Wednesday, October 27, 2010

women with glasses: usurping the gaze

check out my new specs! my mother gave me an early birthday/christmas present: a lovely oxblood pair of burberry glasses. thank goodness, because my last pair were beyond scratched up and my prescription had changed a wee bit. i really enjoyed them but you know how it goes, even the best of glasses don't really last more than two or three years. especially when you are too broke to afford contacts and you have no choice but to wear them day in, day out.

here they are for reference:

in a perfect world, i would be able to find a pair of vintage cateye glasses that comfortable fit me, or would have enough money to splurge on a pair from urban spectacles. i think these would suit me quite nicely:

i do have a pair of vintage frames but with clear lenses, but they are a little broken and a little too small for me. here's a picture from when i first got them in winter 2009:

but this post isn't about me! it's about women who wear glasses in general. it's only recently that i've really started to enjoy wearing glasses 24/7 (well, aside from the time spent sleeping, of course). i have a lot more theoretical ideas about women and glasses but those are thoughts we can flesh out another time. here are some photos of women who wear glasses exquisitely well:

The woman who wears glasses constitutes one of the most intense visual clichés of the cinema. The image is a heavily marked condesation of motifs concerned with repressed sexuality, knowledge, visibility and vision, intellectuality, and desire.
The woman with glasses signifies simultaneously intellectuality and undesirability; but the moment the removes her glasses (a moment which, it seems, must almost always be shown and which is itself linked with a certain sensual quality), she is transformed into spectacle, the very picture of desire. Now, it must be remembered that the cliché is a heavily loaded moment of signification, a social knot of meaning. It is characterized by
an effect of ease and naturalness. Yet, the cliché has a binding power so strong that it indicates a precise moment of ideological danger or threat — in this case, the woman’s appropriation of the gaze. Glasses worn by a woman in the cinema do not generally signify a deficiency in seeing but an active looking, or even simply the fact of seeing as opposed to being seen. The intellectual woman looks and analyses, and in usurping the gaze she poses a threat to an entire system of representation.

roxanne aka persephassa. aren't these just wonderful? flashy but understated, i think they go so well with her complexion. you can even get the same pair on ebay! roxanne has pretty much the best taste of anyone ever in the history of the world, so it is unsurprising all of her glasses are magnificent.

the girl from hk, ldn & sf
it was so hard to just pick one picture of her, she has so many lovely frames!

one day you will be mine, perfect cat eye frames that are in my price range.
from framesbaby


Anonymous said...

I love people who wear glasses well. People always told me that I was one of those, but I never believed them; I recently switched to contacts, in part because of sports issues. But whenever I see images like these, I want to go and pull my Danish KLIIK glasses out from their little pink case....

billie said...

Thanks for sharing more frames for my never-ending search/collection!

jesse.anne.o said...

From 2nd grade on, I've been a glasses-wearer but the no peripheral vision and rubbing on my face drives me insane. I tend to feel like I'm still wearing my PJs sometimes when I wear glasses.

But I have been wearing them more. I have 2 frames I like a lot and I'd like to get 2 or 3 more (red, teal, clear acrylic) - thankfully my eyesight hasn't changed much in the last few years and I finally have vision insurance.

I do wonder how nerd-chic has changed some of that glasses stigma.

kore said...

love mary ann!

rjr said...

I absolutely love glasses! I've been a somewhat newbie spec eyes started going wonky at age 24 or so. The glasses that I have right now are my most favourite.

Karine said...

Wow eyesware porn, thank you Julia! Now if only I had paid benefits from my job to buy more frames, I'd be super duper happy!

julia aka garconniere said...

i'm glad you guys appreciate it!

billie: anytime! you often fulfill my needs!

jesse: as always, i feel like we're on very similar wavelengths. one day i'd like to deconstruct the trend of wearing frames without lenses and how true vision impaired folks feel about that.... lots to unpack.

rjr: i've been wearing glasses since the 6th grade! what do your current frames look like?

karine: i hear ya. like i said, super happy to have received these as a christmas/birthday present from my mom. hopefully someday soon i'll be able to put enough aside to indulge in another pair.

avalonne lou summers said...

Thank you for including me in your post. I do love wearing glasses. I've been wearing glasses since I was 10, but it took me a while to embrace them, only because when I was a kid, I wore awful metal frames! Your new glasses are amazing, great color! :)

samantha. said...

I wrote a very similar post here:

are we sisters from another mister?
love your blog!


Dreamy Girl said...

I have worn glasses every day since about 4th grade and I've never minded it. I've never felt my face looked right without glasses! Also the stereotype of being sexy after taking your glasses off might come from...dah dah dah...taking your glasses off before making out/sex. I know I do this! Otherwise, my and my boyfriend would always be bumping glasses and it could lead to scratches on the lenses or something terrible like that!

Vincent said...

Hmm. The glasses come off moment in movies and TV is still a pretty alluring visual. Nonetheless, there's something quite impressive about women wearing glasses. It's all in the way you wear them, and how you carry yourself. You've shown in the pics (which includes you) that glasses can be hip or cute. A bit of confidence goes a long way, indeed.

- Vincent Davis

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