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. With the recent rise of virtual reality technologies, masks are used to hide the real world from the wearer, whose face, in turn, is hidden behind the headgear. 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 again, I've gathered a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their faces for a wide variety of reasons.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Wooden Troll, Violin Boat, River Mary

    Scenes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, wildfires in Turkey and Russia, a spacecraft in Earth’s orbit, migrants crossing the Mediterranean, flooding in China, and much more

  • David Swanson / Reuters

    Photos of California’s Dixie Fire

    Scenes from the Golden State’s largest wildfire of 2021 so far

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Tokyo 2020: Images From the First Weekend of the Olympics

    Scenes from the first few days of Olympic competition in Japan

  • Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Hazy Harbor, Hot Horse, Rocket Billionaire

    Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, flood damage in Germany, Eid al-Adha prayers in Senegal, a crowded nightclub in London, a windy day in Montevideo, and much more