I Wore an Animal-Print Face Mask on a Road Trip and Here's What Happened
The thing about wearing a tiger mask as an Asian woman behind the wheel of a rental car in New York City is that no one takes you seriously.Even while flippin' the bird and yelling at a van making an illegal left,you're about as threatening as an irate emoji.But how did I get here?Let me explain.
As any harried person in search of an instant glowy complexion can tell you,those super-popular moisturizing/clarifying/brightening/detoxifying Korean sheet masks infused with seaweed/snail enzyme/blueberry/coconut/pink diamond extracts are a godsend.And if you're already on the sheet-mask bandwagon,you'll know they're starting to show up everywhere.Yes,they're useful for those hungover mornings,but people are increasingly doing them on long flights in arid pressurized air.Sure,you might startle your red-eye seatmate looking like someone from the Purge movie franchise,but such are the costs of looking supple post-transit.
But what about on a road trip?In order to test-drive the theory (heh),I rented a car and headed out of town.And I wore a different mask on each leg of the journey—en route to the rental-car garage,during the car rental itself,driving out of the city,在高速公路上,and at a tollbooth.
Turns out New Yorkers are way more polite than you'd think;most people look away.Many passersby seem to assume that you're wearing an elaborate Band-Aid and have undergone major reconstructive surgery.
Most women in their twenties and thirties,however,are in on it: They know a sheet mask when they see one and assume you're starved for attention.A twentysomething brunette,who didn't break her stride mid-phone conversation,shot me a dirty look and muttered,"This bitch…"to her friend.I started to worry that I'd run into an actual surgery patient who'd think me a poseur,and rightly so.
At Avis I wore a plain white one made of coconut (it's biodegradable,in case you're worried that sheet masks are to landfills what microbeads are to the ocean).The lady there,Bev,was perfectly solicitous.She was excellent about maintaining powerful eye contact,like when you refuse to stare at the glowing red zit on your boss's forehead.
On the road it was fine.It turns out that,hermetically sealed in your own car whizzing along the highway,you can wear any mask to your heart's content.The toll guy will laugh at you,but the breeze on the rapidly evaporating ampoule juices will feel soothing.However,even as a Korean person in a Korean sheet mask in the privacy of her rental vehicle,I opted against the black charcoal pore-minimizing mask.Those don't look just weird in public.They look insane and not a little racist.They look a lot racist.Do not attempt.
If your moment of self-care has to go public,just remember the cardinal rule: Keep it contained.People who brush their hair in restaurants or citizens who clip their fingernails on mass transit are unconscionable monsters.
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