Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How pop culture heroes made glasses cool for kids

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Throughout pop-culture, prescription glasses have historically often been associated with nerdy or geeky side-characters and not the starring heroes. This hardly inspires younger ones to follow in their footsteps.

But in recent years, this has changed.

As characters such as Harry Potter, Amaya from PJ Masks and Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) take to the screens, optometrists have noticed a growing trend of young patients wanting to model these Hollywood styles.

So just how is pop culture shaping fashion trends and impacting what frames are considered the ‘must haves’?



Heroes wear glasses too

The author of Harry Potter, J.K Rowling, revealed that she wore glasses throughout her childhood and was tired of only “nerdy” characters wearing glasses. She wanted to read about a hero who didn’t have the typical, strong appearance that Hollywood, and therefore wider society, had normalised.

At the height of the Harry Potter popularity, many glasses stores reported up to a hundred per cent jump in sales, proving just how influential J.K Rowling’s magical world of wizardry has been on its audiences

“It’s quite amazing the impact the Harry Potter series has had on young people in need of prescription glasses,” said Optometry Australia's National Professional Services Advisor, Sophie Koh.

“I still regularly hear from kids that they are excited to wear their glasses because they want to look like Harry. It’s great to see children so enthusiastic about their prescription glasses.”

Celebrity spectacles in vogue

Robert Downey Jr, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran and Selena Gomez all wear prescription lenses providing real-life examples for young children to follow.

“It’s celebrities with these huge global audiences who children idolise for their star power, and to see them wearing glasses every day shapes what styles are in vogue,” added Sophie Koh

Find out how these trends have evolved over time by reading more about the Evolution of Spectacles here.

Pop culture trend a helping hand to parents

Getting glasses as a young child to correct a vision issue like shortsightedness (myopia), long sightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism can be a daunting prospect for both the child and their parents, however, it doesn’t need to be.

Sophie Koh says parents will be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly kids can embrace glasses.

“With icons like Harry Potter and Ed Sheeran paving the way, kids are now often excited when they pick up a new pair of glasses. There are more designers making unique and durable frames just for children. Not only are there so many shapes and sizes, but glasses come in a range of colours so there’s always something to match their unique personality and something to suit even the fussiest of children.”

According to Optometry Australia’s 2020 Vision Index, almost four in five Australian parents believe their child has great eyesight; however, alarmingly more than one in four Australian parents (30%) have never taken their child to an optometrist for an eye examination.

Vision problems can significantly impact a child’s ability to learn, so it’s essential parents take their children for an eye exam before starting school and regularly (every two to three years) as they progress through primary and secondary school.

Parents can book their child in for an eye exam using our Find an Optometrist search tool.

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