There's a point in every brown-eyed girl's life when we spend an absurd amount of time wishing we were blue-eyed girls instead—you can thank Western ideals of beauty for that. But as it turns out, no one has blue eyes; we all have brown eyes.
Optometrist Dr. Gary Heiting told CNN that "everyone has melanin in the iris of their eye, and the amount that they have determines their eye color." And there’s really only one shade of melanin: brown.
The more melanin your iris has, the more light is absorbed, which means less light is reflected out. That’s why some eyes look brown. On the other hand, when you have less melanin in your iris, your eyes also absorb less light. As a result, more light is scattered, which is why some people’s eyes appear blue. Green and hazel eyes are somewhere in the middle.
Fun fact: Some babies' eyes appear lighter when they’re born because the melanin is still forming.
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