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AXavierB
10-07-2008, 09:36 AM
This is a small problem I've been having. My main character is described in the story as having violet eyes, which I've heard are a rare genetic mutation that only a few people on earth have. I've heard that Elizabeth Taylor is known for having violet eyes, but most pictures I've seen of her have them looking gray or dark blue. Also, some people have been saying that violet eye color is impossible without contact lenses.

In short, could anyone give me a valid source that violet eyes can occur naturally? I don't want his physical description to be unrealistic, so I need to know if this genetic trait is just a myth or not.

frimble3
10-07-2008, 10:00 AM
Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_color#Violet as a brief starting point. I suspect that 'violet eyes' are in the eye of the beholder. More of a poetic thing that actually purple-looking eyes. Unless you saw them in exactly the right light.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-07-2008, 01:56 PM
Elizabeth Taylor's eyes are one of those pale colors that changes according to the ambient light. It apparently has to do with the way light reflects and refracts in the iris.

I met her, and depending on which way she was looking, her eyes would shift from medium blue to a distinctly lavender-blue, then to grey.

ADDING:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Human_eye_color.PNG explains it

Saanen
10-07-2008, 02:53 PM
You might also want to consider that characters described as having violet eyes are usually Mary Sues (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue). Better to change your character's eye color than invite a knee-jerk rejection from an editor or agent.

Mumut
10-07-2008, 03:04 PM
I worked with someone many years ago who had violet eyes. The colour wasn't noticeable most times but when he wore the same colour top they really stood out.

Danger Jane
10-07-2008, 05:23 PM
I have a friend with very light but clearly purple eyes--not blue, not gray, purple. Maybe lavender, rather. Yes, possible.

Thing is, when authors focus heavily on a physical attribute like eye color, they're often (though not always) creating a Mary Sue, so you might want to be careful. Might. I don't know the details of your story, of course, but violet eyes (or eyes that completely change color due to emotion, eyes that reveal hidden depths, etc) can often be one sign of a Mary Sue.

Anyway, good luck.

StephanieFox
10-07-2008, 07:01 PM
My eyes change color depending on what I'm wearing. They can be quite green, quite blue, a light greenish-brown, purple, pale blue, gray or other colors. I don't think this is as rare as people think. My 2nd-grade teacher got mad at me because I couldn't accurately describe my eye color – and neither could she.

Violet, of course, are simply dark purple, just the way light brown eyes could be called amber eyes when described by movie magazines or novels. (Genetically speaking, amber eyes has a different def.)

Scrawler
10-08-2008, 04:17 AM
This reminds me of an Eagles song:

You can't hide your violet eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't no way to hide your violet eyes

MaryMumsy
10-08-2008, 05:12 AM
This reminds me of an Eagles song:

You can't hide your violet eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't no way to hide your violet eyes

Actually, that is lying eyes. Which is also the name of the song.

MM

TsukiRyoko
10-08-2008, 05:27 AM
I don't know anyone with purple eyes, but I do know someone eith extraordinarily golden eyes. They're a shade of amber that, in 99% of lights, looks as golden as the sun. I don't see why purple eyes wouldn't exist, but I do think it would depend on the lighting.

Ali B
10-08-2008, 05:31 AM
My daughter has very purple eyes when she wears purple clothing, which is most of the time. Her father has blue eyes, I have blue eyes and her sister has blue eyes. When her eyes are not purple they are a very distinct cornflower blue. I can't take her anywhere without someone commenting on her eyes. You know that saying, "If I had a dollar for every time someone said that..."? If I had a dollar for every time some one commented on my daughters eyes I would literally be rich.

Keyan
10-08-2008, 07:07 AM
I have a friend with very light but clearly purple eyes--not blue, not gray, purple. Maybe lavender, rather. Yes, possible.

Thing is, when authors focus heavily on a physical attribute like eye color, they're often (though not always) creating a Mary Sue, so you might want to be careful. Might. I don't know the details of your story, of course, but violet eyes (or eyes that completely change color due to emotion, eyes that reveal hidden depths, etc) can often be one sign of a Mary Sue.

Anyway, good luck.

Wait...
I thought Mary Sues had green eyes...

Darn! Now I have to go back and give my character eyes like glowing amethysts instead of eyes like sparkling emeralds. Fortunately He can still look deeply into them while she catches her breath.

<hurriedly doing a jewel-based find-replace>

Dommo
10-08-2008, 10:08 AM
My eyes are strange, as is my hair. I'm of mixed heritage (Native American-Caucasian), and what's weird is how my hair and eye coloring have changed over the years. As I get older, my eyes are shifting from being a dark brown from when I was a kid to almost green now(they are currently hazel, but mostly green). My hair has also gone from nearly black, to brown. If it keeps this pace, it might be a lighter brown by the time I hit my 30s.

My sister on the other hand went the opposite direction. When she was a little girl, her hair was almost a platinum blonde, and now it's shifted to being a dark brown.

pdr
10-08-2008, 12:12 PM
if you see Queen Elizabeth 11 in the flesh she has astonishingly dark blue purple eyes.

ideagirl
10-09-2008, 06:54 AM
In short, could anyone give me a valid source that violet eyes can occur naturally? I don't want his physical description to be unrealistic, so I need to know if this genetic trait is just a myth or not.

Oscar Wilde described his wife as having violet eyes. And from everything I've read, Liz Taylor actually does have violet eyes--but like many people with very light eyes, her eyes change color depending on the surroundings and what she's wearing. So you see a lot of pictures where her eyes look blue or grey. Here's a thread with lots of people talking about their own eye color--some say theirs are violet:
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=30;t=002589;p=0

By the way, these eyes aren't violet, but they're quite striking, especially on this kid: http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/4338/tamilnadumahabalipuram5zc.jpg
Just goes to show, there are some unusual-looking people in the world--I would have thought it was genetically impossible for a dark-skinned, black-haired Tamil child to have such startlingly sky-blue eyes, but it's not. Apparently some things that you might think are genetically impossible are actually just incredibly rare... but possible.

AXavierB
10-09-2008, 10:28 AM
Thanks for all your responses. After much consideration I've decided to change his eye color to something darker. Like gunmetal gray or something similar. I find this fits his character better than violet eyes.

Scrawler
10-10-2008, 01:27 AM
Actually, that is lying eyes. Which is also the name of the song.

MM
I know. That was a joke.

Keyan
10-10-2008, 12:06 PM
Thanks for all your responses. After much consideration I've decided to change his eye color to something darker. Like gunmetal gray or something similar. I find this fits his character better than violet eyes.

Him? Guys don't have violet eyes.
Or at least they don't admit to it.
Gunmetal gray, yes, that's the male version...

MaryMumsy
10-10-2008, 08:40 PM
I know. That was a joke.

Given the frequency of people scrambling lyrics from rock songs, I wasn't sure.

MM