Why Do Some People Wear Sunglasses All the Time?

“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades,” sang post-punk band Timbuk3 in 1986. But, seriously, why is it that you look so good sporting a pair of sunglasses? Vanessa Brown, a senior lecturer of art and design at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and author of the 2015 book Cool Shades, says that sunglasses give the wearer’s face instant symmetry, a quality that researchers have found equates to facial attractiveness and our perception of beauty. Sunglasses, she says, cover up "asymmetrical oddities" around your eyes. Furthermore, because eye contact helps us form judgments about someone’s intelligence, confidence, and sincerity, masking the eyes instantly contributes to a more intriguing presence.

Being cool or cruel:

  • Hollywood stars of the 1950s and 1960s started wearing sunglasses to try to avoid public scrutiny, or to avoid paparazzi and their exploding flashbulbs.

  • A 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science found that people tend to act more selfishly and dishonestly when wearing sunglasses, since they give the wearer the freedom of anonymity.

  • Another good reason to wear shades: to protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

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More Info: New York magazine

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