Why were we all so mean to people who wore glasses?

I remember when my young female cousin got a prescription for eyeglasses and we all called her 4 eyes.

There was a phrase: “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

They’re just glasses. Why did we behave this way?

That’s the way people who are perceived as different are treated. The glasses are just the difference.

Kids can be pretty horrible to each other. Especially when it becomes a pack of kids.

As far as making fun of people, glasses make for a really easy target. You don’t need to know any personal details and formulate some type of nasty joke. You can simply pick something that you assume (and often rightly so) that the person is self-conscious about and not used to yet (like new glasses) and remind them about it over and over.

Picking on their glasses is right up there with braces or a bad haircut.

OMG…and I had it all. (add bad skin to that) Not good memories.
My brother and sisters were the worst offenders.

I had glasses and braces. My haircut was pretty normal though. Luckily my skin looked fine even if it wasn’t and I didn’t start taking Accutane until college. That stuff will really mess your face up for a few months, and the random nose bleeds were nice for some extra excitement in the middle of class.

Kids are vicious bastards.

Anything to create an outgroup. (So you can be in the ingroup.)

The thing that bugs me is that the #1 criterion for hearing aids is that they be invisible or nearly so. I want to encourage people to speak slowly and clearly to me.

I had glasses, bad haircut, was “husky,” and didn’t grow into my ears until I hit my twenties. Plus, Catholic school – wonderful uniforms. :roll_eyes:

And I will get every one of you some day. :crazy_face:

Wearing glasses also tended to get one stereotyped as “nerdy”, the reasons for which can also be discussed in this thread. And nobody but a nerd wants to be seen associating with another nerd!


Four ears, four ears!!

Imagine having to wear glasses and having a slight stutter (like me at the time).

Some of the kids would chant “f-f-f-four E-e-e-e-eyes f-f-f-f-four e-e-e-e-eyes.”

I’ve warn glasses since 1958, and never got any crap for it. But I wasn’t the only one in my class who wore glasses by far.

As for the line about girls who wear glasses, I’ve always thought that this wasn’t about attractiveness but about glasses being associated with intelligence - which was a turn off for some trogs back then.

I don’t know why but this make me think of this seventies ad. All kids liked hot dogs: fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climbed on rocks . . .

This. Also, we as a society have tended to think of glasses as unattractive, especially back when glasses were clunkier and lenses thicker. Teasing was worse the thicker the glasses’ lenses. Not one of the popular girls in jr. high wore glasses. Then there were those stereotypical, sexist movie scenes where the prudish, homely woman became gorgeous and sexy by letting down her hair and removing her glasses. The message to girls, at least, was pretty clear.

I was so self-conscious about wearing glasses that when 8th grade started, I simply didn’t wear them. I figured out how to dial open my locker by feel and determine what was on the chalkboard and managed quite well. (Ironically, those learned skills have come in handy now that I can’t see well with or without corrective lenses.) Other people treated me differently, which gave me confidence. (And yes, it was in that order.) And BTW, they didn’t treat me as if I were any less intelligent.

I couldn’t wear rigid contacts. Soft contacts came out my freshman year and changed my life because I could see clearly without glasses.

None of this should matter, and it matters less today, I think, but it sure mattered back then.

I don’t disagree that kids (and adults, and all primates) are vicious bastards in general. However, I didn’t make fun of anyone as a child, and never understood why people did. So “we” “all” were not so mean, FWIW.

The more close-in focused activity you do, the more apt you are to be nearsighted. There really is – or was, before gaming --a strong correlation between reading, studying, and glasses.

Insecure males’ wieners droop in the presence of intelligent, or competent, or skilled, or powerful women. This is known.

I wore hearing aids as a kid and I would’ve given anything to be treated like the kids with glasses (at least as far as I could tell… they may have been suffering in their own way for all I know). And yes, kids with glasses were not above picking on me for wearing hearing aids.

Just yesterday, my wife told me she’s glad she married a nerd!

Now this is where I would probably get the bullying ratcheted up against me. Those fools can’t count and I’d tell them so.

I can remember a grade school teacher announcing that we had a new professor in class when someone showed up with glasses for the first time.