What makes you, you?

I have wanted black frame glasses ever since I was about 11 years old when I had to start wearing glasses but for years I just wore what my parents bought for me. Black framed specs seemed impossible to find. I can remember seeing Elvis Costello on TV and wondering where he got his from. I always thought that glasses were like guitars. When you are a young guitarist all you seem to find and afford are Stratocasters & Les Paul Copies when what you are really after is a Fender Jaguar. So buying these glasses was a giant leap for me. Glasses can define someone more than the clothes they wear.  Once you get a pair of black framed glasses it is hard to turn back.  I found myself buying the same frames (boots – curlew) for years. Then came the bad news… Boots Opticians no longer made these frames. Boots however were kind enough to put me in touch with the chinese company who made them. After a few emails back and forth it turns out they have stopped making them (woe). So I went on the hunt for new frames, and since then I have built up a small collection. I had also not realised how when you do wear a pair of black framed glasses that you fall into a generic category. People recognise you because of your glasses or mistake you for someone else who also wears glasses, even if those glasses look nothing like your own. A good example of this was in 2005 when I was a Reading festival. I was minding my own business watching a band (as you do) when I noticed that I was being looked at by a group of people who then started following me. One of them finally came up to me and said. “Excuse me, are you Rivers? I’m a big fan”. I was a bit confused. The only person I could think she was talking about was Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. Who apart from having dark hair and glasses I think looks nothing like me.

Me at Reading Festival 2005

Rivers Cuomo from Weezer

She looked a bit embarrassed as I said “No” and went back to her friends to inform them all that I was not he. This however was not the first or the last time that people think I look like someone else just because of the glasses alone. I’ve been told I look like Mr E from the eels, Rolf Harris, Rick Moranis, Graham Coxon, Woody Allen. You name it almost anyone with dark hair and glasses. All of which look nothing a like. I wonder if anyone has told Woody Allen that they loved him in Ghostbusters? When you wear glasses you also have problems when it comes to fancy dress. You have 3 options; 

1. Lose the glasses. You then dress as anyone. In my case I was the Joker.  The downside of this is that you can’t see anything at the party.

2. Wear your glasses. This may look odd if the person you dress up is not known for wearing glasses. Freddy Krueger being one of them.

3. Find a character that has glasses and make it part of your costume. Like Clark Kent changing into Superman.

Now that last picture of me, The one of me as Clark Kent/Superman I have used as my avatar across the internet for almost everything. I think it kinda sums up a lot of who I am. I like comics. I like fancy dress. I like geekyness. It shows of a bit of personality and I like that. I sometimes think about getting contacts. Break away from this generic look. But then I think of this…

2 years ago my friends threw me a surprise birthday party where everyone dressed as me. What I thought was a generic look is unique to my friends. I am my glasses and my beard. It makes me who I am. I asked people on twitter to post a photo of themselves looking like me and here are my favourites

@Louise_Knight

@jodiechat

and saving the best till last.

@tipyourhat

Everyone has there own look and mine is having a beard and glasses.

It makes me, me! …and I am happy with that.

Me 2010