My daughter just got glasses. She was so excited to get them. This excitement didn’t stem from finally being able to see properly. No, she just really wanted glasses because they are trendy.
I try very hard to not do the “back in my day” stuff, because I don’t feel like “my day” was really that long ago. But, back in my day, wearing glasses was one of the worst things a girl could do. I realized I needed glasses in the 5th grade but I didn’t want to make a (ahem) spectacle of myself, so I hid them for years, squinting at the blackboard. I blame my poor eyesight for my lack of math skills because 3 and 5 look awfully similar when you’re nearsighted.
When I told my daughter what it was like for me growing up with glasses, she looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would kids make fun of you because you wanted to SEE properly? That’s ridiculous.” Well, kids could be ridiculous back then.
Of course, this daughter has not yet had any issues with confidence. In addition to glasses, she has braces, a combination that basically sealed your social death note back in my day. Further, just in case the metal braces were not noticeable by themselves, she’s got neon blue and green rubber bands on them. She loves them. She’s a content, happy kid — colored braces, hipster glasses, intentionally mismatched socks, and all.
Some kids may still have hang-ups about glasses though, in which case the transition might be hard. For help, look to the stars: Try to find photos of famous singers, athletes, or actresses wearing a glasses to show them how cool glasses can be. Or showcase Harry Potter, minions, Cyclops, Dexter, Velma, Arthur, SpongeBob, Chuckie, Johnny Bravo, or any of the other fictional characters who have helped make glasses cool.
Or simply explain what life for glasses wearers was like 30 years ago, when all glasses looked alike and NONE of them were flattering. The variety of styles, name brands, colors, sizes, and shapes they have now make it easy to find a pair that can actually improve how you look (as well as how you see!) Personally, I think it’s a bigger step forward that kids have moved beyond four eyes and brace face. That they (girls especially) are embracing being smart – even geeky – and looking the part. In fact, my daughter just told me her best friend faked failing an eye test because she really wanted glasses, but didn’t actually need them. Maybe kids still can be ridiculous, even today. Either way, I’m really glad we are no longer “back in my day.”
Editor’s Note: Here’s a free story about a child’s first experience with getting glasses to share with your child if the need arises. “I Can See Just Fine” comes from CLICK Magazine, our award-winning science magazine for preschoolers. Each issue of CLICK focuses on one topic at a time, allowing little kids to get in depth on the subjects that interest them. For even more about the eyes, check out the entire “Eye See You” issue of CLICK or the “Extraordinary Eyes” issue of ASK Magazine.
While Cricket Media Mama is happy that glasses are trendy and come with fashion designer name-brands, she’s not so happy about the price of glasses! $300 is outrageous. Or is that $500? Nuts. Cricket Media Mama may need to get her prescription updated…