Thursday is quickly becoming our favorite day—what’s not to love about rifling through old celebrity photos, catching some of our favorites in frames? Comparing the side-by-sides with and without glasses is not only fun but a great reminder of how big an impact contacts can have on your overall look. Make the change yourself with a pair of contacts, like Air Optix Aqua, or some head-turning colored lenses, like FreshLook Colors, and forever relegate your glasses to your #TBT feed.
The burly, glasses-clad 26th President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt was known for his robust and outspoken persona. Also a soldier and an explorer, Teddy was nearsighted. Having been born in 1858, he was luckily able to correct his vision on a day-to-day basis thanks to glasses, but unfortunately Roosevelt was born a bit too early to take advantage of luxuries like daily disposable contact lenses. Interestingly enough, contacts were actually first invented in 1887, when Teddy was 29 years old; however they weren’t actually approved for use by the FDA until many reiterations later, in 1971. Considering Teddy Rooseveltdied in 1919, he certainly missed that boat, which is perhaps too bad because we really love this picture of the nearsighted future-president sans the frames he was always seen wearing.
Somewhat of a tragic Hollywood hero, Christopher Reeve was an actor, director, producer, writer, author and activist. Despite becoming a quadriplegic after an equestrian accident, Reeve continued to work and thrive. Before the accident, he was launched into full-on stardom thanks to his role as the handsome Superman in 1978. As Clark Kent, the lovable but nerdy reporter, Reeve wore large, round glasses. When he ditched the three-piece suit for the famous red and blue Superman outfit, he left the glasses behind, too. Everyone from Brandon Routh to Henry Cavill have worn Superman’s glasses, but with someone as handsome as Reeve, we can certainly admire him with and without the frames.
Now that we’ve brought up Superman, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up the beauty and strength that is Wonder Woman. Played by Lynda Carter in the TV series from 1975 through 1979, Carter proved that being a superhero wasn’t just for the boys. Outside of the iconic role, Carter had a very successful career in both acting and activism. Once voted “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” like Christopher Reeve, we think Lynda shines with or without her (oversized) glasses.
For any kid growing up in the late 1980’s, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” was a must-see for Saturday morning cartoons. Running from 1986 to 1991, the magical show was full of inventions, imaginative characters and oodles of tricks and fun. Bright colors and creative sets, the show expanded into a few films as well. Pee-wee Herman almost always wore the same outfit—a tight fitting, light gray suit, red bow tie and shiny black shoes. Although there are dozens of Hollywood geeks donning glasses these days, the ‘80s star rarely did. Although, we did happen to uncover a picture of the actor in frames, and, well, we just had to share.
So famous she really only needs one name, Oprah is an American living legend. Running her own talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she won countless awards for the nationally syndicated show, which ran straight from 1986 to 2011. It’s worth noting that it only stopped in 2011 due to Oprah moving to her own network. Throughout her reign as the big “O,” she’s worn glasses off and on. While we think she looks pretty great no matter what she’s rocking, we love that she effortlessly bounces between the two looks. Now, of course, because it’s Oprah, she’s got access to some the coolest frames out there, but even still, we can’t help admire her face without a pair of glasses sitting atop it, which allows her strong bone structure to really stand out.
A spinoff from the popular “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World” featured lovable yet goofy DWayne Wayne. The show ran from 1987 through 1993 and was about young college students. DWayne was a math genius and was always sour over his foiled attempts to nab the latest desire of his affection. He was always fashion forward with his accessories and one of his most iconic was his eclectic pair of glasses. Featuring handy flip-up lenses, the round spectacles switched from sunglasses to full-on eyeglasses with just the flick of his finger. We can’t help but wonder if this had anything to do with his lady problems…
Incredible funny woman Tina Fey, like Oprah, bounces easily between wearing glasses and contacts. The funny woman first became a household name thanks to the 10 years she spent on “SNL,” a comedy sketch show on NBC. She’s garnered a ton of awards thanks to her hilarious acting chops, and has written an autobiography that topped the New York Time’s Best-seller lists for five weeks in a row! She left “SNL” in 2006 and went on to star in the wildly successful show “30 Rock.” She’s also been in several movies (with and without glasses), such as “Date Night,” “Baby Mama” and “Mean Girls.” Though Fey is seen wearing her glasses a lot, we love how fresh and free she looks when she forgoes them for contacts.