Features: Profiles


Real Eyes: Pro(kid)files

Kids say the darndest things… about eyewear. 20/20 spoke with an informal group of kids ages seven through 13 on their thoughts about eyewear and optical shops. What follows are their candid opinions.

An Avid Sunglass Wearer

Josh Karp, who is 13 and just completed seventh grade at Pierre Van Cortland Middle School in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., has been wearing sunglasses since he was three years old. He currently has five pairs—three are variations on the 180° Eyegear wrap line and two styles are from the official Matrix collection. “What I look for is a good wrap that has good eye protection and looks good.” For Josh looking good means a wrap in “good colors—silver, clear, black, gray, anything metallic with purply mirror lenses.” His favorite color in general is navy blue.
What Josh likes about the 180° styles is they’re good for sports and especially sailing, which he loves. “I like to wear the Matrix styles when I’m getting dressed up and want to look nice,” he adds.

Josh did wear ophthalmic eyewear for reading a couple of years ago, but no longer needs a prescription. “I wore Tommy Hilfiger frames. They were comfortable and I was fine with wearing them,” he notes.

His impression of the eyewear stores he has visited is they’re “smallish.” But he admits he doesn’t like shopping for sunglasses or anything else.  
Gloria Nicola

A Boy and His Glasses

Ten-year-old Jake Nelson was in fifth grade this past year at Schulhaus Juch in Zumikon (a suburb of Zurich), Switzerland. He has worn eyeglasses for the past three years and purchased his latest pair a year ago in Minnesota, before moving with his family to Switzerland. He describes the frame, which is from the Fisher-Price collection, as “sort of an oval” in amber and gold. His favorite color in clothes is gray. Jake says he wears his glasses all the time except when reading and is happy with them because they help him see better. “I would buy the
same style the next time I buy glasses,” he notes. Although Jake doesn’t wear sunglasses he is very specific on what he likes on others: wire rims with dark green lenses.

He has mixed feelings about his last visit to the optical shop. “The guy helping at the store was nice, but there were too few pairs of glasses to choose from,” he says. —

A Rectangle in His Future
A soon-to-be fifth grader at P.S. 187 in New York City, nine-year-old Claude Kasemichael began wearing glasses in second grade, but then his eyes improved and he didn’t need prescription eyewear until this past year. He now wears glasses to correct an astigmatism, he says, and wears them primarily at school. Claude’s frame is a Hush Puppies Pups style, which he describes as “roundish in gold and brown.” He’s very decisive about what he wants in his next pair of glasses—“a blue rectangle.” His favorite color in clothes is gray. 
Claude likes his glasses because they help him see better, but he does worry about breaking them (the lenses fall out) when participating in sports, which he enjoys. In fact, his favorite class is gym and he especially likes basketball and soccer.

He does have a pair of black sunglasses, but doesn’t really care for them. “They make everything too dark,” he notes. “I don’t like them on other people either. It’s hard to recognize people when they’re wearing sunglasses.”

What Claude likes about his visits to the optometrist is “finding out stuff about the eyes.” But he admits he finds the whole experience “kind of boring.” —GN

A Fan of Bright Colors

Madeline Kasemichael likes the color pink and she likes bright colors on her eyewear. Now seven years old—she’s just completed second grade at P.S. 187 in New York City—Madeline’s been wearing glasses since first grade and is happy with them because they help her see better. But she doesn’t like the fact she sometimes forgets to put them on before she goes to school. Madeline’s frame, which is from the OshKosh collection, is “round with lots of colors—pink, blue, red and purple.” For her next pair, she wants either the same colors or “other colors, as long as
they are bright.” Although most of Madeline’s friends don’t wear glasses, they do admire hers.

She used to have a pair of silver sunglasses with blue lenses and now has a pink pair. “I wear sunglasses if it’s really sunny, but sometimes they make things too dark. I want to be able to see the sun,” she explains. “I like my mom’s sunglasses because they have jewels on them.”

Madeline looks forward to her next eye exam so she can find out if her eyes have improved, but she doesn’t care for the long waits when she visits the optometrist.  —GN

Wheels on the side

Reid Wilkins, 10, just finished the fourth grade at Dana Lyons Elementary School in Bath, N.Y. He’s been wearing glasses for about a year. He picked a pair of blue, oval-shaped Rocket Power frames from Nickelodeon. Although Reid likes the color blue, his favorite color for clothing is white. 

“I like my glasses because on the sides they have wheels and a rail that you grind a skateboard on,” he explains. “The next time I get glasses I’d probably pick something similar to what I have.”
Reid needs his glasses for distance and says he doesn’t like that he can’t sleep in them. He likes sunglasses and usually wears them in the summer.
Reid says his experience at the eye doctor was positive. He liked that once he got his glasses he could see clearly. What he didn’t like: “When they blow air into your eyes [for the glaucoma test].” 
—Jackie Micucci

A Convert to Lenses that Change

Twelve-year-old Will Moser says he’s happy with his glasses. “They’re good. “They fit well, they are comfortable, they help me see better and [best of all] the lenses [Transitions] darken when I go outside, so I don’t get as many headaches as I did before.” Will, who has just completed sixth grade at the middle school in Glenview, a suburb of Chicago, has been wearing glasses since fifth grade. He’s now on his second pair. “The first pair broke,” he notes. He prefers the new eyewear, which is from the
Australian Optical collection, because it’s more of an oval shape. The first one was “roundish.” The frame is gold and brown. He has no favorite colors, he says, but does not like white. He does like black sunglasses on other people.

Will’s experiences at the optical store have been good. “The people are nice and I get to choose my own glasses.”  —GN

Going for the blue

When it came time for eight-year-old Devin Paredes to pick eyeglasses he went with one of his favorite colors: blue. The soon-to-be third grader at P.S. 2 Elementary School in West New York, N.J. admits he did have a little help from mom with his selection. As for clothing color, Devin has a patriotic palette: blue and red.

Devin has been wearing glasses since he was seven and says he’s never worn sunglasses but thinks they look cool on other people.
“I’m happy with the glasses I have now,” he says. “They make me see well. I can’t see from far away.”

Devin doesn’t know what kind of glasses he’d pick next time he goes to the optical shop. But he notes that he did have a good experience there. “Everyone was nice and treated me well.” —JM