What Is Maskfishing? What Does It Mean?

What Is Maskfishing What Does It Mean

Look are quite important, and there’s no denying that – but then are looks everything? As the popular idiom and our morals go, there’s more to someone than what appears on the surface…but wait, what if you can only see a little since there’s a mask in the middle? Yes, we are talking about the popular maskfishing trend! 

If you have heard about this trend before then, it’s time to find out whether you are maskfish or not! And if you haven’t heard about this trend, then you have come to the right place – because today, we have plans to go fishing. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started! 

What Is Maskfishing? A Brand New Dating Problem!

What Is Maskfishing A Brand New Dating Problem!
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So what is maskfishing? The Urban Dictionary quite literally talks a little about this trend. Here’s what we found! 

“The phenomenon where a person appears to be more attractive because they are wearing a facemask. Example: I thought this guy was totally cute, but then he took his facemask off and I can see that he was maskfishing.”

So you know those people who look really attractive every time they have a mask on, and then the moment the mask disappears boom! Your illusions break free, and you realize how deceptive appearances can always prove to be! Of course, the term originally came from another popular ‘fishing’ term – yes, we are talking about ‘catfishing!’

Catfishing refers to creating some fictional persona online and deceptively dating people – your date has no clue how you actually look or even are as a person beyond that fake identity on your socials.

The Impact Of Maskfishing On Dating!

The Impact Of Maskfishing On Dating!1

So now you have a fair idea about what does maskfishing mean – but can you realize the impact this trend can have on someone’s dating life? If any dating profile online comes with a selfie where the person us covering most of their features with a mask, then that could be a potential red flag. While most people will say that the person prioritizes health, others could easily find this a little fishy, literally! 

And we have examples to prove that this trend is real and has already started impacting the dating life of so many people. 

For instance, in 2020, AdultFriendfinder, a hookup platform, introduced the ‘No Maskfishing Mandate’ to prevent platform users from randomly posting their masked photos. But somehow, TikTok always has made the most of trends, with #maskfishing boasting more than 336 million views. 

Most of the videos under the #maskfishing hashtag are all part of this trend where all the users simply post their footage once with masks on and once without masks – the videos have only one question, ‘am I maskfishing?’ 

What is “mask fishing” on TikTok?

On the TikTok platform some users are asking their fans or followers if wearing masks help cover their unflattering features of the face. While others make videos that show how masks cover half their faces that hide their acne and highlight only the eyes and clear part of their face.

This is known as “mask fishing” a type of catfishing that shows a person’s image that is totally different when they wear a mask but after they remove the mask they look different. Insecurity is one of the reasons for the increase in the mask fishing trend on TikTok.

People have been obsessed with looking good resulting in a huge industry catering to beauty and plastic surgery. So during the pandemic when wearing masks was made mandatory some people started observing that they look different or better with masks on and started clicking pictures wearing masks.

This resulted in mask fishing where a person deceives anyone wearing a mask but after removing the mask the person looks totally different.

A TikTok user @vicityyy said that she posted a video with her mask on and removed it on the video that resulted in a user commenting she looked different than what they thought she looked, making her terrified of mask fishing.

Mask fishing revealed that along with insecurities about looks people have a high expectation about how others look based on toxic beauty standards. More often than not advertisement of beauty products by hiring beautiful perfect celebrities and models resulted in these toxic beauty standards. These standards are then followed by the younger generation and when they grow up these unrealistic standards are passed on to the next generation.

Reddit Users Shares Their Stories  

Here are what Reddit users say about mask fishing and the reason for following this trend.

  1. Now deleted user shared her story, “Years ago I used to do my own individual lashes religiously every few weeks for several years until they started making my natural lashes fall out.

Up until that point I had never really worn strip lashes but had to make the switch to give my own time to heal.

My BF at the time had never seen me without lashes. We had been together for more than a year. One night I think we arrived home late and I took my strip lashes off with the intention of waking up early to do my makeup…

He happened to wake up before I did and saw me without lashes. The look on his face made me feel so horrible. He said I looked unrecognizable. For a long time after I took extra care to never let it happen again. To the point of sleeping with strip lashes on.

It caused much inner turmoil for me in addition to many other issues we were having at the time which was like the cherry on top of everything else.”

2. Imthejackinthebox says, “One of my co-workers at my summer job used to look pretty cute to me, his personality was amazing, his eyes were cute, his hair adorable, and he was tall and fit, the whole combo LOL. But I never saw him without his mask until we started becoming close friends and started walking to our cars together, of course we took our masks off as soon as we left the building. When I saw him without a mask I was sooo off-put like his face looked so weird to me, it was such a strange sensation…”

Maskfishing And Insecurities:

Maskfishing And Insecurities

Comments such as ‘you are looking different from your photos online’ or even ‘I would have never realized your complete face actually looks like this’, of course, have a larger impact than you probably ever realized. Such comments or even such trends in a broader context can make people really insecure about their imperfections or even facial features. 

One Reddit user in this context even said,

"When I was at work and my colleagues saw me at lunch or break time, they used to always say that I don't look how they expected, but I don't know if it was in a good way or bad. Since then it has made me really self-conscious about people seeing my face because I don't want to ruin their expectations." 

Mask fishing started with wearing masks and today has grown to become the only proprietor of self-image and insecurity issues. It has been found that Zoom fatigue or exhaustion is even worse for all women. Researchers even termed this “self-focused attention,” originating from viewing selves through video calls, as a primary cause. 

There are so many more dating terms like mask fishing that have emerged in the world of dating, infiltrating all our loves affected by the Pandemic. While we have all lived with insecurities for some time now, the latest trend has just made things world – a hook followed by a line first and then sinker. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):-

Check out the most frequently asked questions about maskfishing mentioned below in detail!

1. How Do You Know If You’re A Maskfish?

Ans: The urban dictionary defines maskfishing as a phenomenon when ‘a person appears to be more attractive because they are wearing a face mask.’ So essentially, a maskfish is anyone who is a catfish since these people look attractive based on their visible features, like their eyes. 

2. What Is Reverse Maskfishing?

Ans: Reverse maskfishing refers to a phenomenon when anyone might be perceived as relatively more attractive with masks. According to most netizens, however, several K-pop idols are actually so beautiful that keeping half their faces covered, in fact, covers their beauty – hence, this is known as reverse mask fishing.

3. Why Is It Called A Fish Mask?

Ans: ‘Maskfishing’ is one term that is now being used to talk about anyone who looks absolutely different from how they look with masks on. So the observer who initially thought someone with a mask was very beautiful might be left shocked after seeing the real appearance and the facial structure of the person. 

4. What Does Fishing Mean On Tiktok?

Ans: The ‘fishing’ trend first emerged on TikTok when the platform users started showing how their look with and without their masks. And that wasn’t all. These users would also ask something on the lines of, ‘Am I mask fishing?’

And It’s A Wrap!

So now you know what maskfishing basically refers to – a more updated version of catfishing as we would call it! But what do you think about yourself? Do you think you have been maskfishing? Do you think you look prettier without a mask, or is it the other way around? The point is to live freely without worrying about what others think about your body or face! 

Whatever the situation may be, share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!

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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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