Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
So the saying goes, but maybe it’s also in the eyes of the beheld.
Humans recognise each other and are attracted to each other chiefly by their facial appearance. Of course, many other factors come into play, but the face plays a pivotal role. And healthy eyes are a big part of facial beauty. Eye colour and pupil size are key features, but the clarity and whiteness of the eyes is also important.
In our last blog, we explored the use of coloured contact lenses by Marilyn Monroe and the use of contact lenses by many actors and TV presenters. Actors can use opaque or coloured lenses to create menacing, wild or horrifying characters. Also, people who have eye disfigurations either by injury or inheritance often ‘correct” their appearance with opaque or coloured contacts.
Attractive and healthy eyes
There was a study done some years ago using college students in the USA. They were asked to rate the attractiveness of different women in a set of photographs.
The study found that photos of females altered to give them larger pupils were rated as more beautiful than the same photo with normal pupils. This finding was thought to be related to the fact that sexual attraction causes pupil dilation. It was suggested that this explained why people with bigger pupils seem more attractive.
They are assumed by the observer to be more attracted to them and so appear more attractive in return. Pupils, of course, dilate in low light. This might also explain the preference for couples to meet, greet, and dine together in low light.
Some conditions cause one pupil to be larger than the other. David Bowie had a harmless inherited condition that caused this. Because of this, some people mistakenly thought he had different coloured eyes.
More seriously, though, different pupil sizes can be a sign of various serious underlying eye conditions. If you notice that you or someone you know has different pupil sizes, you (or they) should book an appointment with your optometrist to find out the cause.
Choosing the best eyeglasses
Eyeglasses can serve to accentuate eye beauty and, in some cases, hide eye imperfections. Our in-store optical assistants like to think of glasses as being jewellery for the face. Eyeglass frames can completely change a person’s appearance for the better if chosen well. Other times it may be suitable to make them as inconspicuous as possible. This allows the natural beauty of the wearer’s eyes to shine through.
Eyes that are closer together or further apart than usual can create a slightly negative impression that is not necessarily accurate or desired. The normal distance between pupils is typically between 60 to 64mm. A smaller head, however, can look well-proportioned with smaller eye distances, and vice versa for larger heads. It’s the balance that seems to be important and this can be modified by clever use of spectacle frames.
Symmetry has also been identified as an important factor. If one eye is further from the centre of the face than the other, the overall appearance alters. It is claimed that film stars often have much better eye symmetry than the average person.
Some spectacle lenses correcting a person’s vision also affect the relative size of the person’s eyes. The prescription glasses lens can magnify or minify the appearance of one eye more than the other, accentuating eye asymmetry. If this is the case, then you might be better suited to contact lens vision correction.
Choosing contact lenses instead of glasses
Modern contact lenses are able to correct a whole range of eyesight problems. You should ask your optometrist to explain why contact lenses may be a better possibility and discuss your available options.
A point of note; overwearing of contact lenses or inappropriate use can also lead to eye irritations and on rare occasions to eye infections. This is more common if the lenses are reused each day or worn overnight, rather than when daily disposables are used. Your optometrist can also provide information to help you maintain healthy eyes whilst using contacts.
One traditional advantage of contact lens wear is that it encourages good eye health habits. You should ask your optometrist about improving the health of your eyes’ front surface before trialling contact lenses.
Cosmetics and eye health
Finally, there is the issue of cosmetics and makeup. Cosmetics are often used around the eyes to accentuate and transform the appearance of the eyes.
What people might not know, however, is that makeup can interfere with the physiological functioning of the eye. This, consequently, can affect the overall eye health. In turn, unhealthy eyes are less attractive. Without appropriate care, the application of makeup around the eyes can become counterproductive.
Typically, particles or chemicals in cosmetics make their way onto the eye surface and cause irritations. This can eventually lead to red eye or chronically pink eyes. Furthermore, this eye condition can be particularly uncomfortable.
Maintaining a healthy eye surface is always critical for achieving beautiful eyes. Eyes that are clear and white, and accentuate their central colour are traditionally considered to be good looking and healthy eyes.
To find out how to look after your eyes just like you probably look after your teeth, make an appointment with an optometrist. To visit Maximeyes Optometrists on the Northern Beaches, book an appointment with us and ask for details and a demonstration.