“You Can See Things that Other People Can’t”: Changing Images of the Girl with Glasses, from Gidget to Daria

  • Cindy Conaway


Glasses function on television as a type of masquerade. More than most other aspects of costume design, they carry a freight that functions as symbolic shorthand for the entire character. In historic and contemporary mass media, glasses, especially on women, are an indicator of intelligence and the social limits that go with brilliance, and a barrier to sexual availability. Correspondingly, spectacles can serve as an indicator that the character sees more clearly than other characters, and this aspect of the pattern has become more visible in recent years. Fewer television characters wear glasses than their real-life counterparts would suggest they should, in part because most major characters on network television have the raw good looks and the body consciousness to be considered extremely attractive. And that means not wearing glasses.


Contact Lens Television Character Television Show Popular Culture Female Character 
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Copyright information

© Sherrie A. Inness 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy Conaway

There are no affiliations available

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