Dear Costume Goddess,
Do you think glasses are terribly distracting during a performance?
I am blind as a bat and always wear my glasses, and I also have my first-ever public performance coming up in a few weeks. I never really thought about my glasses before since they’re such an automatic part of me, and sometimes I don’t even realize that I have them on.
But the other day, something “clicked” (perhaps after looking through tons of belly dancing sites and noticing that no one wore glasses) and I knew I’d have to make the decision to go onstage with or without them.
Contacts are not an option, since my eyes can’t handle them. So do you think it would take away from my performance if I wore them, or should I start practicing without my glasses (I don’t know how it’s going to affect my dancing)?
Before I got contact lenses, I danced in my nearsighted state. It did inhibit my performance somewhat, especially when dancing on a stage, where the faces of the audience were nothing more than a blur. It was a little easier in a small restaurant, just a few feet from the audience.
Being farsighted would be less of a disadvantage, since you could see the audience, and there’s no need to do close work (read, sew, or apply makeup) while performing.
Since you can’t wear contacts, I suggest that you consider the glasses part of your costume, if you do wear them. You will always be remembered as the “bellydancer with the glasses,” so approach it with humor and appreciate your unique style. Keep your hairstyle and accessories simple to avoid a too-busy look.
Luckily, online prescription glasses (from Zenni, Coastal, and others) are inexpensive and come in all kinds of colors and styles. So you can order one or more pairs simply as accessories for costumes. I can vouch for Zenni – they even allowed me to exchange a pair I wasn’t happy with. Some suggestions from Zenni, below.
A metal frame in a matte finish or dark pewter color would work for Tribal style. The metal coins, bells, and other jewelry would harmonize.
For cabaret, a frame could show a touch of theatrical whimsy: a candy color, cat’s-eye shape, or tiny rhinestones.
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