Friday, January 7, 2011

A Look At The Glasses Look

Once upon a time, it was unfashionable for a person to wear glasses. It was for a kid, anyway. I speak from experience. I obtained my first pair of glasses when I was in the fourth grade. In those days (the late 1980s), you didn't wear glasses to make a fashion statement; you wore them because you couldn't see very well. And so there weren't a lot of stylish frames available. You had to wear those double-bridged frames with lenses that were half-square, half-oval...a squoval.

So I wore those frames, and they of course were mocked by my classmates. I heard the usual insults, especially the always-popular "Hey, four eyes!" I never understood what that meant. I wasn't wearing an extra set of eyes on my nose. I still had two eyes. I just happened to be wearing two small pieces of glass in front of them now, that's all. I wouldn't approach someone with braces and say, "Hey, 64 teeth!" But you know how kids are. They're uninformed jerks.

After I began wearing glasses, my classmates assumed that I was smarter than before. In their mind, glasses equaled intelligence. Their math was off, but then, we were still trying to wrap our heads around long division at the time. But it wasn't just the kids who made that mistake. I believe my teachers expected more of me after I started to wear glasses. If I got a "C" or a "D" on a test, the teacher would always write a comment next to the grade, along the lines of, "You can do better." What the teacher was really thinking was, "You can do better for someone who wears glasses." I have no evidence to support my theory that I was treated unfairly, but you'll just have to take my word for it because I wear glasses and therefore must be smart.

A lot has changed since then. The stigma that comes with wearing glasses has faded away. It's trendy now to wear glasses. I like to think that I played a small part in starting that trend. Me and Tina Fey.

I'm not so sure how I feel about people who wear glasses without a prescription. I obtained my glasses after years of declining vision. I had to earn it. So it's a little unfair that others get to wear glasses under false pretenses. But they don't bother me as much as people who use contact lenses. I'm annoyed by them for two reasons: 1) they betrayed their glasses by refusing to wear them any longer, and 2) they have a habit of either inserting their contact lenses or using eyedrops in public by pulling down on their lower eyelids and opening their eyes real wide, in full view of others. I tend to close my eyes when they open their eyes. The sight of the red veins in their eyes is not a sight to behold.

Even Hollywood has jumped on the glasses bandwagon. Why do studios release so many 3D movies? Because they know how much people love to wear glasses. I personally dislike 3D films, mostly because it's really uncomfortable to wear 3D glasses on top of the glasses I already wear.

And because when I wear both sets of glasses at the same time, people in the theater call me "six eyes."