In the 1930s, ‘spectacles’ were described as “medical appliances.” Wearing spectacles was sometimes considered socially humiliating. In the 1970s, fashionable glasses started to become available through manufacturers, and the government also recognized the demand for stylized eyewear.
Graham Pullin describes how devices for disability, like glasses, have traditionally been designed to camouflage against the skin and restore ability without being visible. In the past, design for disability has “been less about projecting a positive image as about trying not to project an image at all." Pullin uses the example of spectacles, traditionally categorized as a medical device for ‘patients,’ and outlines how they are now described as eyewear: a fashionable accessory. Much like other fashion designs and accessories, eyewear is created by designers, has reputable labels, and comes in collections, by season and designer. It is becoming more common for consumers purchase eyewear with clear, non-prescription lenses, illustrating that glasses are no longer a social stigma, but a fashionable accessory that ‘frames your face.'