Our nation has produced some truly great eyewear moments in its history—Audrey Hepburn’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” frames; Lolita’s heart-shaped sunnies; Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun” aviators—but the rhinestone-studded, rainbow-hued, rimless sunglasses that dominated the early 2000s are decidedly not one of them.
If you were paying attention to the Paris Hiltons of the world at the time—or even if you’ve taken a BuzzFeed-enabled trip down nostalgia lane since then—you know exactly what I’m talking about: They could be oversized aviators, ombré-lensed rectangles, or massive, face-hogging shield shades, bathing forehead to cheekbone in a colorful glow. The ultimate status frames were by Chanel and Dior, and proclaimed so loudly with blingy Ds or interlocking Cs at the temple. I wanted them So. Badly. in middle school.
Don’t believe me? ASOS just heralded their “major resurgence,” Vogue thinks the amber-hued variety is having a “serious comeback,” and Drake, Bella Hadid, Chiara Ferragni, and Lily Donaldson have all repped the style in recent months—and you just know Kylie Jenner’s next in line.
Which brings me to one question: Can we not?
First of all, while they might do an OK job at blocking out the sun, they aren’t very effective at shielding you from other people. Take a look through photos from back in the day and you can tell exactly how drunk Paris is at that pool party or how much disdain Victoria Beckham has for the plebes around her. (Have you ever seen Anna Wintour wear tinted lenses at a runway show? Exactly.)
Also, it’s 2016! We have practically an infinite number of more flattering optical options out there—mirrored aviators! clear-frame cat-eyes!—whose trendiness doesn’t rely on a flashy logo or $400 price tag (see: these rad under-$50 styles). We can do better than taking our style cues from Lindsay Lohan circa-2003, my friends.
And on that note, let’s keep our shutter shades safe and sound in the back of a drawer somewhere. It’s for the best.
There’s no harm in taking a look back at past transgressions, though, so click through the gallery for a look back at the tinted lenses of the early aughts, as well as some Instagram-sourced evidence of their unfortunate comeback.