I distinctly remember the moment when I realized that my vision was less than perfect. In third grade I was sitting on the couch with my Dad when I realized that I couldn’t read any of the titles on the spines of the books that sat on the case across from us. After pointing it out to my Dad, his response was simple. “I knew this day would come soon.”
I was born six weeks premature, and the doctors must have told my parents that the chance of me morphing into Mr. Magoo at some point were likely. The idea of getting glasses was exciting to me – after all, both of my parents wore glasses. My sister didn’t. Being the youngest, I felt like there was some type of Belz Family Spectacles Club that I got a membership card for. I never felt like they’d be a target for bullies – I was too focused on the fact that my frames could be pink or purple. Also, I knew a few other kids who already wore glasses, so the big step wasn’t too daunting.
Sure, certain things were tough back then. I couldn’t wear regular sunglasses, and relied on an old pair of regular glasses that were dipped in a strange concoction of sun-protectant goo to keep my eyes safe during the summer. (I wasn’t at LensCrafters when the technicians were transforming my old pair, so that’s how I can best describe what went on behind the scenes.) Also – sometimes glasses and bad weather weren’t a great combination. But I dealt with it, since being able to see clearly was the only thing that truly mattered.
I’m thankful that nobody ever called me “four eyes”, or acted negatively towards me based on my eyesight. Yes – bullying existed back then, but bullying today seems to be at an all time high, where every single difference can make somebody a victim for criticism and harsh words. It’s one of the reasons as to why 4-year-old Noah was so hesitant to get himself a pair of frames. Despite the fact that he needed them, he was afraid of what people would think. Yes, he’s only four and he has these fears. That alone makes me want to give this kid a gigantic hug.
Noah has a lot going for him – in particular, an amazing family that wanted to prove to him that glasses were cool. Noah’s mother, Lindsey Fisher, said that her son burst into tears when he put on his glasses for the first time. “I finally got him to tell me why he was crying and he said because everyone was going to laugh at him,” she said.
Lindsey decided that a harmless way to get her son over his fear was to highlight how many people in the world need and wear glasses. She set up a Facebook page called “Glasses for Noah” which encouraged people from around the world to submit pictures of themselves with their classy eyewear. Lindsey didn’t mean for the page to be an internet phenomenon – in fact, it was originally set up for family members to show their support of Noah’s new look. But eventually, word spread and kind and thoughtful words of encouragement from all over the globe have since inspired Noah to realize that glasses can be quite a special accessory. So far, over 50,000 strangers have boosted Noah’s confidence.
“I don’t know how many more likes or pictures we’ll get, but as long as I’m getting pictures, I’ll keep showing them to him every night,” Lindsey said.
Here are my words of encouragement to Noah, if he happens to see this page: Noah, you are rocking those glasses. Seriously – those frames fit you perfectly, and make you look absolutely amazing. If you happen to get picked on, maybe it’s because those other kids are jealous that they don’t get the chance to wear them. Glasses show personality, and it’s not just a “nerdy” personality that so many television shows and movies like to portray. I wore glasses daily until my sophomore year of college, and still like to wear a pair of big framed glasses during the evenings. A lot of people need glasses or some kind of corrective lens later in life, so you just got a head start on the rest of your friends. When they need glasses, you’ll be the pro. You’ll be the kid offering them advice, and telling them which frames best suit their face shape.
And while I can easily post some pictures of celebrities and characters that show the world that glasses are cool, I’m sure each and every one of you have a real life example of a strong, intelligent, and truly amazing friend or family member that proves that glasses aren’t just for the nerds. Glasses are for the true individuals that don’t let poor vision stop them from being absolutely beautiful.
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