If you just got the news that you need corrective lenses, remain calm. You may be thinking to yourself: Where do I get them? What is this going to cost? And . . . how am I going to look with glasses?
VSP Direct Is Here to Help
With VSP Direct, your problems are solved before they’ve even begun. They were founded exactly sixty years ago in 1955 by a group of optometrists in Oakland, California as a non-profit insurance company to provide low-cost examinations and eyewear that anyone could afford.
Something else happened in 1955 that greatly impacted pop culture and our little presentation, but that’s coming up later. And to give you even greater savings, check out VSP Direct’s coupon codes to access all kinds of fantastic deals. They’ll even let you know where you can find a provider in your network.
That should answer your first two questions. As to the impact it’s going to have on your appearance, here’s the short answer: cool.
We’re not talking fly-by-night cool, the kind that comes and goes with the latest piece of phone gadgetry or one-hit wonder tune. Eyeglasses can add a timeless element to your look, the kind that ten, twenty, even fifty years later people still talk about and emulate. Here are five examples, and these cats are about as cool as they come.
There. Do we even need to continue? James Dean rocketed to fame first as Cal Trask in East of Eden, the only film to be released during his lifetime. His death at age twenty-four behind the wheel of a race car in 1955 cut short a career that was already promising to eclipse Brando’s. (That was the other thing that happened in 1955 that was mentioned earlier.) Less than a month later Rebel Without a Cause was released, and his portrayal of troubled teenager Jim Stark cemented his status as a symbol of an emerging generation. His last on-screen role was as oil wildcatter Jett Rink in Giant. One thing the movie-going public did not know about him was that he was extremely nearsighted and wore glasses off-screen almost constantly. Now they are so much a part of his image that there is a James Dean line of eyewear from Allure Eyewear. They also have a Marilyn Monroe collection and are owned by – guess who? – VSP!
It seemed as though the pride of Lubbock, Texas was never without his trademark frames. After a routine eye exam revealed his 20/800 vision at age fifteen, Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley (the “e” was dropped in a record label misprint) went to a local optometrist named J. Davis Armistead. With Holly’s aspirations as a musician on the line, he thought wearing eyeglasses on stage would undermine that image. Buddy and Armistad tried everything from clear plastic frames to contact lenses, which at the time very uncomfortable and could only be worn at hour at a time. Nothing worked until one night Armistad saw comedian Phil Silvers on television in his signature role as the fast-talking Sergeant Bilko, a staple character of 1950s television.
Thinking that a similar style might work on Buddy’s angular face, Armistead didn’t find the right fit until he was in Mexico and saw a pair of frames made by the now defunct manufacturer named Faiosa. Buddy wore Faiosas until his fatal plane crash in 1959, a seismic event in the music world that was the inspiration for Don McLean’s epic single American Pie.
The eyeglasses Buddy wore were so much a part of his look that the Buddy Holly Center in his home town of Lubbock is marked by a giant sculpture of them. Inside are the pair that he wore when he was killed, not recovered until 1980.
A huge fan of Buddy Holly – the name for the Beatles was a direct reference to Buddy’s backup band the Crickets – Lennon also had eyesight so poor he could hardly tell what chord he was playing on the guitar. Although he at first hid his need for corrective eyewear, it became a part of his signature look in his later years.
In fact, his optometrist for the last few years of his life, Gary Tracy, is still in business in New York. And guess what? He’s in the VSP Direct network!
Note: If you want to hear a blistering cover of Buddy Holly’s hit “Peggy Sue,” check out Lennon’s version on his underrated album of classic fifties hits, “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
From his humble beginnings as a television weatherman in Indianapolis to impending retirement as the crown prince of late night talk shows, David Letterman has always worn glasses. Decades ago in an interview he was asked what he would miss the most about doing his show and he emphatically stated what he wouldn’t miss was putting his contacts in. He then did a funny bit about how he put them in just before he went on the air and took them out as soon as he was off. As his career lengthened, he dispensed with them altogether and went back to wearing eyeglasses, often with clear round frames. They are now as much a part of his signature look as a suit and tie.
We close out our list with the current King of Cool, Johnny Depp. Sure, his last few movies have tanked, but he still is the biggest movie star around who combines serious acting chops with a personal sense of style that usually includes a set of tinted lenses. These aren’t just for show. Depp has revealed that he is “blind as a bat” in his left and definitely needs the corrective lenses.
Here's to you getting a cool new look in 2015!