New decades are exciting, but anyone who was alive when 1999 rolled into 2000 knows that new millenniums are the real cause for celebration.
It’s mind-blowing to embark on a new THOUSAND years, sure. But the first decade of amillennium has a very underrated asset that no subsequent decade in a millennium does: Perfect New Year’s Eve glasses.
From 2000 to 2009 our foolish glasses-loving society was blessed with conveniently placed zeros that could easily be transformed into lenses. We peered into 2👀0 like innovative style icons, and the concept seamlessly followed us from 2👀1 to 2👀9. In 2👁️1👁️, however, we could sense that the party was coming to an end.
New Year’s Eve glasses really only work 9 out of 100 years.
The intrusive number one in “2010” was a minor setback, but even though our central zeros were gone, we still made the glasses work. Unfortunately, 2010 was our last good year. Once 2👁️11 hit and our second zero vanished, our creativity and logic did too. When it came time to place the lenses in 2011 glasses designers were stumped. They didn’t know what to do with themselves, and as the years passed, our dumb tradition-loving faces that grew accustomed to ringing in the new year with numerical glasses on looked worse and worse.
As we end the decade, let’s take a mortifying look at the New Year’s Eve photo archives to revisit the best and worst glasses of the 2010s. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn from our mistakes and make better choices in the 2020s.
As I said, 2010 was a fairly admirable transition year. Some glasses (like the pair in the tweet above) kept the eyeholes in the two zeros, which I believe was smart. But even the glasses that turned the number one into a lens didn’t look so bad. We weren’t overthinking the design at the end of 2009. We were just vibing.
Perhaps this small white Shiba Inu in sparkly purple glasses is persuading me, but I think 2012 was a fine year for glasses, too. You already know I’m OK with zero and one lenses, and the bookending twos made for some lovely symmetry.
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When it comes to New Year’s Eve glasses, the number five looks a lot like a horizontally flipped number two, which means the 2015 glasses are pretty close to the 2012 glasses. Thus, I like them. As BJ Novak said, they’re a bit of a stretch, but this girl looks cool rocking them.
The 2011 glasses were cool enough for Kesha to wear, so who are we to knock them? We did the best we could with an 11, and while they’re not as visually pleasing as the 2012 or 2015 glasses, they worked.
2018 was a special year for glasses because although we had a classic pair with zero and one lenses, designers also got ambitious and made a pair that brought back two round lenses.
In one version of the 2018 glasses the bottom circle of the eight was transformed into an eyehole. While it does look a bit silly to have an eight towering over the two, zero, and one, I give the people credit for making a valiant effort to restore circular eyeholes to the good traditional people.
Here’s the deal, 2013 glasses were either fine or completely idiotic. The classic zero/one lens version? Fine. The attempt at creating regular circular eyeholes and shoving the three on top of the second lens? Completely idiotic. Why would we do that? It looks like we took regular 2010 glasses and transformed them into 2010 to the third power glasses!
Transforming the one into a lens isn’t ideal, but it’s not hideous either. We should have vowed to do that through the 2010s and called it a decade. Instead, we went rogue and tried to shove a four up there.
Most 2019 glasses were disgraces. Much like the bad 2013 glasses, the main design involved taking a regular pair of 2010 shades and plopping a nine on top of the second zero, like so.
It looked absolutely ridiculous, but pulling a 2018 and transforming the circle of the nine into a lens (like the rare glasses seen in the photo below) would have been an easy fix. Yeah you have an awkward nine tail on your face, but it’s for one night.
I just — why couldn’t we have made the circle of the six an eyehole? Are we hopeless?
What happened to making the ONE a lens, people? It had to have been better than giving an imposter of a zero a giant seven hat. Hope everyone had fun walking around with awkwardly large sevens on their foreheads. We deserved it.
If you thought nothing could be worse than the 2017 glasses, join the club. Sadly, I regret to inform you that we were wrong. The 2017s are some of the sorriest excuses for eyewear that I’ve ever seen, but in 2020 we had a golden opportunity to make gorgeous symmetrical glasses with two zero lenses and we fucked it up.
Imagine having two zeros in a year and choosing to make an eye hole in the second TWO instead. Or shoving the second two up in the air and pushing the zeros together. It’s unnatural!