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November 25, 2020

Should You Wear Fake Glasses?

Julie Ross Myers

The Vision Council of America has found 19% of American adults have worn glasses without needing them.

Glasses make you look smarter

Susan Krauss Whitbourne of the University of Massachusetts Amherst states the social benefits of wearing glasses are behind the growing fashionability of eyewear.

Princeton sophomore Arman Badrei explained "people want to wear glasses for a reason." Wearing eyeglasses is associated with greater intelligence, honesty, sophistication, and industriousness. Fake glasses can help convey the right image because in today's world perception is everything.

The image-making power of eyeglasses is real. Criminal defense lawyers often have their clients wear fake glasses because doing so makes them seem less capable of violence. It's called the "nerd defense" and it can win an acquittal even if there is overwhelming evidence the accused committed the crime.

It's true, nerds wear glasses

Nerdy stereotypes hold true. Research has shown that people with high IQs are almost 30% more likely to need glasses. Conducted by a team from Scotland's University of Edinburgh, the study looked at data from 300,000 people and found that poor vision is in fact linked to higher intelligence.

Only 5% of adults have an IQ above 120. In contrast, 40% of adults aged 20 - 4o years need corrective eyewear according to a CBS study. So, while smart people are more likely to wear glasses, most people who wear glasses are not brainiacs.

But fake glasses can change the real you

Science has found that counterfeit fashion is not a harmless white lie. People don't realize fake fashion creates a mindset that enables them to fall into dishonesty more easily.

For example, fashion writer and cosmetic dentist Laura Ruof admits she wears fake glasses because they "look cool," especially on Instagram. But her idea of "the truth" seems strangely twisted.

Maybe I don't need glasses for vision's sake, but for fashion's sake. When people ask, I tell them, "Yes, I need to wear glasses." And I'm telling the truth.

Laura Ruoff, Refinery 29
Photo of Laura Ruof by Jennifer Trahan

It may seem like splitting hairs, but chipping away at personal authenticity erodes integrity. There are always consequences, even for seemingly insignificant actions. Telling a small lie makes it easier to tell a bigger lie. And before you know it, you're a habitual liar.

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