Why Japanese Hide Their Faces on Social Media

Why Japanese Hide Their Faces on Social Media Japan

In Japan, it has become fashionable to post photos on social networking services with the face hidden. This phenomenon is characterized by the fact that it is particularly common among Japanese women. The mainstream of social media has been to process photos taken by themselves to make them look beautiful. For some reason, however, the exact opposite phenomenon is occurring. Why is this happening? In this article, we will explore the truth behind the popularity of face-hiding on social media.

Reasons for the popularity of face concealment on Social Media

Too much processing

Around 2012, when social networking started to become popular, processing apps also started to become more common accordingly. At that time, B612 and SNOW were well-known. SNOW, in particular, was a hot topic because it could greatly change the original shape of the face, creating a cute face with animal motifs. However, this triggered the face-hiding. The widespread use of SNOW, which allows users to blatantly process their face photos, has created an image that “a face photo on a social networking service” equals a processed face photo. As a result, when people post a picture of their faces on social media, they tend to think “it’s just a doctored face anyway, isn’t it?” The idea was then shifted to “hide the face”, the ultimate form of processing. This is thought to be one of the reasons for the popularity of face concealment.

We want people to see things around us other than our faces.

In recent years, many Japanese people are interested in making their photos more attractive due to the influence of social networking services, especially Instagram. Therefore, when they post photos on Instagram and other social networking sites, they try to make sure the photos look good. They want their beautiful photos to be seen by many people. However, few people do not want others to focus on their faces. They want to show the surrounding scenery which they were able to capture beautifully. That is when the “face cover” has emerged. By doing this, attention can be shifted to the surrounding scenery, rather than to the face. Hence, face coverage has appeared of a photographic culture that wanted to make its photos look good.

Japanese people are shy

As the old saying goes, “hide your face with a fan,” many Japanese people are shy. As the saying goes, the Japanese have an aesthetic of not showing their faces if it is not necessary. They would rather exude an air of mysteriousness. And this belief has been deeply inherited in our hearts and minds without even realizing it. Perhaps, as Japanese people have been manipulating their facial photos with apps, they have remembered that they look more attractive when their faces are hidden than when they are modified. This may have led to the boom in face-hiding on social media.


As mentioned above, we have investigated the reasons for the popularity of face concealment on social media. The reasons are related to three factors: The overwhelming increase of processing, which makes it easier to reveal the faces, the desire for people to show objects around them other than their faces, and the fact that shyness is rooted inside the Japanese culture. Considered together, these three reasons suggest that the face-hiding boom is largely due to the shy psychology of Japanese people. In particular, we now live in a society where people cannot do without masks due to the Corona disaster. As a result, people spend more time covering their faces with masks. This is more likely to lead to more and more people hiding their faces while posting photos on social networking sites.