Sophie Yetunde Balogun from Plaistow has moved one step closer to a £10,000 cash prize in the annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.

Couldn't live without her specs

Sophie, aged 19, started wearing glasses just over four years ago and already feels like she couldn’t live without them.

She says: ‘It was certainly a shock to find out I was a regional semi-finalist! People have always commented on my glasses. They would tell me I’d look prettier without specs or that my eye make-up would spark more if I was wearing contact lenses.

‘I couldn’t disagree more! I love my glasses and I genuinely feel naked without them. I always make sure I choose cool frames in line with the current fashion trends – they fit well with my look and I wouldn’t take them off. I think this competition is a great way to advocate looking good in your glasses.’

Semi-finalist

Sophie qualified as a semi-finalist in the 16-24 age category and was presented a certificate, bottle of champagne and £150 eyewear voucher at the Specsavers store in Stratford.

Peter Epsom, store director at Specsavers in Stratford, says: ‘It is great that Sophie is really happy with her frames and loves to wear them. We hope that her confidence will inspire other spectacle wearers to don their glasses with pride.

‘We’re delighted that she has made it through to this stage of the competition – it’s great for us and for Stratford and we wish her luck in hopefully making it through to the final.’

Thousands of glasses wearers across the UK and Republic of Ireland have been showing off their specs style by sharing their selfies online and entering the competition – now in its 22nd year – at their local Specsavers store.

The five age categories of 16-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-59 and 60+, plus a Facebook favourite voted for by the public, has given the judges a fantastic insight into the country’s specs style and the response from the public has been amazing.

If Sophie goes through to the next stage she could meet competition ambassador, Nadine Coyle, at the celeb-packed awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 10 October.  

All Stratford store information