Economist Albert Park gave away eyeglasses to school kids in China. He was surprised (apparently he is not disabled) when the kids and their parents refused them. Why the refusal? In part, stigma.
Park thinks more families would have accepted the glasses if the researchers had better explained the program, if they had cultivated demand. So how do you make having four eyes cool?In America, eyeglasses are the coolest thing you can put on your face right now.
He would say that. That's Harvey Moscot, an optometrist and president of a New York eyewear institution called Moscot. Every year, Moscot sells about 300 pairs of vanity glasses -- with clear plastic lenses -- for around $225 a pop. In the industry, they're called "planos." According to one estimate, some four million Americans wear planos everyday. Not to see better; just to look better. I asked Moscot why there's such a difference in eyeglass culture between the U.S. and Gansu Province.Famous Chinese icons probably are not wearing their glasses like they are in America. From any hip-hop star to any idol of a sports star that wears them influences children's perception of eyeglasses.