Sophie Henry

If you’re reading this piece, you’re probably ugly, just like me, and that’s why you’re worried about taking off your mask. Have no fear. Today, we’re going to normalize facial nudity. When you think about having to respond to everyone else being ugly, you’ll feel a lot better about taking off your mask and revealing your ugliness to the world. 

To the readers of the Yale Daily News, if you are easily offended, please read this piece. I want you, like me, to develop thick skin about the way you look. Personally, I’m on my road to recovery after recognizing that my eyes exist on two different geometric planes, and my nose looks like a distribution curve — my brother and I were trying to slap each other running around a table, and I fell and broke my nose, and my parents felt no obligation at all to build up my self-esteem. In fact, they felt a strong inclination in the opposite direction, so it has stayed broken for the last decade.

I am not damaged, and neither are you. Let’s rip off the Band-Aid, together, and feel better about ourselves as we prepare to collectively face-strip as a community.

Instead of being a decent and reasonable human being, as I never once was, I’ve decided to concoct a series of scenarios where I’d be forced to react to horrifying, under-the-mask, extremities. This is a guide on how to respond to those situations appropriately.


  1. In Office Hours:

I hate to break it to you, but your TA has a massive wart that’s growing out of his right nostril. I know his eyes are baby blue, and his forehead skin — not foreskin — is fucking hot, but now office hours are getting steamier; all of the mask moistness is getting released. If you find yourself in this situation, what do you do? Stare directly at his pants. Be subtle. Make sure your TA doesn’t know where on their pants you’re staring. It’s not at all objectifying if you’re staring at ankles. Also, make sure to remain silent. Don’t ask them any questions, and don’t respond when they ask, “So what can I help you with?” All that should be going through your brain is: pants.


  1. On a Date:

Are you on a date with another person from Yale? Ha! You stupid bitch, did you really think that was gonna work out? Don’t even sit through them pulling down their mask. Make your way out the door. And don’t walk — run.


  1. In the Classroom:

You always sit parallel to the blackboard because there’s a beautiful girl who always sits right under it. Also, you want to see what your professor is writing. She pulls down her mask. You realize she has no nose at all. What do you do? Make a joke! Lighten the mood for everyone. Say: “People always pick their noses, but I never did! I’ve always liked the nose I was born with! Haha.” Make sure that delivery is as insensitive as possible.


  1. When You’re Walking Out of the library and Realize the Security Guard Doesn’t Have a Mask On Anymore & You’re Just Now Realizing That You’re a Senior and It’s the Same Exact Guy From When You Were a First-Year & You Still Don’t Know His Name

But what’s important now is that he has a bunch of acne. You are struggling — you internally berate yourself because you have passed by him 66 times and have not made conversation. But you know now’s your chance because he has no mask, but he does have maskne. What do you do? You say: “Hey! I can’t believe you’re still around! Not that I thought you were old enough to die… sorry — that delivery was so insensitive. I just mean to say — I’m so happy you’re here. Remind me of your name? I try to put names to faces — want to make sure you’ve kept the same name. Haha.” Give him a fist bump before he has the chance to answer, and then poke your head behind the glass on your way out and give him an air high five.


  1. In the Dining Hall:

You’re finally sitting down over some food with that one friend you met in class last semester. You’ve been planning this for months and failing — don’t worry! every other Yalie is just as shitty and narcissistic as you! Remember to wear your mask while you’re grabbing food in the kitchen area!

Once you sit down, they tentatively take off their mask, and you realize they have no eyebrows! Oh fuck! They had no eyebrows this whole time, but you didn’t even notice since they were wearing a mask! A mask covers a multitude of sins!

What do you do? Take off your mask, very slowly, apologize that you were in a huge rush and didn’t have time to put on makeup before you got there. Set your phone up against the napkin holder, put it on selfie mode, take out your makeup bag, and start applying brow gel. Give yourself a good look, and say “You know what, I think this is all I need. I feel a lot better.” Carry on with a big smile and chapped lips.


  1. When Your Calc Professor Pulls His Mask Down to Sneeze:

Say Bless You, Jerk. They’re nice enough to teach you the math you should’ve learned in high school. What is wrong with you?????


  1. When the Person Overseeing You Administer a Covid Self-Test Takes Their Mask Off and Throws It on The Floor and Screams “I Feel Useless!”

Throw your covid test in the garbage and gaslight the YCDO over email. But please make sure you do this tastefully.


Seems to me like all the bases are covered. I’m now sending you out into the world with strong confidence in your ugliness — but now it’s inside and out!