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Optical illusions: A life behind the lenses

I was six years old when I first donned a pair of pink plastic frames with lenses as thick as windowpanes.

I was six years old when I first donned a pair of pink plastic frames with lenses as thick as windowpanes. I don’t think I realized it then but my face would never be the same.

Anyone who has grown up in glasses will tell you that spending your middle school years behind lenses isn’t all that fun. My poor eyesight always forced me to the front of the class and made team sports nearly impossible. Even if boys did make passes at me in my glasses (which they didn’t), I was too blind to notice.

For years I dreaded the annual trip to the optometrist, knowing that, no matter what I did, I would perform worse and worse each time. Thankfully, like most young adults with impaired vision, my prescription started to level off when I hit my early twenties.

Today, my Rx for distance vision is a solid - 6.50 and I’m experiencing a slow degeneration rather than a rapid decent into darkness.

Had my eyes continued to worsen at the rate they were going, I would have been legally blind before my 25th birthday.

Those with 20/20 vision cannot even begin to understand what the world is like for us four-eyed folk. In the shower I have to hold the bottle of shampoo half an inch from my face to read the label in order to avoid inadvertently lathering my hair with body wash — it’s happened on more than one occasion.

At 13, I was finally able to convince my parents that wearing glasses AND braces would surely secure my status as a high school uber-dork, a nightmare that would haunt me for all eternity.

I made the transition to contact lenses and never looked back.

And, yet, after 20 years of being unbearably nerdy, my prescription lenses are finally in fashion.

Optical boutiques are shilling pricey retro lenses as a must-have accessory while mass retailers sell oversized plastic specs with clear lenses to irony-loving trend-followers salivating over the geek-chic aesthetic.

As someone sentenced to a life of nearsightedness I resent those poseurs in their fashion frames, mocking me with their perfect vision.

To me, your ironic non-prescription glasses are the equivalent of strutting around with a decorative cane when you’re perfectly capable of walking.

Glasses are not just some hollow fashion statement; they should be purchased out of necessity and worn for vision correction, not for their hipster cachet.

 
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