“I wish I could scoop them out of their sockets and just be blind,” I dramatically exclaimed to my roommate, as I sat on his bed desperately trying to help him understand my frustrations.
I was describing a night out with a friend that’s plot was all too common in my life, as well as of most women i know. It consisted of some last minute plans to grab a drink with a friend, so last minute in fact, that my hair was up in a bun, my face was bare, and I was sporting a pair of my comfiest leggings as I walked into a small local bar on a Sunday night to meet my friend. The night was great, we sat, we talked, we laughed, we had a few drinks and enjoyed the ambiance of the acoustic guitar and ignored the 90% humidity that is still lingering from summer. The peace of the moment came to its end when a man sat down next to me and hit me with the weighted phrase I’ve been conditioned to dread hearing leave a mans lips, “your eyes are so beautiful.”
I know, it’s a harmless compliment, right? How I wish it was. My blue-grey speckled eyes have been used as the opening line for so many men that when I hear these words now I feel an overwhelming sense of intrusion. While pure hearted men do exist, my experience has been that this compliment rarely comes without obligation. Obligation to entertain the giver, allow the giver to intrude on the peaceful evening I was basking in, because I have light colored eyes.
I love my eyes, they are the ever-changing, slightly oversized, marbled focal points of my face. I love compliments too, but there is something so much more innocent when I hear a “your eyes are amazing” from a woman’s voice, knowing that she is truly complimenting me to lift me up, instead of looking for a favor to be returned, whether it be now or when they are ready to stumble out of the bar.
It makes me hate my eyes.
It makes me want to be plain, and blend in.
It makes me want to close my eyes so tight because I just want my eyes to be mine.
These comments drenched in sexual undertone serve as a reminder that my body isn’t just mine, that someone else is able to enjoy my body, without my permission, and there is nothing I can do about that. I hate my eyes. I hate the unknown permission slip they sign with every time a man seeking a way in. I wish I could enjoy them the way every man gets to.