Fashion Glasses


What prescription is Tinie Tempah? My assumption is somewhere between -0.01 and bugger all, but I could be wrong. Either way, I lay the blame for this startlingly enduring ovular trend squarely at his door. Yes, it’s the curious phenomenon of ‘statement spectacles’.

Doubtless this is ground trodden by innumerable Guardianistas before me, so I won’t prattle on too long about it, but the long and short of it is that fashion glasses have now thoroughly ruined normal eyewear for all of us. Yes, for the first six months it made everyone who had been wearing bottle-end eye shields look like a prescient Karl Lagerfield of Specsavers, and hordes of people previously ridiculed for their visual impairment were welcomed open-armed by their peers and a depressed market hungry for people to throw new shit at. But then, as is always the case with the latest fad, it became just ridiculous. As well as definitively launching the hipster generation’s obsession with 1940s clothing, soon, everyone had thrown their hat into the eyewear ring.

Normal arenas of outdoor interaction had become vying spaces in which to compare these bold new fashion objects. Worn by people who previously had had no need for things perched on their nose since staring directly into Britain’s solar eclipse in 1999, those puny humans who actually needed glasses were forced to outdo themselves. Having felt driven to purchase a pair with a particularly vibrant orange interior, I soon noticed an acquaintance at university sporting a pair so large they could only be described as a small windshield.

More recently, the trend has mutated. Where previously it was de rigeur that fashion glasses were large, thick and square, now they’ve gone all Harry Potter. Yea, verily the shape of 2014 it is the circle. So now us normal glasses wearers can’t even get away with an unassuming square but must instead don apparatus only Johnny Depp seems proper to wear, all of which only serves to highlight precisely how irregular and rectangular most people’s heads and faces are. And even Depp looks a tit in them. As for the rest of us, it’s usually a case of: “Oh, look at that lovely pair of perfect circles. Don’t they look nice? If only they weren’t sitting in front of that badly chiselled rhomboid…” It’s the interminable logic of this conclusion that’s so wretched, the only saving grace of which is that having a skull like some sort of Wizard’s Chess throwing die now allows you to perfectly replicate the kind of resentful misery and ennui only Alec Guinness’sGeorge Smiley managed to convey properly over a seemingly endless 4 hours and 50 minutes. But at least his glasses were vaguely square.


While this may all seem like a minor gripe, it is noticeable that glasses
are the only area of disability that seem to be deemed insignificant enough to be marketable. And, in a way, I can see why. For one, if you have the misfortune to need glasses in order to view anything at all, why not wear something that looks nice? Equally, if like me, glasses are only a minor inconvenience for reading and the like, it can almost be quite pleasant to have them relegated to the status of a fashion accessory. That said, forcibly mixing the two has clearly had its impact.

For example the following incident would previously have been the staple account of some sort of bullying charity, now it’s just a normal thing: I know someone with quite bad eyesight. Their vision is what can only be described medically as ‘fucking awful’. But, because of fashion glasses they repeatedly fall victim to “let’s have a go” syndrome. What this means is that, whenever a person takes a fancy to it, (often a false spectacle wearer) they’ll reach out to my friend’s face, snatch off the alluring item in order to give them a whirl like some sort of tosser magpie, and leave them blind for the next five minutes while they, rendered equally blind by the alien effect of real lenses, struggle desperately to find and then see themselves in a mirror, ultimately opting for the only marginally less offensive act of taking a selfie.

You may say that, just perhaps, my ire is misplaced. No-one really gets hurt and you’re just getting wound up over a minor incident that doesn’t even happen to you. Well fine, perhaps you’re right. But one day, both my and your eyesight could get worse. And then we’ll both be potential victims, sitting ducks awaiting our ultimate fate of being left to scrabble about in the dirt like a shit Velma from Scooby Doo, while a million hipster cunts dance around taking selfies and shitting on everything. If that’s what you want, fine. As for me, I’ll be getting contacts.

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