Sunday, July 4, 2010

Circle lenses: Not So Cute Controversy

I should start off by saying that very few things in the beauty world get me riled up enough to make an extremely long post dedicated entirely to the specific issue (like here, here, or here). So I apologize in advance for any harsh language... Idk if you've noticed, but I've been trying to cut down on the swearing lately :P ...However, this particular issue is something that I feel feel really strongly about... I'm talking about CIRCLE LENSES.

Many of us know the basics about circle lenses -- contact lenses with usually a larger diameter than regular contact lenses, a dark limbal ring, come in many colors, and give the eyes an enlarged, "dolly" effect. Popular brands like GEO and EOS are KFDA approved and come with authenticity stickers. They come in standard perscriptions and are not all that different from regular contact lenses; besides their size.

After readings Jen (frmheadtotoe)'s recent post on the New York Time's article she was SUPPOSED to be a part of; I knew I had to read the full article.

To sum it up: a totally biased spiel that subtly trashes circle lenses because of the fact that they are from Asia.

The article cites concern over the fact that consumers are free to choose their own lens perscription. Um, first of all; why the hell would anyone in their right mind buy contact lenses without knowing their perscription first, having gone to the eye doctor, and at least have SOME knowledge about contacts?! I would like to think that most people have the common sense to find out their correct perscription, as well as have adequate experience with contacts and do sufficient research before plunging into the world of colored contact lenses; let alone circle lenses.

Also, circle lenses have been used in Asia and available for us to buy for how damn long?! And only NOW, when the New York Times realizes that the trend is coming here; it's all of a sudden DANGEROUS?! This is ridiculous! There are the same dangers with regular perscription contacts! And what about all the other products we use in America that are made in Asia? Or the "FDA Approved" products we have here that ended up killing people, but are still sold?

Tell me, how many recorded cases have there been of circle lenses causing someone to go blind??? If any, why are they not included in the article then???

This really makes me feel like these eye doctors are just saying these negative things about circle lenses because we do not have any "American" circle lenses. But if we were to start making circle lenses here; all of a sudden, they would be "safe." They're being biased because the Asian circle lens industry is taking away from them and their business.

But what REALLY got to me was the commentors.

Majority of them are saying how stupid, vain, and childish circle lens wearers are.
  • Stupid girls...
  • Anything for a buck, anything for attention, anything but rational.
  • comment? how about: idiots.

I detect some anti-asian-culture sentiments here.

  • Good god. Beyond the obvious and very real safety concerns (which teenagers are wont to ignore -- but now we have 31-year-olds following the fad?), do these girls not realize those make them look like manga child prostitutes? What can we do to help young women (and those 31-year-olds) visualize themselves as something other than sex toys?

  • It used to be cartoons were modeled on humans... Now humans want to make themselves look like anime characters...What's this world coming to?

How ignorant to assume that we wear circle lenses in order to look like anime characters. What is the huge difference with AMERICAN colored contacts? If we wore those; we would be normal??? Just because Asian contacts enlarge the eyes; it automatically means we are trying to look like doe-eyed baby prostitutes?! Ahem, white people; take it as a compliment! We want to have colored eyes, JUST LIKE YOU! (Okay, and I'm NOT trying to say I don't like caucasian people; I just hate these idiots who are commenting!)

And what is wrong with girls wanting to enhance/change their appearance? I think plastic surgery is A LOT more dangerous and risky than using circle lenses; yet plastic surgery is more "acceptable"? Why do you people even CARE what other girls want to look like? I am sure that if you had the chance to get plastic surgery, you would do it. So what's the big deal if we want to change the way we look? It's not harming you. SO STFU AND GTFO.

Out of the ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SIX comments there were on this article, there were SEVEN that actually had some CRITICAL THINKING put into them.

  • The article highlights that the contact lenses are illegal and potentially risky, but NOT ONE WORD about what those risks are, or any record of health issues by those wearing them. Feels like another scare article with no supporting evidence. Who thinks they are risky? Why? Have there been issues? If not then the NY times should have presented this with a different headline.

  • Come on NY Times, do your job well or don't do it at all. If you're going to raise the possibility that these contacts are dangerous, then offer more information in the article ... what exactly are the risks, what are the odds of these risks, how can they be mitigated, what research has been done, etc. I mean, for crying out loud, you put the word "Risky" in the article title to add provocation and capture eyeballs, but you did almost nothing to actually report on the supposed risk. Instead of adding to the current mess called journalism (e.g. hysteria instead of substance), please lead the way with intelligent and responsible journalism.
  • Could you do a little more reporting and critical thought? Why exactly are they a health risk? Have there ever been any cases of eye damage done by these?

  • Responsible reporting would have included some research into the actual question as to whether or not these lenses seem to cause problems as far as doctors are concerned. There was no research and the link to sell the lenses was in the article. Just not cool perhaps another article with some research should follow? like a series?

  • According to the article, doctors say the lenses can be dangerous. But there is no evidence offered or examples of this danger. A little thin on the investigative journalism.

  • Where is there concrete EVIDENCE that these lenses are BAD for you ? Here's a thought, if millions of kids are using them in Asia, and there hasn't been a huge outcry yet, then, what's the harm? In your article , you only quote a spokesperson for the OPTOMETRIC (NOT medical doctors, or ophthalmalogists) association. There's no proof, except the optometrists and ophthalmalogists are seeing their profits flitting out the window !

And the best one:

  • Of course getting your eyes sized by an ophthalmologist first is the right route before buying contacts, but to lobby the feds to restrict independent sales of lenses? In my humble opinion, that's taking it too far. If I may paint a vivid picture:

    - Contact lenses are foreign objects that sit on a sensitive part of your body. It is entirely up to us if we choose to use them. There are dangers including blindness.

    - Piercings are foreign objects that are punched through sensitive parts of your body. It is entirely up to us if we choose to use them. There are dangers including gangrene.

    - Tampons are foreign objects that are inserted far into a sensitive part of your body. It is entirely up to us if we choose to use them. There are dangers including death (TSS).

    To step on personal freedoms is anti-American, and lends credence to the perception of greed that plagues many of these medical academies and associations. Start lobbying to improve your industries, not your own pocketbooks.

    Circle lenses are no more dangerous than any other type of contact lens. The danger lies in uneducated consumers misuing them. Same goes for piercings and tampons.

The moral of this story:

NYT, DO SOME ACTUAL FUCKING RESEARCH BEFORE WRITING AN ARTICLE ON SOMETHING YOU KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT. You end up looking extremely stupid and unreliable when people begin to realize that you have no credible sources for your big claims. And if you're trying to imply how dangerous circle lenses are, why the hell are you including links to circle lens websites in your article?!

...How in the world are people getting PAID to write this crap?!
And using Lady Gaga as a hook? COME ON.

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