Brown-Eyed Girl: Love Yourself

I have brown eyes. These are the eyes that have granted me the vision to see the world, the diversity of the individual and the power of the written word. You may ask why I decided to write only about brown eyes, and the answer is simple. I had thrown brown eyes into a pile where it was unwanted and unappreciated. I had fallen into the pit that societal beauty standards had dug, and I felt as if the only way to be found interesting or worthy was to have some sort of rarity – in this case, light eyes. Now, let’s dive into story time.

The tale of a brown-eyed girl

This is the tale of a girl who wished to scrap her brown eyes in favor of lighter colors. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted light eyes. I wasn’t too picky about the hue or intensity, I just wanted light eyes. I would find myself imagining a life where I walked around with the blue-green irises of my father’s family or the richness of deep green eyes. I would wonder how people would react to my eyes.

I think back now, and I realize how ridiculous those thoughts were. I walk around each day and spot a myriad of colored eyes, and I do not react any differently because of someone’s eye color. My younger self thought I was going to turn out to be some type of celebrity just because of the color of my eyes. That goes to show how much I thought of light eyes as something special and valuable — something to be praised for and admired. To this day, I don’t understand what made me think that my eye color would determine how people felt about me as an individual, but I can guess. I just wanted to feel special.

Where it all began

My deep-seeded desire for light eyes did not come out of the blue. It was born from a pair in my family. I was often reminded of my brown eyes when I would look at my father.

The paternal side of my family has a few cases of blue-green eyes, which appear striking in black and white photographs from the past. My father inherited those eyes, and I felt cheated that genetics had decided I should have brown eyes. I also didn’t understand much about dominant traits and the world of genetics at this age. I had come to the conclusion that the world was out to get me, and I was not worthy of my father’s ever-shifting blue-green orbs.

Brown eyes surrounded me everywhere. I only knew a handful (if that) of friends or family who sported lighter eyes, and this further fueled my desire to have been born with them. I wanted to stand out, to be different. I equated rarity with worth. The sad part is that I truly believed I would be empowered and satisfied with life just by having a different eye color. 

What happened when I learned to love my brown eyes

A shift happened eventually. Around the time of late middle school and early high school, I had a profound moment of clarity — as dramatic as it sounds. I realized my eye color didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. It was just a physical attribute that did nothing to emphasize the values and ideas that swirled in my head. My brown eyes were just as valuable as the lighter ones I had spent so much energy agonizing over.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt insignificant because of your brown eyes, but I am here to tell you that there is so much more out there to concern yourself over than the color of your eyes. Over 55 percent of the global population sports brown eyes, and we’re all fine. We shouldn’t let society put any pressure on us to meet the beauty standards they have dictated as the highest value. I learned to love my eyes for their warmth and depth, while also appreciating the diversity of eye color found in the world. I began to focus less on physical traits and more on an individual’s personality and their being as a whole. 

In the end, eye color does not determine someone’s worth. Brown eyes are just as special and unique as blue eyes. If I had to say something to my younger self, I would say this: Your eye color does not determine your worth. Let your mind and words empower you.