Snapchat lenses should stop idealizing blue eyes

Many Snapchat lenses give users blue eyes. Graphic by Laura Sansom.

Snapchat lenses can be fun. They can make people look like dogs, superheroes or hippies. Lenses are one of the most popular features that Snapchat has to offer. According to Business Insider, 80% of Snapchat users have used or seen a friend use a lens.

However, when swiping through these lenses, users may notice something strange. A lot of these lenses— be they of festive flower crowns, bear ears or floating hearts— add fake, blue eyes with long eyelashes.

The eyelashes are a bit annoying. They make the person using them look like they have makeup on when they may have just wanted to add a cute pair of ears to their no makeup look. They contribute to a stereotypical standard of beauty that is not needed.   

However, the blue eyes are evocative of a deeper issue, one that Snapchat has been criticized for before. Snapchat filters often have idealized Caucasian features such as lighter skin and a more narrow face, morphing people’s’ faces to have these features. Blue eyes are another one of these features. 

Having superimposed blue eyes on the cute filters makes blue eyes seem like the ideal, like something everyone should want. In reality, very few people have blue eyes.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 17 percent of Americans have blue eyes.

While blue eyes can be obtained by people who do not naturally have them with color contacts, that is a choice. Snapchat does not allow for there to be a choice, other than to not use the filter at all.

For someone who just wants to look festive by adding some reindeer antlers to their selfie, there is no way to avoid the addition of blue eyes.

It perpetuates the idea that people need to be blue-eyed to be beautiful.

Snapchat lenses should not be forcing people to have blue eyes or lightening their skin. They should be fun, not implying that any one race is cuter than or superior to another.

Keep the lenses, but remove the blue eyes. People will look just as good as a bunny with their natural eye and skin color.

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