How My Relationship With My Glasses Has Changed

Hi there,

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My name is Emma. And in this photo I’m in the 6th grade.

I recently started middle school and for picture day I decided to wear one of my favorite shirts. I love to read and I love to learn. I could get lost in books for hours. I’ve never tried sports. I’m beyond shy and I hide behind my glasses. I’m worried about how I look and if I will make friends in middle school. And I’m envious of all the other 6th graders who are confident in their own skin…

How My Relationship With My Glasses Has Changed - why do people not liek wearing glasses - eyeglasses Seattle - best glasses in seattle - eyeglasses seattle Capitol Hill - throwback photo - sherwood forest elementary

When I first got glasses…

I started wearing glasses in the 3rd grade when I expressed to my teacher and parents that I couldn’t see the board in the back of the classroom. In elementary school, I didn’t think much about what I wore or how I looked. And I don’t honestly think my friends and classmates around me cared either.

When I started 6th grade, I became fixated on my glasses, my shyness, and insecurities.

Suddenly I was hyper aware of what those around me were wearing, what sports they were doing, and the amount of friends they had school. And I was uncomfortable in own skin and I didn’t think was beautiful.

I used to call my middle school years my “forbidden” years because somewhere along the way I developed a strong association of glasses = middle school Emma. In high school, I was having problems with my contact lenses and had to switch back over to glasses and I couldn’t stand wearing them. My glasses reminded me of how insecure I used to feel so I would wear my glasses the first half of the day and then switch over to contact lenses in the afternoon. In college, I avoided wearing glasses as much as possible. The only time I wore my glasses was right before I went to bed.

It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I started wearing glasses outside of my apartment. In fact even though it was never captured, I did spend most of first year working in the real world wearing my glasses.

How My Relationship With My Glasses Has Changed - why do people not liek wearing glasses - eyeglasses Seattle - best glasses in seattle - eyeglasses seattle Capitol Hill - throwback photo - sherwood forest elementary

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I realize now that I had such a negative perception about wearing glasses because of how I felt in middle school. Even though I’m not 12 or in middle school anymore, I vividly remember feeling insecure about my appearance, my belonging, athletic abilities, and more.

But middle school and my glasses marked a time of transformation for me.

How My Relationship With My Glasses Has Changed - why do people not liek wearing glasses - eyeglasses Seattle - best glasses in seattle - eyeglasses seattle Capitol Hill - throwback photo - sherwood forest elementary

Even though I started out incredibly shy, I summed up the courage to try gymnastics and track for the first time. I tried out for the gymnastics team in 6th grade and surprised myself and my family when I made the Swing team. I got to practice with the varsity team but competed at the junior varsity level. And if there was a need, the Swing team members could compete in the varsity meets. I ended up loving gymnastics and begged my parents for lessons once week in the summer time. So by 7th grade I had come back with back handsprings and made the varsity team.

My 7th grade year I also wanted to run track. We easily had 100-150 kids on the track team in middle school because it was the cool thing to do. I learned how to long jump, run hurdles, and worked on sprints. After a year of conditioning, I won the 200 M hurdles and long jump in my school district and came in 2nd in 75 M hurdles (my biggest 8th grade accomplishments).

In 8th grade I traded my glasses for contacts. But the decisions I made in those glasses and those accomplishments at 12 and 13 years old helped transform my confidence and attitude about myself. 

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So I’m choosing to change my narrative about “middle school Emma” and those “forbidden years”. Instead I’m choosing to see my glasses as a time of growth and development. My glasses never held me back, if anything they helped me see those hurdles on and off the track. They helped me see that I could overcome being shy and that I could make friends.

At 26, I still love to read, I love to learn, and I love to run. My glasses have been with me through every step of my journey. And I’ve learned to feel beautiful with and without them on!

So I wanted to give a shout out to Ollie Quinn for gifting me these gorgeous glasses.

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My dog Boone recently chewed up my pair of glasses… So when Ollie Quinn approached me, I knew it was fate.

I was so excited to pick out the Juniper! I wanted bold glasses that reflected my personality. I personally have never gotten frames shaped like this before so I was really excited to try something new.

If you need a new pair of glasses or sunglasses this year, you can use the discount code: OQEmma to get 10% off both online and in-stores!

Here are a few other favorites: Bethany in the Dancing Grey Smoke – a black and white marble print, Jelka in Black – this is a subtle cat-eye frame, and Relle in Silver – a circular wire frame.

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Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Karya Schanilec

1 Comment

  1. March 22, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I feel the exact same way girl! I used to hate my glasses and still cringe when I look back at photos. I was so happy when my parents let me switch to contacts haha – I still don’t gravitate towards my glasses even though I love them. You are pulling those off so amazingly!
    xx jen
    http://lilthoughtswithjen.com/

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