"If you read it on the Internet, it ain't necessarily so." That's my motto when it comes to judging the veracity of stories that get passed along online. From outrageous political or economic "facts" to heartwarming stories about sick children, brave rescues, or baby ducklings being adopted by mama mountain lions, my attitude ranges from healthy skepticism to plain old-fashioned cynicism.
Unfortunately, the following story showed up in enough reputable news sites that it appears to be true. A certain Dr. Gregg Homer claims to have developed a laser procedure that will permanently turn brown eyes blue by removing the outermost layer of pigment. It may possibly come as no surprise that he is from that Silicon Valley of cosmetic surgery, southern California.
Dr. Homer, by the way, is a former entertainment lawyer and law professor who has a science degree from Stanford but is not an ophthalmologist. Maybe that's why I have trouble believing his assurances that this procedure wouldn't cause any inconvenient side effects. Like infections, say. Or increased risks of glaucoma or macular degeneration.
What was truly discouraging, though, as I skimmed through news reports on this story, was the number of brown-eyed people who appeared to be interested in this procedure. Dr. Homer's own estimate was 17%. It's easy to disregard that number as biased, of course. Still, comments on several of the stories included a surprising number who thought changing their brown eyes to blue was the greatest idea since Botox.
Until reading those comments, I didn't realize blue eyes were supposed to be sexier and more beautiful than brown eyes. Who knew? Here all these years I thought my lack of dates in high school was due to my shyness and lack of social skills.
Or maybe the Old Blue Eyes wannabes have the same mindset as Dr. Homer, who was quoted in a couple of reports about the eyes being "windows to the soul." In his view, light-colored eyes have the advantage of being less opaque and therefore are more "open" windows.
Maybe so. Having been lied to over the years as effectively by blue-eyed children as brown-eyed ones, I have my doubts.
As the sixth grandchild in my extended family, and the sixth girl, I was told as a child by my grandmother that "the only reason we brought you home when we found out you were a girl was your pretty brown eyes."
Setting aside the various layered messages in that statement, I'll just say this: if brown eyes were good enough for my blue-eyed grandmother, they're more than good enough for me. Opaque or not, I'm keeping mine in their original condition. If I want to invite you to look into my soul, I'll let you know.