Reading Glasses - The Stigma


      [This is the future.]


I rant- Having been in the retail eyeglass industry for over 29 years now, I feel that I have the right to rant a bit about the way people perceive and use reading glasses. Partly this is because I sell reading glasses, but mostly it is because I harbor a lot of disdain for the supposed stigma that comes with wearing reading glasses. Oh, and don't get me started about...

Our Human Eyes Are Less Than Perfect. When you are young you may be blessed with perfect vision. More than likely, as you age you are going to find that you need glasses or contact lenses of some sort or another. It's perfectly natural. If we're lucky, we all get older, right? So you find yourself needing to wear prescription glasses and you take the time to find a style that looks nice and that is comfortable and you may spend a pretty penny on them. Not so much with the dreaded reading glasses.

Reading glasses symbolize getting old in our current culture. For reasons I don't understand, that is considered a very very bad thing. I also do not understand why so many people opt for the cheaper is better method of buying their reading glasses. Why worry about style, they're just for reading, right? (Even though those people probably spend huge amounts of their time reading.)

How many times have you seen someone all dressed up to the nines with nice clothes and expensive shoes and accessories at your local restaurant, church, business meeting, etc, etc, and then whip out a pair of old, bent, raggedy reading glasses? Even people on popular TV shows that you know make lots of money...


Eyeglasses and Reading Glasses in the Media-

topgearandreadingglasses.jpg Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and James May. One of these two oldsters needs new reading glasses. I'm looking at you James.

We all read. (Well, most of us) Why would wearing reading glasses come with such a stigma? Did you know that lots of people nowadays buy glasses without power or prescription just for image? Hey, if you want to look smarter or project a sense of gravitas where there isn't any, well great! Maybe it can help you nail that job interview.

celebrity-readers.jpg Sometimes this works.     rickperryglasses.jpg Sometimes not so much.


My point here is that if you are going to wear any kind of eyeglasses, for reading or whatever, get something that looks like you care a little bit about how they look. Especially if you are well known and rich.-

brad-pitt-reading-glasses.jpg Really Brad?

celebrity-readingglasses.jpg OK A bit of fumbling... celebrity-readingglasses1-on.jpg  Not too shabby.


Going Cheap vs. Having Some Style- Now I realize that this is very much a first-world problem. I am not saying that you need to go designer-high-end-expensive. I recognize that there is a place for cheap readers. Sometimes you just need extra pairs for travel or camping or sitting on your work bench. I get that. But if you are going out in public and you are the type of person that likes to look their best, take the time to find something decent for you.

johnny-depp-glasses.jpg He looks a bit confused, but the style? Just right.


Reading Glasses in the Future- You know, there are going to be great strides in eyeglass technology in the decades to come. Perhaps we take a pill and none of us will have to deal with the stigma of wearing reading glasses and showing the world that you, just like everybody else are getting older. Even with the latest advances in implants, corrective surgery, and contact lenses, my guess is that reading glasses will be around for a long time to come.

kirk-readingglasses.jpg  Kirk looks mad. This is the style in that era? Really? Geordie's were way cooler.


How You Can Help Stop This Madness- For goodness sakes just take the time to find a decent style. Go ahead and buy your bag-o-readers at your local big box store. It's always good to have inexpensive spares lying around for when you need them. For $30 or more you can get a stylish pair of reading glasses to wear in public. You should never feel ashamed about getting older and wanting to read. Why not look good too?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I feel better now. Time for my nap.


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