This is a bit of a move away from my normal stuff. Don’t worry I have lots of lovely autumn style finds to share, but I just have something to say on this subject, so here we go..
Hattie has worn glasses since she was two years old. I don’t think she even remembers life before glasses. We never had a problem with her keeping them on even at that tiny age. I think it was because she loved that she could actually see with them. She REALLY needs glasses and will do for the rest of her life.
When Hattie started back at school in year 1 a couple of weeks ago, she settled straight back in so well, she just LOVES school. But over the past week she’s started saying that she doesn’t want to wear her glasses and she prefers her face without them.
She’s actually been hiding her glasses too and telling me she doesn’t need them anymore and can see just fine without them. (She has a huge prescription so this is most definitely not the case.)
It’s so upsetting to hear. And it’s scaring me that she’s starting to grow up and become aware of her looks. She doesn’t want to be different.
I think she looks adorable in her little round wire specs and I have told her so. But the fact is, she’s the only kid in her year who has to wear them and that makes her stand out. She’s 5 and she doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd. She keeps telling me that she doesn’t want to look like Harry Potter. And she’s so sick of other children asking to try her glasses on too.
I obviously want to try and help her see that it’s great to be unique and it makes her special. To know that we’re all born differently and for her to not feel the need to be the same as everyone else. But..Hattie isn’t the most self assured little girl and to her, at least at this stage in her life, being different is not fun.
So, I tried to show her that wearing glasses is really cool too.
I set about looking for some cool, popular, bespectacled role models. I was sure this would be nothing more than a quick google search. I was shocked to find that despite there being Disney Princesses of every race and ethnicity, there weren’t ANY who wore glasses. It’s totally crazy! I know the whole ‘princess’ obsession is shallow and we all try and encourage our girls to see beyond looks and fancy dresses. But many little girls are naturally drawn to those pretty princesses and fairies. I simply couldn’t find one glamorous glasses-wearing girl in the media. It seems to be an image that is totally absent.
So, take a look at what did crop up in my search…
Every single character I found who wore glasses was either the ‘smart one’ or the ‘nerdy one’. They’re all in frumpy clothes and turtle necks and are most certainly not the heroines. Being bookish, wearing dowdy colours and sensible footwear seems to go hand in hand with wearing glasses in the mainstream media. I mean, Anne Hawathay actually has to ditch her glasses when she becomes Princess of Genova in The Princess Diaries. According to that movie, glasses are not suitable for a princess, along with unkempt eyebrows, bushy hair and general unglamorous-ness. Uch.
The most attractive of the bunch is the sporadic character from Sofia the 1st. And, although I do personally love her look, there is no denying the fact that she doesn’t have a sparkly dress and long flowing “princes hair” or even a crown like the other characters. What is this teaching our impressionable little girls?!?
Hattie will be fine and she will get over it. Another little girl in her class will most probably be prescribed glasses and she will feel less alone. But I can’t get over how bad it is that my beautiful little girl is feeling ugly in her glasses and there isn’t any positive role model out there for her to look up to.
What would you do? Any tips from glasses wearing gals will be gratefully received!
Oh and I don’t think this is just limited to the girls. I mean, boys now have Harry Potter but before him there was Clarke Kent who also had to remove his glasses to become a superhero. Glasses were his disguise.. Because just like the princesses, apparently a superhero wouldn’t ever wear glasses. Have you found your boys have struggled too?