Last week, rumors spread wildly that former Xscape singer and reality TV star Tameka “Tiny” Harris flew to Tunisia to undergo a controversial cosmetic procedure to permanently change her eye color. The controversial procedure called an artificial iris implant is not approved for cosmetic purposes in the United States. But it is approved for medical reasons such as genetic iris defects, eye trauma, or for patients who suffer from high levels of photosensitivity.
Tameka admitted she recently underwent the procedure for cosmetic purposes. The 39-year-old mother of 6 has had other cosmetic procedures done in the past — but this is the most controversial.
Supposedly, Tameka wrote an Instagram post explaining why she changed her eye color. The post is not on her official Instagram account, so take this information with a grain of salt.
Companies within the U.S. have filed patents to perform the procedure under the names BrightOcular, NewColorIris, ArtificialIris, and more. For now, people who want their eye color changed permanently for cosmetic reasons — and can afford the prohibitive expense of the surgery — must travel outside of the country to have the procedure done.
The 15-minute procedure involves cutting a hole in the cornea (the clear covering over the eye) and injecting a colored silicone disc on top of the iris (the group of muscles that surrounds the pupil and controls light coming into the eye).
The iris is what gives our eye its color. So by covering the iris with a colored disc, the eye will appear to be the color of the disc, which is available in multiple colors.
Tameka reportedly chose ice gray iris implants for her new look.
Not everyone is supportive of Tiny’s new look. Talk show Diva Wendy Williams. “This right here is going too far,” said Wendy on Monday. “The eyes are the window to the soul, and getting your eyes permanently done like this is, to me, as bad as people who bleach their skin.”
Despite being critical of Tameka’s decision, Wendy commended Tameka for her honesty.
One of the reasons the procedure is not available here is because it can cause permanent blindness and other serious eye disorders.
Critics say, if for any reason the contacts must be removed, blindness can result when the disc is pulled away from the iris and rips the iris (called “explantation”).
Another concern for the government is criminals who change their eye color to avoid being identified.
Doctors say people who seek out cosmetic iris implants have significant changes in their body image and low self esteem, and they don’t feel confident in themselves.