Finding the perfect pair of glasses for your face can be seen as a hard-find sometimes. It has to properly fit, be on trend, and compliment your facial features. I’ve personally gone through my fair share of spectacles in my lifetime and I can honestly say I’ve never owned a pair that embodied all three of these qualities.
The reality is for most glasses wearers, there’s no way you can have one feature without sacrificing another. And if you’ve been wearing glasses for a while now, you’ve probably gotten used to constantly readjusting your frames for it to comfortably sit on your nose. I used to believe this was the standard for everyone, until I came across an interesting TikTok suggesting otherwise.
TikTok user Amber Holiday made a video saying, “If you’re always pushing your glasses up, it’s because your glasses aren’t built for your nose bridge.” She then goes into further details on how glasses were pretty much built for white people and their facial features.
It comes to no surprise that something as simple and universal as the average pair of glasses can have a racial bias behind it. Like most products, glasses are designed for the “default human,” which in most cases, are caucasion people or those with European features. According to Frames Direct, the ideal eyewear is supposed to comfortably rest on the bridge of your nose and should not press against your forehead or cheeks. It also shouldn’t sit so far that they slip when you squint or wrinkle your nose. However, these are problems most people of colour run into because of their facial structure.
The majority of Black people have a wider nose profile, which causes eyewear to pinch their bridge or sit at a slightly higher level – blurring/distorting their vision. As for East-Asian’s, their flat nose bridge causes their glasses to hit their cheekbones and/or eyelashes.
There’s some cases where you don't have to be from these specific ethnic groups to face these types of troubles with your eyewear. However, these are just the realities these specific groups endure because of their ethnic facial components.
On the brightside, there are a few ways to find glasses perfectly curated to fit these distinct features. Located on the inner parts of any eyewear is a frame model where you can identify the fit of your specs and sunglasses. Frame models with the letter A, represent alternate fit meaning it will provide comfort and wear-ability for those with higher cheekbones and wider/lower nose bridges. There are also brands like Kimeze, a London-based luxury eyewear company, created to cater to a broader range of faces. Reframd, an Afropolitian eyewear brand, designed to be inclusive and to reflect the rich diversity of society. As well as Topology, whose mission is to provide every individual with tailored eyewear solutions to achieve the clearest vision they deserve. In addition to this, Warby Parker has a wide selection of glasses dedicated to those with low nose bridges.
There’s so many people in this world, and it’s hard to believe that eyewear was made for one group of individuals in mind. But yet, here we are. If you’re tired of ill-fitting pieces of eyewear try branching out to these brands and find a pair of spectacles curated with you as a priority instead of an afterthought.
Written by Rosemary Akpan