Think about your favorite characters in television and movies, especially animated features. Do they wear glasses or not? Fictional characters are a great way to examine our cultural feelings towards different looks because they’re not real people. You can’t argue that a fictional character “needs” glasses because they don’t “need” anything. Characters are either given glasses or not, depending on how the creator wants us to view them. This is the psychology of eyeglasses.
If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then eyeglasses are how you frame those windows. Do you choose bold, black panel dividers or flowy red curtains? What kind of glasses you wear (and whether you wear glasses at all) can have a huge effect on how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself.
People may be more likely to trust or confide in those who wear glasses, particularly full-rimmed glasses. This effect is actually less the glasses themselves and more the eyes. Full-rimmed glasses draw a large amount of attention to your eyes, and eyes are possibly the most important part of the face when it comes to communication.
We humans are really good at zeroing in on facial cues and we often look to the eyes to get a quick judge of intent or character. This is why so many horror villains wear masks or have small, beady eyes. The less of the eyes and the face you can see, the less trustworthy a person becomes.
One of the most common traits to be associated with eyeglasses is intelligence. This likely dates back to the days when eyeglasses were less common, more expensive, and deemed largely unnecessary by the average person. There was once a time where prescription eyeglasses were worn out of necessity by scholars, bookkeepers, and others who needed their vision for academic pursuits.
Since glasses break easily, they were infrequently worn by those who spent most of their time outside doing physical labor. And so, the idea that glasses are for the intelligent (or at least the booksmart) sort of stuck.
People can seem more earnest and committed when they wear glasses, particularly glasses with unassuming frames. There’s a level of vulnerability associated with glasses. You’re admitting to the world that you don’t have perfect vision, and that kind of honest vulnerability is very attractive to some people.
Of course, the type of frames you choose can have a big impact on this and other psychological effects of eyeglasses. Huge bold frames with Elton John-esque feathers all around the rims aren’t really going to give you an earnest, committed look.
Your choice of eyeglasses says a lot about your sense of fashion. While some people stick with one pair of glasses (and maybe a backup pair or two) others have an entire suitcase dedicated to their frames. People often match glasses to seasons or even individual outfits or hairstyles. If your coworkers see you in a different pair of glasses every other day, they’ll surely notice your fluid sense of style.
And you can set yourself up with a drawer full of lenses without breaking the bank. As long as you have a current prescription, you can purchase all the latest styles of frames from 39DollarGlasses.com while paying a fraction of what you would at your eye doctor.
The same goes for sunglasses, which can also be fitted with lenses that match your prescription.
Glasses have long been used as a way to look younger or older, particularly where bifocals are concerned. Bifocal lenses give the automatic appearance of being middle-aged or older because they signal that your up-close vision is starting to worsen. However, making the switch from bifocals to progressive lenses can give you an immediate de-aging effect.
Regular lenses also have the tendency to make young people look a little bit older. Children obviously wear glasses, as well, but the association of maturity still clings to the look of prescription glasses.
Glasses have an impact on your view of yourself, as well. Just like how putting on a suit can boost your self-confidence, wearing a nice pair of glasses can change how you see yourself.
People generally fall into two groups: those who identify as “glasses-wearers” and those who don’t. A person who wears prescription glasses may not consider themselves to be a “glasses” person. They may take their glasses off before photos or avoid wearing them when they meet new people. Similarly, someone who has had LASIK or who typically uses contact lenses may still consider themselves to be a glasses-wearer. This is when you’ll find people wearing “blank” or “plano” glasses with no prescription.
Whether or not you wear glasses can make you feel like you. So if you’re having trouble looking like “you” in the morning, remember that your glasses are part of your aesthetic.