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Why sunglasses make us look better

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Movie stars, rock stars, models and celebrities love to wear sunglasses. No matter how good they already look, some of the most attractive people on the planet believe they look better when they're wearing shades.

But why? What is it about sunglasses that makes us look better?

Well, that's what Vanessa Brown, senior lecturer in design and visual culture at Nottingham Trent University in the UK wanted to know. So, she put a study together and came up with some interesting findings. Here are the three parts of her study that really stood out for me.

Sunglasses give our face symmetry

It has long been established that the reason we find some people's faces more attractive than others, is symmetry. The closer the sides of the person's face match up, the better we seem to believe they look. 

Wearing sunglasses allows us to provide perfect symmetry to our eyes and the area around our eyes. As such, it makes our face more symmetrical overall. This then seems to make us more attractive to others. So long as we choose the correct type of sunglasses, of course.

Sunglasses disguise our eyes

It's often said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. As Brown put it: “The eyes are such a tremendous source of information and vulnerability.” 

By covering our eyes, we add a degree of mystery. We make it harder for people to know what we're thinking or even where we're looking. Brown added; "Sunglasses, by covering those vulnerable eyes and implying that connection with sleek engineering and glossy surfaces, make it easier to pull off a truly cool demeanour."

This is why in many countries, people are not allowed to wear sunglasses when giving evidence in court, unless they have a medical condition making them essential. 

Sunglasses and glamour

Sunglasses are associated with Hollywood glamour and fashion. In fact, sunglasses are one of the few fashion essentials that have never gone out of style. They are just as in vogue today as they were decades ago. For example, the amazing impact of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tinnanys, is maybe even more iconic today than it was half a century ago. 

Wearing sunglasses allows us to form a link between the image we project and the image created by the stars.

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