Thursday, February 07, 2008

In Defense of Glasses

The oft-inebriated poet Dorothy Parker once wrote, “Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses.” I find this hard to believe and am inclined to think that plenty of men were making passes at Dorothy but she missed them because, well, she was slushy with gin and vermouth. Had she been sober, she would have realized the magical power of eyeglasses and how they do not in fact detract from one’s appearance but rather add to it.

For too long, glasses have had their reputations (and lenses) besmirched by jealous people with 20/20 vision who only wish they could accessorize with the saucy flair of tortoise shell frames. Eye glasses deserve a little recognition, for they wield not only corrective powers, but the power to change one’s image, style and state of mind.

Let’s look at a few of the many, many good things about glasses:

1. They make us look smarter. I could be as dumb as a rock or one of those ladies on The View, but if I put on a pair of glasses, my perceived IQ shoots up at least 50 points. When they see my glasses, people know I’ve read enough books to inflict injury on my eye balls, so therefore, I must be really, really dedicated to learning and/or I must enjoy ophthamological masochism. And given that I just made up the phrase “ophthamological masochism,” I must be smart. Which, duh, of course I am. I’m wearing glasses.

2. Glasses give us authority. Got a tough situation on your hands? Is the Canadian army giving you guff? The answer, my friends, is simple. (And probably blowing in the wind. Sorry.) Tilt your head down, let your glasses descend your proboscis just a smidge and glare. The power of looking over your glasses at someone cannot be denied. Think about it – it works for grandparents, for congressmen, for schoolteachers and it worked for Ponch on ChiPs. (Sure, those were sunglasses, but same difference. Don’t believe me? I’m looking over my glasses at you…right now.)

3. Glasses can make fire. No ant ever burst into flames because of a contact lense, and no Survivor contestant ever lit kindling with 20/20 vision. There’s no question about it – if CBS ever drops you off on a deserted island with nothing but a camera crew and Jeff Probst or if a small, angry ant ever attacks you, glasses will save your life.

4. Superheroes wear glasses. Sure, Clark Kent takes off his glasses when he turns into Superman but that’s only because the frames keep slipping down his nose and he’s worried about looking like too much of a stud while fighting crime. It’s true. I read it somewhere…with my glasses.

5. Glasses just look good. Let’s face it. Glasses not only improve our vision, they make us look better, too. In fact, a nice pair of glasses can do more than a good haircut or even an entirely new body.* Check out the photographic evidence:









Okay, I was kidding on that last one. But seriously, let’s stop apologizing for our glasses. Let’s stop hiding them when we go out on dates or wax the dog.** Show your nerd power. Wear ‘em loud and wear ‘em proud. It’s what Harry Carey would have wanted.

* Not true.
** Not a euphemism.

23 comments:

Jen said...

I have a t-shirt printed with that Dorothy Parker quote. I enjoy employing it in an ironic fashion. :)

Liz said...

Yup, that's the way to do it. I love Dorothy, but I think she was selling herself short on that one!

Scrap Irony said...

I have a suggestion for another quote to debunk. New York Mayor Jimmy Walker said, "No girl was ever seduced by a book."
I think that one should be addressed.

Liz said...

Heck yeah, we should talk about that one. I don't think Mayor Jimmy went out enough, poor guy.

I'm writing that one in my notebook. Thank you!

kacey said...

If I had my way, I'd have a ton of glasses to coordinate with my clothes...or my mood of the day. Glasses are a good thing. They rule. People are jealous of us when we wear our glasses. But not everyone can be as lucky as nerdy glasses wearers. It's a cross we bear.

Trey said...

Scrap Irony -

Mayor Walker was reading all the wrong books, apparently.

Two words, Mayor Walker: Mr. Darcy.

Case closed.

Jessica said...

I love my glasses! When I was a kid, I used to try to ruin my eyes on purpose so I could get them, and I was THRILLED when I finally did.

I never, ever want lasik surgery because it will never stop being cool to me the way the world can go from being blurry to clear by just putting on my glasses. IT'S SCIENCE. IT'S NEAT.

Trey said...

Should I ever encounter Ms. Parker in some sort of bizarre afterlife, she and I are going to have words over that quote.

I'm comfortable in my nerdery, but I really could have done without hearing that quote over and over in HS.

I've worn glasses since I was three. (for the record, there is nothing dorkier than a kid with big black frames and an elastic strap to keep me from breaking them (again)). Got contacts when I was 18, but I still wear my frames now and again, just because I like them.

SFG said...

I think she was writing pre-second wave-feminism and was probably accurate at the time she made the statement.

That said they can be a turnoff outside of science fiction conventions, libraries, etc. It's only now with 'geek chic' and Internet techies getting rich that smart has become sexy.

Enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P52e-mJZJE

SFG said...

http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Conaway%20Sandra%20B.pdf?acc_num=bgsu1182800368

300 pages on smart girls on teen shows.

Grab it before they realize they've hyperlinked it and take it down.

Shan said...

Not particularly long-winded or expository, but to the point: girls in glasses are hot. Nerd girls in glasses? Even hotter.

Liz said...

Thanks, SFG, for that dissertation link. It looks fascinating. I'm going to read it more this weekend.

SFG said...

Just make sure you download it before they figure out what's going on and take it down!

Michelle said...

Heck yeah! Glasses are sexy, moe and just plain awesome. Now to link to this post every-which-where!

Tara said...

In Japan, girls with glasses are a commonly celebrated fetish.

Then again, pretty much everything is a fetish in Japan.

The Modern Gal said...

I've always loved that DP quote for the irony because I'm a glasses wearer and I'm pretty sure my tortise-shell rims helped me attract my boyfriend some four years ago. He loved my "Tina Fey" look.

Liz said...

Michelle, yes, please link away! :-)

The Modern Gal, you're absolutely right. I find myself putting my glasses on whenever I want to look prettier. It totally adds to the ensemble. And by the way, I like your blog a lot. Very nicely done!

SFG said...

"In Japan, girls with glasses are a commonly celebrated fetish."

Yup, it's called meganekko.

The Modern Gal said...

Thanks, Liz!

Beth said...

Glasses simplify your life. When I finally gave up my contact lenses, I not longer had to haul around teensy cases, two or three kinds of lens fluids, or find time to change from No-Frames to Smart-Frames me.

bluedragnkittn said...

They also make a handy eye shield! When you're an artist or dabbling with various forms of art, you tend to get schmutz in your eye. Seriously, it's surprising how much crap gets kicked back into your eyes, whether it be wood particles, paint, acetate, copper shavings, ink, pencil shavings, eraser piddle stuff, or just dust and debris. After a while of working, you stop, clean them off and think 'Man, I'm glad I was wearing those.. that could have some major potential for being really painful!'

Same applies to walking in the wind, in the rain, in acid rain, at the playground when you fall off the monkey bars because you're 25 and not as agile as you thought, and around people who sneeze... ewww.

MrsAlbrecht said...

Thank you! This post inspires me to want to get a few pairs and wear them more often instead of my contacts. <3

Nati said...

thank goodness someone agrees with the power of glasses. I too remember being in elementary school reading books after hours in faint light, one day hoping I'd be able to wear glasses. First they were cool, in junior high I was a scrawny nerd with big glasses, high school i got contacts so glasses were uncool, but now i've embraced by glasses; they make me unique and i feel all the better when I still managed to get hit on, despite my glasses. Sorry, Parker, no hard feelings, but you were wrong.