It is a rather odd phenomenon and I just don’t know how to explain it. Have you ever visited the streets of Sydney or Melbourne and just people watched? Most of them would strut down the streets naturally with their gorgeous sense of dressing and the sunnies seem to belong as part of their relaxed yet fashionable outfits. But the same cannot be said for Singaporeans and I am just going to say it, Singaporeans do not wear shades. There have been occasions where I have seen a dozen pair of eyes staring right back at me as I start putting on my pair of sunnies. What seems to solidify this notion that sunglasses are not welcome here is the fact that a Singapore news site recently explained how “ Singapore is one of the sunniest places on Earth, yet we refuse to wear sunglasses”, in an article detailing how new Singaporeans ought to know to blend in. This strikes me as odd since our country is one that is just situated along the Equator, shouldn’t it then made more sense that we start adorning more of these?
Why Don’t Singaporeans Wear Sunglasses?
This was recently explained to me by a friend when we started discussing why Singaporeans absolutely abhor the use of a pair of sunnies. Due to how Singapore has kilometres after kilometres of sheltered walkway, overpasses and corridors, most of us find it a breeze to get around to our schools, offices and shopping malls without being bothered too much by crazy weather conditions like sun and rain. When walkaways aren’t there to keep us sheltered, we have an insane amount of trees to shield us with their generous shade.
Those are extremely plausible explanations but something else that shocks me is the social perception of people who wear sunglasses when they’re on their daily commute. It has been noted on many online sites that there is a certain negative connotation to people who wear sunglasses and some might even stare and size you up to determine if you are some sort of television star or celebrity. And if you are not either of the two, you are categorised as someone who “acts cool”. But here is the situation, did you know that the best way to protect our eyes is to put on a pair of sunglasses. Find out why these sunglasses are way more than just a fashion accessory.
Why Sunglasses Are An Essential?
There are many reasons why sunglasses are an essential and one of which is the retina inside our eye that needs to be protected. When we consider how macular degeneration is an extremely real issue that affects the elderly, we need to be more mindful of it. It has been found that the use of sunglasses actually protects the light-sensitive nerve tissue from UV damage and this is what prolongs our eventual vision loss. Another reason for that is in the lens of our eye. Most of us would find cataract a very common word thrown around in conversation and that is when our lens are clouded. Similarly, it is the use of sunglasses that would help slow the progression of our cataracts.
Something else that sticks out for the beauty conscious is how sun exposure on our eyes are extremely damaging to the thin skin surrounding those delicate areas. Like our sunscreen, our sunglasses have UVA and UVB protection that would help reduce the signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. To add to that, the use of sunglasses (especially those with UV-filtering) actually help to prevent skin cancer in that area. The skin around our eyes and that includes our eyelids are some of the places where we are more prone to getting skin cancer. The kind of sunglasses you should be looking for would be those that are able to block out almost all ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. Another point to add would be how sun exposure might actually cause freckles to appear on our skin especially for those with a fairer complexion (and lesser melanin in their skin). The use of sunglasses and sunscreen will keep your skin beautiful and free of any blemishes or dark spots.
If you know a day out in the sun is on the cards, be sure to leave your house with a layer of sunscreen over your face, the use of a pair of sunnies and even a wide-brimmed hat. What we know is that head accessories like hats and caps only keep away half of the UV radiation from our eyes and that is 50% too little. To ensure the sun’s glare and intensity doesn’t get to you, you need to start taking heed of our advice regardless of what anyone would think. You do you, Glen Coco!