It all began with the color contact, which promised to change your dull eyes into bright baby blues, or violets, or even vampire-esque blood red for Halloween (or an Eclipse-themed party). Then came the Christian Dior contacts, which promised to brand your eyeballs with the famous CD logo.
And now, who better to jump on this eyeballs-as-accessories trend than Lady Gaga — who is the queen of strange fashion accoutrements. Fans went wild after seeing Lady Gaga’s cartoonish eyeballs in her Bad Romance video. So wild that they needed to know how to get themselves a pair.
Lady Gaga’s wider-than-life eyes were most likely generated by a computer, but teenagers and young women nationwide have been copying them with special contact lenses imported from Asia. Known as circle lenses, these are colored contacts — sometimes in weird shades like violet and pink — that make the eyes appear larger because they cover not just the iris, as normal lenses do, but also part of the whites.
Weird, yes. But dangerous too. Apparently the circle lenses that are all the rage are not being sold legally in the United States, where selling any type of contact lens without a prescription is illegal. But for $30 a pop, you can find the lenses all over the web.
“In the past year, there’s been a sharp increase in interest here in the U.S.,” Joyce Kim, founder of Soompi.com, an Asian pop fan site, told the NYT. “Once early adopters have adequately posted about it [on forums], discussed it and reviewed them, it’s now available to everyone.” Available to everyone, and in every shape, size, and color. Unlike the legal lenses which have doctor prescribed strengths and sizes, the circle lenses sold online ask you to choose the details of your lenses.
Naturally, the FDA is not pleased. They warn of serious damage, even blindness, from wearing contact lenses that aren’t properly fitted and prescribed by a doctor.
We all love Gaga. And we all have fantasies of having a lifestyle that allows us to dress up like her, hats and shoes included. But illegal and hazardous contact lenses? We have a feeling even Gaga wouldn’t want us to do that. We’re marking this trend as bizarre, dangerous, and all out creepy.
Skip to minute 6 for a circle lens tutorial.