-{Note, this one was sitting in “Drafts” though I thought I had actually posted it. My apologies if it is a repeat.}-

Hugo Schwyzer can’t take a compliment. When people point out that he and his wife are the type of people that should be having children, he feels that’s wrong because it suggests that others should not. When people point out the blueness of his little one’s eyes, he concerned about the view that there’s something wrong with brown eyes. There are, arguably at least, racial implications to this. The implicit assumption that “lighter” is better and that eye colors found generally on whiter people is considered better than eye color on darker people.

I’m not going to say that there’s nothing to the racial argument. Blue eyes are associated in the eyes of some as a sign of racial purity.

But I think that a good part of it at least is that brown is not a compelling color, generally speaking. I personally don’t have strong preferences in the area of eye color, but it’s not hard to see why blue is preferable by many to brown. There’s a reason why this blog’s background is blue. Why blue is used on Hugo’s blog, for that matter, and on our flag and in 100,000 other ways that brown is not. Blue is a special color.

I am relatively confident in discounting race as a motive because I am almost positive that if black folks generally had a beautiful golden color eye, you’d see a lot more attention being drawn to it. I could see my mother, who was vocal about her desire that my brothers and I marry whites, seeing the possibility of our children getting golden eyes as an upside if we were to have defied her on that.

The other thing is that my blue eyes garner notice and there doesn’t seem to be any connection between women that have racially suspect views and women that point them out. The two that were most fawning about them had previously dated a black man and an Arab respectively and neither made any great see-I’m-not-racist point of mentioning it.

The fact that my eyes are blue I guess could be said to make me biased, but my wife’s eyes are brown and if she offered to wear blue-colored contacts I wouldn’t take her up on it (unless it were something that she wanted to do). I am kind of glad that Lain got my blue eyes because I did want to pass that on. I would not be disappointed if the others had her brown eyes or some other variation.


Category: Coffeehouse

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7 Responses to Brown Eyes Blue

  1. says:

    Non-brown eyes aren’t strictly limited to Northern Europeans. One of my grandfathers (Jewish) had blue eyes, and surely you remember the Afghan girl with green eyes from the cover of National Geographic. I’ve met a few Lebanese Christians with blue eyes as well. But yeah, that trait is certainly more common in Northern Europe.

    You might enjoy this interactive online website that allows you to predict what color eyes your children will have. It only works for blue, green and brown. The current model of the genetics of eye color can’t explain hazel, grey or golden eyes.

    What Color Eyes Will Your Children Have?

  2. Sheila Tone says:

    Yes, all relatives seemed quite pleased when No. 1 Son somehow ended up with blue eyes, even though I have hazel eyes and his dad has dark brown eyes.

  3. Φ says:

    I have brown eyes, and have always found blue eyes arresting, especially among women.

    That you have blue eyes strikes me as an interesting thing to know about you, even more important than your erstwhile BMI.

    Hugo’s racial thing seems bent.

    • Trumwill says:

      It’s entirely coincidental that I found this right as Hugo is undergoing an epic mental/emotional meltdown. This was actually a pattern that I noticed on his part: compliments of him being turned around into indicative of social injustice. He was once told, when his wife was pregnant, that they’ll make great parents. He thought that was racist and classist, because it assumed that others – probably minorities and poor people – would be bad parents.

    • Trumwill says:

      Eyes have never been my “thing”… I know that Clancy’s eyes are brown. I seem to recall Julia’s being gray. I couldn’t tell you whether Evangeline’s were blue or green, though I seem to recall them being one or the other.

      A couple times I’ve been asked “What color are my eyes?” because I was being accused of being too indifferent to them or something to that effect. I learned that the right answer is to describe hazel or ambiguous color in flattering terms. It worked, both times. Even though once I looked at them, I saw eyes I would have otherwise described as “moderately light brown.”

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