Gas mask fashion? Preppers don’t typically think in those terms but the reality is gas masks are used (by civilians) for many purposes other than their intended purpose.
Preppers usually think of gas masks strictly in utilitarian terms – need and function. Do I need a gas mask for nuclear fallout? as an example. Should I have one in case of a terrorist attack in my city? as another. But outside of strict prepper purposes, gas masks get significant use in entirely unrelated and bizarre ways, namely art, post-apocalyptic cosplay, and even kink.
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Fascinations with Gas Masks
I’m not sure exactly what the artistic (or other) fascinations with gas masks are the result of, and I’d guess it varies depending on the person, but I’m sure it’s coupled with what a gas mask represents – vulnerability, danger, uncertainty, and even death.
You also have the added element of intrigue – who’s behind that mask? Is it friend or foe? Really, when you think about the multitude of motifs that a gas mask can symbolize, it is no surprise at all that they can be used in so many… different ways.
I get it, I really do. Gas masks are cool. That’s why I’m writing this post. It is why there is a gas mask in use on the banner photo of my YouTube channel.
What follows is just a sampling of the mountains upon mountains of various gas mask photographs out there. You could search for days upon days and not see them all (trust me, I tried). Still, the pictures I have selected here, I believe, are representative of the various categories I’m highlighting here: art, fashion, and kink.
Gas Masks in Art
Anything can be used for art, of course. After all, many well-known artists have taken everyday objects, plopped them on a pedestal, and voila – art! Gas masks, though, because of the varying ways they can be used and what they might symbolize, appear quite frequently in artistic expression, whether through photography, graffiti, or other means. Here is just a sampling of gas masks used in art.
Left: I’ve seen many different variations of this photo. I am sure it was quite creative the first time it was used. It symbolizes a world with which we have lost our connection with nature. We have poisoned the natural world, and reduced ourselves to breathing what is left of it, contained in a box.
Right: Mickey Mouse mask – made for kids! Is that an actual Disney gas mask? It is! It was designed to make kids less fearful of impending chemical attacks. “It’s okay, kids. Mickey will save you!” It may have not been seen as art at the time, but that is how I see it today.
Left: Looks like the gas mask didn’t save this person! I guess he (she?) decided to just strip naked, sit in a chair, and die. Presumably everyone is dead, otherwise the body would have been cleared out. That or the skeleton is hidden in someone’s house…
Right: I am not entirely sure what is going on with this mask. Is it even a gas mask? It is shaped like one, but it clearly offers no protection as it lacks any protective seal. Still, it is interesting. Canvas, lace, and pearls – oh my!
Left: This rabbit mask looks like something from a bad dream. Ever see the movie Donnie Darko? The mask reminds me of that movie. It is like a mashup between Easter and Halloween. Creepy, bizarre, nightmarish. I want it. I’m not sure what I’d do with it, maybe scare little kids (and adults), but I want it.
Right: This piece is interesting. It looks like a photo was taken in black and white, then a grunge effect was added, and the hose was photoshopped to resemble a serpent. What’s the message here? The mask that was to save her is actually the mask that threatens her? You cannot escape your fate? So deep.
Left: Someone must have had some serious time on their hands to knit this piece, never mind a serious devotion to the mask. Looks like something you could pick up on Etsy to wear to… I’m not sure where you would wear it. For an artsy photograph, I guess.
Right: Now this represents a serious devotion to gas masks. I mean, you really have to loooove the mask to get it permanently inked on your forearm. And look at the reflection in the eyes – DOOMSDAY!
Left: I appreciate this picture for its simplicity. Take a pink mask. Add a pink Mohawk hairstyle that fits perfectly between the mask’s top straps, put some bizarre contacts (or something) over your eyes and – bam – you’re ready for a party (of some kind).
Right: Pictures of this type are quite common (and a similar backdrop to my mask pic in the About page). The representation is relatively easy to decipher here – finding peace at the end of the world. Another pic that is oh so deep.
Gas Mask Fashion
If you are wearing a gas mask as part of artistic expression, is it not by default also fashion? If it is not being worn for purposes of breathing clean air, it is being worn as a fashion accessory, no? The point I’m trying to make is that the lines between art and fashion (and sometimes even kink) are all blurred once the mask is donned. That said, there are also distinctions (that are not easy to define) when one depiction moves further into art, fashion, or kink. The following pictures represent what I see as primarily gas mask fashion.
Left: Seeing gas masks paired with latex is a common occurrence. Of course, that moves the subject toward kink-fashion. The woman in this picture has bigger issues than figuring out whether she is into fashion or kink, however. She needs to figure out how to drink that cup of coffee without removing her mask!
Right: These ladies are ready for a rave, or maybe they are going to Coachella. No, you do not typically see gas masks at concerts and shows, but maybe they want to stay protected from marijuana smoke? Doubtful. Their use of the mask is certainly not for protection, it is for fashion!
Note: The vast majority of pictures of people wearing gas masks are of women. The exception to that would be historical photos; i.e. soldiers at war. But those wartime images are not about art, fashion, or kink, are they? Still, I strove to find a female/male balance in these representations. However, even most artsy pictures of gas mask men still include women.
Left: I call this picture Old Orchard Couple. I’m not entirely sure what they are going for here, however. Is it a dead orchard reflecting a dead world? If so, these two do not look so down in this dead world. They look like a typical middle-class couple in their everyday attire. So, I am confused. I’d have to ask a professional photographer.
Right: Oh look, a professional photographer. This man is a true embodiment of his art. He is the art in this picture of a picture-taker. Then he adds that sweet old war helmet to his attire, pulling some trench art into the piece. Weird. Wonderful.
Left: This image has been circulating around the web for a long time. I have seen it used in memes more than once, and it is a photo directly from the catwalk. Can it get any more fashion than that!? It is for formal wear, but does each replacement filter come jeweled-out like that? Fashion over function.
Right: Now look at this charming couple. It looks like a formal occasion. Are they hosting an end of the world ball? Wait – does her mask even have a filter? Is it even art? Given that he is holding what looks like a crop, maybe this should have been moved down into the kink section.
Left: This pic is rad, I love it in every way. I want to roll up to the gas station in my sports car like this. So casual. So cool. Matching masks and helmets, Nike sneakers, and no worries at all. He is doing this collapse thing in style.
Right: Awwww, a post-apocalyptic tunnel of love. Kissing your loved one through a gas mask at the end of the world is not likely to be very easy, but they are at least trying. His collared shirt, her string of pearls, they’re also doing it in fashion!
Gas Masks in Kink
You came here just for this section, didn’t you? You dirty fetish fiend.
Left: Look at this buff boy! Gas mask plus leather strap-like restraint-style whatever they ares wrapped all around his torso. Add a smoke machine for extra effect and it is oh-so kinky. Hold yourself back!
Right: Look at this… soft (?) boy. Short of his gas mask his is 100% naked. Naked and afraid. He is reaching out toward the light, feeling vulnerable, holding his chest. Erotic? Maybe for some. Kinky? Definitely sorta.
Here come the pasties!
Left: Like the earlier fashion ladies, this woman is also ready for a rave or concert or… some more dirty type of event. I appreciate the work that went into this getup. Everything matches from the mask to the Mad Max-style shoulder wear to the silver underwear. The pasties, too! Elegant.
Right: This pic is all kink. Black sex clothing, legs crossed, heart-shaped pasties. She is waiting on the couch – waiting for you. Hold yourself back!
Left: This picture is particularly interesting in that it is a “real life” photograph. It was taken in Britain during WWII, and depicts what some claim was a sexual revolution during the war. The Blitz, in particular, intensified sexual desire. Bunkers are even reported to have been used for sexual events. So where is the kink here, in the gas mask or in the war itself?
Right: Multiple elements of kink going on here: thigh-high leather boots full of buckles and straps, tattoos galore, spikey-things coming out of her spine, and – our beloved gas mask.
Left: Oh yeah, come to daddy. I am not sure how this guy is going to get busy in that full suit of rubber, but maybe he does not intend to. Maybe he just wants to watch. Gross? This is a judgment-free zone.
Right: This woman did not really put much into her mask – like even bother to screw a filter on. Still, I included it because it is a testament to the fetish some people have for gas masks. She is relying solely on the mask for the fetish effect, no fancy fashion accessories, no pasties, just a mask… without a filter.
Left: This pic is particularly
interesting bizarre. The chains are ready for suspension, her latex (?) suit looks really high-end, and she is breathing… her breast. I don’t get it, but I am not sure I am supposed to.
Right: I really love those squirrels! This woman is putting even less into the picture than the woman above her, but her mask at least has a filter, and – from afar – it looks like a high-end designer mask for the ultra-rich.
Gas Mask Art, Fashion, and Kink Summary
I do not know for certain, but I would imagine that there are as many gas masks sold for prepper purposes as there are sold for artistic expression, fashion, and kink. Whether that is true or not does not matter, what is very clear is that gas masks resonate with people for reasons other than protective purposes. Preppers, buy a gas mask today. They have many uses!