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What is the definition of Asian Beauty? (and Plastic Surgery for Asian Girls: Racial Self Hatred?)

Posted by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM
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du juan asian image of beauty and plastic surgery jadeluckclub jade luck clubWhy is a pretty face a Western one for this 12-year-old Korean girl? Is this the result of globalization for Asians in China and Korea? Apparently plastic surgery for girls to look more Caucasian is quite common and accepted. Eyes, nose, teeth and even  snipping a muscle under the tongue for toddlers so clearer enunciation is normal. Have the Tiger Moms in Asia gone amok?

What about Asian Americans? Is this racial self hatred? Are Asians the only ones who have defined beauty by a Caucasian standard? It seems not... Satoshi Kanazawa of Psychology Today wrote a post called, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" It was roundly condemned, his research methodology faulted,  and has since been removed from the site, but you can read it here. There is an interesting side note on his post: "Mr. Kanazawa has made a career out of explaining why Asians are biologically smarter, African-Americans are biologically inferior, and why nuking the middle east is a good idea. Rather than being confined to Stormfront, however, he's given an article in Psychology Today."

Black Women Ugly? Says Who? on  is a reaction to this article and the author took offense, naturally, but he sheds some light onto this whole idea of race self hatred/brain washing of a certain ideal of beauty:

"I question a methodology that asks random people to judge the attractiveness of other random people without taking into account the influence of background and culture. Without taking into account a Westernized standard of beauty that has not only haunted some black women into buying cream to bleach their skin but prompted some Asian-Americans to undergo surgery to make their eyes more European looking.

That's not to say white skin or round eyes are necessarily unattractive. Rather, a system that declares one set of physical attributes as the standard to which a multiethnic society must adhere is destructive."

There it is again ... white skin  & round eyes = attractive.

The little girl below is on the CNN video here but the funny thing is that I didn't even notice a difference in her appearance until I studied it very carefully.

asian girls plastic surgery for eyes to look western not asian jadeluckclub jade luck club racial self hatred

On the flip side, my husband sent me this article on Asian trophy wives. Nicknamed the Woody Allen effect, it seems that media barons are now getting in on the act of acquiring highly accomplished and beautiful Asian "Trophy Wives":  "Rupert Murdoch walked down the aisle with fresh-faced Wendi Deng — 17 days after finalizing his divorce from his second wife. Then, CBS head Leslie Moonves wed TV news anchor Julie Chen; Oscar winner Nicolas Cage married half-his-age third wife Alice Kim; billionaire George Soros coupled up with violinist Jennifer Chun; and producer Brian Grazer courted concert pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen. Add the nuptials of investment magnate Bruce Wasserstein to fourth wife Angela Chao and the pending vows between venture capitalist Vivi Nevo and Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang, and we've got a curious cultural ripple."

What do you think of this whole notion of Asian beauty? And how do we change the definition of beauty into a multi cultural view? Is that even possible?

p.s. Asian super models at New York Fashion Week. The many faces (and eye shapes) of Asian beauty.

du juan asian image of beauty and plastic surgery jadeluckclub jade luck clubDu Juan, Chinese Super Model

Hye Park Korean Supermodel Asian definition of beauty plastic surgery eyes jadeluckclubHye Park, Korean Super Model

Ai Tominaga Japanese super model jadeluckclubAi Tomenaga, Japanese Super Model

Tao Okamoto Japanese super model asian definition of beauty jadeluckclub jade luck club celebrating asian american creativity empowering asian americansTao Okamoto, Japanese Super Model

Mey Bun Cambodian super model jade luck club jadeluckclubMey Bun, Cambodian Super Model

Ujiwala raut indian super model defining asian beauty plastic surgery for asian eyes jadeluckclubUjjwala Raut, Indian Super Model

Juliana Imai portuguese eurasian super model supermodel jadeluckclubJuliana Imai, Portuguese/Japanese Super Model

Anne Watanabe japanese super model jadeluckclubAnne Watanabe, Japanese Super Model

(from my other blog, JadeLuckClub: Celebrating Asian American Creativity)

I blog on children's lit, education and parenting.

by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM
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by New Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I hate it when asian women wear circle contact lens.  I think it's a slap in the face to an already pretty eye because it attempts to "white"-en an Asian woman's eyes.  I also think anime has a lot to blame for it too. 

by on Sep. 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I'd kill to have more of my mothers asian features.

by on Nov. 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM

This topic is so interesting and one that I wondered myself. I am a third culture kid from Japan so I think I have both Japanese and American perspective (leaning much more towards American). As I child, I wanted to change my eyes, like the girl in the picture - to get the double eye lids. I am very grateful my parents said no. In Japan (and I think also in Korea), the eye sugery is so common, particularly among celebrities. Ai Tominaga is a rare case where she has kept her more "Japanese" looking eyes. But if you look at most Japanese celebrities and compare what they look like now to what they used to look like in the begining, you see that their eyes have gotten bigger. It could be makeup, but most likely they had their eyes altered. I also observed that this is more common among women than men.  

It has been interesting that my experience in the States has greatly changed my views. I have had many people (both men and women) comment on my beautiful/cute "Asian" eyes. In the begining I was so surprised by this comment and had to explain why this comment may be  offensive to many Asians to baffled looking non-Asians. But as the years went by, I started to question why this was offensive. Why large eyes are so revered in Asian culture? I'm not sure if it is because they want to be Caucasian. But there most definitely is a Western influence (ie: Beauty in the Edo period is very different than now) I've also wondered what people who've had their eyes done think when their children inherit their eyes? Do they want them to change it too?

I think it is interesting that I have never heard of eye surgery among Asian Americans. Does it happen? I'm very curious to see what Asian Americans experience is.  

by Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Growing up in Hawaii, where the majority of the population is Asian, I always wished I looked more like my Japanese mama. I had big light brown eyes, but I wanted them to be more slanted, I had light brown hair and I wished it were black, and I had what I felt was a big nose b/c of my White bridge.

I also have an aunty that had the eyelid surgery when she was young and y'know when you start to get older, the double eyelids start to sag anyway :p I know b/c it happened to my grandma who was born with double eyelids.

Now that I'm a mom, my 3/4 Japanese daughter (who doesn't look a lick of White) tells me that she wishes she looked more like me. I tell her that she looks JUST like how I wished I looked when I was her age. I also tell her that she is BEAUTIFUL, inside and out. I also tell her that everyone looks how they're supposed to look and that we all look different b/c if we all looked the same then life would be very boring... and confusing if you ask me ;)

I think people need to teach their children that they are beautiful EXACTLY as they are, because that's the way God/the Universe made us. Also, we are all beautiful in our own way, b/c beauty is really in the eye of the beholder and is subjective. We need to get our kids talking about what they DO like about themselves and highlight for them what is unique about them, not just what's on the outside, but on the inside as well.

by Group Owner on Jan. 31, 2013 at 6:59 PM

To me, symetrical features are the most beautiful people, regardless of race.

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

hmmm well I think one thing that always bothered me about Asian beauty standards is the focus on being light skinned. My mom always used to give me crap as a kid about going in the sun and getting dark. Personally I think all tones of Asian skin are really beautiful as long as it's clear!

Also the focus on being rail thin is so unrealistic for Asians born in a western country. I am already a tall lumbering monster next to my Asian living counterparts...I can't be expected to not have some meat on my bones! I remember starving myself in HS to be that thin. ugh.

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