The Bias Cut: Masking for It by Hobo Scumbag

Maison Martin Margiela Mask credit:
Maison Martin Margiela Mask. Credit:

Some people say air is important, but in fact it’s how you breathe that indicates whether you should be allowed to continue breathing or not. Master yogis know it, zen life coaches also somewhat know it. Your relationship with air is important insofar that you’re inhaling it well and, in fact, ideally better than everyone else around you, whether you are in the northernmost parts of the Canadian countryside or in downtown Beijing on a hot day.

Not only is there something quite literally in the air, recent runways are all ablaze with this vital accessory. This should come as no surprise. Where there are growing markets there are people who breathe, and those that know how to breathe in style will really thrive.

Forward-thinking individuals in the fashion world understand this, too. The act of fashionable air-breathing incorporate the aesthetics of self-adornment while highlighting the delicate tension between staying alive and looking fabulous. Here, then, consider the respiratory mask, where fashion can meet proper air-breathing function if you know how to do it right. Don’t instead choose to boycott the fashion houses and garment industries that are polluting in the first place! Choose instead to opt for their sexy respiratory masks so that the outfits you purchased from them will match.


Another common fashion misstep is to think of face masks as political statements. That would be an embarrassing conflation of sartorial semiotics. For one thing, you’re trying to be sexy. You’re not trying to change the world. It is as simple as not living in North Dakota (or any of the 20 states currently following suit) and not wearing your Burberry mask while committing an act deemed unsavory by the government, according to the fine print in House Bill 1304 (and other bills currently in development). Again, the best way to pull off this look is to always keep evidence of having zero intention of doing anything the government doesn’t want you to do while wearing your mask. I can’t stress this enough.


Mask available on Etsy

However if you handle this part with savviness, then you’ll really be styling! And as you wear your mask, focus on humanity’s breathtaking adaptability and resourcefulness. What wit, what creative imagination it takes to blend high-design air filtering face masks with N95 or similar protection. Ill-bred people with bad taste like to focus on how improving the technology of efficient air filtering systems for the faces of trendsetting fashionistas is not a boon to mankind, and is instead adapting to the fact that pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk. But where they say we can’t allow the destruction of our earth to be the new norm, I say we can’t allow them to wear Tevas unironically outside the house anymore.

The World Health Organization estimates that 7 million premature deaths occur each year due to air pollution. This is absolutely nobody’s fault. That is, except if they didn’t wear respiratory masks, of course. It is definitely not the polluting corporations fault. Why did that thought even cross your mind? It was not the polluting corporations’ choice to have babies, was it? The polluting corporations are pretty sure the only way babies die prematurely is through abortion murder by their mothers.

AP Photo/Andy Wong
AP Photo/Andy Wong

Unfortunately, like all high-end goods and services, respiratory masks are not a luxury everyone can afford. That is the thing with the fashion industry’s trickle-down reach and economics. If everyone could access the respiratory masks, then they’ll be boring and nobody will want them anymore. But you! You can! Breathe gloriously and fabulously, even for a tiny moment in time, if you buy the right masks. So stay on trend, and don’t think too much about how things are out of reach en masse, so you can continue flying high within the status quo. May the world continue turning just as it always has and you keep breathing air until you don’t any more.


Hobo Scumbag is a native of Southern California. Find her at