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Monday, 3 January, 2000, 11:28 GMT
What do glasses say about a person?

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has bowed to the march of time and crossed one of the great thresholds into middle age - he's started wearing glasses.

Mr Blair admitted a wave of self-consciousness when he first pulled them on, but now he has gone public and appeared on the front of a women's magazine in his natty wire spex.

What do you think about glasses? Do they suggest a sparkling intellect, or dull boffin?

Would you ever make passes at a person with glasses? Are you put off a potential partner if they are staring through jam jars? Is the right style of frame important?

Have you been through agonies adjusting to a new look? Have glasses made you glad or glum?


One of the sexiest things ever said to me was "take off your glasses for a moment... there! Now I know what you look like in bed!"
Michele, California, USA

Glasses make you look more matured, educated and intelligent also make others to listen and respect you. Only problem is you cannot take your face closer to a person who wear glasses.
Nagarajah Manoharan, New Zealand.

I've been wearing glasses since I was about 10 or 11. I started wearing contacts at about 15 and I still do now. I like them for sports but mainly it is for appearance. I personally like glasses better than contacts because they are more comfortable (and as soon as I get home I put the old specs back on) but teenage life is teenage life and it is hard to go against the crowd. When I get older though I'll probably move back to glasses.
Keenan Ng, USA

I sleep, shower and do almost everything else with mine on! Waiting for the day when genetics or surgery will reliably allow me to ditch the blocks of glass / plastic that hang from my nose, forever!
Mark G. Evans, UK

Humbug. I have been wearing glasses since I was 10 years old for myopia. Started wearing them all the time since 1966. I never seriously considered contacts. I can't imagine myself without. I could never understand the prejudices against wearing glasses. In fact, I like glasses on a woman.
Erik Van Thienen, Belgium

My daughter has worn glasses since she was 4years old without them she would have missed out so much in life. I think they are a great invention and should not in any way be looked down upon.
Vivienne, Northern Ireland

If you need them Tony, wear them Tony!
Peter Brooks, UK

I have worn glasses since I was about 11. I changed for a while to contacts and was told I looked much better with my glasses. So Tony wear your glasses with pride.
Marina, Scotland

I've been wearing glasses since I was 9 years old and I have never thought about it one way or the other. It's just something I put on in the morning, like shoes or a coat.
Dave Janssen, USA

I have worn glasses since I was five years old. I have regarded them in later years as an "anorak" item, so I no longer wear them. My late father used to wear them as well as reading glasses, but he didn't have to wear them until he was in his 50's. It seems a co-incidence that when I walk into an opticians, all the staff seem to wear glasses, as if it is part of their uniform. I must admit that Deirdre from Coronation Street would make a great advertisement for any opticians!
George Handley UK

Geraldine, England

Glasses Schmasses! I have been wearing glasses for 16 years and no one has ever given me any negative comments about them. But may be I'm just a good-looking guy anyway! Also you can do a great imitation of Benny from the old TV soap Crossroads if you have been out in the cold and come inside to the warmth where your glasses steam up!
James, England

Its all very well to say that its time people stopped judging people by their looks - but that is easily said if you're trying to find a mate. Glasses are simply there for vision correction - I don't judge people over wearing glasses, but I do recognise that if someone has totally square frames that do not suit them in the slightest, then I am going to question their taste.
Paul Charters, England

I have been wearing glasses since 11 years old. I never knew I was short-sighted until teacher pointed out my problem. I have been wearing then ever since. I experimented with contacts, but gave up because they were too troublesome. I feel comfortable as though they are a part of me already.
Sook Wai, Malaysia

I wore glasses from the age of 3 until about 10 years ago. I was always considered to be "nerdy" by my contemporaries. When I took to wearing contact lenses, my life changed. I was no longer a nerd. Now 10 years later, when I wear my glasses I am deemed to be highly intelligent. Sometimes you just cannot win.
Stephen Burslem, Thailand

I think glasses are great! With all these designer names about, it's becoming fashionable to wear glasses.
Peter Byrne, UK

I've worn glasses for years and years and have been short sighted from the age of 16 and I really couldn't care less what people think: at least I can now see where I'm going and can read road signs etc. without climbing the poles! I've also found that most people don't care whether or not you wear glasses and the few who do care aren't worth while knowing anyway.
John, UK

Glasses don't say anything about a person. They actually look good on some faces. These days, very high profile models wear glasses as part of their modelling outfits!
Adil, USA

I have been wearing glasses since I was 12 years old and have been wearing them ever since. Although I did wear contact lenses for a while...I took the 'men-don't-make-passes-thing' seriously. That was around 5 years ago, and since then I have discovered that men do make passes at girls who wear glasses. In fact one of those men is my husband!
Nafea, Pakistan

I love my glasses and everyone else loves my glasses too.
Kev, UK

I have been wearing glasses for about three years and have gained many dates. I think my glasses make me look smart. I have the right frame that everyone likes. I think that is the major thing about glasses, it is the frames you get. If you have the right one you are not talked about.
Breanna Austin, USA

I was born the same day as Tony Blair and know I'll soon have to break down and get reading glasses. It is hardly a major problem in life, but it does tell me my days of being young and seductive are fast slipping away.
Maria Gatti, Canada

I would just like to say that it doesn't matter whether a person wears specs or not. It's time that everyone stopped judging people by appearances.
Laura Wright, UK

Whether or not one wears glasses says nothing more about a person than the quality of their vision. I wear both glasses and contact lenses (I prefer glasses while reading and contacts while playing sports - it's a matter of function). Only vanity would make more of it. Those who judge a person based upon whether or not they wear glasses are making a shallow assessment.
Paul, USA

I think glasses can be sexy. I like the mysteriousness of glasses, the way they put up a transparent barrier between the subject and his or her world and I like the drama that is made possible when one takes them off a certain way, or makes gestures with them in hand.
C.M. Sanyk, USA

I'm glad to read that people think glasses make you look kind and intelligent or even sexy. I feel mine make me look serious and dull. The truth is that I have and do, read too much.
Vivienne Bibby, Australia

Glasses don't say anything about a person. It is what a person says about the glasses that really matter.
Pratik Thaker, India

A superior being!
Mike, Malaysia

Glasses are quite expensive and opticians should be regulated and prices brought down. We are talking about being penalised for visual problems that are becoming more commonplace as many of us have to use the computer at work.
Angela, Scotland

Ah . . . a subject near to my heart. I'd like to invite everyone to my advice column, "Ask The Girl (with Glasses)" at : I've worn glasses since 4th grade (I'm 38), and only in the last decade have I embraced them as the stylish fashion accessory they are - I have six different pairs. I have very bad eyes, so my Rx is fairly thick. I get very small eyeglasses to keep the lenses thin. I think I ruined my eyes as a child by reading a lot, so I'd say glasses wearers are more intelligent than the average bear!
Erika Linden Green, USA

They make you look cool - I look far better cruising along on my motorbike wearing my prescription glasses than wrapped around a tree because I'm too vain to wear them.
Andrew Dowle, UK

Glasses have never been considered fashionable, but by labelling them as specs and refining the shape, has created a new self-confidence amongst wearers. How long will it be before 'the hearing aid' crosses the same threshold?
Simon W., UK

I first started wearing glasses at six years old and I hated them. They slip down your nose, they steam up in cold weather when you enter a warm room, you can't wear them in the bath, your school friends tease you, and I looked terrible in them. They wrecked my confidence and I can honestly say that getting contact lenses was the best thing I ever did - I've never had more than a few minutes' trouble with them. I'd never willingly go back to spectacles.
G Martin, UK

Wearing glasses says nothing about a person. Running a government without them when you need them says plenty - all of it negative.
Tom, Australia

Oh, I love my glasses! I'm shortsighted and astigmatic, but I couldn't picture my face without them. I had a short stint with contact lenses (which I'll still wear when I ski or snorkel), but I find them very uncomfortable for long periods of time. My current frames are incredibly light, suit my face and personality and most importantly, improve my vision from 20/30 (yes!) to 20/30. I couldn't live without them.
Dee , USA

I remember being very self-conscious, when I first started wearing glasses at age 11. But that is an age when you are trying to fit into a social group. Later on I started to wear contact lens. The lenses were more convenient for sports and I think that I considered myself more attractive, without glasses. Now, once again I am wearing glasses, albeit small wire framed ones. (The kind that I resisted wearing in my youth!) I would say that whether you are attractive or not depends how you feel about yourself. P.S. I agree with the previous comment about Jean Cretien.
Pat van der Veer, British, but living in Canada

It says nothing absolutely nothing. Wearing glasses will do absolutely nothing for Tony Blair. It sure won't make him smart.
Jurgen Werzter, Gerrmany

If the man who intends to make an indelible mark upon our nation and wants to be remembered for this is shy to wear glasses, then let him be remembered for his vanity.
James, UK

I think glasses say that your eyes are bad. Wear them if you need them - if you don't need them, don't wear them, as a glasses wearer I find it insulting.
Paul Midian, England

I have worn glasses since I was five years old. Through my teenage years it was not much fun, but once you get past the age where men see girls with glasses as unattractive dullards (!), glasses can be enormous fun. They are currently extremely fashionable and most men I know find them unbelievably sexy-they tell me that a great pair of eyes peering at them over the top of a pair of glasses is a real turn-on! I love looking for new styles and find glasses a true fashion accessory that can change your appearance and suit your mood. Specs appeal is definitely the way forward!
Claire A, UK

As an avid reader of talking points, this really takes the biscuit. I'm all for interesting, controversial or light hearted topics, but this is just plain irrelevant. What next - do you prefer France or Italy? Do you prefer oranges or apples? Is green nicer than blue? Get a grip!
Steve Johnson, UK

It doesn't say anything about a person only they have a visual problem. Unless of course they are one of those persons that wear fake glasses, then I would say they are..KOOL!!!
Eddie, Houston, USA

I have noticed a significant increase in my intellectual verve, since I started wearing specs.,6 years ago. One cannot really say whether glasses make a difference to a personality.
Peter Crawford-Bolton, UK in US

To be honest, I sometimes think women who have a lot of make up around their eyes to make them look more interesting, often strike me as being less intelligent (yes I know that's a little assumptions of me). I find glasses make women look more intelligent, friendly and kind as well as more attractive.
James Waters, UK

People are sexier when they are not bumping into things or screwing their eyes up trying to see distant objects. And removing someone's specs can be as intimate as removing other items of apparel!
Lisa, Belgium

It depends how confident you are while looking through the glasses. It's in the eyes, not in the frame. I remember the scene from "Eyes Wide Shut" where tom Cruise is standing by the refrigerator and Nicole Kidman is sitting on the dinning table teaching her daughter. There she looks through the glasses, from the sides, at him. That was the sexiest moment of the film, sexier than when she slips off the black dress. I think glasses show that a person is mature and he/she is in control of himself/herself. But it also has that hidden sexual energy if worn properly.
shardool vyas, USA

To wear or not to wear glasses is a matter of personal choice. Today failing eyesight can be helped by contact lenses. If a person decides to wear glasses it is up to him to choose the right frame which suits his facial physiognomy. A bad choice can make you look funny but a good choice can enhance your personality. This is not a question of hiding behind a frame but one of look. In my opinion Mr. Blair looks younger and academic with his new pair of spex.
Mario Saliba, Island of Gozo

I've worn glasses since I was six and have never felt uncomfortable with them. But one thing that makes my blood boil is the Hollywood/ advertising definition of a spectacles wearer: You are either ridiculously intelligent or moronic beyond belief. And if you have a superstar wearing glasses then it's only in the interim periods between action sequences when they seem able to function perfectly without them. Honest, we're not all Nobel Prize winners or 40-year-old virgins who still live with their mothers.
Neil Halliday, England

I tend to find that, now that I wear glasses some of the time, people's faces are much clearer, thus actually reducing their general beauty. And to say one is un-attracted to someone because of glasses is rather shallow: they are, to my knowledge, still removeable. Clothes do not make a man, nor do glasses de-beautify a woman.
Jim Cornall, English living in Canada

I feel that the right pair of glasses can give a person an extremely classy look. For women, it's a much more sophisticated way to define the eye area than using a lot of makeup.
Carol Saftner, USA

I can't see how anyone could not like wearing glasses. I guess that if the change comes in mid-life it may be a bit odd. But they're fun, an extra fashion accessory that you can play around with. People who don't need glasses have started wearing them to "look" intelligent! As for me - wire frames definitely. Do they say anything about me? Probably, I'm an IT professional...
David W. UK

There seems to be a trend at the moment for people who don't need glasses to wear them as a fashion accessory. I wear them because I need them as I'm sure the majority of 'spec wearers' do - it annoys me when you see pictures of celebrities wearing them to look cool and happening
Joel Bramwell, Wales

I've had to wear glasses since I had a detached retina when I was 14, but have often thought of getting contact lenses, especially as most of my free time is spent surfing or windsurfing. I've lost two pairs to Neptune already but, following a recent poll of female friends on whether I looked more attractive with or without glasses, discovered that 8 out of 10 preferred pieces of glass/plastic in front of my eyes to the natural look!
Rupe, UK

I've had to wear glasses since I had a detached retina when I was 14, but have often thought of getting contact lenses, especially as most of my free time is spent surfing or windsurfing. I've lost two pairs to Neptune already but, following a recent poll of female friends on whether I looked more attractive with or without glasses, discovered that 8 out of 10 preferred pieces of glass/plastic in front of my eyes to the natural look!
Rupe, UK

My spectacles announce to the world that my natural eyesight is so lousy that I require artificial augmentation to function properly. Anything else someone reads into it is merely the product of a mind with nothing better to focus on.
Rath Andor, USA

His glasses are Ok, why all the fuss??
Sandy Nuss, USA

Thanks to a head injury from bullies I have had to wear glasses since age 14 so I personally think that glasses give the illusion that the wearer is intelligent.
Richard T. Ketchum, USA

I like wearing glasses because they give me an air of intellectual superiority to those who don't! Not that i do this out of fashion, but rather out of necessity!!
Francis Chigunta, UK

I also hesitated to wear my glasses. My participant showed me what I look like by drawing my picture. I realise that I look very old now.
Jaruwan, Thailand

I have worn glasses all my life. They are such an integral part of me that I feel strange not wearing them. They have never been an impediment: without them I would not see the world clearly.
Bongkojpriya Yugala, Thailand

Glasses don't tell us anything about a person. They only tell us about frame designers and manufacturers. Those who think they do, obviously need to wear them.
A Carpenter, UK

I am encouraged to hear that Prime Minister Blair has decided to wear glasses. Perhaps now he will be able to see his way instead of slavishly following Clinton. In the case of my own prime minister, Jean Chretien even binoculars would not help him steer the course!
Anthony Chernushenko, Canada

What glasses say about a person is merely that the wearer's vision needs correction.
Tim Gullette, USA

I have worn glasses since I was five years old. Through my teenage years it was not much fun, but once you get past the age where men see girls with glasses as unnattrctive dullards (!), glasses can be enormous fun. They are currently extremely fashionable and most men I know find them unbelievably sexy-they tell me that a great pair of eyes peering at them over the top of a pair of glasses is a real turn-on! I love looking for new styles and find glasses a true fashion accessory which can change your appearance and suit your mood. Specs appeal is definately the way forward!
Claire A, UK

I've worn glasses since I was 18 as I am short-sighted. I find that when I am not wearing them, everyone looks the same - blurred blobs.
Simon Millard, UK

It is such a pane making a spectacle of oneself.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

Like many guys, I find that women who wear glasses are almost invariably made more attractive by doing so. I think it must be 'the intellectual look' - or something! The old saying: "guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" certainly isn't true in my case! Remember a couple of years ago, pop stars (in the UK anyway) led a short minor 'craze' for wearing plain glasses (with non-magnifying lens) as fashion accessories? A real boost for those of us who see glasses as 'sexy' and interesting!
Paul Anderson, Scotland

Glasses are a medical appliance - would the fashion victims wear a hearing aid if they thought it was fashionable? Probably! As for looks, I think most young people look better without glasses - as you get older this may change. My mother at 60 claims to look better with because they hide her wrinkles! I find glasses to be uncomfortable to wear for longer than a couple of hours - even after having them for many years. I prefer contact lenses, although these are not a perfect solution either.
Charlotte Thompson, UK

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