[nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in subject

Mary ellen gabias at telus.net
Wed Feb 13 17:05:52 CST 2013


Hi Stephanie,

It isn't that those of us who choose not to wear sunglasses or a shell Are
indifferent to our appearance, but I can understand how the messages in this
thread would lead you to that conclusion.  I'll try to explain my initial
comments more clearly.

My eyes are not terribly deformed, though they don't track like sighted
people's eyes track.  I can't do anything about that; the muscles have
atrophied.  If I could find a way to make my eyes look more typical, I'd do
it, provided I didn't face great physical discomfort or financial expense.
I rejected sunglasses because people I trusted said they made me appear
more, not less, different.  

I believe all of us should do what we can reasonably do to present ourselves
attractively.  I also believe we can become so worried about how our eyes
look that we pay more attention to that than to the kinds of social graces
Denise talked about.  As Denise very wisely pointed out, we all want to know
that anyone we're conversing with is paying attentionand actively listening.
If we as blind people demonstrate genuine interest in those around us,
reaction to the appearance of our eyes will quickly take on an appropriate
level of importance. 

My mother-in-law refused to allow anyone outside of the immediate family to
see her until she put her makeup on in the morning.  I found her concern
over the top, though I certainly have bought my share of cosmetics.  I tend
not to wear much these days, a habit I developed when my kids were very
small and I barely had time to take an uninterrupted shower.  That reason no
longer exists, but the habit persists.  I know women who are like my
mother-in-law; I also know women who have a philosophical objection to being
"made up."  Most people don't fall in either extreme and nobody thinks much
about it.  As in most things, we're talking about balance and personal
preference.

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Stephanie
Koetje
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:32 AM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in
subject

I've only been blind for 7 years and it sounds like I'm one of the rare ones
who cares about my appearance. I wear a shell in one eye because my eyeball
is shrunken and foggy-looking. Not sure if it's because I had sight for 26
years but I'm able to open my eyes all the way and look almost directly in
people's eyes. Could this be because I've had sight? This is only for
myself. I would not judge or think differently of anyone who didn't wear
shells over shrunken, foggy-looking eyes.
 

Stephanie Koetje | Administrative Support and Volunteer Coordinator
Northwest Center Foundation - People of All Abilities
7272 W Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108 office 206.378.6365 Facebook |
 Twitter |  YouTube | Sign up for Our Newsletter | Our Stories


-----Original Message-----
From: Gloria Whipple [mailto:glowhi at centurylink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 9:30 AM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in
subject

Either did mine.

I where the shells for cosmetic purposes.

Gloria Whipple

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mike
Freeman
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 19:06
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

I don't know why people worry about this so much. Dr. Jernigan's eyes never
opened that widely, either.

To me, the only reason for wearing dark glasses is if the face has been
severely disfigured.

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Debby
Phillips
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 3:16 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

I find this interesting because I have problems with my eyes being half open
sometimes too.  I have wondered if there is some sort of physical therapy
that would help with this but thought it might sound silly.  It is very hard
to always think about whether my eyes are opened or closed or not so your
question has definitely struck a note with me.    Peace,  Debby

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 11, 2013, at 1:56 PM, merribeth.manning at comcast.net wrote:

> 
> 
> As a partial, with no iris, I wear my sunglasses when it is to bright;
even if it is indoors sometimes. 
> 
> Most of the time I don't wear them inside. 
> 
> My step-dad Ray would wear them when he was in public.  I never asked 
> him
why. 
> 
> I think it is probably a personal preference .  
> 
> I have grown up in the NFB and it seems like most totals don't wear 
> them;
but there are a few. 
> 
> Beth Manning
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: "Bennett Prows (HHS/OCR)" <Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ nfbnet .org>
> Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:10:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [ nfbwatlk ] question about wearing sunglasses
> 
> Nicely put, Marci. 
> 
> My folks used to have me wear glasses with clear lens in them. They 
> didn't
like the stereotypes associated with sun glasses, but I'm sure they wanted
me to have attention drawn to my eyes.. When I was a kid, they told me the
glasses would protect my remaining light perception in the eyes from things
I could run into like bushes, etc. 
> 
> AS an adult, I took them off for many years. When I wanted a different
look some years ago, I got some new clear lens glasses, and got more grief
from blind folks than sighted about my wanting to look good with the
cosmetic glasses. ... Nevertheless, I only wear them now as part of a
costume. 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbwatlk [ mailto : nfbwatlk -bounces@ nfbnet .org] On Behalf Of
mjc59 at q.com 
> Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:02 PM
> To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [ nfbwatlk ] question about wearing sunglasses
> 
> I have some movement in my eyes, so even though i can see people I 
> don't
make eye contact. For me, I would feel like wearing sunglasses would be
hiding behind something and also catering to sighted people's stereotypes
about blindness; that my eyes are somehow ugly and must not be seen by
others. I believe that the way I carry myself and speak to others conveys
who I am. Sighted people who are that hung up about eye contact will always
find something to be uncomfortable about being around a blind person. I
bought a T-shirt at state convention that sums in up, at least for me. It
has the eye chart numbers in 2 columns on either side, and the words in the
middle say (in smaller and smaller print as you look farther down) "I am who
I am. Your approval is not needed" 
> 
> When a sighted person does bring up the issue of eye contact I am not
rude. I just say something like "Yes, my eyes do look different." I might
tell them that I know someone is nearby because I can hear them moving or
their breathing. Then I move the conversation to another subject. 
> 
> Well, that's my perspective on the matter. You are a beautiful person,
Lauren and as Dr. Jernigan always said; It is respectable to be blind. I
hope we get to see each other again sometime. 
> 
> Marci
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kaye Kipp" <kkipp123@ gmail .com>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ nfbnet .org>
> Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 6:19:28 AM
> Subject: Re: [ nfbwatlk ] question about wearing sunglasses
> 
> Well, I have the same issue with my eyes.  They're usually half 
> closed,
but 
> I don't want to wear sunglasses. 
> 
> Kaye
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lauren Merryfield " <lauren1@ catliness .com>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ nfbnet .org>
> Cc: " NFB of California List" <nfbc-info@ nfbnet .org>
> Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 2:39 AM
> Subject: [ nfbwatlk ] question about wearing sunglasses
> 
> 
>> Hi,
>> I know this may seem odd, but it would be interesting, and possibly 
>> helpful, to get some feedback about the pros and cons of blind people 
>> wearing sunglasses.  I know that a long time ago, Dr. Jernigan wrote 
>> a piece about it but I haven't been able to locate it.
>> 
>> In my case, my original eyes were very weird--the right one was 
>> enlarged and purplish in color.  My left one was small and sunken in.
>> Kids used
to 
>> comment on them or ask me about them.  As an adult, I wore sunglasses. 
>> 
>> I eventually had both of my eyes removed due to very painful glaucoma.
So 
>> then I had pretty, blue eyes.  I had the unusual opportunity of 
>> choosing my eye color.  So I figured that meant I didn't need to wear 
>> sunglasses anymore.  I also felt kind of like I was hiding behind the
sunglasses.
>> 
>> But most of the time, my eyes are half-opened or half-closed, 
>> whichever way one wants to think about it--like the glass being half 
>> full or half empty.  Some people assume I am asleep, unapproachable, 
>> or withdrawn because my eyes are not wide opened.
>> 
>> So now I am wondering if I ought to wear sunglasses again.  I could 
>> try
it 
>> just to see if sighted people respond better to me or not. 
>> 
>> I know I do not have good eye contact and that seems to bother some 
>> sighted people.
>> 
>> Well, there's some food for thought.  Yeah, I know, I always get back 
>> to the subject of food, hahaha .
>> Thanks
>> Lauren
>> 
>> advice from my cats: "meow when you feel like it." 
>> The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be 
>> understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
>> -- Ralph Nichols
>> Visit us at catliness .com
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> 
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