Watch any teen movie from the past ten years and you’ll recognise this cliché. In order to get the guy, the heroine, who starts off an ugly duckling, first needs to be transformed into a beautiful swan. Whatever the premise of the film might be, the classic movie makeover formula is tried, tested and invariable. Her hair is tamed, ‘sexy’ clothes are donned, make up applied, glasses removed… How exactly she’s going to see the man of her dreams without that vital accessory never seems to be a concern.
I started to ponder this phenomenon recently while watching The Princess Diaries (don’t judge, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon!) As Mia’s glasses are viciously snapped in two by her stylist, I wondered if that also meant she’d be frame-free if she ever got married. Well, of course she would, I reasoned, she’d be a princess by then, and princesses don’t wear glasses.
If you wear specs yourself, then whether or not you’re going to have them on your face at your wedding will undoubtedly be discussed at some point. People will start to innocently ask you about contacts or laser treatment. Yet if it’s your groom that’s bespectacled I doubt he’ll get the same questions. When men wear glasses they’re considered dashing, smart and sexy. Girls, on the other hand, are always encouraged to remove their frames in order to look their most beautiful.
Wearing glasses does not make you quirky, geeky or nerdy, it just means your eyeballs do not work as well as other people’s. It’s not right to judge anyone, either positively or negatively, for this unavoidable deformity. Tattoos and piercings are considered by many as beautiful, and what we choose to wear says a lot about who we are. I expect that the majority of you would be in agreement with me that self expression is sexy.
So why is it so hard for the movie and wedding industries to find beauty in a girl’s choice to wear glasses instead of contacts?