When author and critic Dorothy Parker quipped, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” she had obviously never met beautiful celebrities like Alicia Keys, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Raven Simone, and Demi Moore, who all wear eyeglasses. It's hard to imagine any one of them short of suitors. Male celebrities like Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Drew Carey, Richard Gere and Kevin Costner all wear eyeglasses. Flashy musician Elton John's outrageous glasses have become part of his legend, achieving a fame all their own. In a society where lasik eye surgery can circumvent the need for eyeglasses among most poor vision sufferers, it is of no small notice that so many celebrities still opt to wear eyeglasses.
Even politicians like former vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin are widely recognized and even imitated, as their fashionable eyeglasses are very much a part of their public identity. In fact, Governor Palin's stylish specs, designed by Kazuo Kawasaki, became so popular that retail sales of the frames she wore throughout the 2008 presidential campaign skyrocketed when she joined the Republican ticket. Celebrity trendsetters have made it cool to wear eyeglasses again. Glamorous stars Sophia Loren and Lauren Hutton have their own signature lines of designer frames on the market. Hillary Duff has some spicier styles aimed at teenage girls, and Donald Trump offers a sober businesslike line for men.
In the not-so-distant past, negative stereotyping made wearing glasses unfashionable and unappealing. People who wore eyeglasses were often labeled as nerds or geeks. Recently, with the advent of widespread consumer technology, people once considered consummate geeks, like Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Wozniak of Apple, have achieved celebrity status. Geek has become chic. Steve Wozniak even had a pair of frames specially designed in the shape of the Apple computer logo.
As eyewear became fashionable, design choices expanded to keep up with the trend. The basic Clark Kent style achieved certain retro panache and is still popular, but today's consumer has a huge variety of styles to choose from, elevating eyeglasses from utilitarian necessities to must-have fashion accessories. In fact, it’s not unusual for glasses to be worn solely for aesthetic purposes by those with perfect vision. Celebrities like Ozzy Osbourne, Whoopi Goldberg, Bono, and even the late John Lennon have helped make specific styles of eyeglasses very popular. Eyeglasses are currently being designed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, colors, and tints. For those who appreciate a little extra “bling”, eyeglasses with crystals, diamonds, gold, and even titanium can be had for the right price.
Many high fashion designers like Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, Cartier, Dior and Calvin Klein – who also wears glasses -- have made quite an impact on the eyeglasses world being worn by celebrities and others with their fashionable, high-quality frame designs.
Dorothy Parker may have been correct at the time she was quoted about guys, passes, and women who wear glasses, but today’s trendsetters in specs have helped make that attitude a thing of the past.