Tôi vẫn đeo khẩu trang

vẫn đeo chứ, che mặt không xinh mà :), sức ép về beauty ở hàn quốc...
Things have to get a touch anecdotal (có tính chất giai thoại) here, still, try running an experiment in your head. In front of you is a neat cross-section of Korean life: 100 people, touching all demographics. And, in line with those same societal trends, 95 are wearing masks, while five are not.

Can you picture what those five look like? What they sound like? I bet you can!

Chances are, they are either very old men (cụ già), very old women, young children naive to the virus or youngish men in their late teens/early 20s (also foreigners, but this is slightly cheating). What they definitely are not, are young-to-middle-age women.

A society (xã hội) which balances unachievable (không thể đạt được) financial burdens (gánh nặng tài chính) on its men, against unhealthy beauty standards (tiêu chuẩn vẻ đẹp ko lành mạnh) on its women, the Korean obsession (ám ảnh) with female appearance has always been problematic (có vấn đề).

Even before the pandemic (đại dịch) hit the peninsula (bán đảo), it was common enough for young women and girls to wear masks (đeo khẩu trang) ― blaming (đổ lỗi cho) allergies (dị ứng), pollution (ô nhiễm) or fine dust (bụi mịn); anything for an excuse to hide away for a day or two, and get some temporary relief (xả hơi tạm thời) from all that pressure (sức ép).

So no doubt the mask mandates originally came as a happy escape (trốn tránh/giải thoát) for such people. Still, this is no more of a solution to vanity (rỗng tuếch, hư ảo) and judgment, than heroin is to physical pain. And in the case of masks, they cannot even be said to ease that underlying agony.

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