Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hiding behind the shades

click photo to enlarge
I'm worried about Bono! And not just Bono, but Yoko Ono, Naomi Campbell, Joan Collins, and all those other celebrities who wear dark glasses all the time. At some point they're going to have to undergo a pretty complex procedure when they have them surgically removed, and whilst their wallets can probably stand it, can their egos? Some pretty deep counselling is going to be required when they are finally forced to come to terms with their real selves!

So what is it that makes people wear dark glasses regardless of whether they are inside or outside, whether it's sun or rain? I guess it's the influence of style icons and kings of "cool" like Miles Davis and Bob Dylan: people who took to shades like Ozzy Osbourne takes to tattoos. But let's face it, it's just not possible for today's dark glasses gang to compete with the "cool" of someone who invented playing with his back to the audience (Miles), or who could mumble songs instead of singing them, and still sell millions of records( Dylan)!

In fact, I think there is something else at work here besides a desire for the title of "cool". It's my theory that these dark glasses are an exterior manifestation of an interior insecurity. Yes, really! Bono's presence on the world stage as well as the musical stage, and Naomi's catwalk and newspaper strutting, is simply their way of trying to overcome their latent retiring natures! Far from being the vocal extroverts we imagine, who love to accompany presidents and popes, they are really shrinking violets, reluctantly thrust into the public eye, and the dark glasses are their way of hiding from the world! A good theory or what?

I took this photograph of me, reflected in a colleague's mirror sunglasses, as she left work recently. In the interests of workplace harmony I must stress that this lady only wears her sunglasses when the sun shines, and that none of my concerns about the physical and emotional well-being of permanent wearers applies to her! And she's the epitomy of cool! I used a macro lens to secure the picture, and reduced the recommended exposure to counteract the effect of the lighter skin.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen