SEOUL, July 25 (Korea Bizwire) — It has been six months since indoor mask-wearing rules were lifted, but some children are still refusing to take off their masks despite the summer heat.
During the pandemic, masks became a crucial accessory for many elementary school students, especially for children beginning to gain interest in beauty.
Park, a 38-year-old mother from Seoul’s Dobong District, has tried unsuccessfully to dissuade her children from wearing masks in the steamy summer heat.
“They feel very uncomfortable taking off their masks. There is nothing I can do,” Park said.
Her son entered elementary school in March 2020, and he has worn a mask ever since.
Kim, a 13-year-old student, doesn’t take off her mask only because she has “gotten used to it.”
“I think I look better with my mask on.”
Experts argue that these outcomes are the result of the pandemic combined with children’s ego-building process.
“In remote classes, children look at their own faces as seen by others and other classmates on a single screen. This might have compelled them to think about how others perceive their looks,” said Lee Wan-jeong, a child psychology professor at Inha University.
“It could be a protective instinct that keeps them from revealing their looks too much. In a society where looks matter, this becomes one of the distinctive features of children who have experienced the pandemic,” Lee added.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)