You know how in the rom com movies the girl gets a makeover and they just take off her glasses and she becomes gorgeous? Yeah, I'm talking about She's All That, The Princess Diaries, and other "girl removes glasses and is suddenly beautiful" movies. Somehow there's this stigma against glasses, the idea that glasses makes someone to be unattractive. So when I was getting contacts, I was ready for my "girl takes off glasses, shakes hair, and is suddenly gorgeous" moment. Unsurprisingly, that didn't happen to me.


I want to preface this by saying that I have worn glasses practically my whole life. I got my first pair of glasses in kindergarten (unfortunately) and I remember feeling uncomfortable in them the first time I wore them. But I also remember my childhood friend (who I still keep in touch with today) telling me that they looked good on me. So I learned to accept wearing them and they grew into normalcy.

When I was about to get contacts, I was excited. I could finally do my makeup without being an inch away from my mirror. I could wear sunglasses. I wouldn't need to deal with the awkward "you look so different without your glasses" whenever I took off my glasses because people would eventually get used to me not wearing them. I wouldn't have to worry about glasses glare in pictures and looking back on old photos and judging my terrible taste in glasses at the time. It was a whole new world.

'The Princess Diaries'

However, the result was a bit of a let down. It had been 20 frustrating minutes of me trying to stab my eye to get them in and the awkward attempted consolations from the people around me every time I didn't get them in. Once I got them in, the first pair of contacts I got were straight up blurry. The eye doctor assured me that when I first put them on, they would be blurry, but they would get clearer the longer I wore them. They didn't. It was difficult to read with them, I didn't feel like I could take exams with them in, and I didn't feel comfortable driving with them because they were so blurry.

Four tries of contacts later and while I got contacts that I could see better in than the first ones, I still can't see well in them. In fact, the ones that I have right now make my eyes dry, make everything feel hazy and like a dream, and while they're good enough to wear in class, I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing them to an important exam. The lack of success with my contacts may be due to my terrible (and yes, I mean terrible) -8 eyesight, but the point is that functionally, I was unimpressed with contacts.

I guess that I was surprised by the outcome. So many people wear contacts and they have never had an issue with them. In fact, my mom even claims that she can see better with her contacts. I guess that I was just disappointed. I was aware that contacts would probably not be as good as my current glasses, but I thought that just meant that they would be like wearing slightly older glasses. I didn't know how dry they would make my eyes and how physically tired my eyes would feel after wearing them.

However, physical appearance-wise, I was hoping for at least a little of a movie "girl takes off glasses and is gorgeous" look. If my contacts were just a little lacking, I could deal with it if it gave me a little boost in confidence.

Similar: Medium - I Gave Myself the 90s Rom-Com Makeover I've Always Wanted

'She's All That'

When I wear contacts, there are some times when I feel beautiful, but other times I feel insecure, like when I wear my contacts I don't feel like myself. I have a tendency to wear a lot more makeup when I wear contacts than when I wear glasses. I feel like my eyes are too small or my face is too empty and I often use the makeup to address those issues.

In terms of confidence, my contacts are a wild card. I do enjoy getting to wear makeup where you can actually see the makeup pretty well when I wear contacts. I like the way that they make me feel not quite like myself because I can imagine that I am the girl that takes off her glasses and is suddenly gorgeous. However, not feeling quite like myself also feels uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes me feel confident but sometimes it just feels wrong.

The thing is that these glasses have slowly become a part of my identity. I've worn them for practically all of my life. 

I guess that while I am used to my glasses and I like them, sometimes I feel like the quiet dorky girl that they show at the beginning of the movie. And I wanted to be the confident, pretty, and liked girl at the end of the movie instead. I guess that it's a combination between the glasses and my personality. I am the shy, insecure, pretty nerd girl.

When I was younger, it made me feel like I wouldn't fit in with all the "cool kids". Not specifically the glasses, but just the overall look. I didn't look like them. I didn't feel like I was nearly as pretty or as confident. However, while a part of me wants to be the pretty girl from the movies without the glasses, the truth is that I feel most like myself with my glasses, which is valuable too.


I always talk about how important that it is to be comfortable in your own skin. With my glasses, I feel like my normal self. I look in the mirror and I see, yeah, that's me. On the other hand, sometimes when I wear contacts and I look in the mirror I'm like, "Is that me?" It sometimes feels like I'm looking at someone else in the mirror. Not only can I see everything in the clearest form and my eyes don't feel like they're itchy and tired, I guess I just feel like my everyday self. And there's nothing wrong with that. I like being comfortable and that's what the glasses do for me.

As I look at myself in the mirror when I'm wearing contacts or glasses, I find that both ways are me and both ways are beautiful. And essentially, they're both me, just different versions of me. 

So sure, there are still some times on occasions where I wear my contacts and I get to feel like my own alter-ego. But I also get to wear my glasses and feel like myself again.

And I'm learning that both of those are okay.

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