We like chunky glasses frames, the ones where the wearer sends the clearest signal possible that they need eye correction. The Buddy Holly is cute on little boys, geeky-chic on high school girls and hip on, well, hipsters.
So what’s with the strange aversion to anything that signals bad hearing? Around 36 million Americans have some sort of hearing loss. But I had an uncle with a thunderous laugh simply because he would not wear a hearing aid. Loud and clear to him and many others, a hearing aid transmitted a certain oldness that somehow laughing-for-two didn’t. We need to get over it.
Enter the ear trumpet.
Ear trumpets could signal, in the way of the wayfarer frames, their own with-it-ness. An attitude of “I cranked Led Zep/Metallica/Nirvana/Bieber as a youth and I don’t care who knows it.”
Large. Yes. But that’s the point. Sling an ear trumpet over your shoulder on a piece of leather, and you’ve just one-upped those style-deaf (and otherwise deaf) folks who shyly hide their tiny hearing aids in the top dresser drawer, back right corner.
And think of the options for accessorizing. Gemstones. School colors. Halloween accoutrements. Soon you’ll find Archivers full of handy stick-ons and ear trumpet tassels.
The bonus is that maybe folks will get over looking like they can hear when they can’t. I’m talking to you. Hey, you there. Hello?