lisa Maree Williams / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Masked Monks, Windmill Walk, Birthday Parade

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  • John Moore / Getty

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  • Christopher Furlong / Getty

    Wild Goats Roam Through an Empty Welsh Town

    A small herd of goats has taken to the quiet streets of Llandudno, Wales.

  • George Frey / Getty

    A Moment for Drive-In Movie Theaters

    Moviegoers attending drive-ins during the pandemic—finding entertainment outside their homes, together with others, yet safely apart