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I Wore Circle Lenses, But Don't Call Me Lady Gaga Just Yet
Filed under: Opinions
Forget the warnings of swollen corneas, corneal abrasions and icky infections. A possibility of blindness? Please. I've been suffering for the sake of style for years -- admittedly with mixed results -- and, sometimes, in the name of beauty, I simply have to stop and ask myself: What would Lady Gaga do?
She'd try circle lenses, that's what.
Credited with popularizing the current circle contact lens craze -- particularly big in Japan, Korea and Taiwan -- after her own eyes were digitally altered for her smash "Bad Romance" music video, the pop idol has already cemented herself as a fashion icon. So if I, a suburban mother of two who, these days, lives in yoga pants and men's Hanes T-shirts, can channel a little Gaga glam by testing out the lenses, bring on the risks.
Lots of circle lens safety stories hit the media last week, as eye doctors gave them a giant thumbs down. Designed to make eyes look bigger, the colorful lenses go past the iris, covering up part of the white of the eye, supposedly giving the wearer a touch of anime or wide-eyed doll appeal. The size of a circle lens is about the same as a regular contact lens, the color just extends all the way to the outer rim of the lens, where regular color contacts go transparent at the edges. They also come in a slew of colors -- think pink, purple, orange and black -- and even in patterns such as cat eyes or with words on. Yes, you can now say "I love you" with your eyes. Literally.
But their safety is definitely a concern. You can't even buy circle lenses in the United States -- according to the Los Angeles Times its been illegal to sell corrective or cosmetic contact lenses here without a prescription since 2005. But a simple internet search for "circle lenses" will net plenty of sellers in Canada and Asia all too happy to ship them out.
However, as someone who has worn contacts since seventh grade -- always in boring clear -- I was ready to take one for the team and try something that screamed Gaga. So, I found a pair of bright purple prescription lenses at Lenscircle.com for $34.99. Look out Liz Taylor -- huge violet eyes have my name on them now.
Once the lenses arrived a few days later -- and I soaked them in saline for six hours as recommended -- I popped those babies in -- and the prescription, amazingly, was correct. My eyes did look a bit bigger, but they didn't look purple. They looked dark -- almost black. I felt more alien than A-list. More E.T. than Elizabeth Taylor.
"Are those the Lady Gaga eyes?," my 5-year-old asked as I stared down at her a few minutes later.
"They are. 'Puh-puh-puh-poker face'," I sang.
"I don't see any difference," she said, blowing me off. "But can we sing 'Telephone'?" (Check out AOL's Lady Gaga sessions.)
A friend stopped by and looked at me a little oddly -- probably because I was bulging my eyes at her, hoping she'd gasp at how hip and happening I looked. How oh-so right now.
Finally, I had to ask her if my eyes looked different.
"I guess they do look bigger," she stammered.
No one else seemed to notice my circle eyes as I worked out at the gym and hit the grocery store. When my husband came home, he didn't say a word about my Gaga glory.
"Does something look different about me?," I asked, when it was clear he wasn't going to recognize the Gaga in me.
"Did you do something to your hair?"
Once I told him of my new look, he did concede that my eyes looked a little bigger. But, no, he didn't see the purple, either. "The black around the edges is a little creepy," he said. "But in a good way."
So, maybe no one will ever mistake me for an anime character or a Blythe doll, and certainly not for Lady Gaga. But wearing the lenses for a few hours was fun -- a tad daring, even.
Maybe next time I'll try wearing them to a baseball game along with a short blond wig, jersey, black bikini and fishnets.
Related: Sixth Grade Justin Bieber Lookalike Stuns with Lady Gaga Cover
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