Friday, August 30, 2013

How I Learnt to Love My Glasses

Glasses: Dior Homme

I was ten years old and the news turned my entire world upside down. After a routine eye examination the doctor casually told me that I had myopia and that I would need to wear glasses. I cried for days. That one sentence meant so many things: it meant having to give up the hope of ever being the cool girl at school (because cool kids don't wear glasses), it meant becoming that girl with the glasses instead of that pretty girl, it meant having something on my face at all times, it meant looking older and smarter, and I guess looking smart is not cool when you're ten. It meant being less visible and less important in a way. At least that was how I felt, and it made me miserable.

In an attempt to avoid looking older and smarter I chose a red and blue round shaped frame which I thought at least made me look cute and which I hated nonetheless. Looking back I am not quite sure I looked cute indeed but I stuck with the round style for ten more years. No one could ever convince me to experiment with new styles - buying new glasses was already traumatic enough, so I needed to play it safe. However, around the age of 15, when I lost some of my early teen awkwardness and slowly started to evolve into a woman, I felt the need to make my glasses invisible, so I started to wear frameless ones. You know, the ones that basically consist of two lenses, the bridge and the temples. The lenses were still round, but at least they were less visible, or so I thought. I still hated my glasses and if I had been able to safely move around without them I would have tossed them in the garbage. Unfortunately that was not an option.

My life changed when I was finally allowed to wear contact lenses. It took me a while to convince my mother who, for some reason, thought that it was too early for me to wear them at the age of 16, but when I finally got my hands on them... I was euphoric. I could finally wear a nice outfit and look like a "normal person". I could go swimming and actually see where I was going. I could make eyes at cute boys without worrying what they'll think or whether they will actually see my face behind the glasses. I could wear sunglasses! Contact lenses changed everything. 

My problems, however, were far from being over. Even when you have contacts, you still have to wear glasses every now and then to give your eyes a rest, and I still hated wearing them. My "rest" days were a step back to my insecure, invisible past. Salvation came in the form of... men's glasses. Two years ago my husband suggested I tried on a pair of thick rimmed frames and, for the first time in my life, I listened to someone's advice. There was something I instantly liked about them, even though they were totally out of my comfort zone: thick, black and square shaped. But they added something to my face instead of taking away from it and they changed my perception of eyeglasses in general. I purchased them not knowing that they were actually men's glasses, but I don't think that being aware of it would have made me change my mind. 

Now, two years later, I am still so happy to have them. I can wear glasses and actually feel good about myself. I can put together outfits that work with them. I can feel confident and happy on my "rest" days. Even though I still wear contacts most of the time, I have finally accepted glasses. If you have the same problem I used to have, here's a few tips:

1. Don't stick with just one model, try as many as you need until you find one that makes you feel confident.
2. Don't be afraid to try on unusual styles, they might be just what you're looking for.
3. Don't let glasses define who you are.
4. Don't let anyone tell you that cool kids don't wear glasses.

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