What makes you feel confident in your appearance? As the saying goes, when you look good, you feel good. A new hairstyle, a new outfit, even a new pair of shoes can offer an emotional boost in the wearer. In a world that highly values beauty and glamor, it stands to reason that we might also feel more confident about ourselves when we choose to wear contact lenses over eyeglasses to correct our vision.
There are numerous, well-researched studies by universities and focus groups that have found evidence to suggest that wearing contact lenses can increase self-confidence. Mitchell J. Princeton, Director of Clinical Physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducted a study that associated wearing glasses to negative traits in areas of self-perception and good looks. In a poll of 2,500 people, it was discovered that the majority of contact lens wearers chose to don their contacts because they felt more attractive than they had when wearing eyeglasses.
The Nightclub Study
The University of Warwick released a scientific survey concluding that trading eye glasses for contact lenses dramatically increases both interaction and invitations to date from the opposite sex. In Warwick, student researchers used a group of 38 short-sighted students, and monitored their activity in a night club setting. The male and female undergraduates were ages 18-25, and were all sent to the same London nightclub with stringent directions to go and meet new people. The group was divided evenly into three separate samples: students who typically wore eyeglasses, students who normally wore eyeglasses and instead sported contacts and students who always wore contact lenses.
The participants who switched to contact lenses in the study reported increased self-confidence. Meanwhile, 75% of those who went out on the town in their eyeglass frames felt less confident. Overall, twice as many contact lens-wearers as eye glasses-wearing undergraduates reported that they felt wearing contact lenses helped them feel and appear more attractive. Those who wore contacts also reported that their interactions had included “hugging” or “kissing” that same evening. The sample size of this report is too small to qualify as a true scientific discovery, but it does show that, out of those who participated in the study, individuals felt more attractive and confident in a social setting when wearing contacts.
The Fogg Theory
Another study from Stanford University known as the Fogg Theory suggests three behaviors must concur at the same moment – motion, ability and trigger – to persuade humans to make a purchase or decision. Creator BJ Fogg has used his theory to help sell everything from cell phones to contact lenses. This school of thought explains that when one of these three facets is missing, the motivation to purchase or change a behavior is unlikely to happen. A person must enjoy all three facets simultaneously to reach an actionable outcome.
With this thinking, Fogg suggests adults who wear colored contact lenses are more self-confident because the tinted contacts offer the quick ability to improve appearance and provide a spark of self-gratification. This might be true; color contacts have enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past decade. The study went on to conclude that confidence derived from a short-term fix, such as wearing cosmetic contacts, can provide an extreme confidence boost in the long run. That gratification actually has a significant impact on how willing a person may be to engage in long-term methods to improve their appearance, including exercise and weight loss. Quick and easy cosmetic enhancements often help individuals walk taller or speak more self-assuredly.
Confidence in Children
Scientific research that has been completed on children’s physical development and self-perception skills suggest that both can be enhanced by wearing contact lenses. According to a study conducted by Ohio State University’s College of Optometry, glasses are associated with lower self-perception. The youth that participated in the Ohio State University study were ages 8 to 11, and were indiscriminately assigned to wear either glasses (237) or contact lenses (247) over a three year period. At the end of the experiment, researchers found that students who were assigned to wear contact lenses attained higher scores in both athletic competence and academic endeavors. Conversely, the children who wore contact lenses enjoyed a higher degree of social status compared to their peers who wore eyeglasses.
Whether it’s taking an Instagram “selfie” or making a business presentation, wearing contact lenses may not only positively influence others’ perception of us, but also how we perceive ourselves. One fact that reigns true in all of these studies is that our outward appearance tends to play a sizable role in generating a confident persona, and contact lenses can help to enhance it.