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“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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