Getting the best of you.
Getting the best of you.

PS Mag ran a fun column on the psychology of glasses and how the design can affect how people perceive you. Here are some fun bits and share your own experiences as a glasses wearer or not wearer! Cuz i'm procrastinating but need to get back to writing, here's the highlights reel!

This is where things get complex. If you believe people with glasses are more intelligent—numerous studies back up that people believe in this stereotype—you may also think that person is more trustworthy. But, if the frames are obstructing their eyes in an overt way, that may morph into distrust. "Glasses cover not just the eyes themselves, but the surrounding tissues, the cheekbones, the frown lines," Handley says. "These are all indicators of what you mean and are trying to say." Hide them, and that's a hurdle that lens-free faces don't have to jump over.

The point is, you don't see glasses and think nothing. Full-rim glasses give off less attractive, yet more intelligent, vibes when compared to rimless glasses or non-spectacled faces. In light of the latter impression, job interviewees have been shown to perform better when wearing glasses. And in the realm of amateur, non-peer-reviewed studies, one 17-year-old ended his suffering at the hand of bullies by taking cues from Corey Hart and donning his sunglasses at night. But while everyone thinks something about those wearing glasses, what that is has shifted.

What's perhaps most interesting is how some who wear glasses pictures themselves. "If they're at a family wedding and need to have the photo taken, [some] take their glasses off, because their self-perception is as a non-glasses wearer," Handley says. "They feel that's the real them looking at the camera." (The photo that goes with Handley's own bio, it should be noted, shows him without glasses.) It's heady stuff. Despite going through most of their day wearing glasses, many glasses wearers picture themselves as having perfect 20/20 vision when constructing their self-image in their mind's eye.

And that's perhaps why I take so much issue with lens-free frames. Glasses can be fashionable, sure, the same way someone can spruce up their crutches or get a few amateur artists to draw messages of inspiration on their arm cast. But glasses are medical devices, first and foremost. Putting them on for fashion alone feels like faking a wheelchair-bound injury at a theme park to jump to the front of the line.

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Illustration for article titled Glasses Design

(pic of famous glasses wearer!)

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