When Clark Kent transforms into Superman, one of the first things he does is take off his glasses, revealing his alter ego. Unlike the Man of Steel, the first thing I do everyday when I awake is put my glasses on. These black, thick-framed, square-like, Italian-made, –3.50 prescription lens in the right and –3.25 prescription lens in the left, 32-rhinestone-encrusted glasses not only allow me to see properly, but they also let me comfortably express who I am and assume my true identity.

By eighth grade wearing glasses wasn’t only a visionary necessity, but a personality statement. Around that time my passion for music was already beginning to take hold when I came across a band by the name of Weezer. Their lyrics, riffs, and style were something I could completely get behind. Like every other 14-year-old girl, I thought the lead singer was dreamy. He was rather odd for a musician, but I found each of his quirks utterly adorable, especially his dork-esque glasses. Soon thereafter, I went to my local optometrist and purchased a new pair of eyeglasses. They were black framed, with a 1950s shape and equally as nerdy as the lead singer’s pair. They got me through the better part of eighth grade and all of ninth with perfect vision, but as intended, they were very dorky. While that was initially the point, being too dorky ultimately just wasn’t me. Those puny black glasses were all wrong. I needed a new pair of glasses to announce my maturing self. My eyes were destined for far better spectacles.

While most people find wearing glasses to be a punishment because such individuals are dependent on this one item to function in the world, I have found it liberating. For my whole life, I never tried to be anybody else. I just always did my own thing. Because of that I usually stood out in the crowd. Even at birth I stuck out. In the neo-natal room where all the other babies had either dark hair or none at all, my head was coated with red peach fuzz. As my vision worsens and my personality evolves, each new pair of glasses mirrors my personality more and more and even enhances it. The latest pair, with rhinestones and all, balances my knack for fashion with my inner movie-geek tendencies and harmonizes my music enthusiast with my literary nerd. For a hunk of plastic, molded to sit atop my lightly freckled nose, my glasses sure do convey a lot.

Everyone sees the world differently. While Superman had to remove Clark Kent’s glasses for his heroic self to emerge, I have to slide mine on to produce the same effect. My glasses allow me to have vision like those with normal eyes, though they hardly make me see like everyone else. In fact, glasses and all, I was voted Most Unique by my grade for the yearbook superlative. While it has been coded in my genes that I don’t have perfect vision, those same inimitable genes allow me to embrace my glasses and, unlike Superman, never hide behind them.

Return to College Admissions Service