Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How's Your Vision?

In the past, people had a stereotype of men who wore glasses as being brainy or at least, a little more intelligent than the average man. That’s why in movies, if directors want to show that a man is a world class scientist, he’ll have a lab coat and glasses (which he’ll take off when he faces the camera).
That stereotype doesn’t extend to women. There has been an old axiom floating around for decades that states “men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”  So the stereotype for women with glasses has always been one of a “plain Jane” or ordinary female. In other words, using the movie motif from above, if a director wants to show that a woman is more "homespun" or more of the "girl next door" type, he'd have her wear a pair of glasses.

I bring these stereotypes up not because I like to brag that I still don’t need to wear glasses (but do think that I’m pretty brainy), but because there is also a difference in vision between the sexes. 

Let me first admit that I like to look at attractive women. This typical attribute (that we single men all have) is a major complaint by women about us. They claim we are superficial because our heads turn so easily when a cute woman in a short skirt passes by. Well, I might be hard pressed to argue with that.

However, let’s look at the vision of women.  Countless times I’ve been with a woman who will see some guy in old clothes, unshaven and basically unkempt and her comment is “Ugh.” His face looks something like this:
 Oddly, if that person turns out to be a famous rock star, that same look is considered “Sexy.” You did recognize a young “Boss” above, right?

Likewise, when women see a man wearing a skimpy Speedo swimsuit, they turn up their noses, scowl and say “Ewwwwwww.”
 Um, unless that guy in the Speedo is Justin Timberlake.  Then they get all giggly, purr a little and have a dreamy look in their eyes as they say “what a man!”

In other words, apparently women’s vision is tied to whether men are famous or wealthy.  It’s a strange phenomenon, but most male scientists I know (who might be wearing glasses) typically call this “being superficial.”

 Just checking your vision
(image from