Why Won't Pop Culture Accept That Women in Glasses Are Beautiful?
“Do you always wear those glasses? You ever think about contacts? Cuz your eyes are really beautiful,” Freddie Prinze Jr. says to Rachael Lee Cook in She’s All That. Of course Rachael Lee Cook has beautiful eyes, because Rachael Lee Cook is beautiful. But, I guess Freddie Prinze Jr. can’t experience the full beauty of her eyes, because they’re masked behind glasses. Why does he have to tell Rachael Lee Cook her eyes are beautiful and suggest contacts? Why can’t he say, “Your eyes are really beautiful and nicely framed behind those frames, wordplay!” Why has society pressured the population lacking 20/20 vision to feel the need to ditch the glasses? Why is it a stock idea that the token ‘ugly duckling’ can’t transform into a beautiful swan unless she sticks in a pair of Acuvue?
It happens so often that glasses are always the first thing to go in a typical movie makeover. Princess Amelia Thermopolis of Genovia can’t ascend to the throne unless she gets contacts. Her stylist actually breaks her glasses in order to force her to stop wearing them.
It’s bothersome that no one asks Mia her feelings about contacts before they force her into wearing them. The biggest complaint I hear about contacts is that it’s weird to touch one’s eye, which is a normal and understandable complaint. I get why lots opt not to wear them, and stick to glasses instead. It’s a personal preference; it shouldn’t be decided by beauty standards. If Mia’s going to govern an entire country, she should be allowed to make the simple decision of whether to wear glasses or not.
But, the common theme suggests anyone looking to do a complete human reboot has to forget about glasses. It happens in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock transforms in Miss Congeniality from this:
Emma Stone even falls pray to it in The House Bunny. Emma Stone! How can any human being look at Emma Stone and not immediately think that she’s perfect?
(Also, according to movies, right after you ditch the glasses, you win the man of your dreams!! If I were to ditch my glasses, I literally wouldn’t be able to see the man of my dreams even if he was standing two feet in front of me. He would simply be a bunch of blurry colors.)
Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Arrow on the CW because it’s a great show. My favorite character is the smart and feisty computer tech, Felicity. She’s got these really cool two-toned glasses that she wears all the time. . . except when she’s going out.
For daytime escapades, Felicity can usually be seen wearing an adorable skirt or posh dress and her rectangle glasses, but the second she has to put on a formal dress, she ditches her eyewear. Felicity has clearly proven herself to the dashing Oliver Queen on countless occasions and he actually cares about her. But, I watch her go out on the town with him and all I can wonder is: can she see?? The actress who plays her, Emily Bett Rickards is gorgeous in real life, and I not-so-secretly wish the CW, usually so awesome and progressive with their subject matter, would have taken the opportunity to let Felicity keep her glasses on. I wear my glasses out on dates all the time because I am a big fan of being able to see things, like the menu I’m using to order dinner.
On the other side, guys are allowed to keep their glasses on no matter what the situation. Our good friend Harry Potter wears glasses for seven books (and eight movies). What would have happened if Hermione was the one with circular frames? There is a thousand percent chance she would have cast some spell on her eyes before the Yule Ball. Like so many other beauty standards, this one doesn’t work both ways. Guys put glasses on and suddenly they’re hailed as smart and sexy, while girls are encouraged to remove theirs.