From Function to Fashion

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By Arin Barry

There is a trend that has been going around for a few seasons now: non-prescription glasses.  In 2012, NBA players such as LeBron James and Russell Westbrook could be seen wearing “fake” glasses. They also appeared on the Autumn/Winter 2015 catwalks, which definitely helped create this trend.  Other than these celebrities, fashion-forward guys, girls and non-binary humans have been rocking this look for a while now, but as a glasses-wearing girl myself I just have one question… when did wearing glasses become cool???

Glasses have been used since the Egyptian times and it is even speculated (pun intended) that in the third century BC, philosopher Seneca used globe glass filled with water to magnify letters.  But glasses have steadily become less a sign of poor eyesight and more of a fashion statement.

“By making the price accessible, we’ve made clear glasses a fashion accessory,” says James Minor, the 34-year-old founder of ToyShades.  This leads to the question, should glasses only be used for their intended purpose? Or are fashion spectacles the way to go?  Personally, I don’t see the use of non-prescription glasses, but that is only because I’ve been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember.

Many prescription-wearing people have become pretty vocal about their dislike for this trend, as they believe that people who wear glasses for fun don’t understand the struggle.  On the other hand, comedian Ben Kling said that “Insisting that one can only enjoy un-tinted eyewear if he/she has poor vision isn’t far from insisting that one must earn one’s ballet flats by learning to pirouette” and I have to agree.  Fashion is fun and sometimes glasses can be fun too.  Like my best friend said, “Do I need them?  No.  Do I want them?  Yes.”

Are non-prescription glasses unnecessary? Definitely.  But do you know what?  So are most of the clothes and accessories that I own. Do I need sky high heels?  Are they functional?  Comfortable?  Absolutely not but they are super cute, so I will keep on buying them.

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