Eye Color Privilege
There was a time when one of the most attractive and untouched qualities about a woman was the natural twinkle in her eye.
Unfortunately, nowadays, on top of the fake hair, fake nails, surgical enhancements, and, in some instances, skin lighteners as well as fake-and-bake tans, you might find yourself looking into a Black woman’s eyes, and being greeted with a lavender iris. Quite an impossible hue for a sister, by any natural measures.
Quite like matching a cell phone case to an outfit, having your eye color in sync with your mood and/or your wardrobe, is becoming the next tier in fashion mayhem, and possibly the latest set back to celebrating natural beauty, and our ethnicity. This is called eye color privilege. It’s new phenomenon taking over the Black community as self-expression and the definition of beauty finds newer channels to encompass.
Contact lenses were once a product used for individuals needing vision assistance. They were designed as a visionary solution in lieu of glasses, to offer the necessary eye prescription but with a feel of never having needed glasses. Tossing in the color aspect made the idea of wearing contact lenses more of a creative option, like picking out your frames at the eye doctor. Yet everyday people are having lenses custom made as a way to lighten up their eye color, and step out of their ethnicity.
Maybe one could state that eyes have become the new inner prejudice. More and more Black women are rushing to the color contact aisle searching for a new shade of happiness. Their idea is that slipping into a set of contact lenses, can take you from the now perceived dull that is black and brown eyes, into a more popping and engaging hue, like America’s fascination with blonde hair and blue eyes.
As we see more and more celebrities fall into the contact lens abyss, the once famed phrase, “Black is beautiful,” begins to die at the closing of an eyelid.
Amber Rose has been known to dabble with blue eyes for more of a striking look, Tyra Banks occasionally rocks hazel, and Naomi Campbell moves about the color palette like a Picasso painting. Apart from them, we probably all know a sister who dances around the lens shades to the same degree with which she dyes her hair.
Unconsciously, this may be viewed as a norm or an acceptable trend, but quite like the statement that you made when you chose to go natural or relax your hair, the story your eyes tell carry the same conversation.
What are your eyes saying to the world?
- Alaina Lewis