The Inside Out of Eye Whites and Emotions
by EO Executive Optical | September 15, 2015 at 08:00am

Who would have thought buying sunglasses for sale in the Philippines may come in handy before viewing Disney Pixar’s Inside Out? It could have helped to hide the tears of joy from your sister who relentlessly teased you.

At first, it was apprehensive to watch because cartoons that discusses about emotions might bore you. You would be wrong because it is a fantastic film that will give you all the feels – err – emotions.

*Spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned.

Only if Riley’s parents took a look at the whites of her eyes, they could have deciphered the emotional rollercoaster she experiences because of their moving to San Francisco. She may not have made a drastic measure to run away back to Minnesota. According to Psychology Today, a study has found that “our eye whites communicate important social cues that are key to our bonding and survival at a conscious and subconscious level.”

Well, lucky for us it didn’t happen because we wouldn’t have met Riley’s main emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear. They helped Riley on her transition from childhood to preteen. It was elaborately shown in the film the moment they’ve moved out. Riley needs to accept the fact she needs to leave something behind in order to adopt to her new surroundings.

Not far from the portrayal of the movie, our eyes partially direct mirrors for our emotions. Albeit very subtly, social cues are communicated on conscious and subconscious levels and by that, it goes beyond observable differences like bloodshot party eyes, teary sad eyes, or hepatitis-y yellow eyes.

This can be more blatantly observed with eye rolling, a social cue that not a lot of other species can do because of eye white to pupil ratio. But we can because we have so much eye white that can signal the movement of pupils, thus non-verbally gesture ideas. Happiness? Eyes that play and sway upward. Sadness? Eyes that slowly examine the floor. Disgust? Eye rolling.

By just looking at the picture of the Inside Out characters above, you’d see that it’s not actually the dilation of the pupils that convey their emotions but the shapes that their eye whites take that expresses, even without blatant labeling, how they feel.

As clear and as subtly as the eyes can convey emotions, Pixars Inside Out has done the same. The message of the science of emotions was sent clear without the need to put on a new eyeglasses frame or looking to the whites of Riley’s eyes.

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