Eyeglasses have evolved over the years. At one point of time, what you could get was only bulky glass lenses. Circa 2014. You even have light-weight eyeglasses. Even though the eyeglasses of today sit lighter than ever on your nose, they weigh in quite heavily in the style statement you make.
But are the eyeglasses always about style? Or do they represent different things to different people?
We tend to associate certain qualities with a bespectacled person. A normal person can transform into a seemingly authoritative figure by donning a pair of rectangular rimless spectacles. Or you could come across as a laidback person by sporting a pair of cool Aviator eyeglasses.
What kind of a person can a seemingly innocuous pair of eyeglasses portray you as? Let’s find out.
Sarah Palin, the 9th Governor of Alaska, is known for always wearing a smart-looking pair of Kawasaki glasses. Her glasses have been known to be a bone of contention between people who think that she genuinely needs them, as opposed to people who wonder if she wears them just to look smart.
Even though Palin’s credibility as an intelligent woman is not to be doubted, this debate does raise the issue of the age-old apparent correlation between eyeglasses and intelligence. Bespectacled people are regarded as being intellectually superior to their specs-less counterparts.
According to The New York Times archives, a scientific study carried out in 1988 led to speculation around the possibility that people who tend to be nearsighted also tend to be more intelligent.
Whether that is or isn’t true (non-myopic people, don’t lose heart!), a couple of 20th century scientific studies have shown that people perceive bespectacled people as more intelligent.
Picture Bill Gates without his trademark half-rim rectangular spectacles. He’d probably pass off as a slightly old grad student. Steve Jobs without his round eyeglasses would certainly have seemed less commanding than he used to.
Eyeglasses exude an aura of authority, especially if they are the somber-looking angular kind. It is probably due to the subconscious links we make between eyeglasses and intelligence. But there seems to be an immediate transformation when a person flips their mirrored Aviators for a simple rectangular-shaped pair of eyeglasses. They suddenly seem to ooze power and authority.
Nowadays, eyeglasses are used to make a style statement too. They have become an extension of who you are. A college-going student may sport thick-rimmed eyeglasses, while a college lecturer may opt for something subtler.
Robert Downey, Jr. is known for his extensive collection of bold and stylish eyeglasses and so is Amitabh Bachchan. Meryl Streep never fails to delight with her snazzy Cat-eye and rectangular full-rim eyeglasses, while Tina Fey goes on to prove that you can look youthful with or without glasses.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and author. When you look at him, don’t you think he is an actor, rather than an acclaimed scientist? Yes, he doesn’t wear eyeglasses, but that doesn’t make him a lesser physicist.
A person remains the same irrespective of whether he sports an eyewear or not, but not the perceptions of people. Sport an eyeglass and change how you are perceived.