There’s Something Just a Little Bit Off About this Upper West Sider’s Mask, and The Internet Loves It


Photos by Melanie Landsman.

Cameron Mattis has been turning heads in the neighborhood, and on Twitter, with his mask, which is both utterly mundane and totally ridiculous. Cameron’s mask is a copy of his face, but it’s just a little too big and thus it creates just the right amount of dissonance. When he posted it on Twitter, it got 62,900 retweets and 637,700 likes — and counting.

We asked Cameron to explain a little more:

I saw a mask like this on twitter and reached out to the guy who posted it – super nice dude who goes by @maybemarkus. Since then, I’ve started working with a mask company called smileyface.com. Their founders have a tech background and the custom facemasks they’re producing use an app on your iphone to map an actually accurate mask. It’s pretty incredible.

I got the mask in the mail and started laughing as soon as I put it on. It was too funny – I sent a bunch of pictures to my friends and family and got an equal mix of “this is hilarious” and “this is deeply disturbing.”

I’ve been wearing it around the neighborhood for a few weeks – I try not to go out too much, but I’ve worn it to the farmer’s market by the Natural History Museum a few times. There are always a lot of smiles. One person so far has approached me to tell me to put on a mask, only to realize when they got close that I was already wearing one. It was great to see her anger turn to surprise!

It’s been really surreal seeing the picture blow up like this. I realized that between Twitter and the countless instagram pages and news sites that have written about it, the percentage of the world’s population that’s seen my face is measured in whole numbers. That’s just crazy to me! However, like a superhero, way fewer know how I look beneath the mask.

Just keep being you, Cameron. Well, you plus about 20% more cheek.

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    1. sjm says:

      More cheek? More cheeky! Wonderful, odd and cool. What if more folks did this? NYC would be special even more than ever.

      Maybe it would inspire more people to get and try masks!

      One can always hope! Bravo!

    2. MaryAnneWassem says:

      I call it SMART! Why wouldn’t you wear a mask that lets you be, who you really are? No one needs to guess, who’s behind the mask? Unless, you’re out for Tricks or Treats. 🎃

    3. jhminnyc says:

      It’s cute and funny. At least as a male it’s covering both his mouth and nose. Most men I see wear a mask under their chins and seem to think we should all feel privileged to breathe in their germs. So it goes.

    4. mkmuws says:

      Love. It.

    5. Steve Friedman says:

      This is you with wisdom extraction.

    6. geoff says:

      saw a news item about these: they are dispensed from vending machines: pay, snapshot and poof! out comes your mask. not in this country, though.

    7. nycityny says:

      This is “cute,” though it would drive me batty if everyone who wore a mask like this.

      As it is, I go out walking every single day and anywhere from 35%-45% of UWSers do not wear masks. I go out of my way to avoid these (selfish) people, walking in the street quite often. These (invisible) masks would have me attempting to dodge even more people which is already a trying experience.

      • Just the Facts, Ma’am says:

        Re: “and anywhere from 35%-45% of UWSers do not wear masks.”
        Call me an optimist (even a “cockeyed optimist” ala “South Pacific”) but I suggest your numbers might be a bit high.
        I think it’s more like 10-15%, at least here in the “Lower-Upper-West-Side” (below W.72nd)…and it’s mainly the younger crowd (dang whipper-snappers!).

        • nycityny says:

          No, your numbers seem low. I walk from the 60s to the 80s everyday. Usually start around 6:30pm. Time of day makes some difference as does the street. Usage of masks is high on West End Ave. Low on Columbus Ave. Broadway and Amsterdam in the 70s and 80s is mixed.

          And I do not count a mask on the chin or not covering the nose as wearing a mask. Lots of chin masks out there. Makes me think that lots of people have cold chins that need covering…

          I’ve walked everyday but two during the pandemic so have a wealth of experience on this. And since I dodge those not wearing masks I take notice of what’s happening.

          • David S says:

            How do you count someone who’s wearing their mask under their chin, but is nowhere near another human being? I walk or run about 5 miles/day in Riverside Park. I always wear a mask, but if there’s nobody close to me, I’ll tuck it under my chin. If I get within about 20 feet of someone else, I’ll pull it up to cover my mouth and nose. I see many others doing the same thing. This is entirely compliant with Gov. Cuomo’s executive order 202.17 which states that a face covering must be word outdoors _whenever social distancing is not possible_.

          • Joan says:

            I think the face masks would be very helpful for kids at school because teachers would know who they were. Also if the teacher wears it I think the kids would like it.

          • A Different Point of View.... says:

            Did 325,000,000+ people end up in the U.S. because they were looking for better healthcare? Or because of the freedoms that they knew the U.S. offered?

            In 2017, when there were 45,000,000 million cases of the flu in the U.S. (out of 325,000,000 people) did you wear a mask? Why not?

            Finally, have you ever tested the efficacy of your mask? Try spraying an aerosol through it. I did. They leak like sieves!

            Please remember and protect our Bill of Rights.

          • Ella says:

            Totally agree. I try to get my walks in early. The later I go out the more I see unmasked.

    8. Uwsmom says:

      Are you single? I have several single friends and you seem fantastic!!

    9. Chris says:

      Absolutely hilarious!!!!

    10. James Brummel says:

      oh this will cause a pile of uneccessary arguments. Does it come in Miles Davis?

    11. RCP says:

      Looks like Fauci w/ facial hair. Not a good look, dude.

    12. kenneth regan says:

      Great!

      I want one!

    13. Leslie says:

      charming! fun! On a slightly different note–if people in pairs insist that one of the pair not wear a mask, why can’t the unmasked person walk toward the curb or the building so that others can be farther from the unmasked one. It’s just courtesy

    14. Claire says:

      I think everyone needs to remember that there are exemptions for some people. So, no not everyone has too wear a mask. And while we are happy to wear them briefly in a store, I will not wear one when just walking outside.

    15. biffmeister says:

      It’s hideous…..yet I can’t look away. What sitcom is that line from?

    16. Evan Bando says:

      It’s a face only the internet could love.