Why is the general consensus that sunglasses look cool? You wouldn't expect it, but quite a few people ask themselves this question (or to be more accurate: they turn to the internet to ask the question). It is a deliberate and engineered move, invented by the sunglasses industry.
So, why do sunglasses look cool? For the complete answer we need to go back a few decades...
“shades therefore often take a prominent place in the movie. It was a clever move, because now these sunglasses were first associated with a cool actor or movie. And then they were considered cool themselves.”
Sunglasses, once a funtional item
Sunglasses were once a funtional item. To avoid snowblindness and to reduce glare. and most importantly to see clearer on sunny and bright days. We have a relevant article about the invention of sunglasses here, if you're interested to read it. Go ahead, it opens in a new window.
Sunglasses marketed as fashion items
At a certain moment in time sunglasses became marketed as fashion items. And to amplify that, the sunglasses manufacturers made a clever move. They figured that the best way how to accomplish their goal, was by turning to something already perceived as cool: Hollywood. They made sure that the actors that were most popular, wore their sunglasses. Countless movies such as Top Gun, Men in Black, Jurassic Park... all included some form of product placement.
Hollywood sponsorship to cover production costs
These big budget productions are extremely expensive to make. So, to compensate for these production costs, the producers then started to turn to the corporations behind the eyewear brands to ask for sponsorship. The shades therefore often take a prominent place in the movie in return.
From cool actors to cool sunglasses
So it was a very clever move, that paid off big time. Because now these sunglasses were first associated with a cool actor or movie. And then the sunglasses themselves were considered cool.
Who wear sunglasses indoors?
Another reason is that some celebrities started wearing sunglasses. Keeping your eyes behind a pair of shades makes your eyes difficult to see. Paparazzi and fans that have a split second to see the person in real life, had to spend the first few seconds thinking: "is that really who I think it is?". Just enough time for the celebrity to escape. Later celebrities would wear sunglasses to indicate that they were famous enough to require to wear shades. The exact opposite of why they were used in the first place.
Sunglasses like the celebrities
The side effect of course was that first the celebrities were associated with wearing sunglasses. Then fans started wearing sunglasses to be associated with the celebrities. And right now, people associate the sunglasses themselves with being cool.
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