Justin Timberlake's bringing glasses back

Is Justin Timberlake’s sudden penchant for glasses a fashion statement or a bid to be taken more seriously as an actor?

Suffering from less than perfect 20/20* vision may have had its cons in the past, but it seems the very reason it may have held you back in school sporting competitions may hold the advantage in the modern workplace.

Just ask Justin Timberlake who has put his successful music career on hold to focus on a career in acting. He’s been popping up all over the place in thick-rimmed glasses as he promotes his new film The Social Network.

The question isn’t if he needs them or not, or even if bad eye sight equates to greater intelligence (which a recent study suggests it might) it’s how we perceive him that’s important, and glasses do seem to have an impact. Just like any of us in a job interview, it seems he’s looking for any edge he can get.

In a recent interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart, a bespectacled Timberlake was amiable and pleasant, but far from his regular jovial public persona.  Whether this was a conscious decision or not, his personality was that of a man asking to be taken seriously, his approach studious and considered.

Remember Clark Kent chose horn-rimmed glasses to appear meek and mild-mannered in an attempt to hide his extraordinary abilities.  Never mind that he was the only superhero to be himself when IN costume.

Maybe it’s because there is a solid trend towards eye-catching heavier thick-rimmed frames, but I definitely feel like I am seeing more people in glasses these days. The hip kids are definitely embracing the heavy irony of these styles.  

Would you ever consider wearing glasses as a fashion statement or to change your image? If you are a glasses wearer, what do you think of thick-rimmed frames?

*For those who have used the term a thousand times and wondered the true meaning, 20/20 vision is your visual acuity.  

The first 20 (numerator) is the distance in feet between you and the chart (because effectively 20 feet equates to infinity) and the second 20 (denominator) is the distance at which the lines that make up those letters wouldbe separated by a visual angle of one arc minute - basically your ability to discern the lines that make up the letters without any help, ie. glasses.

This article Justin Timberlake's bringing glasses back was originally published in The Age.