Why I Hate Hipster Glasses

I have a confession.

I hate hipster glasses. I hate girls who wear fake, clunky, coke-bottle frames. I hate boys who wear fake hipster fake tortoiseshell glasses. If you don’t need your glasses or wear glasses without lenses I automatically hate you.

See? No lenses. From weheartit.com

Glasses are cool now. Yeah. Now.

In Grade 2, glasses were a death sentence. They killed your social life. Even if they were fake tortoiseshell.

My mom noticed that I was sitting a little too close to the TV and that I tended to squint. I also tended to get headaches after reading. These symptoms meant a trip to the ophthalmologist and the epic cool sight test. I think my doctor realized pretty quickly that I was pretty bad. 

My clearest memory of that trip to the doctor is of the hot air balloon. I sat down and placed my chin on a machine that vaguely resembled square telescope. I had to look into the binoculars  and tell the assistant if I could see the balloon clearly. The yellow and red hot air balloon floated above green grass, fading in and out like movie transitions. The assistant in a lab coat tweaked it for me. All of a sudden the balloon popped out — utterly defined, so colorful I remember feeling shocked. I felt a sinking sensation in my gut.

Something really was wrong with me.

The first sign of my world changing were the steampunk glasses: heavy metal glasses that ophthalmologists place on their clients to test various grades. At first the world was a bitter blur as the doctor deftly placed in lens after lens.

“Is this better?”

Hell yeah, I’m freaking Master Yi.

“How about this?” She slipped another lens in and everything was illuminated.

I now had an intimate understanding of what clarity looked like. I understood that I had been living in a blur! The floor was tilted! Why did I feel dizzy? Plus, I could choose whatever frames I wanted! How cool was that!

I think I chose Mickey Mouse frames, cause you know, Mickey Mouse is the epitome of everything awesome when you’re 8. Or Snoopy. I was really into Snoopy.

My mom was asking if I felt okay and I said yes. My mom wears glasses too, you see. And my mom, even in her pajamas, manages to look fabulous.  

At first, I was happy. I stared at our pine walls, fascinated by whorls. I saw leaves in detail. I was blind and now I could see! I could read without sticking the book in my face. 

Then I went to school.

It was all pretty much downhill from there. Glasses are a sign of weakness. They were a sign that I, at age 8, would have been sabertooth food in the wild. I wouldn’t have been able to see the sabertooth, much less run from it. All the other kids knew this — and it didn’t help that in my memory, I was the only kid with glasses in the class.

Other kids automatically began to taunt me, to pull the glasses off my face, to pretend wear them.

“I’m blinnnnd.” One would say while he flailed his arms and pretended to run into walls.  Whenever they pulled the glasses off my face, I would follow, because the lanyard attached them to my neck

One charming individual placed his fingers in front of his mouth to imitate buckteeth. I don’t know where he pulled the image of a nerd from, but it was succinct and changed my social standing forever. From then on, my world shifted. It felt like the world was divided into glasses wearing people and non-glasses wearing people.

Glasses, in their small way, made me see the world clearly. It made me realize how easily your appearance can change things. I also realize that a lot of “hipster culture” is mostly about rediscovering retro or finding off-the-beaten path interests. Pabst beer, whatever, I really don’t care what you do with your clothes, your music and your life.

But I really draw the line at those glasses. I really do. Because if they’re fake, they are just fake. Hipsters (in my opinion) want the good stuff, the good memories without all the bad crap that comes with wearing glasses. They want their lovers to take off the glasses before the first kiss. They want their glasses to mist up when they cry. They want to give an impression of deep thoughts and late nights up reading thick books.

They want someone to say, “Oh, wow, you look…really different.” Because Clark Kent was right to use glasses as his only mask! People look different without them!

Image retrieved from http://www.superdickery.com

But they have never been teased because their glasses could be used as a magnifying glass. They have never been called four-eyes, bug-face or any variations of this term. They have never been late for appointments because they misplaced their glasses and were disabled and couldn’t see!  Couldn’t see. Essentially disabled, until they realized it was under the pillow and thank the particular deity you worship.

These coke-bottle wearing fakes have never been hit in the face with a volleyball so hard the frame cracked in two. They have never gathered shattered glass lenses in their hands, shaking and  crying in terror because mom’s going to throw a fit, the frames were so expensive.

They have never been called nerd, when it hurt to be called a nerd. They have ever walked around with the soft part of nose of the glasses missing, the tiny metal prong digging into the bridge. Never had to endure  taped  frames because they broke and well, the new pair wasn’t ready yet. This means they do not deserve the other, nicer things about wearing glasses. Like when someone who loves you takes them off because you feel asleep with them on.

Go subvert some other culture or pretend you like that really terrible indie band. Please. Just stop fake-wearing glasses. Just. Stop.

29 thoughts on “Why I Hate Hipster Glasses”

  1. Absolutely 100% agree. We wear glasses because we have to, because our eyes can’t cope without them. It would be like if hipsters started wearing fake hearing aides because they suddenly became fashionable. Ridiculous.

    1. Glasses have always been a fashion statement. I mean after all we could always wear contacts right? I remember the people flooding to the stores to get Ray-Ban’s after top gun. If you got picked on in school because of your glasses than you were wearing the wrong glasses. Having a good pair of glasses is no different than a nice set of earrings or a fresh haircut. Your eyes are at the center of your face. A good pair of glasses can slim a wide round face ect, The right pair of glasses and actually make a person more attractive. The amount of hate here not only shows that you the haters have no fashion sense but more so you are stuck in the same loser denial that you were in school. Learn fashion and you will enjoy the trends.

      1. Thanks for the comment! Good point, yes.

        This is just my personal opinion about a specific style of glasses — clunky coke bottle frames and thick lenses, the “hipster” glasses ideal. Glasses were a necessity to begin with, not a fashion statement. They were not developed to help you “slim down” your face. They were developed so a person with faulty vision could see better. I doubt that you would have willingly worn glasses as a ten-year old, slimming effect or no. I had friends who would rather suffer and not see anything rather than wear glasses. I was picked on for even needing glasses. (Keep in mind that this was well over 20 years ago).

        Glasses may be fashionable now because technology has allowed for slimmer frames, thinner lenses, better material and diverse styles. But man, if you (like me) experienced being ridiculed for wearing clunky glasses as a kid, it was torture. It was expensive torture too, because people kept breaking glasses that cost me parents upwards of $100 to afford. It wasn’t cheap like it is now.

        This post is just about my feelings about it. I’m glad you pointed all this stuff out too, so now we have had a somewhat good discussion about it. 😀

      2. You obviously know very little about the reality of the subject matter. No! Glasses are not a fashion statement, at least for those would cannot see without them.

        Contacts! Really contacts??! You speak as if they were a simple easy option for anyone. When I was little, contacts were not an option. When I graduated from High School, I saved up for a pair, they were very expensive. Back then only one type was available, they were hard. Your eyes burned and teared as your eye lids formed the necessary callouses to wear them with any comfort. If you fell asleep in them, they could permanently burn and scar your eyes. They had to be takin out anytime you even guessed you might dose off.

        Now when my son (age 28 now) was young he needed glasses too at age seven. We tried our best to let him pick out the ones he loved the most, no matter what the expense to help him adapt. He still came home from school many times crying because of being teased so mercilessly! Prior he was popular and everyone wanted to be his friend suddenly he was the brunt of jokes. His memories of those times are still very painful. I checked about contacts and would have paid what ever I had to in order to remove his pain but first he was too young. Then when he was old enough he had such a severe sitgmatizum that he could only wear a hard type with a weight to keep them lined up correctly. We got them but he did not wear them all the time because they are very painful.

        Comparing someone who has had to where eye glasses to some current fashion fad would be like if a fad came out where hearing aids became a fashion accessory. Someone who has lived through the pain and challenges of wearing hearing aids to do something that others take for granted, then so dumby down playing by saying that we’ve always wore earrings etc.!!
        Or if people started wearing leg braces just because they decorated your legs!

        Fashion should never step over the boundary of pain that many have had to endure to survive!

      3. People wear glasses because they have a vision disability, ranging from very mild to severe and they wear glasses to correct this. This is the only disability that people think it’s okay to imitate. No one would wear hearing aids in front of someone who actually needs them, no one would wear a leg brace or go wheeling around in a wheel chair. Most people would find that insensitive, so why do it to people who wear glasses? Do people forget that those who wear glasses have a disability?

  2. Yes, people without the crippling (I once got on the wrong jeep because I stepped on my glasses while crossing the street. It was not a good day.) need for glasses should not wear glasses.

    Though I actually feel a certain twisted joy whenever people tried on my glasses and got insta-migrained.

    Also, always an entertaining read.

    1. How did you step on your glasses while crossing the street?

      I know! But I hate it when they ask “Do you really need those?” or take it away from you cause, bullies. 😦

      Thank you, I try. Hahahaha!

      1. It was one of those days that seemed to be penned by Lemony Snicket. I had fallen asleep with them on, and I’m guessing that loosened one of the hinges. Slow motion: Glasses fall off, I panic because I’m in the middle of the road, I shuffle my feet looking for them because I can’t see, I step on them.

        Also, bullies. Thank God I was big enough by then to sort of shove them aside.

      2. I loath those days. 😦 Now I only wear plastic glasses, cause they’re more durable and mostly have no hinges. My glasses don’t even have the nose pads — it’s just plastic cause I hate those things.

        Also, bullies 😦 Bullies were the worst thing about having glasses. They were exceptionally creative about breaking or taking them too.

  3. i just got pair of these today (since i actually needs glasses cause im blind as a bat) but anyways now im scared that people are gonna think im a wanna be hipster ; – ; i had smaller glasses before but i changed to these….why did i do such a thing

  4. I agree. I have always worn Ray Bans frames with my lenses, after finding out that my migraines are related to eye strain. When trying on the variety of frames, the only ones that I actually looked in the mirror and thought “okay, I can live with these” were the ray bans. This was long before I started noticing the whole lensless thick rim or fake lens fashion.
    Since I only need my glasses when looking at a screen, reading or drawing (studying hand drawn animation, this means a lot) and dont have them on occasionally, I have had to get used to people sniggering “hipster” and calling me a fake. I actually had a girl rip the frames off my face in a moment of angerafter I told her I need them.

    1. I can’t believe she would rip the glasses off your face! How rude! :/ I get migraines too, so the right kind of frame is as important as glasses (I’ve found over the years that narrow frames tend to contribute to migraine days).

  5. i know the feeling i also picked out Ray bans, and people constantly think their fake, and i have the exact same problem with people pulling them of my face. People need to seriously grow up, and realize there’s people who actually need glasses like us. I hate my glasses constantly dirty, and i swear they like to run away, and play hiding seek while i’m sleeping cause i can never find them in the morning.

    1. I know that feeling! I always try to put them in the same place and they’re so hard to find when you’re half-blind and half-asleep. :)) I know people saw you should always put them in the same place, but I always forget.

  6. I don’t know if you are joking or you are serious, but…if it was a joke, a excuse to tell your story, I really got a good laugh and felt your pain, even though I don’t need glasses. However, if you were serious, dude…I’ve recently acquired a round glasses (but I’m going to take off the lenses), to use just to have fun, or to look cool! There’s no deep thought about it, of course, we, the “fake glassers”, are going to Receive the good part without having to suffer the consequences of the bad parts, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve the good part! We deserve just as much as you do, although, we don’t suffer the bad part! But, hey, I understand your frustration, just don’t go saying that you hate us, because we don’t need glasses, and wear them. It’s like wearing a ring, when you are not dating anyone. Just because it’s not full filing its primary function, doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good on you!

  7. Love this article. My sentiments exactly.

    I got my first pair of glasses during my second year of first grade. (I had to repeat first grade, because I couldn’t read. They all thought I was too stupid to read. Then they realized the reason I couldn’t tell you which letter was on the board was because I couldn’t see it. Ha.) When I got to middle school I started wearing contacts every day because my parents were fortunate enough to be able to pay for them. Now that I’m a young adult with bills and insurance and a mortgage, I just can’t afford buying contacts every couple of months. I stick with my glasses now, more so for economic reasons than for “fashion”.

    1. I’m so sorry you had to go through that! I must have been a terrible experience.

      Are contacts expensive where you’re from? I realize that frame, lens and contact prices vary from country to country.

  8. Hell yeah, sister, I know that feeling, they used to call me “Four-eyed” when I was in early school, and now? They made it fashionable to wear their stupid hipster glassess? SCREW THEM

  9. I was confused as to why anyone would wear frames without lenses. I think my confusion stemmed from my own experiences being teased as a kid because I wore glasses as a child. It appears it began in Asian countries by those who wanted to create the illusion of bigger eyes. From there it became trendy.

    However I too felt some bitterness at those who sought to be fashionable but I wasn’t quite sure why. After reading this article and the comments I understand my feelings better. I think it’s ridiculous but then again I don’t care for skinny jeans…

    Thanks for helping me understand.

  10. To the two people in the comments talking in support of wearing frames, are you serious? Can you actually see what you typed?

    Imagine saying that to someone’s face. Neigh, imagine saying that about hearing aids or wheelchairs or leg brace or any common tool/accessory that disabled people have to use. Are you INSANE!?

    You sound SO warped in the head I can barely fathom it.

    “Oh we didn’t have the bad but we deserve the good”. NO. No. You do not. No more than you deserve sympathy for someone with a broken leg in a cast, if you don’t ACTUALLY have one.

    Glasses are for TWO things. 1) correct the vision of a disability. Not a drastically life-altering one, but one all the same. And 2) to protect the eyes from harsh sunlight.

    The second is a viable fashion statement because it’s a universal issue, and isn’t a tool to deal with a disability, the former is A CORRECTIVE TOOL.

    Glasses can be fashionable BUT THEY ARE NOT A FASHION STATEMENT.

    Normally this doesn’t bother me, I just shake my head inside at the buffoons wearing fake glasses, but to say what you guys did? Amazing. Genuinely, I am astounded at the moronity. Really!

    1. This kind of shallow mindset is just unbelievable. Everything can be a fashion statement. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tool for disability or not. The glasses these so called “Hipsters” are wearing are not a disablity tool. That’s the end of it. I’m personally wearing hearing aid since I have been a little kid. Of course this is something which will never happen, but imagine people wearing hearing aids for fashion’s sake, so what ? Should I feel insulted by that. I have been on a wheelchair many many months of my life, is someone wants to be on a wheelchair just for fun so what ? Come on man, this is the moronity you are talking about.

      1. Yes, you do have a point and I support your opinion that this is a shallow bone of contention, in terms of fashion. This is just my opinion about having to wear frames my whole life. I don’t agree with your statement that “everything can be a fashion statement.” Certain aspects should be carefully considered, such as cultural appropriation. For example, wearing traditional Native American headdresses to festivals, or bindis or other culturally significant symbols might be offensive. While glasses are considered a “mild” easily correctable disability, it doesn’t discount my experience as a child. Wearing glasses resulted in severe bullying for me, and a lot of anxiety later on, and I hope it isn’t “shallow” to share that experience! 😀

  11. As a person with terrible vision (+8 left eye, + 6 right eye) I completely see your point and agree with almost everything you said. I am, however, torn to a degree…on one side of the coin I hate how glasses have been co-opted by people who never had to experience the shit that came with them before they were fashionable…..on the other, part of me is glad that glasses are now fashionable/ socially acceptable to the point that people wear fake ones. Look on the bright side, the “hipster” movement has made life easier for many future children that have no choice to wear glasses. If I have a kid that needs glasses, I’m sure they’ll have it easier than I ever did

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