What Is The Viral Blue Eye Theory - And Do Some Eye Colors Make You Look More Friendly?

If there's any place where fact and fiction go hand in hand, it's TikTok. The platform is known as a safe space for self-expression, where people are encouraged to share what they hold to be true, from everyday eyeliner hacks to political messages. That's why TikTok abounds with polarizing theories, which are gaining a whole new generation of adherents in this no-boomer zone. 

One claim that has been gaining traction lately is the blue eye theory. On TikTok, videos concerning this theory have reached over 270 million views, which often show users with non-blue eyes experimenting with filters to see how they might appear if they had blue eyes. They're doing so to test the hypothesis that blue eyes can make you appear more intense, if not threatening, than other eye colors. It may sound like a meaningless trend, but it's quite a well-done observational study for a digital community like TikTok.

If you have blue eyes but you have never heard of the blue eye theory, this is quite a revelation. So, do you or do you not look more fierce with your piercing blue eyes than with other eye colors? Here's what we know so far.  

Do blue eyes make people look more intimidating

In his video, the original creator behind the blue eye theory @simillr records himself before and after using the blue eye filter with suspenseful background music. He captions the video: "I heard blue eyes make you look like you unalive cereal."

"Unalive" — according to Dictionary.com — is "a slang term used on social media as a replacement for 'kill' or other death-related terms, often in the context of suicide." Meanwhile, "cereal" is likely to be a play on the word "serial." Now you know what he means: Those baby blues can give a deadly vibe.

There's more clarity in the comment section, though. "[I don't know] why but blue eyes trigger my flight or fight response," commented one user. Another user claimed that blue eyes are "most scary in my opinion." But the intensity of blue eyes isn't necessarily a turn-off. "... I tried this filter and I wish I had blue eyes like this now," reads a comment by another user.

Overall, it would be a stretch to conclude that icy blue eyes are cold-blooded eyes. However, there's no denying blue eyes have a deep, hypnotic feel about them that make you feel as if you're drowning in them. Some people enjoy the drowning effect, and some run away from it. As a result, each person interprets the sentiments elicited by blue eyes differently.

What about brown eyes?

If blue eyes can make some people's blood run cold, what eye color sparks the opposite reaction?

It looks like brown eyes are the winner here. Clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, and neuropsychological researcher Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., told Essilor: "Brown eyes may also be more likely to come from cultures where a trait like agreeableness is more culturally and societally valued than in blue-eyed cultures." A 2010 study published in Current Psychology also suggests that people with brown eyes are also perceived as more likable by others. 

According to a 2013 study carried out by researchers from Charles University in the Czech Republic and published in Plos ONE,  brown-eyed faces were deemed more trustworthy than blue-eyed ones. However, the authors explain that it is the face morphology associated with brown eyes that causes this perception, not the brown eyes themselves. There are various factors that play into the agreeableness of a face aside from the eye color. According to the study, brown-eyed males tend to have larger mouths, broader chins, and mouths with upward-pointing corners, whereas blue-eyed males may have more angular faces with smaller eyes and mouths with downward-pointing corners. This explains why brown-eyed people tend to look more approachable than blue-eyed ones. 

No matter your eye color, you can come across as friendly if you make an effort to maintain a friendly facial expression wherever you go. A warm grin and regular head nods, for example, can make you appear more approachable.