I’m a woman who is color blind. I didn’t know this until I was an adult and went to the doctor for a routine checkup. She told me that I have one of the three types of color blindness: red-green color blindness, blue-yellow color blindness or complete tritanopia (which means I can’t see any colors). And while this may seem like a huge disadvantage to some people, it really isn’t that big of deal — especially if you’re a woman!
I enjoy the beauty of the world, but I don’t see it the way most people do
There are colorblind people who don’t see the same colors as you and I. They might not be able to differentiate between red and green, or maybe they can’t distinguish between blue and purple.
In some cases, it’s possible for a person to be partially colorblind—they may only have trouble distinguishing certain tones of reds or blues rather than everything in their vision falling into one of two categories (red/green). In other cases, people with normal vision might experience rare conditions that cause them to see the world differently from everyone else (like seeing rainbows around lights).
This is because we’re all wired differently: our eyes’ cones process light differently depending on how they’ve been programmed by our genes. But just because someone has a different set of cones doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have trouble distinguishing colors—it depends on what those cones are programmed to do. For example: someone who has three types of cones instead of two will see more colors than those with only two types; but if their extra cone isn’t stimulated much by light outside their normal range then they’ll still struggle when looking at things like traffic lights which contain all three wavelengths (red/green/blue).
It’s easier to pick out my clothes in the dark
Color blindness is a genetically inherited condition that affects how people see colors. For me, I have trouble distinguishing reds and greens from each other. This means that picking out clothes in daylight can be difficult—especially when they’re similar shades of green or red (or both), like maroon and hunter green; browns and purples like dark mahogany or rosewood; oranges, yellows, and pinks—which are all colors I can’t differentiate between very well either!
But when it’s dark outside? All bets are off because then I have night vision!
There are tiny pictures at the metro station that prevent me from going down the wrong escalator.
You see, the “up” and “down” escalators at my metro station are not just labeled with red and green signs. Instead, they have pictures of a man on one side and a woman on the other. The idea is that if you’re color blind like me, you’ll be able to tell which way is up because the image contains something that would make sense even in black and white:
- Man = Up
- Woman = Down
While the signs may help people who are color blind, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a minute before I realized which was which. The pictures were quite small and there wasn’t any additional information to help make sense of them. But I could see that one side had an image of a man and the other had an image of a woman. Thankfully, since most people use the up escalator anyway—and even more thankfully, because my friend was there to point out
My daughter loves to play dress-up with me.
My daughter gets to play dress-up with me. She gets to be the princess, superhero, queen and queen’s sister; she can even be the witch or mermaid if she wants.
She loves dressing up as a fairy and going to school (but only if it’s a full moon). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my daughter say “Mommy is so pretty!” when she’s wearing one of my outfits. And don’t get me started on how often her friends have told me they love their dresses because they look like mine!
Matching outfits is a little harder for us because we can’t just look in our closet and find something that matches
When you’re color blind, matching clothes is a little harder. Especially if you have to coordinate outfits with your spouse or friends. You can’t just look in your closet and find something that matches because you don’t know what color anything is.
I’ve learned to rely on my other senses, like touch, smell and hearing when it comes to picking out an outfit for the day (or night). I’ll try on different articles of clothing until I find one that has “the right feel.” The same goes for choosing accessories: earrings, bracelets, necklaces—you name it! If my husband isn’t around to help me pick out an accessory from his jewelry box (he’s good at this), then I ask one of my daughters or parents who are always willing to help match their daughter/granddaughter/niece/great-granddaughter’s clothing selections!
When I go clothes shopping with friends, I often end up picking out stuff they end up really liking.
There are a few reasons for this: I can see the colors, but they don’t look the same to me as they do to them. I can tell when the colors match, which is always nice. But most importantly, when it comes to getting dressed in the morning (or for a special occasion), my color blindness makes me better at noticing what’s going on around me—and that includes fashion trends!
A few weeks ago, my friend showed up at my house wearing what looked like a dark-green shirt with white stripes. “That looks awesome!” I said enthusiastically. “Where did you get it?” She told me she’d bought it online and hadn’t tried it on before buying it; she thought it would be super cute because she loved green and white together so much. As soon as she put her new shirt on though, we realized her mistake: It wasn’t green at all; rather than being an olive tone like most of our clothes tend toward (which tends toward yellowish), this top was actually deep forest green like those worn by lumberjacks during WWI—the kind of fabric that might give someone who didn’t wear glasses nightmares about being trapped inside an old-growth forest without any matches or food rations left over from camping trips gone wrong.”
I’ve never changed my hair color because I don’t want to get a color that doesn’t work with my makeup or clothes.
One of my biggest struggles as a woman who’s color blind is matching my hair color to everything else in my life. I’ve never changed it, because I don’t want to get a color that doesn’t work with my makeup or clothes.
When you’re a woman, your hair can change your entire look—and it’s important to consider this. For example: if you have pale skin and light eyes (like me), wearing dark brown or black on your head will make your face look paler than it actually is! And if you have darker skin and dark eyes, going for platinum blonde will give the appearance of having lighter eyes than normal.
There are so many factors when considering what colors work best together and why; this is one example of why being color blind can be difficult for women who want to wear different shades but still stay true to their style aesthetic.
When my daughter was learning to draw, she would mix her colors and I had no idea what order to put them in.
When your daughter was learning to draw, you probably had a hard time helping her put the colors in their correct order. You would see a yellow square, for example, but you wouldn’t know if it was supposed to be orange or red or green until she told you.
Although people who are colorblind may have difficulty distinguishing between some colors, they can often identify different hues.
So what’s going on here? Well, if someone is red-green colorblind (which is the most common form), he or she may confuse some shades of green with shades of yellow. Or maybe they have trouble distinguishing between blue and purple—or even between pink and brown! The condition doesn’t just affect mixing; sometimes it also distorts our perception of objects themselves: my husband once commented that my jacket looked “like chipped paint.”
Despite being color blind, women it get by just fine!
Color blind women have to rely on friends who have the full spectrum of vision to help them out with picking the right colors for their clothes, furniture, and paint. There’s no shame in needing a little extra help when it comes to decorating your house. Color blindness is something that makes it harder for us women to see certain colors, but we still manage just fine!
The world is a beautiful place, and I wouldn’t want to miss out on it. I’ve learned how to enjoy the beauty of color, even though it’s difficult for me.