Custom Fulcrum Masks
The Fulcrum's imaginary custom masks. Photo: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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I have spent outrageous amounts of money on masks

When COVID-19 restrictions first started to take form and it was suggested that people wear masks, the classic blue and white disposable masks were the norm. Soon enough, masks became required, and stores were wiped clean of disposable masks. Since then, people have moved away from the original mask to more creative options. 

All of the sudden, masks have become a fashion statement. For some, they’re a way to express themselves, for brands they are a way to put their logo out into the world. Others just want to look put together by wearing a nice mask. 

Personally, I felt pressured to move on from disposable masks. Seeing everyone with their nicely coloured cloth masks definitely made me feel like I looked cheap, or like I didn’t care enough to purchase a reusable mask. 

I took to the internet and searched up masks. Unsurprisingly, there were many options. From a $30 variety pack containing ten coloured and patterned masks from Old Navy, to a single $35 Under Armour mask. There was no lack of variety in style and price. I even walked through the Byward Market and walked past a few stores selling handmade cloth masks, proving that everyone wants in on the mask selling action. 

Even cooler than those masks you can buy, one of my friends gave me a mask she sewed herself, using fabric that doesn’t make my nose itchy and actually fits my face very well. 

At this point, I’ve spent an outrageous amount of money on masks. Considering you can’t just try them on, it’s a gamble on the fit and feeling of the material. I’ve bought a couple masks that are too big or just uncomfortable and end up becoming useless to me. 

I’ve also found that my collection of masks slowly depletes and I struggle to track down a mask before leaving my house. To be fair, it’s my fault for constantly losing track of them. I’m sure I’ll find some in the laundry, in the bottom of my backpack or purse, maybe in a jacket pocket, or elsewhere. Either way, I end up with no choice but to go buy another pack of masks to make sure I can walk around without people looking at me funny, or you know, getting fined. 

That said, it almost seems silly that masks have become the rage. I understand that they’re required, but it is strange to think about how much a mask that is required for safety purposes has become a fashion statement. Now, brands are all trying to produce masks that people will find aesthetically pleasing enough, or comfortable enough, to wear on their face everyday.