September 29, 2020

Ashley Welford-Costelloe
Opinion

Here’s an interesting question. If you had the option to change your eye colour, would you do it? Of course, you’ll have to pay $5,000 and undergo brief laser surgery.
I came across an article on this subject while perusing the Internet one evening. Apparently, one does not need coloured contacts to disguise their true eye colour anymore. There is a way to change it permanently.
Gregg Homer, a California doctor, claims he’s worked 10 years to perfect a laser treatment that can irreversibly turn brown eyes blue. Here’s how it works. A computer scans the iris and uses a laser to disrupt the brown pigment on the eye. Since blue pigment lies beneath the brown pigment, removing the outer layer of melanin can bring about a bluer look to the eyes. Over the next two to three weeks, the body removes the damaged melanin and the pigment lightens up, eventually transforming brown eyes to blue.
Surely a procedure such as this must have risks. According to expert Dr. Robert Cykiert, an eye specialist from NYU, when you burn away the brown pigment with a laser, the debris is likely to clog up the microscopic channels in the front of the eye. This can result in glaucoma.
This brings me to yet another question. Why only blue? Why couldn’t he have developed a procedure to turn blue eyes brown, brown eyes green, etc? What kind of message is being sent here? After all these years, do we still find the blond-haired, blue-eyed European look superior? I am reminded of another individual who tried to change eye colour.
Perhaps the name Joseph Mengele rings a bell. He was a German SS officer and a physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was infamous for performing grizzly experiments on camp inmates, including children.
Many of these experiments were based on creating a blond-haired, blue-eyed race. One of his most famous experiments was attempting to change eye colour. Mengele or one of his assistants would inject dyes into the eyes of a child. This often resulted in injury and complete blindness, not to mention excruciating pain.
I am not trying to compare Homer to Mengele. For one thing, Mengele’s patients didn’t have a choice. Homer is not personally rounding up individuals and forcing them to undergo his new procedure.
Here’s something else to think about. Brown eye colour provides more UV protection than lighter colours and is dominant in regions where year-round exposure to sunlight is greater. So if you burn away the melanin, you no longer have any protection. You have to wonder what sort of damage could result from that.
I suppose I’ll never understand the lengths some people go to in order to change their appearance. Whatever happened to natural beauty?

The opinions expressed in this piece were those of a blond-haired, blue-eyed individual who believes in letting nature take its course.

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