I’m pretty against the idea of fake glasses–when my friend told me he spent $300 on designer glasses that he didn’t need because he has 20/20 vision, I sputtered that we could no longer be friends. It’s like saying you want braces when you have perfect teeth. I don’t get it. Why do you want them?
I read a piece about a woman who only wears glasses as a fashion accessory with great interest. The author talks about how glasses make her feel great despite having no visual problems whatsoever, and for whatever reason, that just makes me want to dramatically whip my glasses off and shake my head in disapproval. I’m in favor of anything that makes someone feel good about themselves, but please, stay away from glasses.
Those of us with poor vision feel like we deserve the cute option of glasses as a consolation prize for the fact that we’re blind as bats–we smack into walls when stumbling to the bathroom at night, we squint through movies, and we deal with the infuriating issue of taking out our contacts and then not being able to locate our glasses due to our poor vision. I’m not saying we’re brave heroes. But we definitely are. So I’ve always had a bit of a bias against those who brazenly wear fake glasses to look cooler but have the luxury of taking them off whenever they want. And, yet, I must confess something.
I was an early adopter to the fake glasses trend, back when my vision was perfect. Those were the days–glasses or no glasses, decided only by my whims. I could see the shower walls. I didn’t fumble between my nonprescription sunglasses and prescription glasses (I know what you’re thinking–just get prescription sunglasses. But no. I will not. I normally wear my contacts with my sunglasses. What am I supposed to do? Have two pairs of sunglasses, one nonprescription and one prescription, like a Rich Kid Of Instagram? No thank you). I was a mere seven-years-old, and marched into the eye clinic where my mother worked and begged for my first pair of glasses.
To be clear, yes. These were for fashion purposes only, as you might have guessed by how great they look. One might even say that these heralded my future as a fashion writer. And yet, I fear they may have karmically cursed me to a life of poor vision. Only two years into my foray with fake glasses for coolness reasons, my vision actually started to go. Over a decade later, I continue to surprise my optometrist with how much my eyes continue to decline. Now, I depend on my glasses or contacts so that I can do my job, recognize my friends, drive a car, or exist in the world. Sure, I sometimes wear my glasses instead of my contacts for style reasons, but mostly they’re there to make it so that I can function in the world. I’m certain that it’s punishment for my past transgression. I deserve it.
In reality, glasses are adorable and are just as much a fashion accessory as a medical necessity. And of course, you can wear or dress however you want, although I fear the day that somebody decides back braces are hip. It’s not like I can tell if you’re wearing glasses because you need them or because you like them. It’s not like I have some real disability that I think is being co-opted–I’m nearsighted. So people like me really shouldn’t have any ownership over glasses.
But here is one pet peeve of mine borne straight from the fake glasses trend: the questions about your glasses. It’s the reason I can’t stand fake glasses. In recent years, I’ve been asked if my glasses are real about six thousand times (that’s a real number), and the obvious subtext is to find out if I’m some sort of poser or not. Glasses, unlike other types of artifice we use to enhance our appearance like makeup, seem to immediately tell people something about you, or at least according to their preconceived judgement. People ask if your glasses are real or fake because they want to root you out as a poser. I know it the second you ask, because unforutnately, I’m prejudiced just like you are. So now we have this whole other way of looking at people and judging them, based on something stupid like glasses. And immature or not, it drives me crazy when people pointedly ask if I need my glasses. Yes, I need them. No, I’m not trying to be cool.
I’m doing about 50 other things to try to be cool. Don’t ask me about them.