In the last year or two, it has become more common to see bunches of celebrities – usually the ladies, but I’m sure not exclusively so – suddenly appearing in public wearing eyeglasses. In particular, these are celebrities who have never been seen in glasses in the past. This sudden myopic explosion could make us all think there is a healthcare timebomb in Hollywood. Until we realise that these cunning celebrities are faking it! It’s a new trend that some are calling ‘geek chic’, to wear chunky-framed non prescription glasses – just clear non-correcting lenses – purely as a fashion statement.
According to Natalie Hormilla, Associate Editor at Fashionista.com, this viral trend began with Cate Blanchett, but rapidly spread to Helena Christensen, Daisy Lowe and Chloe Sevigny. And so for generations of common folk, the optical world has been turned upside down. Having endured the name-calling and teasing, and generally been labelled as a nerd and an outcast, we all eventually reach out to contact lenses or laser surgery for our salvation.
And then just as we start to enjoy our spectacleless new life, all of a sudden eyeglasses are cool. Well that’s just great! And these new cool geek chic non prescription glasses aren’t even subtle, semi-invisible, rimless glasses. They are the kind of specs Buddy Holly would have been proud of. And this all begs a single question: why?
There are a few reasons. People who wear eyeglasses are often perceived to be more intelligent than those who don’t. Totally baseless factually, but this is nevertheless a very common perception – I’m sure if we all dig deep, we can think of somebody who wears glasses and who is an imbecile!
For celebrities, it is important to get noticed and a pair of big chunky glasses should do the trick, especially if everybody already knows they don’t wear glasses. So in these cases, it’s really nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Away from celebrity for a while – since this trend has leaked into the mainstream – some people, especially professionals, wear non prescription glasses (read ‘fake glasses’) in order to be taken more seriously. This is another perception that kind of fits alongside the ‘intelligence’ one. It’s to do with how other people see you and treat you when you wear specs.
The other reasons for wearing fake glasses go back to the ‘geek chic’ thing. Using them as an accessory, because they match the shoes or the bag, or the dog in the bag – hmmm, maybe somebody will come up with fashion specs for pooches. So in this case it’s simply a matter of coordinating the outfit.
There are others who have multiple personalities – but not in a bad way! They opt for wearing fakies when they want to change their persona, or feel in a different mood. Good for them.
But whatever your reason, maybe it’s time to dust off your old glasses and pop out the lenses, because geek is now chic, and the glasses are back.