Can you imagine waking up in the morning, rolling over and grabbing your phone, and seeing a text from your best friend that says, “hey u wanna go get r eyeballs shaved later?” You would probably be reluctant to even answer or assume it was a typo of “eyebrows” (still not appealing at all). While we might think that this act is strange, Xiong Gaowu does it everyday to his customers. In the Chinese city of Chengdu, Gaowu simply takes a SHARP RAZOR to customers’ eyeballs and scrapes off any dirt and residue that is sticking to their eyeballs.
I like to think of myself as fairly adventurous. I’ve jumped out of a plane before, but I think I would draw the line at eyeball shaving. While the video looks rather painful; apparently, in Gaowu’s 40 years of eyeball shaving, he has never injured anyone. In fact, according to HuffPo, the man in the video said, “In the beginning, my eye was uncomfortable. Now that it has been washed it will be calmer.”
The act of shaving one’s eyeball was used in hospitals back in the day to treat trachoma and scrape away ulcers and scar tissue. This act, however, has been ruled potentially dangerous (because, you know, you’re rubbing a razor on your eyeball) and there are different treatments available now for patients who suffer from trachoma.
While it has been said that this act does provide results according to Qu Chao, deputy director of the ophthalmology department in the Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, the practice has been deemed too dangerous for the medical community and has been phased out for more cutting-edge treatments.
I must admit, I have the utmost respect for anyone willing to take a razor to the eyeball. Having said that, there is a reason that some habits phase out over the years. Even though this act was considered a known one in the early 20th century, I’m assuming that a few too many eyeballs took too much poking and prodding, and maybe even a few were lost in the mix, and that likely made this procedure go out of style.
So, if you feel like your eyes could really use a good shaving, take a trip to Chengdu and visit Xiong Gaowu. He’s been doing this for 40 years, and based on his attitude towards it, I don’t believe he will be giving it up anytime soon.