This couplet is one of Dorothy Parker's most famous poems, and is an excellent example of the succinct force of her wit. The poem in its entirety reads:

News Item
Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.

Dorothy Parker might be glad to know that men frequently make passes at girls (and women) who wear glasses nowadays. In at least American culture, glasses tend to connote intelligence and often a certain degree of nerdiness to the unwary observer, and fortunately nowadays intelligence is more accepted, even valued, in women. So to some extent, the scales have tipped the other way such that the bubble-headed women on television and in movies are more often portrayed as the undesirable ones.

On the other hand, there is still a broad vein of anti-glasses sentiment in American culture. Consistently, in movies, talk shows, sitcoms, and ad campaigns that rely on someone going "from geek to goddess," women (and men) are put through a makeover process where the glasses are the first to go. For example, in the Disneyfication of The Princess Diaries, the commercials for the movie showed the main character losing her glasses to become a pretty pretty princess. (They also straightened her hair, which really requires its own acerbic couplet - or perhaps a seven-chapter epic poem.)

The lesson here is either that Acuvue owns Hollywood, or that advertisers don't make passes at movies that wear glasses.

morven says: "Or possibly just that Hollywood & the TV networks are rather behind real life, as is often the case ..." and dutchess adds, "The heroine of My Big Fat Greek Wedding also lost her glasses, as does Clark Kent when he beomes Superman...when they make the movie of my life, Kirstie Alley or Sandra Bullock or whoever's playing me is just going to have to keep the glasses on all the time. Because I do. So there."

This writeup has now been CST Approved!

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