The New York Times reports on the new manga eye fad, popularized by Lady Gaga, of giant contacts that make you look like an anime freak.

These lenses might be just another beauty fad if not for the facts that they are contraband and that eye doctors express grave concern over them. It is illegal in the United States to sell any contact lenses — corrective or cosmetic — without a prescription, and no major maker of contact lenses in the United States currently sells circle lenses.

Yet the lenses are widely available online, typically for $20 to $30 a pair, both in prescription strengths and purely decorative. On message boards and in YouTube videos, young women and teenage girls have been spreading the word about where to buy them.

While the authorities quoted within pass along the usual warnings of “wearing contacts without prescriptions can damage your eyes, yo!” it doesn’t really cite any actual increased dangers from these kinds of lenses, which are said to be taking off like wildfire on college campuses and among fashion forward young ladies, after sweeping Korea and Japan.

A few seconds of googling and we found them on sale in a variety of colors, so look for lots more ladies going ba ba rom rom everywhere.



  1. Oh, there are some infections your eyes can get if you don’t take care of your contacts properly, and part of the reason why you need an eye doctor to prescribe them is partly so that they can teach you the proper cleaning procedure and so they can check for those infections regularly.

  2. Alexa, fer sure. But I’m a long time contact wearer and have already had all those problems even after being prescribed by a doctor. Any time you shove something in your eyes with bacteria covered hands you can get a dangerous infection.

    However it isn’t clear to me if there is any SPECIAL eye risk from these larger contacts.

  3. Weren’t there similar concerns raised a few years back, about kids wearing contact lenses that made their eyes look like those of cats or snakes or vampires or whatever else? Same story, but different fans, right?

  4. The estimable Jack Shafer at Slate pegged the NYT article on circle lenses as a “bogus trend” piece. The statements about wearers are anecdotal, there are no solid sales statistics indicating an actual trend in the U.S., and since circle lenses are contraband, there won’t be any solid statistics. People can always argue about how they look.


  5. Just needed to state that these contacts hold the same risks as other contacts, although they’re assumed as “contraband” there are many website within the US that sell them openly. It has been proven by many specialists that these contacts are as “harmful” as “wild” contacts.

    Also, no, this trend was not created by lady gaga. It’s actually been around for quite a while thanks to Asian stars. The so called “idiots” that many are claiming these people to be, actually tend to be more intelligent than the mass majority of assuming people. (you know, “making an ass of u and me” saying) I do find it quite hypocritical that many of the fellows whom replied, act like they’ve never done anything idiotic in their life. Not to mention that these exact people have “preferences”. For example, some men like women who wear black eyeliner with the classic 50s design and red lipstick, this trend is no different. In fact, this isn’t even idiotic. Honestly, what’s worse, using contacts with relatively the same dangers as lasik eye surgery or someone going around having sex with many partners as if it’s nothing? I do believe some people need to re-evaluate their responses. ;P

    Lastly, so far, The American FDA are the only group that hasn’t looked at this to be approved or not. In many situations, it takes years to approve of something, even when it’s 100 percent safe. If this is so very dangerous, how is it that almost the rest of the world has practically no complaints or concerns besides the common contact dangers?

    As an Ophthalmologist, myself, I have had the pleasure to do an in depth study of these contacts and I can assure you that there are not as many dangers that others are assuming, BUT you do have to be careful to request your eye doctor or professional to measure your eyes, due to the fact that unlike other contacts, these are slightly larger. So making sure it’s your correct size and care for your contacts are important. As usual, do not wear them to sleep, always rinse out your container and pour new eye solution in, always wash your hands, and keeping your nails trimmed helps prevent rips and tears. Depending on your eye type, be sure to carry eye drops, just in case, your eyes get dry. Same rules as usual contacts, so be safe. :)