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Guest Editor – Rebecca Gonsalves

Guest Editor – Rebecca Gonsalves

This month, our Guest Editor Rebecca Gonsalves, Deputy Fashion Editor at The Independent, talks about her experience of wearing spectacles.

That younger sisters annoy their older siblings by pinching their stuff is a given, but when the item in question is a pair of prescription specs such behaviour is considered a bit more unusual. But that’s what I used to do, when, in primary school, I became a bit obsessed with the idea of wearing glasses. As well as casually ‘borrowing’ the glasses in question – a blue tortoiseshell pair – from my big sister I took things a step further when I went for an eye test of my own and attempted to fake failing vision, complaining of so many headaches while massaging my temples for effect before purposefully fluffing the reading of as many of those tiny letters that I thought would seem natural without getting me a white stick. A master of deception I obviously wasn’t as I walked away empty-handed. I’d been rumbled I thought and when I was called back for further testing a short while later, I was convinced that the police would be waiting for me, eager to have a chat about my attempt to defraud the system. When the session ended without a visit from the boys in blue I could finally relax.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that an observant teacher noticed that I was struggling to read the blackboard from my position on the back row. She moved me away from the cool, naughty kids and up to the front – a crime that may have impeded my social life but probably helped my education in more ways than one. She also mentioned her concerns to my mother who dutifully whisked me away to the opticians. And so, I finally got my wish. Although, as I’d now hit puberty and had very different ideas about what was cool – hint, glasses weren’t on that list – I was less than enthusiastic about the idea of becoming a four-eyes, or as one employer so wittily put it ‘speccy Becky’.

Rebecca Gonsalves wearing Paul Smith, PM8208 Col. 1392

My misgivings didn’t last long though, and now that I’ve been wearing glasses for over half my life I see them as an extension of myself. I’ve got a few pairs, all quite classic and a bit masculine – which represents my style in general. When I first started wearing glasses, much more graphic, linear styles were en vogue and though they may not have suited me that well that’s what I wore. Now though I love that fashion brands have made glasses cool again, and I’m often asked where my glasses are from. I think it helps that I’ve got strong features that can handle an over-sized frame.
I used to wear contact lenses when going out in the evenings, and still would to a really fancy affair, but I tend to forget that I’m wearing frames so I usually don’t bother. Now the most annoying thing about being short-sighted is needing glasses to find where I left my glasses.