When I was in elementary school, my near sightedness (myopia) increased dramatically. My lenses were so thick and heavy, the glasses would frequently slip down my nose and I’d have to push them up every 10 seconds. At the time, my parents has moved us to the suburbs and not only was I the only Asian girl in my grade, I had black, metal frames with thick lenses to make me stand out even more.
I had a hard time accepting my looks as a kid. Other classmates would make fun of me and I was too young to wear contact lenses at the time. I tried to excel in other ways, like being the best at math and drawing cute Sanrio characters for my friends (anyone else remember all those characters?). But my self esteem was always low. I thought to myself that no guy would ever want to date me or I’d never be pretty and popular.
I sometimes wonder/worry that others are still affected by this “coke bottle glasses” mentality. That somehow glasses make us “ugly” and “outcasted”. Movies and television seem to really play into those stereotypes ie. the glasses-wearing girl gets a make over and somehow becomes this beautiful, popular non-glasses wearing goddess. My kids have a 25% chance of being myopic/nearsighted and I have this deep worry they will experience the same insecurities I had.
Fast forward 20 years and glasses seem to be more of the trend and there are so many new frame style choices for kids. There’s even what’s called “myopia control” contact lenses for kids (more to come about this topic). So ultimately, I have a chance to use my private practice to reach out to anyone who has ever felt “ugly” because of their glasses and give them a new outlook on their own self image. My degrees and certifications qualify me to help kids reduce their chance of wearing super heavy, thick lenses as they reach their teenage years.
Have you ever seen Queer Eye on Netflix? The hosts use their specific skills like hair/fashion/cooking to really lift up the nominated person on their show. It’s not about taking away the glasses-wearing nerd persona and presenting a whole new fake non-glasses wearing person. The hosts are really in tune with staying true to someone’s identity and sometimes glasses are a big part of that.
When you start your own business or private practice, you have a chance to re-define your purpose in life. How will I take care of my community and my patients? How can I use my specific set of skills and talents to lift people up? What can I do to help that kid that may be at high-risk for severe nearsightedness in the future? And also… How do I get on the new season of Queer Eye so I can help those people who need new glasses? Hahaha just kidding.
These are questions I need to ask myself daily.