To see or to be seen?
Wearing a pair of glasses actually teaches me a philosophical lesson. It makes me very aware of how important physical appearance is in one culture; not only that I can see clearly people and what they are wearing in my surrounding, but I can also see glance of my reflection in the eyes of others.
Glasses have become more than just a seeing device, it has become part of you. In kids’ world it is a tag that differs you from other children. It makes you different and sometimes outcast you. In student world, it is a perceived sign of intellect; labelling you as smart or even a geek. In an objective world, it is a sign of handicap, weakness, or just “bad” reading habit.
But then, time evolves, glasses are not that exceptional anymore. Plus, capitalist’s opportunistic talent has created the need for glasses. Why only see with glasses, if you can also be seen with glasses? Trendy, expensive, and branded glasses then become part of clothing gear.
Nevertheless, glasses are still not universally welcome. More than once I had to fight for my right to see. Every important event, for which I had to let my face to be remade, had been a reflection moment. Those beauty-maker ladies always fussed about how my glasses would hinder others to see how my eyes were beautifully done, and that I should not wear them. My complaints for not being able to see clearly were dismissed as minor. Who cares if I couldn’t see whom I shaked hands with, if people could clearly see how long my fake eye-lashes were, how colourful my eye-lids were, or how dark my eye-lines were!
My head was always full of everlasting debate, during those painful make-over operations. What is more important, to see or to be seen? Are women condemned to be the object of observation? Should women only care about their look but not what is “under the surface”? Should women judge themselves and others on how good-looking they are? Are women condemned to superficiality?
I always wanted to scream, “I don’t care about how they would see me, I care about what I can see!”