July 6th, 2010
02:36 PM ET

A 'bad romance' between eye-popping contact lenses and optometrists

Lady Gaga peers at the camera through exaggerated, gargantuan eyes on her Bad Romance video.

Seen here on her music video, her buggy eyes have reportedly set off a trend among teenagers who seek to stretch their eyes to cartoonish  sizes.

These contacts, called circle lens, cover more than the pupils to include the whites of the eyes, making them appear bigger.  They’re also illegal in the United States.  But that’s not stopping the Internet trade.

Lady Gaga did not wear contacts for her appearance on her music video.  The eye-popping effect was generated by a computer, according to the New York Times.

Optometrists aren’t quite pleased with the fad in decorative lenses, something that comes up around the Halloween season too.

The American Optometric Association warns that “consumers who purchase lenses without a prescription or without consultation from an eye doctor put themselves at risk of serious bacterial infection, or even significant damage to the eye’s ability to function, with the potential for irreversible sight loss.”

Here are other risks associated with the improper use of decorative contact lenses: conjunctivitis (swelling or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids), swelling, allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit, reduction of sight, contrast sensitivity and other general eye and vision impairments.

soundoff (429 Responses)
  1. Augsbee

    It figures she wouldn't have the brains to go on national TV and tell teenagers not to do this because of health risks.

    July 6, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brenda

      she's responsible for parenting america's children? their parents should be controlling what their kids do... NOT lady gaga. your attitude is precisely what's wrong with parenting in america today! you can't bring a kid into the world and then make it everyone else's responsibility to teach them right/wrong. that's all on you, dumba$$.

      July 6, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • Unlikely Oilfield wife (search it!)

      I'm certainly no fan of Lady Gaga by any means, but it's not her responsibility to tell kids not to use the contacts, especially since she didn't even wear them in the video. Come on.

      July 6, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
    • SilentBoy741

      Instead, she should be on TV warning kids against using Photoshop.

      July 7, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Maybe parents should raise their children instead of letting rock stars and athletes do it for them. If you're an influence in your kids' lives and you teach them right from wrong, they'll know better than to follow something that a rock star does.

      July 7, 2010 at 00:47 | Report abuse |
    • giz

      contact lenses like these have been available for a long time with a prescription look at wildeyes. you know what, they are from Ciba vision, among others

      July 7, 2010 at 06:19 | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Sure, blame it on her, not our idiot kids in this country who go off on these crazy tangents. I suppose every movie, cartoon and music video should be followed by a five minute disclaimer that no one will read. I guess this is why my acme rocket skates never worked.

      July 7, 2010 at 07:22 | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      If your kids are too stupid not to damage their eyes they probably would have drunk a gallon of bleach or walked into traffic anyway. Natural selection, let it happen.

      July 7, 2010 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      "not to do this" Kids, do NOT use Adobe Premiere Aftereffects to enlarge your eyes. They could get stuck like that.

      July 7, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
    • chadnnocal

      Reality check. This is a music video, she also burns a man alive, if your children are mimicking her videos ver batim, you might not be doing your job as a parent.

      July 7, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Michael S

      Apparently you need to get your eyes checked, or go back to school. She doesn't use the unsafe contact lens. Her production house uses computers. However, I will appreciate the sentiment where this would be the oppurtunity for her to influence thousands of kids to say it is bad to use lens in the way that the computer makes her eyes look.

      July 7, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse |
    • Wise24153

      My 15 year old wants these things – not because of Lady GaGa but because of Anime'.
      I'm the parent.
      I told her NO! and explained exactly why – even before I read this article I had enough sense to know these things can't be good for your eyes. No prescription, unknown chemicals used during production (stuff out of overseas is bad, bad, bad for this) . . . lots of reasons. Just plain old common sense. I don't need Lady GaGa or any celebrity to tell me how to best raise my child!

      July 12, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    Perhaps if you paid attention –

    Lady Gaga did not wear contacts for her appearance on her music video. The eye-popping effect was generated by a computer, according to the New York Times.

    Why should be a spokesperson for something she didn't do?

    Or are you just looking for someone to blame?

    July 6, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SacCaHeaders

      Um, she ABSOLUTELY should be a spokesperson, even if she DIDN'T use the actual lenses in the video.




      Gosh people are so f***** stupid sometimes talkin bout she didnt do anything wrong. THIS B**** STARTED A DANGEROUS TREND AND DOESN'T GIVE A F***.

      July 7, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • Costello

      SacCaHeaders: Why are you having a conniption over Lady GaGa? Please take your blood pressure meds and calm down. She's just a pop star. Typing your comment in all caps doesn't make you look smart, it's the complete opposite.

      July 9, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  3. Angelina

    I like Lady Gaga, she's got a pretty good voice and the beats of her songs are great. BUT, I do not care for her opinion on most issues, because she is completely clueless. On another note-why does she make herself look even uglier???

    July 6, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bluen0ser

      Because when it comes to Gaga, there is ALWAYS room for more ugly!!

      July 7, 2010 at 07:54 | Report abuse |
    • nebbish

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Americans are obsessed with one interpretation of beauty, big boobs, size one overly made up. Her concerts are sold out across the world so clearly her fans appreciate her style.

      July 7, 2010 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • Angelina


      You are talking to a minority that doesn't fit into ANY of the stereotypical American ideas of beauty, so I know there are different types of beauty. However Lady Gaga is on something else. Just like the big eyeballs in her video, along with everything else she puts on looks ridiculous. I think she's trying too hard to be different. Half the time she winds up looking like Marilyn Manson.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  4. celticfaerie

    This has been popular long before Lady Gaga ever did it. Lots of kids who are interested in anime and Japanese culture wear circle lenses. I personally think they're creepy...

    July 6, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. D.G.

    If your kid is stupid enough to try and stretch their eyes big because they saw a computer generated effect in a lady gaga video, then I don't think it's lady gaga who should be blamed. Just sayin'

    July 6, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Anne

    No more stupid than making a hole in your earlobe and stretching it to huge proportions. In fact, that may be worse, due to the reflexology of the ear.

    July 6, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      Anne, please link to the medical studies that show stretching an earlobe, over a lengthy period of time, damages the ears and/or the ability to hear in any aspect. Decorative contact lenses are in no way similar to permanent body modification such as stretched fistulas. The lenses introduce a foreign object, which may not be clean or of a proportionate shape, to the eye. This can cause irreparable damage, as stated in the article and in many medical studies. Stretching of a fistula, created by an initial piercing, is only recommended when the fistula has healed from the original piercing and additional tissue has accumulated around the site. There are very gradual stretches over a long period of time. If done properly, the tissue is not torn or compromised in any manner. So I'd love to read these studies you have regarding the damage it causes to the ear and its "reflexology" (whatever that's supposed to mean).

      July 6, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Jennifer–The comment Anne made had nothing at all to do with hearing. She made an observation (a correct one, I might add) about the fact that stretching your earlobe, no matter how carefully and slowly, can affect the reflexology of your earlobe. I suggest you research "reflexology" before you jump down someones throat like an idiot. Reflexology is massage or rubbing of the earlobe for relaxation or well being. It's been practiced for centuries in Asian cultures and has been found to promote relaxation and to help cope with anxiety. There are also acupuncture points and pressure points in your earlobes. These can be compromised by the stretching of earlobes and the buildup of the resulting scar tissue. That is a fact. Anne is right.

      July 6, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
    • youareanimbecile

      I'd like to let you know that my IQ is 140 and I am going to school for a double major in English and Psychology. My ears are stretched to 1-1/4" (32 mm). Ear stretching has been practiced for centuries and is completely safe when done correctly. I have seen many people stretch to 1", take out their jewelry, and size down to a "normal" ear piercing size with ease. I have also met other educated individuals, including teachers, medical professionals, and successful business owners that have various body modifications, including an expanded fistula. That being said, before you ignorantly label ear stretching as "stupid", do some research.

      July 6, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Kim, I know what reflexology means, but stretching one's earlobes does not affect this. As long as the lobes continue to have bloodflow to all parts of the lobe (and all lobes stretched in a correct manner do), then massage of thr lobes will have the same effect. I regularly massage my lobes – as has been done all my life, since my mother started it when I was a baby and I've continued well into adulthood – as a means of comfort. My stretched lobes have not impeded this whatsoever. People with stretched lobes are encouraged to massage their lobes to encourage bloodflow and healthy tissue, as well as being a beneficial accupressure point.

      July 7, 2010 at 01:33 | Report abuse |
    • Ballz

      not to mention its just unattractive – just my opinion, but if you want to look like some primate headhunter out of the jungle, by all means do so.

      July 7, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • checi

      Not to mention that it is just plain ugly to have stretched out holes in your ear lobes. It's ugly. You wanna be ugly? Go stretch holes in your ears. Wanna make people gag at the site of you? Go stretch holes in your ears. Wanna look like a follower and conformer? Go stretch holes in your ears. It's not different or unique. It's just plain ass ugly.

      July 7, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      And Checi is clearly a plain ass moron who thinks their opinion is the way of the world. Probably because Checi is plain ass ugly.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • Angelina

      Calm down people. In some places in Africa, people stretch out their buttom lip and put plates in them. Apparently the men love it when women do it!

      July 7, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
  7. Pete

    And she copied it off a Domino's Pizza commercial

    July 6, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Priorities?

    And the controversy related to this video isn't about the tasteless polar bear cape, her product placement, or the cheap rip offs of movie scenes?

    July 6, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sean

      Wow, you are truly ignorant. The "polar bear cape" you mention is faux fur and has been reported numerous times as such. Last time I checked, product placement wasn't controversial; in fact it's the way of the world. And as a movie enthusiast, I ask you which scenes are being stolen? She may draw inspiration from Kubric and other film pioneers, but nothing in that music video is stolen.

      July 6, 2010 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • 6od

      Why would there be controversy with any of the other things mentioned, Priorities?, lmao.
      One, that bear cape is faux fur.
      Two, the product placement is the smartest way to market/advertise such items.
      not to mention, she's the new Creative Director for Polaroid, so she as well as anyone else, has the right to place the items in the video.
      Three, Mind telling what movie scenes she apparently ripped off? (:

      Anyway, it's the kids' own fault.
      And the parents.

      Like the other person said, these lenses have been around since before GaGa became popular.
      She wasn't even wearing them, lmao.
      She's not the blame.

      The ignorant idiots who don't know what they're talking about, need to be blamed.
      As well as stfu.

      Do your research.

      July 6, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • SilentBoy741

      What an outrage! We can't all just keep senselessly killing faux for their furs. Something must be be done! First it was the massacre of little naugas to cover furniture in the '60s, and now you can hardly find any naugahyde around anywhere! And now this! When, oh when will it ever end???

      July 7, 2010 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
  9. NH Scott

    I think the much bigger risk to eyes is the college craze of pouring a shot of vodka into your eyes. Several kids have already gone blind from it.

    July 6, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hawaiikaos

      If you are stupid enough that you're willing to try to get drunk through any old mucous membrane, then you deserve your fate. Natural selection. That said, it might be worth a public outreach campaign against the practice so these people don't end up sucking up disability benefits for the rest of their lives.

      July 7, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse |


    July 6, 2010 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. GoneSouth63

    Its a music video people, not real life. Should we start commenting on special effects in movies and then
    blame Steven Spielburg or George Lucas when someone trys to copy them in real life. If a teen copies something they
    see, its more of an issue of self esteem within theirselves to change and be something they are not.

    July 6, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. KLH

    Jennifer has the right to voice her opinion but no matter how you look at it, both practices come with risks.

    I do not have my ear lobes stretched but if you've ever watched the Discovery channel or paid attention to foreign cultures, you would know that lobe stretching was practiced long before it was ever seen in America. The United States has many different cultures living within its borders, it is only understandable that aspects of different cultures are practiced here.

    Jennifer-Shutup: You obviously know nothing of the practice. I do accept that your opinions are yours, but, frankly, your asinine judgment disgusts me.

    July 6, 2010 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sean

    Plenty of consumers of these so-called "harmful" lenses consult their doctors beforehand and also verify the legitimacy of the companies who make them BEFORE buying them. The only danger is buying the lenses that 1) don't fit to your individual cornea and 2) are made in unsterilized or unsafe conditions. And to those who say Lady Gaga should be held responsible or go so far as to say she should make a public service announcement, may I remind all of you that in the video for "Bad Romance", SHE DOES NOT EVEN WEAR THE LENSES; they're computer-generated. Jeez people, you make me sick.

    July 6, 2010 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. brad1001

    It's your right to mutilate yourself. Go ahead. And when we meet at the drive thru window, I want my coke with lots of ice.

    July 6, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Joe

    Be they pop stars, movie stars, football stars, etc. etc. when people reach for fame and attain it then they should accept that they become role models and should take that responsibility seriously. But the are so busy being outrageous in order to stay in the limelight since fame is apparently a more addictive drug than crack or meth that they inspire others to acts of wanton stupidity. Who is more foolish...the fool or the fool who follows him?

    July 6, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nic

      The fool who follows! What's my prize?

      July 6, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
  16. Phillll

    It doesn’t matter whether you have giant eyes or not nor if you have a 1% chance of going blind if you have a BMI of 50 and eat like a ravenous bear. I live in Boston and the size of people’s asses keeps growing every day! People are eating themselves to death! Children are obese and their parents don’t care: let’s just all go home, turn on the idiot box (T.V. for all of those idiots out there; also how the minority tribe that runs this country places the idiotic population under a state of permanent idiot trance), and order 5 whole pizza pies for each one. It is appalling and sad.

    July 6, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. CATom

    That would just be so cool if these contacts start causing kids to go blind. Then not only would you blame lady gaga for the spike in transgender pop stars but also the rise in teen blindness due to stupidity. Just awesome!

    July 6, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Mrs. Pupsi

    Don't blame Lady Gaga, blame George Bush. It seems that everything that goes wrong on this world laterly is his fault. If american parents can't control theirs children, blame him. He caused it.

    July 6, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Christina Mata

    Actually, all you have to do to approximate this look (for those interested) is use WHITE EYELINER on the inside/top of your bottom lid. There is a make-up tutorial on YouTube.

    July 6, 2010 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Debbie

    My goodness, look at the stir she is creating. She is brilliant. She is talented. She is young. She is rich. Her family is extremely important to her as are her opinions. Stop picking her apart. She is what she is. Listen or don't but stop bad mouthing her at every turn.

    July 6, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Brian

    I think the core issue is not "people emulating pop stars", its figuring out and getting rid of the reason why they are idols in the first place. Fans are going to continue doing stupid s*** to copy pop stars until they realize that they are only entertainment.

    July 6, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Ginger

    Wait, circle lenses are illegal in the US? Thats so weird and hilarious.

    They use them all the time in Asia. This trend is really not new...

    July 6, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. DjEm

    If stupid little girls want to look this bug-eyed freak – it's up to their parents to say NO.

    July 6, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Erick

    Lady Gaga does all this crazy stuff to her body because she is not very easy on the eyes....it's a lot easier to stomach something ugly if it's dressed up....kind of like hamburger with gravy.

    July 6, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. redz812

    She is a copycat in everything she does. Boringgggggggg

    July 6, 2010 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. jessica

    I am sorry but am I the only one that realizes this chick is hideous??? SHE LOOKS LIKE MARILYN MANSON IN DRAG!

    July 6, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. DeatyPoo

    This is clearly Obama's fault (chuckle)

    July 6, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Josephine


    July 7, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Amy

    ooh my god! i never knew circle lens are illegal in the united states!!!
    i live in canada, asian girls wear them all the time here...
    it's like..tottally normal to wear them! uh ohh..
    i love wearing them whever i go to parties and stuff too because they really do make my face appear prettier and smaller (as a whole)...

    July 7, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • YeahRight

      Hideous round contact lenses make your face look prettier? Highly doubtful.

      July 7, 2010 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
    • Wise24153

      And like, what is your website address where these things are for sale? Sounds like marketing to me . . .

      July 12, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
  30. Navyboy

    How very Sailor moon of her.

    July 7, 2010 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. pam m.

    though i am biased and admit that im a gaga fan, the mere fact that people are blaming lady gaga for this new fad is laughable and ridiculous. who are the people that are making the purchase for this vain and ridiculous trend if not the parents? since when have celebrities become the role models for todays generation? Geez, then again, adults are now claiming to have seen vampires flying alongside their car late at night...

    July 7, 2010 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. HotGurl

    It is not lady gaga's fault for the stupidity of these teenagers. Stop blaming others and defending these stupid kids.

    July 7, 2010 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Madison

    honestly, it doesn't seem that bad to me at all. people who want the bulging eye look aren't stupid. they're just different. pop stars aren't the best role models, but everyone wanted to be like somebody else at one point in their life. trends are trends. just let the kids be themselves.

    July 7, 2010 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. TrainerNick

    Why would someone write an article about her big computer generated eyes, and spin it into a story about illegal contact lenses? Sounds like someone has been playing hooky during Ethics class

    July 7, 2010 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Yeah, not right on so many levels.

      July 7, 2010 at 05:32 | Report abuse |
    • zrxgrim

      Or commenting on the increasingly blurry line between reality/fantasy/and multimedia and (some) parents inability or unwillingmess to clearly define each and the effect they can have on their kids.

      July 7, 2010 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
  35. David

    Throw out your TV!

    July 7, 2010 at 05:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jjjj

    she has a cock

    July 7, 2010 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I'd hit it!

      I don't care, I'll use the other 2 places!

      July 7, 2010 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • LaiLaiLai

      Have you seen it?

      July 7, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
  37. jjjj

    litterally and small balls too, hence she is a guy not a lady by no means
    do you find it ironic no-one ever bangs lady gaga?? is this because she has the wrong plumbing?

    July 7, 2010 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jack

    My son broke his arm while trying to fly off our balcony after watching a Superman cartoon. I want Marvel to inform us about the risks of this behavior and to put warnings on all DVD packages.

    July 7, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zrxgrim

      Superman is DC IP...

      July 7, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
  39. Mama

    Here's how to do the eyes safely using make-up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHVOxhEpjp0

    July 7, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Bets

    Stupid kids. What a dumb fad... I'd rather have windbreakers or fanny packs come back into style than this crap.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zrxgrim

      Members Only or Cuda jacket?

      July 7, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  41. Bets

    Wow, I'd rather windbreakers or fanny packs came back into style over this garbage.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. steav

    I WANT A BAD ROMANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2010 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. I'd hit it!

    She should just warn fans of the dangers of stupidity. Thank you.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. I'd hit it!

    I want to toss her salad.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Mel

    Well if you're a follower of Michelle Phan. She had two eyes infections which she blogged about and tweeted. Yet she is still irresponsibly promoting the lens. She blogged that she had to go to the ER because she couldn't see and was in so much pain. Then more recently her eyes were swollen shut. If the article and news people did further research and let people know this information may be they wouldn't be defending her as much calling certified eye doctors and news people stupid. Because the only stupid people are the ones that put themselves in danger to follow fads. Michelle Phan has a lot of younger viewers that are very impressible.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mel

    Reading through the comments. The article is not blaming Lady Ga Ga or even Michelle Phan but that their influencing trends and Michelle introducing circle lens in her video and how people want to copy the look. It's more about circle lens and its trend and the risk involve.

    July 7, 2010 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mike

    Yes let's blame an entertainer for the fact we are raising really dumb kids. Lady Gaga has no obligation to tell Americas increasingly moronic kids to not do something that may damage themselves.

    note to Parents YOUR KIDS STUPIDTY IS YOUR PROBLEM! stop letting have and do whatever they want.

    July 7, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. John Condreay

    Gee Mom and Dad feel free to step in at anytime and do some of that parenting thing. The kids that live in your house are not your best friends, they are instead your responsibilty. Be responsible and prevent your child from doing something stupid, like stretching their eyes.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. D.E. Tyler

    Interesting Indeed, Kids do some pretty dumb things, but as parents we are there to tell the kids "yes, lil'Johnny that was not smart." Gaga is not a lady she is a freak and she knows it and sells her product using that freak label. Perhaps, soon the kids will be running around with "glow in the dark" contacts and that will be a true nightmare! There is no such thing as Cruise Control in parenting so take freak'in wheel and control your families car through the "Game of Life".

    July 7, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. JPT

    Just like the uproar over Beavis and Butthead mentioning fire... You can choose to keep your kids from idiotic mimicry if you want– if you're lazy, blame the TV.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
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