Manga Peepers Hit US
The Asian fad for circle lenses, the oversized contacts that make the wearers’ irises appear as large as those of a character in Japanese comic books, has landed in the United States, thanks to a recent video by Lady Gaga. The lenses are easily available on-line but American optometrists are expressing concern that they might have hidden health effects.
The New York Times is reporting:
The lenses give wearers a childlike, doe-eyed appearance. The look is characteristic of Japanese anime and is also popular in Korea. Fame-seekers there called “ulzzang girls” post cute but sexy head shots of themselves online, nearly always wearing circle lenses to accentuate their eyes. (“Ulzzang” means “best face” in Korean, but it is also shorthand for “pretty.”)
Now that circle lenses have gone mainstream in Japan, Singapore and South Korea, they are turning up in American high schools and on college campuses. “In the past year, there’s been a sharp increase in interest here in the U.S.,” said Joyce Kim, a founder of Soompi.com, an Asian pop fan site with a forum devoted to circle lenses. “Once early adopters have adequately posted about it, discussed it and reviewed them, it’s now available to everyone.”
Ms. Kim, who lives in San Francisco and is 31, said that some friends her age wear circle lenses almost every day. “It’s like wearing mascara or eyeliner,” she said.