From a possessed lady in horror movies to quirky singers in metal-rock bands, these gems chose dark circles a part of their attire. The same goes for portrayals of a drug addict or a person with near-fatal mental health issues (1999 drama Girl, Interrupted). There’s also a 2013 horror film called Dark Circles, seriously. Dark circles have become a signifier of an exaggerated abnormal reality on screen — in real life, however, it’s an everyday reality for many.
Dark circles happen in people whose skin under the eyes, which is more fragile than the skin on the rest of the face, is helpless to hyperpigmentation. This happens when melanin, the pigment that loans shading to skin, stores in abundance in patches on the skin, most normally under the eyes. People who have a significant level of melanin in their skin — South Asians for instance — are bound to have dark circles. In any case, even as the #brownisbeautiful movement has flourished to celebrate darker tones of skins and reject the whitewashing of skin in Eastern countries, the very normal occurrence of dark circles is subjected to extensive corrective treatments and painted as demonic in on-screen narratives.
Dark circles can likewise be a sign of exhaustion brought about by lack of sleep or rest, which makes the skin underneath the eyes dull and pale. The underlying blood vessels start to be visible through the skin, manifesting as dark circles. (According to a recent Fitbit study, Indians are the second-most sleep-deprived people on the planet and get the lowest amount of REM sleep — 77 minutes — on an average per night.) Dark circles can likewise be brought about by stressing one’s eyes for longer stretches of time, say at a PC screen in the work environment — this broadens hidden veins, again expanding their perceivability through dainty under-eye skin. Dark circles have other, progressively favorable and uncontrollable causes —allergies, which push the body to discharge histamines to counter allergens, can cause veins to enlarge, along these lines expanding their perceivability; overexposure to the sun can build pigmentation in the excessively touchy under-eye skin; age, with which skin underneath the eyes begins to thin; and hereditary qualities likewise have an influence in who acquires the attribute to be defenseless against dark circles.
The normal individual most likely can’t stay away from dark circles for their whole life— yet regardless should manage in a society that thinks of them as ugly or undesirable, and a beauty industry that will offer items to turn around the totally natural wonder. But, switching dark circles is beyond the realm of imagination. Concealing them, by putting money into costly concealers, is a possibility often marketed as a need, particularly for women. The treatments to remove dark circles range from DIY cold compresses and cucumber circles, to tricky, expensive and risky chemical peels, medical tattoos, tissue fillers, fat removal, laser surgery and surgical implants of fat or synthetic products.
The marketing for these beauty treatments often take the same tone as that which filmmakers use to signal worse days to come — dark circles are shown as hindering social or professional progress for a woman, a problem she magically cures by diligently applying some ‘unique’ under-eye cream.
Sure, dark circles can be a symptom of sub-par lifestyles — they may even be prevented if a person gets enough sleep or drinks enough water. But dark circles are just one of those natural bodily processes that occur to an individual by quality of them living and functioning in society. Indeed, dark circles can be an indication of poor health, and that’s serious — but the near-ubiquity of them means shaming people who have them by peddling corrective, often ineffective beauty treatments to them only seeks to worsen anxieties.
All things considered, having dark circles isn’t what makes an individual unfortunate — an individual could have created them during a period when they were dozing less, drinking less water and not dealing with their eating regimen. Flogging ‘cures’ for dark circles, most of them directed at hiding them, but not fixing the underlying problem, reinforces superficial beauty norms more obsessed with what’s on the surface, instead of what’s underneath and may actually be harmful.