The Unintentional Message We Send to Glasses Wearers

The overlooked inconvenience of wearing glasses.

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Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash
Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash

I started wearing glasses when I was six. I remember clearly how it all began. I was doing my homework, and I was holding my notebook. When the light was reflected on the notebook, all the words disappeared. I moved the notebook back and forth in my hands, and watched as the disappearing words found their way into the page only to disappear again.  I thought it was magic, and ran excitedly to tell my mom. My mom took me to the doctor. The magic I witnessed had a scientific name. The doctor called it astigmatism. I was also diagnosed with short-sightedness.

I had no problem with wearing glasses as a kid. I was excited. I didn’t see it as a flaw or a weakness. I remember I went to the optician, and he was a sweet person who definitely knew how to deal with kids. Choosing from all the glasses he had was quite overwhelming. He eventually picked one for me to try. The pair of glasses he picked had an orange large frame. I tried it and he told me that I looked like a cat. I didn’t hesitate. It was the pair of glasses I took home, my first ever.  

My glasses became a huge part of my identity. I can’t remember a day without my glasses. There is no memory and no photo without me wearing them. When I break my glasses, I cry. I take them off when I go to bed and put them on the moment I open my eyes. I don’t think of myself as this is me with glasses and this is me without it. With glasses, this is simply how I look. Not one day goes by without feeling grateful for all the scientists all over the ages whose knowledge, research, and observations made my glasses a reality.

I love my glasses. As I grew older, I realized that most people do not like their glasses, and I really wish it were for the inconvenience. I completely understand the inconveniences like falling asleep when you’re reading with your glasses on, like when it rains, etc. Some glasses wearers hate their glasses because of the social pressure. The argument of “glasses ruin your appearance,” runs deep. To look beautiful, you have to take your glasses off. Think of all the movies with the girls told to take off their glasses to look good. A couple of days ago, I was watching a TV series with my relatives. In the series, the protagonist was transformed into a more beautiful girl. She wore makeup, got new dresses and shoes, and took off her glasses. I heard my relative saying that she is more attractive because she took off her glasses. That actually hurt because I was sitting nearby with my glasses on.

When the laser eye surgeries became popular, everyone around me was suggesting I get my eyesight corrected. No one suggested it for the convenience, the perfect eye vision.  It was all about “It will make so much of a difference in your appearance.” This sentence left me wondering “Do I look that bad?”

The “glasses and appearance” argument started again when it was time for me to attend my brother’s wedding. I wanted to look good. After all, it was my brother’s wedding. I was all over the place getting myself a nice dress, and everybody was suggesting I put lenses on for that day. I yielded and went to try them on but failed miserably. I guess I hate putting anything in my eyes. I remember it was a stressful time for me with everyone around me telling me I would regret going to the wedding with my glasses on. When I look back, I ask myself, “Why did I listen to them? Why did I let their words affect me?” The rescue came when the father of one of friends said: “What is the fuss about the lenses? What’s wrong with the girl’s glasses?” I am thankful for his comment. It made me feel so much better about myself with my lovely glasses on. I went to the wedding with the glasses on, and I enjoyed the wedding. I have some regrets in my life but wearing my glasses to my brother’s wedding is not one of them.

Except for few incidents, people’s comments about my glasses never really bothered me. Social pressure can turn wearing glasses into living hell which it does not have to be. I have the option to correct my eyesight but I am not comfortable with undergoing a laser eye surgery for the time being. I am thinking of glasses wearers out there who don’t have that option and are “stuck” with their glasses. They didn’t choose to wear their glasses. So, don’t send them the message that their appearance will improve if only they take their glasses off.  If they do take their glasses off, it will affect your appearance. Yes, it will. You will look blurry.

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