Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blue Eyes vs. Brown Eyes: Enough Already!

My husband has blue eyes.  I have hazel eyes (light brownish-green).  Both of my kids have blue eyes.  I've never given eye color much thought, except that occasionally I notice someone's eyes and think they are especially unusual.  Unlike what I'm finding out there in the rest of the world, I happen to think all eye colors are beautiful.  A rich dark brown, to me, is just as pretty as the lightest green.  Because everyone's eyes are just a little different.  It is part of what makes us unique.

So why is it that so many people say this to me when I'm alone with my kids: "Oh, wow, look at their blue eyes.  Where did they get those?" (i.e. 'when their mommy has such plain brownish eyes?').  Uhhhh...their dad?  Do I need to draw you a punnett square?  

This weird (even if well-meaning) opinion that blue eyes are somehow superior reminds me of that 1950's experiment we all learned about in Psych 101. You know the one.  Where the teacher wants to impart the concept of group-think and an us vs. them mentality to her grade schoolers.  First she says the blue eyed children are better.  Quickly, the "brown eyes" feel dejected, and the "blue eyes" feel superior.  Then she "corrects" her previous stance, and informs them that actually the brown eyes are better, and just like that, the roles switch.  It's an experiment that would never fly in today's helicopter parenting, teacher-doesn't-know-best mentality (can you tell I used to be a teacher?), but it illustrates a striking lesson.

I know people are just trying to be nice and give a compliment to my children and me.  I think my children's eyes are beautiful too.  But I would think their eyes were beautiful if they were brown, gray, or purple for that matter.

There are similar opinions that certain body types, hair color, etc. are also "better" or "worse" than others.  I find it fascinating that in a world with such an infinite variety of looks, some are more valued than others depending on which culture you are born into.

Have you experienced similar attitudes or opinions since having children?  Please share!

~Frantic Mama

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