Edith Head, Gloria Steinem, and Grace Kelly
I've worn glasses since I was in second grade. Although I also had contacts by the time I was 13, I've always considered spectacles to be a large component of my visual identity. This aspect of personal style became significant to me as a young adult because I was involved in a subculture that valued bookish, studied, intellectualism. It wasn't afraid of being called nerdy.
Michael Caine and Jean Luc Godard
I was listening to music from the riot grrl and punk scene and began reading feminist theories that taught me about objectification and the politics of looking.
Glasses became a theoretical starting point from where to reject normative standards of beauty.
Malcolm X and Kurt Cobain
They allowed me to have more control over not only how I saw the world, but also how I was objectified by the gazes of others. I considered them to provide visual shorthand; a sign that signified my subcultural affiliations and intellectual interests to other likeminded young women and men.
Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Chisholm
Peter Sellers and Marcello Mastroianni
To this day, when I do wear my contacts, it is disorienting. Not only can I see peripherally with the help of the contacts, but I feel like something is missing from my face. I feel naked without my glasses.
Anouk AimeeAnd I continue to draw optical inspiration from the precious and rare bespectacled icons of visual cultural history.