Do you like anime? More importantly, do you like anime girls?
Did you ever want to look like them or do you know anyone who prefers dating women who do?
Recently, a new trend promoting women with artificially enhanced eyes has begun to emerge. After Lady Gaga’s doe-like appearance in the ‘bath-scene’ within her music video Bad Romance in 2010, young women nationwide, most notably in countries like Korea, Japan and China, but also in the United States and around the rest of the world, have started a new fashion statement promoting and popularising the idea of large tinted doll-like eyes. For only 20 to 30 dollars, you can have big anime eyes … only that does not seem to be the only price attached to this new fad.
Circle lenses, as they are called, are well-known to give their wearers a childlike, doll-like appearance, characteristic of Japanese anime.
Lady Gaga’s exaggerated eyes were most likely computer generated, but young women and men nationwide can copy this look with these special contact lenses, which can be found in a wide variety of colours, not just the usual brown or blue, but also in lilac, lime green, or pink.
So how is the ‘anime-effect’ generated? The secret of circle lenses is that instead of covering just the irises of the eyes, they are also coloured to cover part of the whites, in order to make the irises look larger. Like regular contact lenses, circle lenses have a diameter of approximately 14mm – 16mm. However, unlike normal lenses the extra-wide outer rims of circle lenses are tinted as well, creating the illusion of bigger eyes.
What’s the catch? While official online contact lens sellers need a prescription to verify customers’ needs, websites selling circle lenses waive this prerequisite, allowing clients to choose the strength of their lenses as easily as choosing the colour.
Dr. S. Barry Eiden, an optometrist in Deerfield, Illinois, Chairman of the contact lens and cornea section of the American Optometrist Association, maintains that people selling circle lenses online are encouraging the avoidance of professional care and warns that circle lenses could deprive the eye of oxygen and cause serious vision problems.
The spokeswoman for the U.S Federal and Drug Administration, Karen Riley, told the New York Times that consumers risked significant eye injuries – even blindness, when buying lenses without a valid prescription or assistance from an eye-care professional.
High heels, tight jeans, large handbags, heavy earrings, these are all uncomfortable, yet most women still wear them in the name of fashion. Today it seems that girls sporting giant pink anime eyes, mimicking Twilight or Lady Gaga, are all the rage. I shudder to think how the addiction of dolly-eyes will boom now that Tim Burton’s latest movie Big Eyes is out in cinemas worldwide.
Personally, I love anime – one can in fact say that I am a Japanese cartoon addict. However, loving anime and risking the health of my eyes are two totally different things. The whole issue seems a little sketchy to me. Apart from that, prolonged wear of such lenses, which stifle the cornea and limit oxygen access, not only lead to infections, but can scratch the cornea itself and can cause serious permanent problems.
Big eyes are all very well and good, but if using lens enhancers to make one look like an innocent E.T. creates all these problems, I truly hope this fad never comes to the Maltese islands. Better that we stick to our real healthy eyes and appearance, and let anime be anime.