I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 10, starting in fifth grade when I started squinting to see the chalkboard in social studies class. And at first, I really hated it.
Back then glasses seemed like they were for old people. My first pair of frames were small and oval-shaped and had a brown-and-beige stripe-y design on the rims. Not exactly vintage cool. And my prescription kept getting worse, going into high negative numbers. I feared not being able to read the largest letter on the eye chart, which usually was a blurry “E."
“Don’t worry, your eyes are just growing and it’s completely normal,” my optometrist at Pearle Vision would assure me.
I stuck it out wearing glasses for another two years until I was 12. When you’re in middle school gym class, all sorts of things fly at you -- badminton birdies, frisbee discs, volleyballs, basketballs. Sports were not my thing because somehow my glasses would always end up almost being smashed. Some kids (from the opposite team, of course) called me “four-eyes."
So I finally convinced my mom to finally let me wear contact lenses. But a few years later, wearing glasses became cool -- glasses of all sorts were in Prada and Dolce & Gabbana ads in my fall Teen Vogue's. I loved the rectangular-shaped frames shown in the issues -- they looked so sophisticated and chic.
And then everyone started jumping on the bandwagon -- friends of mine admitted they wore nonprescription glasses as accessories.
Now I think some people actually look better in glasses. Take Tina Fey and Rashida Jones -- they’ve both been seen sporting black frames at award shows, looking not just super smart but gorgeous. Actresses Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett have proven that their square-shaped frames can improve a look.
But to be honest, I really started embracing wearing glasses when I had to -- my eyes needed a break from the strain of contacts! (I use Air Optix Night & Day Aqua lenses for the extra moisture, but still take them out at night before bed.)
As for my glasses? I have three pairs from Warby Parker in different styles and colors: Finch in Violet Magnolia (tortoise brown), Winston in Lunar Fade (ombre brown), and (my fav), Watts in Blue Sapphire. I love that they all fit my face shape well and are a bit quirky.
Now, I split my time evenly between contacts and glasses. On week days, I usually wear glasses, mostly because I wake up around 6 a.m. and can’t bear to even open my eyes and then because at work I read stories on a screen and paper all day. Occasionally, I'll wear them out to dinner or a movie.
Then on many weekends or on random days, I wear contacts. People are surprised to know that I’m basically blind. (My prescription is now a solid -6.00, but has finally steadied.)
Between all of the eye exams, anxieties over my vision, and frames, what I see clearly now is that I'm glad I don’t have 20/20 vision because glasses can look cool too.