Every time Katy Perry visits Japan, something insane goes down style-wise. (See: her on-point Daria nail art and her custom-made yukata covered in burgers and fries.) So, when we spotted her in the big city today wearing two different surgical masks, we thought we'd chalk this up as another accessory adventure she tried while overseas, right? Nope! As it turns out, this trend is totally normal in Japan.
In one look, she went for a kawaii fuzzy blue mask with a button-up collared shirt, plaid pleated skirt, headwrap, graphic pin, and red Chanel fanny pack. For another ensemble, she opted for a black mesh mask with an all black Adidas sweatsuit.
So, why isn't this headgear considered strange in Japan? Well, surgical masks gained popularity in 2009 when the swine flu epidemic peaked and everyone wanted to prevent themselves from getting infected, according to The Japan Times. Today, people typically wear them while they are sick to prevent others from getting ill, and it's actually considered a sign of politeness.
But of course there are tons of totally healthy people that are wearing this accessory for purely aesthetic reasons. Some wear them "date masuku" or "just for show" to emphasize their eyes or to look more mysterious, while others wear masks to help with their concentration. Seriously. “A number of people have told us a mask helps them focus for study or work,” said Naoe Hirooka, a brand manager for Unicharm Corporation (a manufacturer of surgical masks) told The Japan Times.
Iiiinteresting. Well, we may never know Katy's reason for sporting the facewear, but we have to admit that she's doing a dang good job coordinating 'em, don't you think?