All right, I’ll admit that this is kind of a minor pet peeve, but I’ve noticed it recently and it’s starting to really bug me. I’m not a fan of pictures of babies and young kids wearing what are clearly adult glasses. I get that a lot of parents take those pictures as a joke, and in that sense, it’s not really any different from pictures of kids wearing adult shoes or over-sized hats, and those are cute. I get that. That’s fine. But why, oh why, if you’re writing a story about children’s eye health, and including information on children’s glasses, would you use a picture of a child wearing what are clearly glasses intended for adults? Why? No really, why? There are so many fantastic pictures of young kids in glasses out there (like right here), and you only serve to make the idea of children in glasses cartoonish by including those pictures of kids in ill-fitting adult glasses. Parents who need the information about their children’s vision are often already upset about the idea of their child wearing glasses, using a jokey picture of a child in glasses does not help at all!
A few offenders (and some of these have good information, which makes it all the more annoying)
- Article in Today’s Parent on 3 common eye problems.
- Kids in Australia article with tips on finding glasses that fit. The article is about finding glasses that fit, for goodness sake!!! Could you not find a decent photo anywhere that shows what that looks like?!?
- How to know that your child might need glasses. Even worse than the others, this features a picture of glasses that have tape around the nosepiece playing to the nerd stereotype, too.
- Momaha article on how to know if your toddler has an eye problem. These glasses are so big, someone has to hold them up for the poor child.
- That same picture is also used in an article about a study finding that kids wearing contacts have better self esteem (well that’s certainly the case if the glasses fit so poorly your mom has to follow you around all day to hold them up!). That second article is specifically trying to get parents to get contacts for their (older) children, so it’s less surprising that they used a jokey photo.
So to anyone writing articles or posts about kids’ vision… I understand, you want a picture to go along with your article, and so you found a stock photo of a kid wearing glasses that are too big, and you think it’s cute. But you know what? There’s other stock photos out there that are just as cute that show kids wearing glasses that … wait for it … fit well. How about we use those? How about we not treat childhood vision issues as a joke, okay?
(and no, I’m not going to include a picture of a baby wearing ginormous glasses).