“Your eyes are blue but you ain’t White/your hair is straight cause you press it every night!”

When I watched School Daze as a kid, I didn’t realize that Tisha Campbell’s Jane and a number of her Gamma Ray sisters were wearing colored contacts. Upon viewing it again recently in HD, I saw just how crazy the girls looked- especially next to the cast members who do have naturally light colored eyes.

For all the little hangups I’ve had about appearance over the years, I’ll say that I am relieved that a desire for light eyes was never one of them. I remember reading The Bluest Eye in fourth grade and thinking “Blue eyes aren’t even that pretty” in regards to poor little Pecola’s obsession. And while I do acknowledge that confident sisters with high-self esteem can do things to alter their image just as easily as more insecure ones, I cannot wrap my brain around the inclination of Black girls to wear colored contacts.

For how ever many years they have been around, the colored contact has not been perfected to the point in which it looks remotely natural on a woman of color. From fair to dark, sisters of all shades typically look ridiculous trying to rock even hazel lenses, let alone blue, violet or grey…colors that are rare even in people who are more likely to have been born with lighter peepers. Very few sisters have pulled them off; even Mary J, Beyonce and Vivica have been caught out there looking nuts. And lets not even talk about Small Kim. Those are the celebs who have the money for quality contacts; most Pecolas around the way got ’em for cheap from the beauty supply. No good.

While an inordinate amount of value is placed upon the light eye (much like the fair skin and the straight hair), colored contacts ain’t really getting most sisters no props. Why? Because they don’t look like real eyes! It makes me mad. It’s like preferring a bad weave to a natural. This is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings if you’re reading this through a pair of periwinkle blue FreshLooks. But sisters, please…let the Breedlove stuff go. Even if you love your brown eyes and just want a change, they don’t look right. I’m sorry. I’m doing this for your own good.

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  • makalani o. jones sr.

    wearing a wig is one thing. altering it by dyeing it is a level of self mutilization. the problem is, is the fact that black women in the quest for money power and respect will undergo these altering physical appearances because it obviously is flattering to the oppressor.. oh you wanna look like me… oh yo hate yourself… ohh guess what here’s a promotion, a new position, head of household, you don’t need a man.. keep it up . Great job.

  • Melecca

    I’m a black girl that has black and blue hair and at one time I did have blue contacts I wasn’t trying to be white or alter myself when white people try to tan is that them trying to be black ? I also have natural curly hair I’m not trying to be white by straightening it i find it’s more manageable .

  • Melecca

    When white people dye their hair black are they trying to be black ? I don’t see how dying your hair makes you white . I like wearing contacts I was born with green eyes but over the years they turned brown either way white people are too judgmental of black people white girls now want big butts they must be trying to be black haha white girls want to be “down “so bad they now want to twerk and listen to rap is that them trying to be black I’m not racist far from it MY BOYFRIENDS WHITE

  • I respect your opinion, but please let the self hate myth die. My blue eyed counterparts in high school wore colored contacts. Fairer skinned, straight haired women like kim kardashian, and britney spears are known for their hair extensions.
    Back in old europe every man wore a wig, and up until recently judges still did. Hell Hell, in ancient rome, all sex workers had to wear blonde wigs by law. I love my black skin. Just because I wear a perm does not mean that I love myself more than the next man. Why front like self love equates in any way to one’s appearance? And why are u so upset about the personal choices of others? Even back in the 80’s all white people had a perm. It wasn’t because it was self hate, it was the style. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am with you 100% when it comes to cheap no good contacts. They look like someone painted over plastic with a blue crayon. Yes. They suck. But as for my outside? It does not reflect who I am on the inside. And If you can’t see that, you are part of the problem.