A little confession time: Before I learned to appreciate the deep, dark, mysterious….ok, BROWN color of my own eyes, I’ll admit that I wished my eyes were green. An impossibly intense green perhaps, but I still really wanted them to be green instead of brown, which I thought was very boring at the time. Luckily, that did not last long. Nowadays, you can buy special contact lenses to alter your eye color – and at relatively cheap prices. One surgeon by the name of Dr. Gregg Homer of Stroma Medical is willing to take this quest for vanity one step further. Homer says that he has discovered that brown pigment can actually be removed from the surface of the iris using a laser, which leaves blue pigment underneath. According to the surgeon, the body expels altered tissue and will change brown eyes to blue eyes within a 2-3 week timeframe. The tests that have been conducted haven’t shown any signs of tissue damage yet, however he still has about a year of research remaining. The procedure is expected to be available outside the US in 18 months and within the US in three years. The laser surgery will cost around $5,000 and lasts about 20 seconds. Already, thousands of people have contacted Dr. Homer, interested in permanently changing their eye color. Other surgeons, however, are skeptical. Dr. Conswalla Shavers, a surgeon at Park Avenue Lasek in New York City, laughed at the description of this procedure. “I’d imagine that the risks would outweigh the benefits in a patient. It could release too much pigment into the anterior chamber that can clog up the draining system in the eye. This makes the pressure go up and causes glaucoma.” Obviously, she also thinks there could be dangerous side effects such as permanent vision damage. Dr. Shavers says there’s no guarantee that it will even work for everyone. “What’s to ensure there’s definitely blue pigment underneath? You could remove brown pigmentation and there’s just more brown pigmentation underneath. Blue eyes are a recessive trait, but even if your parents are carriers there’s no way of knowing what shade, if any, lies at the bottom of the iris.” However, she isn’t surprised by the procedure or that people are taking an interest in it. “When it comes to vanity there’s nothing you wouldn’t put past the human condition.” “When it comes to vanity there’s nothing you wouldn’t put past the human condition.” I think that’s an interesting thing for Dr. Shavers to say, and maybe it’s unfortunately true. If you offer it, they will come. Or, if you make them feel insecure about it, they will look for a way to change it or cover it up. I really believe that as far as hair color and eye color, what we were born with will usually look best. However, I do believe that we’re conditioned to become bored with ourselves easily. We’re encouraged to always strive to become a projected image of “perfect,” regardless of what perfection means to different people. It’s like being ourselves is the craziest, most imperfect thing a person could do.