Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Life is a masquerade

Anne says: For me, my mask is the “don’t leave home without it” item. Mask, keys, phone (my wallet has dropped out of use as contactless payment is the preferred method). What was initially uncomfortable and awkward, is now normalised. In Spain, we have been wearing masks since we came out of confinement in June (obligatory by law, you will be fined EU100 on the spot for not wearing one). In fact, I’ve been wearing medical grade masks (N95) since March as someone that’s considered “high at-risk”. It’s been a fascination of mine, observing how other countries apply regulations (or not) about masks, and of course, the reaction and behaviours of people for or against wearing masks. From that perspective, this article takes a historical look at mask wearing and the reasons.

From 16th century fashion accessories, the vizard, that was designed to protect women’s skin while travelling; 17th century “domino” masks (think Zoro) to not only protect but to create mystique; the Venetian 18th century masquerade wearing to deceive or seduce, frequently associated with social distance and etiquette, along with homosexual laws and disguise for gender-related encounters. In Covent Garden in London, prostitutes commonly wore masks.

Undoubtedly one of my favourites is the Toilet Mask, or face glove – and it’s not what you’re thinking!! It was to improve your complexion, remove blemishes and other snake oil type claims – make sure you read the ad.

As cars and motorbikes entered the scene, veils and visors protected you from the weather and fumes. Now, of course, visors on motorbike helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment. The ’60s and ’70s are my favourites – super cool, helmet and futuristic visor styles, along with the outfits!

As we return to our current times, masks are just starting to become fashionable, sporting equipment, and of course, safety during the pandemic.

However, the prize goes to… Lady Gaga at the VMA awards this week (and not included in the article below) for innovation, fashion, and well, making a statement.


How to SMIZE

 Anne says: Smizing? Yes – it’s a thing!

Culturally, we obtain a great deal of our social queues from facial expressions. Our eyes and mouths in particular. But if the lower half of our face is covered by a mask, how do we smile? Or how do we indicate many emotions that the use of our mouth illustrates. With our eyes!!

Can you smile with your eyes?

It’s natural when you make a lovely, big, beaming smile that your eyes smile – but a small, discrete smile… that’s tricky!

The term smizing originated in the modelling industry, where deadpan faces are encouraged, but the eyes were used to communicate. In the hospitality industry, venues are now training their staff how to use their eyes to smile and be welcoming. If you want to find out how to do it – read the article (below) and watch the video (above).


When fashion met face masks

Jakkii says: As I write this on this dreary Friday morning here in Brisbane, I’m reeling from learning the father of a friend passed away from covid in Victoria. In Queensland, even in the South-East where the current restrictions are tighter than they are in other parts of the state (but still not that tight), you would be forgiven for thinking the pandemic was all but over. Yet, that’s not the case even here, but it’s certainly not the case in Victoria, and it sure drives home that point when you learn of someone you know being so personally and deeply affected.

As Anne points out in her piece, above, different jurisdictions around the world have had different approaches to masks, and Australia is no different. We were late adopters of masks as it is, and even now while they’re being worn in some places, in others they’re still few and far between. In Brisbane most people I see are mask-free, and there’s only been a little encouragement to wear masks in certain circumstances, such as if you’re on public or you’re otherwise somewhere that you can’t social distance. The effect, of course, is that people then generally don’t want to wear masks because ‘no one else is’. Perhaps the answer is turning them into a fashion statement?

While this article is more about the opposite being true – masks being necessary thus turning them into fashion, rather than turning them into fashion to get people to wear them – it still adds an interesting perspective, with fashion brands seeing an opportunity to not only fill an obvious gap in the market for stylish masks, but also to fill a gap in their revenue that itself was caused by the pandemic. Some of the numbers quoted are quite astounding, especially from my Queensland-based, non-masking wearing perspective.


‘Social cryptomnesia’: How societies steal ideas

Jakkii says: I found this to be both a fascinating and important read, as the author walks through the troubling and problematic phenomena of ‘social cryptomnesia’, which, in effect, is all about failing to credit people (generally, a minority group of some kind) for their role in provoking some form of social change. The article is about the issue on a social scale, however cryptomnesia happens even on as small a scale as between two people, as the author points out with an anecdote in the opening:

As I was researching this article, I had a humbling conversation with my wife.

“What have you been working on today?” she asked.

“Oh it’s a piece about a type of ‘cryptomnesia’, a technical term from psychology.”

She frowned.

I leaned forward and launched into a mansplainer. “Basically,” I said, “cryptomnesia is a term for when a forgotten memory is repackaged as your own idea. You fail to remember who told you something, or where you read it, so you think it’s your own. I’m writing about how it happens on a societal scale.”

“You can’t be serious. Are you joking?” she said.

I hesitated.

“I told you about that,” she said.

She was right. So, this is an article about an idea that I learned from my wife, but forgot.

Even if you don’t read the article, I think the above anecdote is illustrative and relatable – it certainly is for most women, for many of whom this type of exchange could have easily taken place within the workplace. It’s such a common phenomenon of its own that it has its own name, hepeating, and plenty of articles and podcasts about what it is and how to deal with it (this podcast on HBR, The art of claiming credit , is a good one if you’re interested). Given how troubling that is, the notion of doing this at scale to entire peoples is disturbing, if hardly new. It’s important that we’re aware of it though, so we can spot it when it’s happening and work to fix it – and, hopefully, maybe one day get to the point where social cryptomnesia is a historical term rather than something we continue to perpetuate.

And hopefully, hepeating goes the way of the dinosaurs while we’re at it.


Around the house

Another week, another 7 days in the time of coronavirus. Whatever that looks like you are, we hope you’re staying safe, practicing social distancing, wearing your masks and washing your hands – and looking after your mental health, as well. Part of that, of course, is finding ways to entertain and enrich ourselves when we’re at home.

Here’s a few things for you this week:

Friday Funnies

Misinformation Friday Five

COVID-19 Friday Five

Work Friday Five

Tech Friday Five

Community Management Friday Five

Trump vs TikTok

Australia vs Facebook and Google

Social Media Friday Five

Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast

This week: banning TikTok and WeChat, and the fragmented internet.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

The stories this week

06:12 – The US bans TikTok and WeChat

Other stories we bring up

Epic vs Apple

The 1984 Apple commercial

Microsoft employees called out colleagues who had formerly worked at Huawei and Alibaba to stop the #996 work schedule

Barbados is officially letting people move there to work remotely for a year

Germany trials UBI

Spain trials UBI

Airbnb files to go public

GPT-3 now a tweet generator

Soil could 3D print your next home

Asana files for IPO

President Trump’s executive order blocks “any transaction that is related to WeChat”

Trump’s executive orders hurt more than TikTok and WeChat

US companies voice concerns over WeChat ban

Banning WeChat will destroy a lone bridge between the US and China

Oracle joins bid for TikTok’s U.S. operations

Apple’s Chinese business could be devastated by WeChat ban

To cover China, there’s no substitute for WeChat

What would an enterprise company like Microsoft or Oracle do with TikTok?

The Indian government banned 59 Chinese smartphone apps, including WeChat

An estimated 19 million people in the US use WeChat daily

How WeChat is used by the Chinese diaspora

WeChat is a digital bridge connecting China to the rest of the world

Restrictions on the two Chinese-owned apps


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