You can always count on Japan for being the first in technology, weird porn and stationary. You can add anime eyes to the bun, with these these freaky tinted lenses (which first made the rounds online) now gaining popularity in North America. The lenses are extra large with a dark rim to cover the whites around the pupil, creating an illusion of wide, large eyes.
The New York Times featured the trend in their Fashion & Style section this weekend, and thanks to Lady GaGa and popular YouTube stars like Michelle Phan, both Asian and non-Asian Americans are wearing these contact lenses.
These days girls of many races are embracing the look. “Circle lenses are not just for Asian people,” said Crystal Ezeoke, 17, a second-generation Nigerian from Lewisville, Tex. In videos she posts to YouTube, Ms. Ezeoke’s gray lenses make her eyes look an otherworldly blue.
Oh, and they’re totally against the law, too.
It is illegal in the United States to sell any contact lenses — corrective or cosmetic — without a prescription, and no major maker of contact lenses in the United States currently sells circle lenses.
Awesome! I love buying beauty products online, but knowing that these things meant to touch my eyeballs aren’t even government approved make me feel even better.
So many thoughts come to mind with this article, like how another Asian fad has hit American shores, all because of the Internet. Without YouTube tutorial videos, popular make-up blogs that feature the trend and online shops selling these products, how else would people here know about these eye-enlarging contact lenses? I’m pretty amazed to see how far globalization has come; pop culture is now small enough that fashion fads can come and go around the world.
A part of me also wonders how this desire for larger looking eyes plays in with racial self perception. It’s easy to judge the Asian and Asian American girls who wear these circle lenses; are they playing into the idea that having more Caucasian features, like larger eyes, is more aesthetically pleasing? With the popularity of plastic surgeries for double-eyelids, I’m not surprised that some girls would go the cheap route for the wide-eyed anime look with contact lenses. But the NY Times brings up an interesting point: this trend is also hitting non-Asians as well. They’ve revealed that the wish for larger eyes is spread across cultures: every girl wants larger eyes and every girl wants to change something about themselves. I know, that’s a broad, blanket statement but have you met any girl who was 100% happy with the way they look?
This brings up the other point, about how some women would go to any lengths to fix their facial appearance, even if that means poking their eyes to wear fake contact lenses not sanctioned by the FDA. Then again, women will put saline-filled implants inside their bodies for bigger boobs. What’s to stop them from wearing these?
To be honest, I’ve seen girls show off their circle lenses online, and they freak me out. Not only do their eyes look super dilated, but the extreme colors and sizes of the lenses make their eyes look incredibly fake. Well, yeah, they’re fake but it’s like seeing a girl go from an A cup to DD’s. Hello, fake cleavage and hello, large purple eyeballs. Mother Nature did not make either of you. Is there really a point in “accentuating” your appearance in a way that makes you look completely unnatural? I’m not downplaying eccentric looks and styles that support individuality; I’m all for pink-haired and pierced punks looking to make a public statement against The Man. But eye colors are something so inherently natural and fixed. No amount of plastic surgery can change the color and shape of our irises. I hate cliches, but I believe eyes really are the windows to our soul. Why would you want to cover them up with unrealistic colors? Also, poking your eyes with artificial objects should be limited to prescription contact lenses, amazing Japanese eyedrops and…well, that’s about it, right?