One of the 1st-graders in my class recently got glasses.
The frames are dark and there are sparkly designs on the sides.
She told us ahead of time that she was getting them. And when she walked into class with glasses for the first time, I noticed and made sure to mention how great they looked. She smiled and seemed pretty excited about her new accessory.
Then at recess a few days later, she wasn’t so happy.
“Nice glasses,” I told her again.
“I don’t like them,” she told me.
“What? Why not?” I asked.
“They look dumb,” she said.
“They don’t look dumb,” I said, kneeling down to look at her. “You look great in glasses. And you have this cool design on the side. I love that!”
She sort of smiled but didn’t seem convinced that these lenses were a great addition to her life.
“I wear glasses too,” I said, hoping to show her that she wasn’t alone. But the space in front of my eyes was empty. “I have contacts,” I pointed at my eyes, “but I wear glasses too.”
I realized I probably wasn’t very convincing. I wasn’t wearing my glasses that day and I rarely wear them to work. How could I tell her to not be afraid of glasses if, at times, I’m still afraid to wear mine?
I started wearing glasses when I was 9. It was fun to have my friends notice and I loved being able to see clearly! Somewhere around age 18, I started feeling that I looked prettier without my glasses. I started wearing contacts for special events or sometimes, just when I felt like it. This feeling eventually turned into often feeling insecure when I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
Nowadays, I go back and forth. I usually wear my contacts (and definitely wear them to any event where I’ll need some extra confidence!) but I like my glasses too.
A few days after my talk with the 1st-grader, I wore my glasses to work.
“Beautiful glasses!” she said as she ran to hug me at the start of class.
Beautiful, she called them.
I hope she knows hers are too.