Pet Peeve #8: Girls with Glasses

I’m not really hatin’ on girls with glasses. I’m hatin’ that girls with glasses are always portrayed as freaks of nature, especially in teen movies. I love the part in Not Another Teen Movie when they are mocking the scene from She’s All That where they are picking the loser for the guy to make-over into the prom queen. They pass up very mutated girls for the “hideous” girl with long unkempt hair, frumpy clothes, and (ew!!) glasses.

I think it all started with She’s Out of Control when Amy Dolenz’s character breaks onto the high school social scene when she ditches her braces and glasses. That was just about the time that contact lens were becoming more mainstream. For Eliza Doolittle it was her accent. For Jo (also played by Audrey Hepburn) in Funny Face, it was her shyness and her beatnik ways. Now the message is: “If you want to be beautiful and popular you have to ditch the glasses.”

What prompted this latest rant? The answer is a new movie on ABC Family starring Disney starlet Ashley Tisdale. I kind of have a weakness for teen movies, and this one had two actresses from “Degrassi, The Next Generation” which I used to watch when we still had The N in our cable package. Well, Tisdale’s character goes from zero to hero-ine simply by getting a fancy cell phone and ditching her glasses. That’s all it took for the most popular boy in school to notice her.

That got me thinking about the general lack of television and movie characters who regularly wear glasses. And whenever there is a character who wears glasses it’s so they can later be morphed from a nerd into a beauty/hunk. I know this is not a new phenomenon. Even before the invention of contact lens, there were very few four-eyed characters on any screen. The only other reason, besides Pygmalion intentions, for putting a character in glasses is to have their glasses be lost or broken so the character will be blind and prone to comical things. (Even though, most people who wear glasses can still see what’s going on around them, just with less detail.)

Well, as a real woman who wears glasses every waking hour and eschews contacts (my eyes are sensitive enough as it without intentionally sticking something in them), I say enough is enough. True, my first pair of glasses, which I keep for posterity, were something out of a teen movie (really big lenses and blue rims). Since those were replaced, I don’t feel that my glasses have detracted from my appearance. And let’s be honest, once your bust line comes in most guys could care less about your glasses.

Now I know I have never watched “Ugly Betty”, even though I have been a fan of America Ferrera ever since the Disney Channel movie Kick It Up. For the past few years, I’ve been avoiding getting sucked into any new shows, even though I would probably really like that one. But again, the reason she is ugly is partly due to her glasses. (Actually, if you take this picture of Betty and imagine her as really tall, skinny, and pale wearing baggy t-shirts and high-water sweat pants, it would basically look like me in high school.)

Maybe that’s one reason I like Harry Potter. Through seven books and eight movies he never trades in his glasses for contacts or some other magical solution (like wizards LASIK). Everyone at school thinks he’s cool (except for when they worry that he’s the Heir of Slytherin or a pathological liar.) He doesn’t let his glasses interfere with his ability to play quidditch or save the day. I must admit that it probably helps to have those handy spells to repair them if they break and keep them from fogging up, but still. At least there is one hero who is unashamed of his visual impairment. Too bad he’s not a chick.

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4 Comments on “Pet Peeve #8: Girls with Glasses”

  1. Laura Witten Says:

    I’m with you there. I have glasses but only wear them when driving or going to new or large places (walmart, casinos, etc). When I’m in podunk, KY I pretty much don’t need to see anything, anyway. DH says they make me look like a sexy librarian 🙂 and I can live with that. Don’t know why the conception is that librarians all wear glasses.

    If you want to start a new show, Ugly Betty is a good one! Its the only one of my shows returning this fall, which is probably a good thing since I’m working on my masters degree.

  2. Joe Says:

    Interesting post. For my male $.02, I would say that honestly, glasses aren’t any different than any other article of clothing or accessory that a woman may wear– sometimes I think they make women BETTER looking… and sometimes they don’t.

    The teen and pre-teen set perception of glasses is deeply puzzling. If there’s any group where you would think that the media moguls would want to downplay making fun of people based on an immutable characterist like vision, it should be teenagers. I mean, I think the powers that be would acknowledge the bad taste in TV characters picking on other characters because of acne or because of shortness or tallness, but vision trouble, now that’s good joking material for everybody. I mean, you wouldn’t turn on the TV and see characters getting ridiculed for being deaf and having big gawky hearing aids. On behalf of all the half-blind young people in the world, I would agree that this sucks.

    Joe


  3. contact lens are not only for fashion but it can also protect your eyes from dust and UV radiation .~;

  4. Breana Zipf Says:

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.


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