When I was in high school, I was sort of obsessed with colored contacts; gray and brown were my favorite colors! Every once in a while my sister and I used to buy them from the hair store around the way. Typically we’d pay 20 bucks for a pair, but of course they weren’t prescription or custom made.

When I started wearing contacts it became addictive. I got a lot of attention from guys (and people in general) when I flaunted my gray contacts. I’m not really sure if I was obsessed with the contacts or with the attention. Probably the attention. I just always wished that I had “pretty” eyes. It got so bad that when I didn’t wear contacts, I felt extremely insecure. I was so used to seeing myself with “my exotic” (as people would tell me) gray eyes that I started to really hate my natural dark brown eye color.

I remember one time when my best friend and I went to the mall both rocking contacts; I lied to some guy about my eye color. I wore my signature gray contacts and I think my friend had hazel brown. We met some cute guys and one of them asked if my eyes were real. Of course I lied about it. Funny thing is, one day my bestie and I went to the same mall and ran into the SAME guys, on a day that I didn’t have my contacts in. How embarrassing!

Anyway, one of my girlfriends from church had special contacts that she could sleep in! When I found out that there were contacts that you could sleep in, I was ecstatic. The next night I went to sleep in my $20 gray contacts to see if they “worked.” When I woke up the next morning my eyes hurt so bad! They were burning and everything was blurry. I stumbled my way to the bus stop and thankfully, I made it to school safely. Over the course of the school day I had to visit the nurse because my eye sight was getting worse. Once I got home from school the pain became unbearable and I couldn’t even open my eyes! I was devastated! I think I prayed more than I’ve ever prayed in my life during this time!

My grandmother took me to the emergency room and the doctor said that I’d scratched my cornea pretty badly. I was so scared; I thought I was going to go blind!

After this experience, I promised myself to embrace my unique brand of beauty. And to never sleep in contacts again! My perception of beauty was all jacked up. From the time I was in middle school, I always thought that beauty equated to light skin, “pretty” (or light colored) eyes and long hair. That’s it. How limited and narrow! My silly “contacts story” literally showed me not to take things for granted. It taught me to love me for me, dark eyes and all.

To me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. –Ellen Degeneres


  Share Your Wisdom. Join the Conversation!

  • Have you ever felt insecure when not wearing a certain beauty product?
  • How did you learn to accept your unique brand of beauty?
  • Do you think it’s a bad idea for women to wear make-up, weaves, contacts or other enhancements?

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