As the swine flu spreads, more and more people are hitting up the stores for surgical masks in the hopes that a little layer of paper will protect them from receiving (or giving others) the dreaded swine flu. Even semi-celebrities like reality TV stars Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag have donned the surgical mask, as seen during their vacation to Mexico. Surgical masks have been common in Asia for years to help stave off the spread of the common cold, and artists like Yoriko Yoshida have had fun making masks into art. This trend has spread to Mexico, as Mexican citizens have taken to customizing their masks with lips, noses, smiles, or even fearsome pointy teeth!
As usual, it looks like Michael Jackson was a trendsetter. He’s the first person I remember seeing wearing a surgical mask on TV who wasn’t an actor pretending to be a doctor or an actual doctor doing surgery. When the general public sees this, shrugs its collective shoulders, and looks the other way? You’re definitely odd.
Wearing a surgical mask to hide his mangled nose and protect himself against fan germs is downright normal for Jackson! Now everyone else is joining him in the fight against swine flu. I actually prefer the more stiff cardboard of the painting mask to the flimsy paper surgical mask, but that’s just me. I like something that makes my face itchy, red, and sweaty while it protects me from the air.