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 more, 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

  • Gianluigi Guercia / AFP / Getty

    The Opening of 'The World’s Most Useless Airport' in Remote Saint Helena

    Last weekend, the tiny and isolated British island of Saint Helena welcomed its first scheduled commercial flight from South Africa.

  • Bettmann / Getty

    40 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1977

    Four decades ago Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th president of the U.S., the original Star Wars movie was released in theaters, and much more.

  • Jae C. Hong / AP

    Deadly Wildfires Continue Across Northern California

    More than a dozen wildfires burning across Northern California have destroyed at least 5,700 structures and are being blamed for 40 deaths.

  • Paula Bronstein / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 10/7–10/13

    Wildfires rage across California, the World Solar Challenge race in Australia, a show by the Swiss Air Force in the Alps, and much more.

Join the Discussion