I want to dive deep into the progression of sunglasses throughout time and what they mean to people in our culture. I will analyze the style, the meaning behind them, and how people have influenced the progression—for the good, or in some cases, the bad.
Imagine a summer’s day in state college. The birds are chirping, it’s the perfect temperature, and the sun is beaming onto your skin. Nice, right? But there’s a problem. You have forgotten your sunglasses. You now have to spend the rest of your day squinting, which is never desirable. Your day now has to be spent inside, because your eyes cannot tolerate the brightness. Is this the only reason why there is such a pressing need for sunglasses? 200 years ago, it may have been. However, in modern times, the need for sunglasses has molded into more of a desire. Sunglasses often reflect somebody’s style, mood, or personality. The necessity for sunglasses and their styles vary from person to person, place to place, and year to year. But why?
Point #1: Progression/changes
- Logos: Origin of sunglasses
- Have been around since prehistoric times, but were referred to as “sun protectors”
- First truly introduced by a man named Sam Foster in 1929
- Citation: (Sunglasses) and (Some)
- Their developing “purpose”
- The reason they were used originally versus now
- Is this purpose continuing to change?
- Good or bad?
Transition: Obviously, the original sunglasses have not yet come back into style (and hopefully never will), but there are definitely clear repetitions of styles.
Point #2: Extrinsic influences on our viewpoints
- Culture changes/commonplaces
- Age: (grandparents use them for purpose, the youth uses them for fashion)
- Change in styles to keep up with relationships
- Status symbol/ideologies
- BRANDS: the importance/misconceptions (example: Ray Bans vs. Dior)
- Wanting to keep up with celebrities
- Can portray someone’s wealth
Transition: Can society’s constant pressures influence the way we view sunglasses?
Point #3: Meaning behind them
- They can hide your true self
- They give you a “mask”
- Influence on economy
- Real vs knock off: important or not?
Transition: Here’s a question to consider: do you believe the ever-changing meaning behind sunglasses is giving off a positive message to society, or a negative?
You may be wondering how such a materialistic item could possibly relate to living a civic life. If living a civic life means fulfilling your duties as a citizen, then by wearing sunglasses, you are not only helping the economy, shaping the culture, but you are also helping yourself be the best you that you can be. How can someone fulfill their civic duties if they are not their best self? How can you thrive on a summer’s day in State College if it has to be spent inside?
“Celebrity Eyewear Obsession: Dior So Real Sunglasses.” TheFashionSpot, 30 July 2015,
sunglasses/#/slide/1. Accessed 20 Sept. 2017.
“Rayban aviator 3025 fake vs real.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Dec. 2015,
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqDBUAdA_Xo. Accessed 20 Sept. 2017.
“Some History | Slick Inuit Shades.” BEYOND BUCKSKIN,
www.beyondbuckskin.com/2012/04/some-history-slick-inuit-shades.html. Accessed 20 Sept. 2017.
“Sunglasses.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2017.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunglasses. Accessed 20 Sept. 2017.