Monday, September 28, 2009

The Megane-CHANGE!

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in 6th grade. Completely innocuous on the shelf, my pair of choice had light blue frames, rounded triangular lenses, and a polycarbonate coating to prevent scratching and chipping. When they arrived, all shiny and new, I innocently put them on without even thinking about the consequences. However, as soon as those baby blue frames settled on my face, a drastic transformation took place. My hair became rattier, my skin became mottled, my face broke out, and a group of boys running by yelled "HEY THERE FOUR EYES!" at me. Mortified, I quickly snatched off my glasses...and watched as my hair smoothed out, my skin cleared up, and the group of boys immediately changed directions and asked if they could take me roller skating. "Ahhh," I thought to myself as I fended off my new-found suitors, "so THIS is the transforming power of removing your glasses."

Obviously, the above story is a load of shenani-bull-crap, but I made it up to demonstrate a common plot point in many many MANY mangas I have read: the transformation that the main female character undergoes when she removes her glasses. For some inexplicable reason, the accessory of glasses does much to dissuade the attentions of other people, either platonic or amorous in nature. Those two pieces of concave glass do much damage indeed to one's social calendar, for the bearer of such unfortunate but necessary evils is regarded as an uninteresting, socially inept, total freak-o nerd girl, not worth the attention of anyone in her school, and certainly not worth the attention of the most handsome boy in the school.

Such a transformation!!!

But wait! Once she removes her glasses, be it by force (such as a group of boys teasing her about her glasses and snatching them off), accident (tripping or falling such that her glasses go flying), or by her own volition (oh, I have something in my eye and I must remove my glasses to get it), she becomes absolutely irresistible.

"Such beauty to behold behind those glasses!"

"How could we have missed it?"

"Ah, it was those clear pieces of glass that were obstructing our view!"

At this point, half the school then becomes enamoured of the former bookworm/social pariah, and her life is duly transformed. All because of her glasses.

This isn't just a Japanese/Korean comic thing; Hollywood pumps out numerous chick flicks every year, and a lot of them focus on this drastic transformation of sans glasses. "She's All That," for one, epitomizes this change, as the main character morphs from a geeky, artsty fartsy, nerd girl to a siren-in-a-red-dress-and-heels. Sigh. Preposterous. But entertaining.

My personal pair of beauty masking lenses: they have eggplant colored frames!

Now, as a glasses wearer going on 8 years here, I can definitively assure you that this has NEVER happened to me. If it had, I would be whipping my glasses off left and right in front of every cute boy on campus. Actually, I would probably go and stalk all the available men in Hollywood and make them succumb to my charm (Target #1: George Clooney, the perpetual bachelor). But that's not how it works. And that's not how things will EVER work. For ANYBODY who wears glasses.

I suppose it's an easy way to somehow get two characters interested in each other. It certainly has entertainment value, as the idea of the school nerd and school prince getting together is bound to raise some blood pressures, inflame passions, and provoke the extension of claws among the more catty. We'll have to wait until a new way is developed to incite romantic interest in the removal of another accessory, such as your earrings, or maybe contacts even (so much is concealed behind those concave, clear sheets of silicone!). But until then, glasses it is.


PS: Manga featured - Kare First Love, by Kaho Miyasaka. Credits to!

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