While it is a very clever, ingenious. and practical idea for fashionistas who appeared at a recent fashion show Barcelona, to design an article of clothing to help curb the intake of potential swine flu germs, it doesn’t do much for a person’s body language, facial language or their voice patterns.
Because there is an automatic physical barrier of cloth already up, covering the person’s nose and mouthm psychologically people may tend to add to that defensive barrier as we see in this photo. The model’s tense eye gaze and somewhat furrowed brow illustrate clearly what I mean. It doesn’t make one look very friendly and inviting Instead it’s rather alienating to others.
Smiles are so essential for warm interactions between people. So if a smile is hidden, people are not able to project the accurate message they may intend to project. People may misread them. Thus, fewer people will be making the first move when it comes to readily approaching others.
As for speech and vocal projection, the added material covering the nose and mouth can create a muffled effect, thereby disturbing one’s ability to fully project their voice. Even if the material is thin, it still creates a barrier which closes off the best optimum conditions through which the sound waves must travel to make a sound and to hear the correctly articulated sound.
As the cloth impedes the movement of the lips and teeth and tongue, a lot of sounds may be distorted. So instead of hearing “Go” we may now be mis hearing it as “No”, thereby adding to the confusion of communication where there is so much confusion already. For most of us it’s a constant ongoing battle to decipher what people really mean and whether we interpreted correctly. This fashion statement certainly is not going to improve matters.
But having said all of this for some, it still may be worth wearing this new item of clothing if it does in fact prevent this frightening and deadly disease (H1N1)- a disease that has unnecessarily taken too many lives already.