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· Fashion Notes: Making a Spectacle of Myself

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Fashion Notes: Making a Spectacle of Myself
by Anne

As far as inconvenient surprises go, I've never been as flummoxed as, when on a camping trip last winter, I woke up to find that one of the legs of my glasses had broken clean off the frame, presumably when I rolled over the cold-brittle frame in my sleep. Since then, I'd mostly been getting by on the power of scotch-tape, and as may be expected, had to deal with the frame constantly falling apart on me, as well as probably a lot of strange looks that I never noticed.

My tendencies toward procrastination, however, meant that I didn't get up off my ass and start looking for a replacement until August. Notwithstanding, this was an opportunity I'd been looking forward to for years.

You see, while my old glasses had been nice enough, their appearance could best be described as "nerdy". I looked like every stereotypical badly-dressed Asian kid holed in the library, managing the honor roll every quarter but with no social skills to speak of.

Which, there's nothing wrong with being that (and I was) but even apart from that, I found my old wire frames neither here nor there, as if trying too hard to be inconspicuous. This glaringly misses the point, because no matter how thin the frames are—or even nonexistent, a style that was popular in the early years of this millennium—no one was ever going to miss the fact that I was wearing glasses. And I thought, if my glasses were going to be the focal point of my face anyway, why not make them more assertive, more fashion-forward?

I was still apprehensive, though, and I worried I was just blindly following a trend, without regard for how it would actually suit me. Would not the thick frames close in on my eyes and make them look smaller? Would they dominate my face and swamp my features? Would I be doomed to wearing minimal makeup for as long as I wore them, for fear of all the colors overwhelming my face?

And yet, despite my misgivings, it was the bold frames—and in a claret red at that—that called out to me, and, surprisingly, the strong color and shape flattered my features better. As it turns out, the frames play surprisingly well with makeup, even the brighter red lipstick shown here. The clarity of my features (black-lashed and almond-shaped eyes, a defined nose, and full lips) has always been my strong point, and the frames did not draw attention away from them as I had feared they would, but reframed my face in terms of broad strokes, throwing my features into stronger relief. The poor texture of my skin is less apparent in this photograph, because they are simply less noticeable against the brightness of the frames.


The new frames also removed my image further from that of the uptight and plain intellectual, which is a change I like, though admittedly the effect is also more generic, more fashion-conscious, and perhaps less expressive of my actual personality. Still, it's not as if my identity has undergone a change: these are just another accoutrement, after all, and if it turns out to be a mistake, well then that's easily reversed by another camping trip. And when better to try on new personas and appearances than in (my rapidly dwindling) foolish and innocent youth?


10/12/2012 [2]

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