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Style History: Men Seldom Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses

February 4, 2013

L-A: I was watching Rocky and She’s All That this weekend (totally normal, right?) and came to learn that movie heroes like you with your glasses, but really, really like you when you take your glasses off. Even better, taking your glasses off is how you instantly develop a sense of style. Disheartening news as I shop for new glasses, but what are you going to do? I’ve got contacts for the days when I need to look like a lady whose got her shit together and glasses for the days when I’m looking to be a quirky hot mess.

A Brief History of Ladies (plus one dude)

and Their Makeovers

Losing the glasses or getting some lip gloss is how we get it together my friends, especially if we want someone to notice our beautiful eyes. Don’t take my word for it, pop culture and the wise words of Dot Parker are on my side. Here’s a sampling of the ladies (and one dude) who got their shit together by taking their glasses off.


I bet you never thought of either Audrey Hepburn or Julia Ormond as being geeky, and while no glasses are present, Audrey was clearly in need of a movie makeover.

One day it’s “wheee! I’m Zooey Deschanel adorable in flats on a cute bike!” and then a makeover turns her into gamine et beaucoup de glamourous (manic pixie dreamgirl was apparently not so much a thing). All a girl needs is a haircut and some eyeliner and she’s suddenly in Givenchy and all the dudes want her. If I thought this was the case, I’d make more of an effort to learn how to put on eyeliner.


Yo Adrian, you are the queen of geek to chic.

The Italian Stallion loved her no matter what, even when she was just selling him turtle food, but check out that before and after! The after, I would totally maim for these days. And when Rocky fights, she’s got this bitchin’ pant suit and red beret that you need to check out. And all she had to do was take off her glasses and get a better hair cut and BOOM! Hot stuff coming through. Rocky was right, she really does have beautiful eyes.

Breakfast Club

In movieland, quirky is kind of wrong. I mean, unless you’re that magic pixie dreamgirl. Alas, Ally Sheedy was merely pixie. But behold the power of lipgloss!

I know they didn’t want Mr. Vernon to pigeonhole them into the most convenient definitions possible and that we’re all a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess and a criminal, but clearly the athlete can’t make out with the basketcase. But a reformed princess? Pigeonhole that shit, sister, because clearly its cuter and you want to nail the athlete. Plus, I bet this will look great on future college applications, the ones you were probably burning with magnifying glasses the week before.

Can’t Buy Me Love

The dude of our roster of movie makeovers. He also needed to lose the glasses to get the style and the girl.

 Yeah, I’m not sure I get this one. I think I’m having trouble digging an 80s dude makeover. Or maybe I have a soft spot for hipsters. Because Patrick Before Dempsey is way cuter than Patrick After Dempsey. But berets are only awesome when you’re getting a lady makeover. However, the makeover did teach you a valuable lesson in friendship and social order in high schools, so there is an upside to it all. Plus the cheerleader. Always the cheerleader.

She’s All That

While the “you have really pretty eyes” line didn’t work for Freddie Prinze Jr, at least at first, she did catch on.

Falafel hat aside, did she really need a makeover from Anna Paquin? And I don’t know about you, but she seemed too smart than to trust a stranger to pluck her brows and cut her hair. In her bathroom. Maybe the brows, but definitely not the hair. I’d have trouble taking a recommendation on a hair dresser from a stranger. But you know what? It’s so good that she did get the amazing bathroom haircut. Because it meant getting the guy, getting in touch with her feelings and getting into art school.

Princess Diaries

Oh Princess Mia of a Fake European Principality! Such humble, frizzy haired beginnings!

And now look at your after shot! You are the very model of what contacts, tweezers and a good deep conditioning can do for a girl. I maintain you could have kept the glasses if you’d just chosen some better frames and then focused on tweezing and the deep conditioning (real talk: I believe in the power of tweezing and a good conditioner). You probably could have kept the curls. But where go the glasses, so to go the curls I suppose.

But when you’re having a bad day Princess Mia and are feeling embarassed about the Before days, just remember that not every royal is a pretty royal. Yes, they can afford all the clothes and all the deep conditioner, but they can’t all be Kate Middletons and that’s okay. Just don’t be like your friend Princess Charlene. Be your own Jane Austen novel, sweetie and marry for love! (I am, of course, speaking to Princess Mia in the first movie. I believe there is some wedding business in the sequel, but even I have my limits about what YA I’ll watch/read, so I don’t really know how it goes down).

Lesson Learned

You’ll be cuter and better dressed without glasses. And dudes will dig you. And you will get everything you ever wanted. (Mostly) True Story. You can always keep the glasses for those days when you need to be a bit quirkier, weirder, and possibly single.*


*kidding. Also, I still need to find a pair of glasses. I’ve narrowed it down to about eight pairs.

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