This is all just my opinion on silicone masks, so if you want to get all fired up and angry about my personal opinion you can go somewhere else right now. I don't want to call out some specific makers of these masks I'm about to refer to, or insult their talent even, so don't take it in that context. There's a lot of hard work that goes into making them and an incredible amount of talent to sculpt something so close to reality.
So, Silicone Masks. Some are awesome, some put me in mind of creepy rapist-wear. The awesome ones being the ones that don't look at all human, but like demons, monsters and whatever, but the ones that are designed to look as "realistic" as possible just give me a creeped out feeling - and not in a way that should make anyone proud for having caused it.
For starters, these "realistic" looking silicone masks are so obvious. I know it's just me perhaps and that even Mythbusters proved there's a line where most folks can be fooled by them, but really they all look like hydrocephalics with bad botox injections. The necks are oddly "Batman Villian" thick, the eyes are sunken and their mouths don't move - also being slightly larger overall than a normal head - to me they stand out like a sore thumb. And again, not in a good way.
The overall look puts me in mind of something we'll eventually see perverts and rapists wearing in horror movies, and probably real life sooner. I know some folks like them and, obviously, to each their own and all that, but I really have to wonder about the underlying attraction to a mask that's only real use to fool other people into thinking you're not wearing a mask.
To explain that, if you didn't get it. If I were to wear a silicone mask that very obviously made me look like a red, horned demon - there's obviously no way I could honestly believe I'm fooling anyone (who is sober) into thinking I'm really a red, horned demon. However, if I wear a mask that looks like an old man, it's because I know there's a percentage of people out there who will really think I am an old man. Others who don't pay enough attention to those around them, who you can just pass on by unnoticed as well.
See, what I'm getting at here is, using the above example again. I walk into a bank as a red, horned demon - everyone knows I'm in disguise and possibly up to no good so I don't get very far. I walk into the same bank as an old man - it's not readily obvious to everyone I'm in disguise and could quite possibly cause some problems before I'm found out. That's not to say EVERYONE who wears a "realistic" silicone masks is a potential bank robbing, rapist pervert - but you do kinda look like one, just so you know.
There were a few instances in the last couple years of people doing somewhat harmless stuff while in disguise, but isn't that really like children testing their limits? Like we're seeing how well they fool people, but in a completely benign fashion at first just to see if works well enough to go to the next step?
I know I'm putting way too much thought into it and there are some who probably think I'm over-reacting to something that isn't even a problem yet. I never said it was a problem, at least not in a global or even small scale. It's just that this is what the look of those masks conjures up in my mind.
The whole idea of not looking like you're hiding your identity at first gives you an edge somehow and should you be a less than scrupulous person, you might find ways to take advantage of that. To me, there's no other draw to these masks, they certainly aren't attractive looking - unless you're into blow-up dolls. They're all quite ugly to be perfectly honest - well made and all, but just ugly.
I don't know, I just don't see the attraction to them. The more monstrous looking ones, sure. I get it. But these "realistic" looking ones, I just don't see a really legitimate need or use for them. I know I would never buy one and I will definitely never be making one, nor would I even do so on commission. Not that I'm diving headlong into that corner of the market right now anyway, maybe in the future.
I don't really have a strong closing for all this, it was just something that's been on my mind ever since I've seen things and I've never been able to not see them in a light other than being creepy rapist masks. You know the same feeling you might get seeing a guy hanging out near a playground, leaning against his white windowless van with "Free Candy" written on it, wearing mirrored sunglasses, short shorts, and sporting a pencil thin mustache? That's the same feeling these masks give me.
*If you're wondering why I didn't post an image or a link to a mask like I'm referring to , it's because I don't want anyone thinking I'm trying to ruin their business or insulting their product. At least not specifically. Just do an image search for "realistic silicone mask" and you'll see what I'm talking about.