Sofia’s Friendly Guide to Spotting a Maskfish

This could be the ugliest man in the world, and you’d have no idea. (Image credits: Sofia Hegstrom)

Coming back to Carnegie after an 18-month break was nerve-wracking, exciting, and welcomed for many. And to the delight of many students, and disgust of others, so did return the wonderful adolescent mix of hormonal drama and pheromonal lust. But, differing from our previous in-person school years, this new 2021-22 year brought a new factor: The Mask.

 And with the newfound safety precaution came the phenomenon of those who are, shall we say, lower face disadvantaged, fooling other innocent mask-wearers into believing that they are a good deal more attractive than they are in reality: the dreaded Maskfish. We all are familiar with this kind of person, perhaps they have swept curls that bounce and fall just above eye level– swoon-worthy eyes you get lost in.

It’s easy when wearing a mask for 8+ hours a day to forget we as a species even possess mouths. But we are cruelly reminded of our evolutionary cakeholes when a peer ‘unmasks’ (double entendre!) and reveals themself to be what they truly are, and what no amount of eye makeup or hair swoop could distract from: A maskfish. Yes, I myself have fallen victim to a Maskfish’s scheme (also known as the ol’ Bait and Switch) and have taken it upon myself to educate my peers and the general public on steps to take in order to protect yourself and others from the hot breathed grasp of a maskfish. Follow these easy instructions and never be fooled again.


1. But First, Lemme Take a Selfie: Where is the first place many of our generation go to seek advice, help, entertainment, assurance, and validation? Instagram! Look up your crush on Instagram (hopefully, their account is public).

If the picture of reference depicts your boo thang wearing the footwear demonstrated above and is more than two years old, try to give them a pass. Photos courtesy of and Smogon forum.

If it is but contains no pictures of themself, check their tagged photos (Pro tip: more often than not there are some full facial gems lurking in their story highlights!). Photos from 2019 or before don’t count against them, show some humanity. If there aren’t any images on their Instagram, or, God forbid, they don’t have one, your next step is Snapchat. Word of caution: if your love interest has Snapchat but not Instagram… Good luck Charlie!

2. Catch them Off Guard: If the easy, passive route of social media does not work out for you but you’re still dying to know what (hopefully) delicate features lay beneath that N95 respirator, the next best option would be to see them maskless with your own eyes. When are the two times I’m maskless at CVHS? Lunch and when I’m taking a quick sip of water. What better spot to catch your stud monkey mid-bite than from the lunchline in our very own Cafegymatorium! Not only would the line allow you an advantageous vantage point of the area, but entering at the back of the line would ensure you approximately 65,789 hours of standing in one place (even more if it’s a cheesy breadstick day). The cafeteria line presents the perfect natural opportunity to look for your potential sweetheart maskless. 

3. Lead a Mask-Burning Rally: If your love interest really, REALLY never takes their mask off and you really, REALLY need to see their full features, you are left with only one option: Lead an anti-mask rally. It can be impromptu, but if you really want to sell it may I recommend choosing a time during a class period you share with your crush, and advertising your protest on social media (Facebook will probably help you reach your target audience best!).

Use the following as a free template:

  • Start with an eye capturing and attention-grabbing statement, that appeals to the reader’s sense of urgency (Kairos), one such as:


  • Be specific with time and date– people appreciate clear messaging when it comes to event organizing and setting a strict start time for your event is the courteous thing to do. 

Join me tomorrow [INSERT DATE] at [INSERT TIME] to show the establishment who’s boss! 

  • Now is the perfect place to insert a rousing graphic, preferably something violently American that will aid in raising a patriotic sentiment in your peers and crush.


Image courtesy of


  • Finally, may I recommend ending your message with one of the following popular hashtags:




If you choose to explore this avenue of scheming to get an infatuation to reveal themselves maskless, please keep in mind that to some, this sort of display may come off as the teensiest bit polarizing. To avoid having the rally off-put an inamorata, try gazing tenderly into their eyes, or even resting a hand amorously on their shoulder when you shout “THE TRUTH IS JUST SO DAMN OBVIOUS. I NEED EVERYONE TO TAKE THEIR MUZZLE OFF NOW.”

Well, dear reader, if these three methods didn’t work for you, I don’t know what to tell you. Perhaps some kind souls would like to drop more suggestions in the comment section below, so that no good, God-fearing American ever, ever falls for the evil ploy of a Maskfish again.

Before I end what is probably the most important article ever written for Carnegie Vanguard’s Upstream News, I would like to quickly say that beauty (and the horrible, unnatural standards that have been forced down our throats by a shallow and flawed society) is truly only skin deep. If you really feel a connection with someone, it shouldn’t matter if they suffer from what is medically known as Osculum Equinus (Horsemouth), or even the dreaded Mordices Castorea (Beaver Teeth). If you like them, go for it. 

Seriously, take it from a senior who is two months away from graduation: high school goes by quicker than you think it will. Who cares if they’re an uggo (term coined by James David Parker)? A good conversation and meaningful relationship are worth far more than what a pretty face with no substance can provide. Unless they really are fugly as hell. You couldn’t really blame a person then, could you?

Go Forth, Ye who dares to love, and Prosper!

In order to avoid hypocrisy, included are two images of the author without a mask, including a side profile. As my idol Drizzy Drake said, ‘Thank me later’ 😉. (Image Credits to Sofia Hegstrom)