Thursday, February 16, 2012

look into my eyes

in the past month, I've frequented the eye doctor after having this reoccurring redness in my right eye. it turns out that my overuse of contact lenses lead to an inflammation in both eyes, plus a bacterial infection of some sort. no bueno.

I don't remember when I started using contacts, but I do remember vividly in high school my obsession with colored contact lenses. I'd switch between turquoise and grey lenses, regaling in the fact that I could confuse people with my race just by changing the color of my eyes.

perhaps this contributed to my identity crisis growing up into my almost-adulthood, never remembering the real color of my eyes unless I wore glasses (which was a public rarity, and still is). one of my friends here gave me a nickname after my "green eyes" but once I switch back to clear contacts it will no longer have purpose. 

I've built this identity surrounding my unique, yet fake, eye color. I can't tell you how many times a guy has approached me just because he thinks my eyes are beautiful. "sorry to break it to you, but they're contacts." what. a. boner. kill.

now that I'm almost 24, I think it's time for me to move on and out with the fake eyes. my doctor told me that a majority of people with eye problems are usually those that wear colored lenses. they're thicker, which prevents more oxygen from hitting your eyes. hence, the inflammation and redness I've experienced. I'm down to my last few pairs of turquoise lenses and after that, I'll be done & ready to move on. part of being comfortable with yourself if accepting the fact that you were not born with blue or hazel or violet eyes, whatever it may be. this leads to why I'm writing this post. 

I came across this Korean website called Candy Lens, where you can buy literally any type of colored contact you can think of, even designs! every anime lovers' dream, pretty much. (that's not meant to be my defense there's a whole section of the website dedicated to anime contact lenses)

there are literally hundreds of these lenses, ranging in all colors of the spectrum. but why the frenzy? and specifically, in Asian cultures?

typically, Asians have either brown or black eyes. having the option of colored lenses is a way of extending our personal style, in addition to begin separated from the rest. but I feel that aside from personal feelings on wearing colored contacts, the fact that yes, they are fun to wear and are less boring than flaunting your own pair of brown/black eyes, there is some kind of cultural dilemma Asians face in regard to changing their eye color.

in college, I tackled this issue of upper eyelid surgery, aka blepharoplasty, for asians in a sociology class. this concept of "whiteness" as a heralded race in Asian cultures is bothersome, especially when many Asian men and women undergo surgeries like this to enlarge their eyes, essentially. this is of course, a further step than simply getting colored contacts to look presumably less Asian.

what do you all think? are there ethical issues to wearing colored lenses, or is it just for sheer pleasure?
for me, there's always an underlying reason why we dress the way we dress, how we want society to see us. it wasn't my intention to get all psychoanalytical about my contacts, but it's an issue I, myself have to grapple with.

as for the future of my eyes, I'd like to experiment with clear lenses and rediscover who I am and what I was born with.


Lucie Srbová said...

I think those volored lenses are cool but I wouldnt wear them because it is not the colout of eyes I was born with. I have a giveaway on my blog so feel free to join it:)

Girlie Blogger said...

Your eyes ARE beautiful. NO matter what color they are. Not surprised at all that men approach you.

Daisy Chan Dwars said...

I would love to try contact lenses once, looks so awesome :D xo

Catherine said...

First off, this post reminded me of our first class together in college (Identity). A good and honest look into the question of changing appearance... I think it takes a certain degree of maturity to recognize that deeper desire to change what we look like in order to affect people's perceptions of us. This led me to wonder about all the people on Lookbook who create outfits specifically to photograph, share and get other people's approval versus fashion bloggers who choose to share their outfits because it's so much a part of who they are. In both cases of eye color or outfit choices, there are some people who do it to be noticed and seen in a calculated way. But on the other hand there are some people who do it because it's their own genuine interpretation of themselves.

Thanks for making me think!!