Feeling like a Unicorn (a day in the life of a colour blind gal)

Today, I am going to revisit the topic of colourblindness. I have already talked about people’s reactions to my saying that I am colourblind and now I will give you a glimpse of my life.

According to the colourblindawareness.org 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 200 females are colour blind. They also use the hashtag #1ineveryclassroom that means that there is probably one colourblind student in every class.

Being colour blind does not mean you cannot see colours (seeing black and white is really rare), it just means you may not be able to see some colours and shades. I am not going to go into medical details though because

  1. I am not a doctor and
  2. that’s not what this post is about.

I am partially colour blind and today, I will try to give you a glimpse of what my life is like. So, how big a deal is it to not be able to see colours? Let’s see.

Walk in my red (?) pumps, will ya?

My life


Clothes: As a 39-year-old gal, shopping is challenge. I am unable to shop 90% of the time!! I have no idea what colour the clothes I buy are. I always ask a sales assistant for help or I choose to shop from stores that have the colour written on the tag. If none of these are an option, then I end up buying something that turns out to be a random colour, I then I go back to the store and return it (story of my life)

Makeup is an ordeal. I luv makeup, but I can’t really buy it. Most companies choose to name their products not based on what colour they are but based on a catchy title. What do I mean? Cosmetics companies choose to give weird names to their eye shadows, nail varnish and lip sticks. Why does a pink lip stick need to be called “A day in the park” or “love me do” (names chosen randomly) and not just say: Pink/ light pink/ dark pink/ fuchsia etc.? You may ask, ”Yes, but you do not see it’s pink, so what you going on about woman?” Well, yeah, I don’t see it’s pink, but I know what pink goes with!! The same goes for nail varnish. Once again, I ask for help, or buy egg yellow eye shadows and end up returning them.

Food: It is very difficult to go grocery shopping cause I cannot distinguish if the fruit or vegetable is too ripe. I have bought loads of green bananas. I never know if potatoes have turned poisonous or not (you are not supposed to eat them when they are green. It’s actually a miracle I haven’t had potato… poisoning yet).

Reading Magazines

Loads of magazines, newspapers and even books choose to write a text on a background that clashes, making it extremely or almost impossible for me to read. Black on red is the worst!

Going to the bank

You know the electronic display that shows priority in banks? I cannot read that. I take a ticket, wait in a line, and then ask a person to help me and tell me what number is next. Do you know how many times I missed my turn back in the days when I felt embarrassed to ask for help?


I don’t drive. I think I will have a problem with road signs more than actual traffic lights. I have never tried to learn to drive. Never will (I don’t think this is cause I am colour blind. I think this one is more cause I am too scared cause of general eye sight problems).

Using websites

I often have trouble using websites because when I want to change colour or choose something based on the colour I cannot. Why? Well, if you look at Word, for example, and you want to change font colour when you press the colour boxes, they say what colour it is (as in the name of the colour). On many websites though you see lots of coloured boxes, but when you put your pointer on them, the name of the colour does not pop up (like in Word). So, I am in the dark. I also have difficulty reading the Skype phone number on various pages because it is in a very light colour on a light coloured background.


Following any type of instructions that is based on colours is hard. Take out the lilac book, follow the green line, open the pink door (which is the ladies’ room). Then there’s the tube. I never travel on the London tube alone. So many colours mixed up on a little map.

Pie charts/tables and graphs

They are very difficult to read because people use similar colours when they make them. I had difficulty watching the Greek election results the other day cause the ‘election’ map had green and blue all over. I have difficulty seeing the difference.

For 39 years I have lived without ‘seeing’ colours. I manage fine. Does it make my life difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. I ask people for help and they help.  I often get upset though. Being colour blind does not hold me back. I would like it if people/companies/organisations were a bit more considerate though. Please help us with colours. If you are interested in reading about people’s typical reactions, press here.

full pic white flowers

Thanks so much for reading. If you are in he position to make any changes and make our lives a bit easier, please do so. I am trying to raise awareness. Please share, tweet or pin if you found this post interesting. My blog is the only place I can voice my thoughts. this is an adapted version of a post that originally appeared on my edu blog (www.myeltrambles.com).Do follow my blog if you want to read more from me. Connect with me on Pinterest/ Twitter/ Instagram.Maybe even give my Facebook page some TLC?  Comments section is all yours. Thanks for reading.

Why does my title have the term unicorn in it? A lovely girl on twitter (Becca) said that I am like a unicorn cause colour blindness in rare….. that’s a magical way to put it ❤



26 thoughts on “Feeling like a Unicorn (a day in the life of a colour blind gal)

  1. Wow I hadn’t really thought about that stuff. I don’t really think about how often I take my color sight for granted. Just looking around my desk I see all kinds of things that would be harder if I couldn’t differentiate color. And the fact that a lot of magazines and websites use color to add flair or character to their sites, always seems fun to me, crazy (and enlightening) to think of it from that point of view.
    I am in marketing (and blogging woot woot), at my company I keep all the sales agents marketing info on a calendar and each agent has a different color to make it easier for me. I print a hard copy ever week to take notes on and every so often the printer prints it in black and white instead of color (we have a phantom ghost in our printer who likes to save color ink lol) and I get so annoyed because without the color it’s no good to me the way it is. I understand I could use initials or even give them a number but I use color because it works best for me. So thanks for sharing and making me reminding me to be grateful for something I take for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This summer I was working at a uni and the syllabus was colour coded, so I didn’t know which day I had what and the connection between my lessons ( I am a teacher). My director of studies sat down and wrote all the initials and that way I knew which day I had listening, which days writing etc. I am sure that if you had someone working for you in the same situation, you would offer help. Colours make your life easier, they make mine more challenging :). Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  2. Joanna this is such an interesting and eye-opening post. I had never thought about all the things that require you to see colors like that before. I think you are doing brilliantly and you are a very inspiring person. Thank you for sharing this with us ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi!!!
      Thanks so much. I don’t know if I am inspiring, I do know that we need to be heard and my blog is a place where I can be heard. If just one person is affected by my post, I am a happy person.
      ❤ ❤ Thanks for your kind words.


    • Hi Ginger. It shoud nto be allowed to change the name of a colour just to sell a product, but companies do do it. I really wonder, does calling a nail polish sweet sunshine or whatver make it sell more? (mini rant… sowie).
      xx Joanna


  3. I never realized how difficult it could be. My husband is partially color blind and definitely doesn’t do well with picking matching outfits 🙂


    • Yeap, matching clothes is hard. I label everything so I know what colour my tops are and then match them with my trousers!! Labelling is the way to go.
      Joanna xx


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  5. Darling, thank you for sharing! You are like a hero every day, there are so many extra obstacles that you have to handle!
    Posts like yours really help others learn about other peoples lives!


  6. WOW. I’m just so sorry that you have to go through this. I know many men are colorblind, but I never met a color blind woman. You struggle with so many things I would have never even thought about-i.e. picking up makeup. Thank you for sharing your story ❤


  7. Very interesting post! My Mom is color blind (esp. blue/green) and always takes me along on shopping trips when she is shopping for clothes in those colors. – Trish at View from the Birdhouse


  8. Thanks for raising some awareness. My brother is partially colorblind – he sees certain colors the same, like green/brown and blue/purple. There are so many things that you don’t realize are affected. Our group of friends loves to play board games but a lot of them involve colors and he can’t really play those games.


    • Hey Becky!
      I love UNO which is basically based on colours so my UNO deck says what the colour of each card is and that’s what we use when we play. Monopoli is a bit harder though!!
      Thanks for reading 🙂


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  10. Wow, this has been insightful. I never gave much thought to the names of makeup items, but damn! Now I wish they did have to write the color. Maybe it’s better if you stick to a neutral palette, that way you can’t really go wrong with the colors. Just go light to dark..
    I am definitely going to try and make my own websites more black and white friendly… would really be sad to hear someone couldn’t read or see something important.


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