Friday, July 23, 2010

An Eye-Opening Experience

Originally, I was planning on writing a post on the way I (and people in general, I think) always find something to be discontent about. Whenever we get what we want, we find something else to want instead. I was going to discuss, as an example, how when I'm feeling fat, all I can think about is how fat I am. But when I get over that, then I find myriad other things to hate about myself—such as the breadth of my shoulders, the narrowness of my mouth, the knobbiness of my knuckles. It's always something. I was going to talk about that, but then I ran across a much more interesting topic.

You see, the object of my self-loathing these days is my eyelids. Yes, my eyelids.  It seems to me that almost everyone else has fairly discreet eyelids. You see maybe a millimeter or two of the upper lids before they disappear under a fold of skin that I'd consider part of the eyebrow. If you happen to be East Asian, you probably don't have any visible eyelid at all!

Eyelids done right

Not so with me. I've got eyelids the size of Delaware. If I look straight at you, you can see the contour of almost my entire eyeball behind the upper lid! This, in my humble opinion, is not an attractive effect. It makes me look perpetually sad and sleepy. Possibly bug-eyed as well.

And so, bemoaning my fate as the ugliest human being ever to walk this earth, I set out to determine why this is so. I considered briefly that my eyes were set too deep into my skull, but rejected that, as it would cause just the opposite of a bug-eyed look. Then I considered that they might be set too far forward in my skull, but experiments with pushing my eyeballs back farther into the sockets (not a behavior that I would recommend, but I did it for science!) just caused my upper lids to look droopy and the "crease" (as it is known to those familiar with makeup tips) separating my eyelid and eyebrow to disappear entirely. So I concluded that my eye sockets are simply too big! There is a space between them and the eyes themselves—creating a hollow into which my flesh sinks, rather than folding neatly on the surface like eyelids are supposed to do! This also provides a tidy explanation for the circles under my eyes that persist no matter how much I sleep.

Following this epiphany, I set out on an image search for "eyes" to see just how uncommon my eyelid configuration is. The fruits of my search yielded the pictures of eyelids done right that you have been admiring above, but no pictures of eyelids that look like mine. They did, however, include a few results that led me to another epiphany. As I usually discover when I become excessively interested in a subject that I think is unclassifiable, there is a WORD for the object of my obsession—and that word is "heavy-lidded."

Funny, I have seen that term in literature numerous times, yet I never gave thought to how it would actually look outside the pages of a novel. But there it is, staring me in my heavy-lidded face!

The next phase in my journey of discovery occurred when I learned that a synonym for heavy-lidded eyes is "bedroom eyes." Now that was a shocker. See, I've always heard "bedroom eyes" used in a complimentary way. And since, in my mind, the defining characteristic of beautiful eyes is size (the bigger, the better—and if you look like an anime character, that's the best), I always assumed "bedroom eyes" meant "eyes the size of an entire bedroom." No, it turns out bedroom eyes are called so because they look sleepy, like the eyes of someone who's about to go to bed. Apparently, bedroom eyes are considered "sultry" and "seductive" because of other things people do in bed when they're not sleeping.

Apparently as well, bedroom eyes are best exemplified by the late film star Bette Davis. Some people think Bette Davis' eyes are just the cat's pajamas. I personally was never impressed when I saw pictures of Bette Davis, but it's comforting to know that my funny-looking eyelids are in such well-respected company.

↑ Bette Davis' Eyes . . . My eyes ↑

That's right, world! I've got Bette Davis eyes! (I even have her asymmetrical eyebrow elevation!) And, while "sultry" and "seductive' are not exactly the look I was aspiring to, I guess I'll take what I can get.

The moral of this story is, (in rhyme, just as in the best Aesop's fables):
Even if there's something about you that you hate,
Someone else probably thinks it's great.


Geoff said...

(I hope you don't have syphilis like Bette Davis surely did)