In my early 20s, fresh out of college and full of an enthusiastic energy that required no coffee, I felt confident in my skin – or so I thought. The power of words are enough to make or break you. One particular day at work, a superior “encouraged” me not to wear my glasses as he felt I was more attractive without them, and on a side note, he added,
“Are you sure you want to get married? Your career would go a lot farther if you didn’t have that weighing you down.”
The 40-year-old me is squirming in her skin recalling this brief encounter with an imbecile. Oh, what I would have told him if I had the wisdom and bearings I posses now! Instead, I kindly assured him that the love of my life was an asset to my life and not a burden; however, the glasses comment struck a nerve.
I felt self-conscious after that and wore contacts until the moment I went to bed at night and for years felt the tiny pang of unattractiveness whenever I donned my specs. So I didn’t wear them. Despite the fact that my husband raved about my beauty while wearing my glasses (you see, the first day we met I was wearing them), that one brief conversation years ago was enough to plant a seed of doubt in my mind.
Fast-forward a little more than 10 years and I gave birth to my third child. The marriage had not been a detriment to my career or my life overall, so there! (Sticks tongue out at the naysayer of the past.)
A spinal headache after conception made it impossible for me to wear my contacts for weeks and reasoning that my new daughter would not recognize my face unless I had my glasses on, I wore them every minute of the day. As soon as I took them off, she furrowed her little brow and then smiled when I put them back on.
This sweet innocent chubby face looked at me with so much true love that I promptly abandoned the notion that I was not pretty enough in my glasses. As her little fingers touched my face and smudged my lenses, I felt a flicker of confidence spark inside me that quickly radiated from my pores.
What I find gloriously powerful is that wearing glasses now is chic and super cool, so once again – a WIN for the ocular-ly challenged! My personal style goal is to have multiple pairs of glasses similar to my shoe collection. Aviator, round, oval, cat eye, semi-rimless, square – the options for my face accessories abound!
If you need an eye doctor, I confidently recommend Dr. Mark Rafferty at Geneva Optometrics on Hamilton Street in historic downtown Geneva. Dr. Rafferty has been my family eye doctor for many years and is genuinely vested in his practice and the health of his patients’ peepers.
Looking for new frames? I like to shop around a bit and toggle from small boutiques to online shops like Warby Parker, where you can opt for a trial run on five pairs of glasses delivered right to your home. Need a budget-friendly set of frames? Zennioptical.com has so many options for ladies who seek style yet don’t want to break the bank.
I recently stumbled upon BonLook in Montreal and OH MY! They design their own line of frames and often partner with cool people like musical duo Milk & Bone to collaborate on creating collections like Lolly.
I’ve learned to maximize my quirky nature, which has always desperately tried to make its way out into the world. Wrestling with my true self makes for a scattered and confused soul, only half on fire instead of a full-out blaze of beauty. Remember this quote from Coco Chanel when buffoons come a-calling with opinions of what’s pretty and what is not. This sums up my outlook on confidently weaving my “flaws” into my look instead of concealing them:
“Women hide their imperfections instead of accepting them as an added charm,” Coco Chanel said.
This article originally appeared on June 30th, 2017, in the Kane County Chronicle.