Back in 2014, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle did something pretty ahead of its time — and very controversial. The Xscape star traveled abroad to get her eye color changed to gray using BrightOcular implants. She announced the news by saying on Instagram, “I hated wearing contacts just for the color and it made my vision blurry. Blessed to say my vision is perfect after my ice-gray implants.”
When the procedure went well, surprisingly, the star’s oldest daughter, Zonnique, flew to Tunisia to follow in her mother’s footsteps (the procedure wasn’t approved here in the States). She did an interview in 2015 about it, saying she “really loved them. And I think they look pretty.”
In case you’re wondering how the surgery works, a silicone iris implant, pretty much a colored contact, is placed inside the eye through a slit in front of one’s natural iris color. Immediately after having it done, one’s vision is limited, but soon after, a patient is able to see, and does so through their new eye color.
And while both mother and daughter seemingly had successful procedures, there are risks. That includes possible permanent damage to the pupil, as well as glaucoma, corneal issues, cataracts, chronic inflammation and more.
But despite it seeming like a very permanent decision and procedure, it can be reversed. In fact, that was part of the reason Tiny was a fan of the BrightOcular option.
“I spoke to the doctors and to patients who’d had it. I learned that there was no downtime, that it only took about 15 minutes — plus it’s reversible,” she told PEOPLE at the time. “When I found out that you could reverse it, I was sold.”
The procedure can be reversed when there are complications, as well as when you decide you’ve simply had enough of the implants. And while we don’t know the specifics of why, it seems that Zonnique has had her implants removed.
The 22-year-old also posted a photo in her stories showing that her eye color was back to her natural dark brown.
Whatever the reason for Zonnique’s change of heart (and in turn, eye color), the procedure is still relatively popular. People desire “sea green,” “ice gray,” “baby blue,” “olive green,” “amber” and light brown eyes, and they’re cutting their peepers open to get them. But for the record, some get eye color surgery to help with iris-related abnormalities and defects, so it’s not always about vanity and looking “pretty.”
As for Zonnique, it seems that after a few years and some deep thought, she decided to go back to brown, and we love it.