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What's With all the Negativity Towards Sunglasses?

You think those sunglasses make you look cool, or something?

There are a few things that make up my wardrobe: gloves (especially fingerless ones in Winter for typing with), denim jeans (black or blue) hoodies, and sunglasses. I have a pair of vintage Ray-Bans that I’ve been told “never go out of style”.

But yet I’ve received quite a lot of flak for wearing them. I’ve had several people over the years make somewhat negative comments about me – usually behind my back or from some other direction, usually from afar. I can always hear them because I have very good perceptive abilities, including a keen sense of hearing – all developed over the years I spent at school scouting bully ambushes, that were moronically planned aloud, so I was able to hang on every word and learn what they had planned for me.

Years ago there was a film shoot for some commercial (for a product I’d probably not even heard of) in my neighbourhood, and residents in the area were allowed to attend and have a look at what was going on. I went along, packing my sunglasses seeing as it was a hot Summer morning; not a cloud in the sky, and the sun was beating down on me.

After a bit of trouble actually finding the location of the shoot, I arrived and tried mingling with the shallow film student types hanging around, as well as some of the people involved in the shoot. You would have thought I was talking to a bunch of Victoria Beckhams, there were so many cold shoulders. That’s Hollywood for you.

Anyway, I got to sitting on the bonnet of somebody’s car – which turned out to be a mistake seeing as one of the pleasant folk working on the set came over and told me to get off it and go elsewhere, or something like that. I went over to the tree nearby – thinking that nobody owned that, apart from the municipality. And they certainly wouldn’t mind if leaned up against it. They could at least have provided a few directors chairs for the day.

Anyway, long story short: when they decided to take a break, the owner of the car walked across the road and glared at me as I sat on the grassy bank.

“It’s always the ones with the sunglasses”, he muttered as he walked past. And the stunt driver I’d been talking to who was there for the shoot muttered in agreement – even though he was wearing a pair too!

Anyway, I got out of there and went back to my place, thinking that when the shooting recommenced, I might get tied to a tree with cables and rammed with a generator while it was all caught on film or something, for my earlier infraction.

Okay, so that time I wasn’t entirely blameless. But the number of times I’ve been insulted unprovoked outweighs just that one episode, tenfold.

Another day I was out walking, with sunglasses on, minding my own business, when I saw two girls approaching from the opposite side of the road. “He looks like he’s in mourning,” the one said. The other agreed, replying typically: “I know.”

What? In mourning just because of dark sunglasses? Next people are going to say that I’m blind, even though I don’t walk with a cane or a seeing-eye-dog.

"Thinks he's cool" - that's one I get a lot, too.

Yeah, I tend to remember most times I’ve ever been mocked or slighted in my life. It’s dreadful. You have no idea. I always focus on the negative in life, because to me there is no positive, you see.

I seem to remember getting less of this sort of attitude when I didn’t wear sunglasses years ago. And sometimes I think maybe I should go back to not wearing them. But the rebellious part of me doesn’t want to give in; compromise just to please them. If I want to wear sunglasses I should be allowed to. Other people do it so why can’t I?

"What? In mourning just because of dark sunglasses? Next people are going to say that I’m blind, even though I don’t walk with a cane or a seeing-eye-dog."


People wear sunglasses for different reasons, and most of them are positive

  • First off, it’s a good way to protect one’s eyes from the sun when outside.
  • You can also use them when it’s windy – similar to a windshield on a car, or a visor on a motorbike helmet.
  • People wear them when they have a hangover, or suffer from photosensitivity.
  • Special sunglasses today even offer a better, clearer view of your surroundings than if you were without them. You don’t have to have a tinted view of the world anymore.
  • They’re worn to cover up some sort of hideous deformity - particularly around the ocular area.
  • They can be used to offset other facial features like a big nose or big ears. Much cheaper than cosmetic surgery.
  • Blind people often wear them.
  • Yes, people wear them when they’re in mourning, because red, puffy eyes look terrible – admit it.
  • People will wear them to break eye contact sometimes. They might be shy, or they’re in a bad mood and don’t necessarily want to show others this. The eyes can be a very telling indicator of somebody’s mood.
  • Carrying on with this concept, it can act as a boost to one’s confidence.
  • It’s a fashion accessory – get over it.

"All right, so the guy I saw wearing sunglasses at night was actually a character in Crocodile Dundee II, but I digress."

When this guy wears sunglasses at night, it's alright.

When this guy wears sunglasses at night, it's alright.

The thing is that some people just have this anti-sunglasses stance. They automatically assume that anyone who wears them is either some sort of aloof, arrogant egomaniac, or a sick pervert who just wants to ogle women’s barely covered naughty bits down at the beach. But it just isn’t true – not always.

They reckon that only rappers or people famous for practically no reason should wear them. I’ll admit that wearing them indoors or at night is a bit of a stretch, but I have seen some do this – I’m guilty of the former on occasion. All right, so the guy I saw wearing sunglasses at night was actually a character in Crocodile Dundee II, but I digress.

I like to wear them out because I hate having to squint all the time just to see where I’m going when outside if I’m not wearing them, and people get the impression I must either have suffered from a stroke recently, or I’m “skeefing” them – giving them the evil eye. I happen to have kind of thick, low-set eyebrows, and dark orbits, which has on occasion made people think I look a bit of a psychopath, minus the foaming at the mouth.

But I look at it this way: these haters who dislike sunglasses and people who wear them, are likely the same types who don’t bother with sunscreen when they go outside for extended periods of time, or cover up exposed body parts even in summer (both of which I also do). The reality is that in 10 years time, I’m going to look a lot better than they will. I won’t have to wear prescription glasses; I won’t have countless sun spots, freckles, growths, melanomas, or skin cancer to deal with; I won’t have to have somebody professionally airbrush my family photos. I’m probably going to age better.

They hate sunglasses because it’s a trendy fashion accessory. Hating somebody because they have sunglasses on is like hating somebody because they have an iPod. You’re really just showing how much of an out-of-touch technophobe you are.

And there, I just figured it out: it’s jealousy. It must be. Not everybody can afford a pair of proper sunglasses, especially Ray-Bans or another well-known, and likely expensive brand. And not everybody has the common sense to wear a pair to preserve themselves; protect their eyes from the harsh elements. And even if they have a pair, not everybody can pull off “the look” with sunglasses. Most don’t even try. It’s conformist to not wear sunglasses, I’ve found. People who do are ridiculed and called nasty names, and made to feel like dung.

But the fact is that haters will always find a reason to dislike you. Even if you didn’t have sunglasses, then they’d mock your hair. If you didn’t have hair, they’d mock your lack of hair. If it wasn’t that they’d mock your clothes. You’re never going to win. And why bother with these types? Who wants to try to beat a loser anyway? There’s no point.

So I’m going to keep wearing my sunglasses, and if they wanna hate, let ‘em hate. I think I look good with or without them, and I think I can pull of the look. That’s the most important thing, is your self-confidence. To hell with what they want from you, or think of you.

Worst case scenario I end up getting pooled with all the other “shadies” when at some function, and people will all avoid us because they think we’re all a bunch of undercover secret agents or something.

Oh, and there’s a difference between sunglasses and shades. Just so you know - the next time you want to make a negative comment about someone behind their back and all. Get your facts straight at least.

"They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Sunglasses are just my curtains."

— Anti-Valentine

© 2011 Anti-Valentine


Dakota on December 16, 2017:

My uncle hates sunglasses and I found out the hard way. I had been working for him for about a year and he always had a bad temper. Well one day when he was in his rage he saw me wearing sunglasses and he told me to “take those sons of bitches off we don’t wear those around here” (keep in mind we’re outside working and yes the sun was out) so I took them off and placed them on my hat till he left. Once he left me and a coworker went back to work cutting some exterior paneling for houses with a saw. We didn’t have any safety glasses on hand (my uncle didn’t give a shit about safety) so I put my glasses back on while I’m cutting this paneling. Well while I’m down cutting he comes back around the corner and sees me wearing the sunglasses and he goes “bubba if you ain’t gonna listen to me just get the hell out of here and go home”. Pissed me off so I left. I assumed I had been fired. Apparently when my boss walked in the next morning he was in a good mood and asked one of his worker where I was. He figured I’d come back I guess... nope. I had already went and got a better job

Anti-Valentine (author) from My lair on July 20, 2015:


Yes, my dad is the same. He seems to think that people who wear sunglasses are hiding something.

Anti-sunglasses on July 17, 2015:

Hey so I'm one of these anti-sunglasses people and Ive tried to figure out why they get to me. But it really seems to be some random pet peeve. Maybe by association. Maybe coz rockstars and rappers wear them and they look kinda shallow or something. But yeah, it's a lot more okay when people wear them at the beach and when it's really hot. I think maybe sunglasses change the expression on the faces of people to something haughty. Or maybe it just creeps me out that i can't see their eyes.

John on June 17, 2015:

I think men especially should only wear aviator or rectangle shaped sunglass lenses. I think that people with them on their head look sillier especially indoors. I never wore shades or understood it until I got a drivers license and bought some. Still they are never or rarely used although on a very bright day I may choose to wear them especially if in the car or something

Brian Schoedel from Naples, Florida USA on April 30, 2014:

I agree. Don't wear sunglasses inside unless you want to be viewed as a jackass. Wear them to protect your eyes especially when you're on the water or beach.

Misse on December 23, 2013:

Some see sunglasses as protection against the words of "society". They don't know how you react or how you feel so they want to drag you down. It's senseless. Whatever you do, wear sunglasses if you want. But don't wear them inside.

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