This is perhaps the most personal post I’ve put on here but if I’m honest I’d like to start including more serious things on my blog as well as the things I love. The topic of being colour blind especially in girls isn’t talked about often at all in the media or even in society and I think its something a lot of people are quite ignorant to. I’ve included a few of the questions I get asked by anyone who finds out I’m colour blind and also my experiences. I know it’s not a serious condition at all but its something different to talk about and something I feel should have more funding for research. Of course I’m lucky that I’m able to see and it’s just my colour vision that’s affected.
Girl’s can’t be colour blind – YES THEY CAN! Girls can be colour blind but its much rarer than boys having the condition. It affects approximately 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women in the world. In the UK there are approximately 2.7 million colour blind people (about 4.5% of the entire population), most of whom are male. It’s rarer for women to be colour blind because it happens due to the X chromosomes being damaged, for a man they only have one so there is more chance of it being damaged but for a woman as they have two both have to be damaged for them to be colour blind.
So you see everything in black and white? – No we see the world in colour, it’s just we see some colours differently to those with “normal” colour vision. There’s many different types of colour blindness, mines right across the spectrum so it affects many different colour groups. The medical term for colour blindness which is Colour Vision Deficiency is a much better name for it, because I am not blind to colour.
What colour do you see the sky? – Blue but this is my version of blue. When you’re younger you’re taught the sky is Blue when its sunny and Grey when its rainy so my brain knows the colour of the sky. The issue is a bit more complex when for example there’s a sunset and someone might say look how Pink the sky looks, I might see it completely differently. The same with grass, I know its Green as this what you’re taught when you are really young.
How do you become colour blind? – My colour blindness is hereditary, my mum carried the gene as her dad was colour blind and my dad is colour blind… Couldn’t really avoid it could I? Most people who are colour blind are because of their genes but in some rarer cases people become colour blind as a result of other diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
What colour is this? The most annoying thing is when you ask someone who is colour blind the colour of something and then laugh when they get it wrong. Equally as annoying is when I’m asked the colour of something and I get it right and people tell me I’m not colour blind. It’s like most people don’t take your word and have to test you!!!!
I was probably diagnosed with colour blindness when I was six or seven, my mum became aware of it before this as I pointed at a shop window and said look at that pretty Pink dress… the dress was the dullest Grey according to my mum. Also you know when the bath water goes Grey when you’ve used soap well I thought that was Pink too! My mum mentioned it to my teacher and she said I’d not had any problems with my colours and didn’t think there were any issues, it turns out I had been asking all of the other children the colours… it must have been really strange to six and seven year olds but no one ever picked on me perhaps it wasn’t an obvious issue because children are still learning things at that age. As I moved through Junior school my mum discovered Crayola colouring pencils had the colours written on them, this was such a great help and prevented me from feeling embarrassed as I got older.
Through my teenage years and now as an adult I’d say my colour blindness affects me more the ever. As a teenager my foundation was always ORANGE but I thought I looked tanned and couldn’t even see the line round my chin showcasing the contrast between my pasty skin and the Orange foundation… luckily in this area anyway it was very fashionable to be Orange. Even now I can’t really tell if my foundation is a shade or two too dark and if I ever get a new one I’m sure to check with my mum or sister that there’s not an Orange line round my chin. Now as an adult it affects my makeup and fashion choices greatly, I can’t for example wear patterned trousers and think ooh that shade of blue in the trousers is the same shade of blue as this top I can wear them together. Likewise with makeup I keep my eyeshadow colours neutral mainly and stick to the same ones after I’ve memorised what colour they are. If I do stray from this colour palette I usually ask my sister which colours to put together. It’s horrible not being able to be as creative with makeup as I’d like to be, I see some metallic Pinks as Gold and some metalic Greens as Gold, I also see matte Brown as Green sometimes too.
Some everyday things that it actually affects are things you’d never think about if you didn’t have the condition. I struggle to cook chicken as if it’s slightly undercooked I may miss it, it scares me that I’m going to eat it raw and so I don’t cook it if I’m alone. Being able to tell id fruit is ripe is another issue, mainly something that is an issue for me with banana’s.
I really wish it was seen more widely as an issue and taken more seriously. I recently went to the opticians and queried getting glasses or contact lenses to help with my colour blindness and was told these are still in the early development stages and would only be available at smaller specialist opticians. They said not much research is done into the condition as it affects such a small proportion of the population and there isn’t much funding for it. It did make me feel a little bit negative after hearing this as its kind of something I have to put up with, even after a google I didn’t find anyone selling the contact lenses or glasses. In terms of clothing retailers I think it should be common practise to put the colour of the product on the label, M&S are great for this as they actually put it on the wash label but Primark are great too as they have it on the price tag so when I’m shopping I can easily see the colour of the product. Beauty and cosmetic companies as a whole are not colour blind friendly at all! The colours most of them call their eyeshadows are ridiculous and don’t relate to the colour they actually are at all. I know its such a niche market suiting your products to a colour blind audience but really they would suit everyone… calling a colour Star Gold rather than lets say Star Gazer (not a real colour lol) isn’t much of a difference but to me and everyone else who was colour blind it would mean we would know it was Gold.
I would be really interested to know if any of my readers are colour blind and also if any of you have found any colour blind friendly brands.
p.s sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, it’s not really something that can be put into pictures. I think words explain it better.