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Retropeeper: Private Eye(wear)

As someone who (touch wood) currently has no serious visual impairments, I have lived for my 36 years on this planet glasses-free. Aren’t I lucky? Well, yes – I guess I am, but I can never resist an opportunity to accessorize and thus, I have always felt my face was missing out on style options. This is where Retropeepers come in. Their blue-light glasses are perfect for people like me who want to literally frame their face for purely cosmetic reasons.


I have always been curious about the stereotypes behind spectacle-wearing. Do men really not make passes at girls who wear glasses? Will wearing glasses make me more intelligent - or at least appear that way (which is half the battle, as I can vouch, as a curvaceous platinum blonde with a CANTAB Masters)? I decided to go undercover and wear my Betty Blue-lights for a day to see how friends and strangers treated me…


First thing, I got up, dressed and did my makeup. I always enjoy a feline eyeliner flick and red lipstick with cat-eye glasses, so I thought I would channel Marilyn in her infamous role in How to Marry a Millionaire. Walking to the station, I enjoyed the sunrise without some of the glare (thanks blue lights), and, jumping on the train to the office, I was treated with the normal level of zombified insouciance that most commuters exude.


Walking into Starbucks for my morning shot, I was very conscious of my appearance. This would be the first big test. However, with my mask, I found it more testing to see through my clouded-up lenses. I used to occasionally be given free coffees when I was able to flash a big toothy grin at staff – but these days, you take what you get. The interaction went off seamlessly, if without note.


Next, I headed to my Mayfair office. Would any of my friendly co-workers comment? As the office has been relatively sparsely populated since the new year, I was unsure who would be around. As it turned out, very few people were in and those who were seemed relatively unphased by my new face fashion. I guess that, when you regularly show up dressed in unusual outfits, a new pair of glasses seems relatively tame.


Throughout the day, I had some video-call meetings booked in. I'm a writer, so these consisted of mostly new interviewees and some planning for events with which my publication will be partnering. As these people have never met me before, it is hard to judge how they would have treated me without glasses, but everyone was very respectful towards me and the vibe was potentially slightly less light-hearted than my normal calls. Subconsciously, I think the glasses made me feel that I had to live up to my more intelligent, proficient facade, which made me more professional and less ‘ditsy’.


After work, I had plans to meet some friends for drinks in the bar. Again, the initial response was muted aside from casual, reassuring ‘ooh you look nice’ comments. However, as they know me more closely, they smelled a rat and probed deeper by questioning the prescription. As soon as they knew that, yet again, I was dressing for show as opposed to being visually impaired, my cover was blown. The typical levels of silliness resumed and we had a pleasant evening giggling in the corner.


I arrived home slightly merry to my boyfriend, with whom the jig was up instantaneously. However, he was very happy for me to keep my specs on – apparently, some men do make passes at girls who wear glasses. Myth busted!

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