‘Look at me now’: Chinese dancer who lost eye in a car crash overcomes ‘self-hate’ to build business making attractive fake ones
- A decade after losing an eye in a car accident, Chinese woman masters the art of making artificial eyes
- Years of ‘self-hating’ came to an end when dancer found a way to make ‘cool’ fake eyes, which give her, and others like her, their confidence back
A Chinese woman who lost an eye in a road accident more than a decade ago has received glowing praise for developing cool-looking artificial eyes as she battles to conquer appearance anxiety that often accompanies such a loss.
The former dancer and actress from Beijing, who is known by her online nickname, Xintong, completed the process of becoming a self-taught ocularist, or artificial eye maker, two years ago.
She spent years honing her skills through a process of trial and error, driven by a desire to help others with a similar disability rediscover their confidence, the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Wednesday.
A decade after she lost her right eye in a car accident aged 18, and following years of self hating, Xintong now runs her own artificial eye-making workshop.
From the outset, her aim has been to help people like her by providing them with custom-made artificial eyes.
“Because I once got wet in the rain, I now want to give others an umbrella,” she said.
Xintong shot to popularity when a video of her wearing a glowing artificial eye went viral recently.
The idea came from a “very cool” overseas ocularist who did not care what other people said or thought about people who had lost an eye.
“People already look at me in a peculiar way, so why not exaggerate how I appear and use that to my advantage?” Xintong said.
The accident – which impaired her sense of balance – looked to have crushed her dream of becoming a great dancer.
“I had very narrow vision. I couldn’t track the shuttlecock when playing badminton. When I poured water I would miss the cup and when I walked downstairs I would miss my step. I also had difficulty crossing the road,” she said.
The loss of an eye also affected her facial appearance and prevented her from completing some dance moves, Xintong added.
As a result of being the tender age of 18 at the time of the accident, the change to her facial appearance and loss of physical capabilities left her with a sense of “extreme inferiority”.
But she stuck with her love of dancing, eventually becoming a dance teacher after graduating from college.
However, Xintong found the artificial eyes she had to wear both ugly and uncomfortable.
“I thought to myself, it would be great if I can produce ones according to my own tastes,” she recalled.
She pursued her dream and in 2020 quit her teaching job to devote herself full-time to artificial eye-making.
After a long process of trial and error, she mastered making her ideal artificial eyes, opened a workshop and hired three assistants.
“It’s my passion to remain in this industry and produce the best products so I can help visually impaired people regain their confidence,” she said.