Masks: A New Fashion Form of Self Expression


Courtesy of Nicole Merrill

Danielle Burns shows off her mask for social justice

Nicole Merrill, Staff Writer

Masks have become the norm during this pandemic. While they are essential for public health, they also provide a unique opportunity for self-expression. Across campus, students wear masks that demonstrate their individuality. 

For graduate student Danielle Burns, masks are an opportunity to express who she is and what is important to her. As the founder of Miracle Bandz, a clothing line dedicated to bringing awareness to social injustice, she believes it is important to design and wear masks with positive and uplifting messages. 

“The mask that I am currently wearing reads ‘Protect Black Women,’” Burns said. “When people see me walking around they also see this message on my mask and they know that it is important to me.

She has designed a variety of masks with varying messages, including one that says “Young. Gifted. Black.” and “Take care of each other.”

Masks also provide opportunities for students to express themselves as allies of communities on campus. 

“I wear my BLM mask to stand in solidarity with my Black friends, teammates, classmates, residents and fellow Villanovans,” junior Claire Barrett said. “It holds me accountable for my actions and pushes me to continuously advocate for the people around me.”

Other students use masks as a way to identify themselves with clubs at Villanova. Villanova’s student run television station, VTV, created masks for its members to wear. 

“VTV has been the best part of my college experience, and wearing my (VTV) mask expresses that love,” said Ally Weitzman, director of internal affairs. “It’s an extra bonus that our masks also increase our club awareness on campus.”

In addition, masks can be an expression of an individual’s personality. A student on Zoom in Bartley wore an “I’m smiling” mask. Likewise, a student busy at work in Conn wore one that said “be kind.” Despite being unable to talk to them, it was clear that their masks express that they are both positive and friendly people.

Even the choice to wear a reusable face mask over a disposable one is a potential expression of one’s values.

“As an environmental science major, I wear reusable face masks to reduce waste and express my care for the environment,” sophomore Brynne Sumner said.

Evidently, masks are a canvas to express who we are and what is important to us. What does your mask say about you?