Throwin’ Em Shades – Thoughts on Sunglasses


 The other day I was told by a fairly close acquaintance that when I wear my aviators, I have resting bitch face. Some friend, right? But as much as I’d like to casually brush the observation away, she had a point and, even worse, I’ve been told this before. I started to think about it: was it my mood? Did I always look like someone shat on my front porch or my favorite necklace broke? Before I could finish psycho-analyzing myself, she told me why.

“No, it’s your Ray Bans,” she said. “They make you look like you’re frowning all the time.”

Aviators just so happened to fall into my life while rummaging through the attic to find my dad’s flight suit. He was a flight surgeon back in the 80’s when Top Gun and shirtless sweaty volleyball montages were at its prime. I found the shades and asked him if I could “borrow” them for a while. Years later and their still my favorite frames, even if they pull my frown down.

Aren’t we all on an endless quest for the perfect frames for fantastic face-framing? I can’t think of a more fun and more financially accessible way to change your persona. Let’s throw some light onto Clark Kent. In the 1970s, it was theorized that Kent’s glasses, made of Krypton materials, emitted a low-level super-hypnosis power that gave the illusion to others that he was a weaker human being. It doesn’t really work, though, because if Batman and select members of the Justice League can see the superhero behind the frames, everyone can, right?

We might be concealing dark circles or pink eye rather than our identity, but in terms of our wardrobe, sunglasses are a security blanket. Several of my friends will wear them regardless of cloud coverage, even when it’s raining and snowing just because it shields them from forced eye contact with strangers or squinting through drizzling rain or bright sunshine.


“The eyes are the groin of the head” – Dwight Schrute

One might see this as social anxiety, but let’s look at it:  Imagine a perfect time-traveling world where you could go on a date with someone twice, the first time with sunglasses and without. You’re going on a walk (where, Meg? I don’t care, you pick). Date #1, you don’t have shades. Eye contact is made directly, it may feel a little awkward. You’re pupils are showing, nekkid. You don’t look at your date much, he can see right into the groin of your head. Date #2: with glasses. Deep breath, you can relax now. Go ahead and make eye contact whenever you feel like it. Check them out: he can’t see if you’re looking at his eyes or his ass. More mystery! More intrigue! More topics to discuss! Marriage! Babies! All because of some tinted lenses.

So I stand by you, shades, a staunch supporter of hiding our true identities to strangers. You have made me look like I have shit to do today. Your lenses save me from eye contact. The world is harshing my vision and I need a shield: you are that shield. If your day is made more bearable by two lenses, I salute you.

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