Commentary: Why Tiny Harris Shouldn't Have to Defend Her Eye Color

Tamek "Tiny" Harris

Commentary: Why Tiny Harris Shouldn't Have to Defend Her Eye Color

"There are SO many things we’ve accepted as changeable."

UPDATED ON : DECEMBER 6, 2015 / 10:11 AM

Confession: I have the most unruly eyebrows that are impossible to keep shaped. I get them threaded. Within days, they’re a mess again. It’s expensive and annoying to get them shaped as often as I need to.

A friend of mine recently got a permanent tattoo-like procedure on her eyebrows. Her brows are now always perfectly shaped and she’ll never have to deal with waxing or threading again. (And amazingly, they look like actual eyebrows, not just lines inked in like a tattoo). I’m definitely interested in the procedure. Question: Should I be criticized if I decide to permanently perfect my eyebrows?


I think that whatever a woman decides to do with her body, from eyebrow shaping to butt implants, it’s her choice. I’m not here to judge. Most women have features they’d like to change if they could.

So I’m not sure why so many people are up in arms (again) about Tiny Harris’ decision to permanently change the color of her eyes. She initially announced the news months ago and now she’s back in the news cycle again after defending herself against Instagram posters who criticized her choice. Tiny clapped back, insisting that changing her eye color was no different than straightening your teeth with braces or wearing a weave.

**insert record scratch sound here**

Did Tiny compare temporary adjustments like braces and weaves—to elective (and risky) surgery to change the color of her eyes?


Yes, she did. Not a very convincing argument.

But then again, does she need a convincing argument? Does permanently changing your eye color really mean you are insecure and exist in a state of self-hate?

While my initial reaction to Tiny’s eye color change was one of bewilderment, I’ve slightly shifted my thoughts on the idea.

Today, there are SO many things we’ve accepted as changeable. Why should eye color be any different? I think the fact that she had surgery on something as delicate as her eyes influences reactions more than the color change. (A botched weave is far less damaging than botched eye surgery).

If Tiny wore blue contact lenses every single day, (which Paris Hilton has been rumored to do), and it was part of her everyday look, would it matter if she changed the color permanently?

Which beauty enhancements get a pass and which don’t? Let’s see how YOU hold up on a beauty-enhancement test:


If you get tips on your nails, is that self-hate? Why not leave your nails clean and short?

If you color your hair, is that self-hate? Why not rock your natural hair color?

If you go to a tanning salon, is that self-hate? Why not accept your skin color as it is?

If you perm your hair, is that self-hate? Why straighten your hair?

If your hair is natural but you use products to make your hair look a certain way, is that self-hate? Why not just wash and go with your natural hair?

If you wear lipstick and mascara and foundation, is that self-hate? Why not just wash your face and say #Iwokeuplikedis

If you get your face beat for a fancy event, is that self-hate? Why not go as you are?

If you wear undergarments to keep your body looking right under your favorite dress, is that self-hate? Why not let that tummy hang out?

If you’ve given birth several times and have the belly to show for it, is it self-hate for you to get a tummy tuck?

If you’ve lost a large amount of weight but still have loose skin, is it self hate to have it removed?


These are extreme examples that don’t completely compare to Tiny’s eye color change. But it does raise questions. Who gets to judge how far is too far when it comes to beauty enhancements?

Unless you are always barefaced with your natural hair styled with nothing but water, you enhance yourself every day. Is it self-hate?

Tiny’s choice is hers to make. Just like our choices are ours to make. In Tiny’s case, when she looks in the mirror, beauty is (literally) in the eye of the beholder. 

Aliya S. King, a native of East Orange, N.J., is the author of two novels and three nonfiction books, including the New York Times best-seller Keep the Faithwritten with recording artist Faith Evans. Find her on Twitter and at

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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Written by Aliya S. King


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