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Would people actually wear smog masks to look cool?

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In one of the most bizarre stories I've read so far this week, this one really has me scratching my head. According to this story from AdAge.com, it seems that some people actually believe that smog masks, like the ones the U.S. Cycling team wore when they first arrived in Beijing, could become the next 'it' trend in the fashion industry.

"That image is in the air," said Jason Christopher, editor of the J.C. Report, a fashion blog that has followed the games closely. "Given the publicity [from athletes wearing the masks], I think it's likely we'll see brands rolling these out in multiple colors."

Am I the only one who thinks this is a little nuts?

If someone chooses to wear a mask because they don't want to breathe in polluted air, that's one thing; in fact, as the story points out, people do that in China all the time. There are also religious and cultural situations that make mask wearing mandatory. It is beyond my imagination how wearing a mask out in public can be viewed as the 'cutting edge of fashion.' The only person I've ever seen actually wear a mask out in public is Michael Jackson, and I don't think he is going be making a best-dressed list any time soon.

If a girl walked up to me on the street and was wearing one of these masks as a 'fashion statement,' I don't care how attractive she is, I'd be walking away. In my mind, there are too many sick patitents in the world who actually have to wear masks due to an illness to warrant the wearing of a mask as a fashion accessory.

I guess it's true that fashion really does know no bounds.

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