Get ready to throw yourself a little shade. June 27 is Sunglasses Day. Believe it or not, various types of eye protection have been worn for centuries. It is believed the ancient Inuit wore “flattened pieces of walrus ivory with narrow slits” to protect their eyes from the sun. And during the 12th century, judges in China wore “flat planes of smoky quartz crystals” to hide their eyes during court proceedings. In the 19th and 20th centuries, people with syphilis were often prescribed yellow/amber or brown tinted glasses due to sensitivity to light.
Today’s sunglasses are available in a wide assortment of colors, shapes, sizes and prices. Lenses are made out of various materials available in a variety of tints. While comfort and style is important, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing sunglasses all year long because sunglasses help protect our eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays provide the best protection.
But besides protection, sunglasses can hide a variety of sins and imperfections as well. Celebs and rock stars often wear designer shades to hide from the prying public or annoying paparazzi. Spies and secret agents wear them for obvious reasons. And sunglasses sure come in handy when leaving the house without makeup. And just in case you want to hide those dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep or from too much partying the night before, dark shades are must-have accessories.
Sunglasses not only hide a variety of flaws, but can be worn to spice up that humdrum outfit or worn as a fabulous fashion statement. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was known for wearing oversized sunglasses. Audrey Hepburn wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Tom Cruise wore them in the Risky Business and Top Gun films.The stylish and sexy actor Don Johnson wore Ray Ban sunglasses during the 1980s Miami Vice television series. And Corey Hart even had a hit song about sunglasses.