At the Oscars in early March, many of the Actors on stage were wearing glasses. American social media was abuzz with it, and we optical wholesalers thought – Hallelujah, at last! – But do we now wonder why?
Glasses have been around for a long time – Why has everyone not noticed people wearing them? Why was everyone aflutter? For years sunglasses have been sexy but spectacles not. Go figure!
The questions that need to be asked are these – Why are spectacles not perceived as a fashion item that celebrities should have adorning their faces all the time? Why are glasses for indoors and only for outdoors when they are sneaking out for a coffee or grocery shopping and accidentally snapped by the paparazzi – a more downmarket look? Glasses = ordinary, yet sunnies = sexy. This differentiation has had the optical industry perplexed for years. Good quality glasses also protect eyes from the sun.
Let’s delve into this further in the realm of movies and TV shows. If you think about it – how often does the lead actor in a film ever wear glasses? (Superman doesn’t count) Glasses seem only to be used by actors if they are playing a serious role, a nerd, or in disguise. So this gives younger people a poor impression of wearing glasses. They associate it with unattractiveness. That is why we in the optical industry love events like the Oscars that have such an impact on the younger generation.
Basically, all the hoo haa comes down to this, seeing celebrities in glasses normalises them to an extent. They are like the rest of us, they have poor eyesight and wear glasses, and they are not just wearing them for a fashion shoot. The movies are the movies, and we can’t normalise people on screen as they all live in a make-believe world of 20/20 vision.
Until glasses make the step from the red carpet into movies and TV in a significant way, this writer worries there will still be a stigma to wearing glasses, which as an industry we are working hard to eliminate. Admittedly wearing spectacles is perceived a lot better nowadays than when l started wearing them in year 4 and getting called “Four Eyes”’, but there is still a long way to go. The Oscars were a step in the right direction, – Or you could say – one small step for actors and a giant step for glasses.