It should not be overlooked that sunglasses are an element of one’s public persona, part of one’s “look.” As such, they can be powerful devices for changing one’s impression on others. For example, if -quite simply-one wishes to look “cool,” wear a pair of Ray-Ban “Wayfarers”. In other words, designer eye wear is one and the same as clothing-in fact they are clothing, they are “worn” and part of an outfit. As such, they define one’s deportment. For example, they can change a dull-witted “gone-fishing” look, into one of intriguing sophistication, if the right pair is worn.
One may wonder why designer eye wear so powerfully affects the image. What is it about a pair of frames and dark lenses that move us so? There are many answers to this. For one, they subtly change the geometry of the face, generally towards enhancing one’s impression on others (this is the usual goal, at least. So do not wear mirrored lenses in aviator frames without first desiring to resemble redneck, southern cop from a bad B-movie).
A key aspect, too, of sunglasses’ allure is that they hide the eyes (to varying degrees, depending on how dark the lenses are, how reflective, etc.). By obscuring the eyes one conceals what the eyes tell us about a person-nearly everything! That the eyes are the windows to the soul is ancient wisdom, and conversely I might add, the eyes are the soul’s windows on the world. And affect one’s outlook. Witness what one of the keenest observers of people, Shakespeare, had to say:
“Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle, where it lies.”
–Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
When we look at someone’s face, we look for certain aspects in their eyes. Are the eyes clear and bright (healthy, eager)? Where are they looking (what does he/she want)? Are they brown or blue or hazel? (Eye-color is one of nature’s fashion accessories that, today, in our supra-natural world, can easily be changed with colored contacts). Are the lashes long (genetics)? Are the eyes wide-set, or close-set (is the person classically beautiful or the opposite)? Are they bedroom eyes? Are they guilty eyes? Hurt eyes? Sneaky eyes? Tired eyes? Sexy eyes? Plain eyes? Intelligent eyes? And so on. The impression made upon others is “with gazing fed.”
With the veiled eyes sunglasses afford, we cannot see the usual criteria we look for in a face, or not clearly at least. So on-lookers have no choice but to fill in the blanks themselves! That is, to project their feelings about a person onto those dark lenses, and take educated guesses interpolated from the persons other garments, their posture, bearing, voice, perhaps a certain “je ne sais quois”, and other assumptions.
The take away is that one can alter one’s look, indeed one’s entire public “front,” with designer eye wear, due to their ability to disguise the eyes, and alter the shape of facial features. A round face can seem angular, an angular face can be softened; so just as clothes make the man, so to do sunglasses. In truth they serve the same function as clothes: to affect an image. Thus, choose carefully when buying sunglasses, consider what look one wants to project, and what look is likely to be projected upon oneself by others given the eye’s concealment. Do not overlook the power of the visage, especially the eyes, and what hiding the eyes — the paramount arbiter of personality before one speaks a word out loud – will influence others to think about one’s personality. So choose sunglasses with great care, they speak volumes before one can even open one’s mouth.