In Dorothy Parker‘s 1936 poem “News Item,*” she wrote of feeling that men were not likely to be drawn to — make a pass at — women who wore glasses. I don’t know if that is still true, 70 years later. Some men, like my last beau, said he thought women in glasses were sexy. I think people can be appealing with specs, depending on the glasses.
However, with the explosion of LASIK and Americans’ decades long love affair with contacts, I think fewer people wear glasses now. But I’ve noticed many of the men in online profiles are still bespectacled. Perhaps this is a function of midlife where more people need glasses.
What strikes me most, however, is how outdated those specs are. Many — in fact, I’d say nearly all — are the size and shape of what we wore in the ’80s, some going back to the ’70s. This means they haven’t been updated in 20 or more years. Maybe since the guy was in high school or college.
When I observe this, I can’t help wonder what else hasn’t been updated. Is he still wearing clothing from 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Is his haircut also from the Regan era?
But, you may ask, what does it matter?
We all want to believe we will love and be loved for what’s inside, not on the outside. But the outside often reflects what’s on the inside. Does wearing outdated clothing signify outdated attitudes? Not necessarily. Does wearing hip attire show a more progressive perspective? Not always. Yet, many times there is a parallel. Even if your profession requires you to wear clothing that is the opposite of your point of view, you will often find ways to express your personality. If you are a liberal attorney who must wear conservative suits, you may express your perspective in avant-garde, yet tasteful, accessories. Or maybe you just consider your conservative attire as a costume for work, and let your quirky side show in your off-work duds.
Glasses are one way to accessorize and express your personality. A male friend daily chose from his collection of 35 pairs of glasses before he got LASIK. He picked the pair that best reflected how he wanted others to perceive him that day. Another friend has a dozen pair, picking the one that matches her outfit. And a friend who speaks on future trends purposely wears glasses frames similar to those from the ’50s, which are now considered hip.
Some people understand that glasses are not just a vision tool, but a way to telegraph something about them. They make a conscious decision about what they want that part of their “costume” for the day to say.
When dating, I’m a believer in getting periodic make overs, as I think it’s easy to fall into ruts and not see ourselves as other see us. Just as you would not wear a suit with gigantic shoulder pads or humongous lapels, as had been the fashion years ago, eyewear needs updating too. I think it is worth the investment to make sure one’s glasses reflect the image we want to portray as well.
If you haven’t changed frames in the last five years, it may be time for an eyewear makeover, even if you don’t need a lens change.
* I can’t put the actual phrase from her poem here, as the copyright owner doesn’t allow her work to appear on the Internet.
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