Thursday, August 14, 2008

Different Makes Me Beautiful

Being an Asian girl, growing up with mostly Caucasian kids had its good times and bad. I still remember being called 'flat face' or 'Chinese eyes' and it really hurt when I was little. Now I can just laugh about it all, but inside I can still feel that pain that I had before. But does that drive me to go to far lengths to feel fit in? Of course not; I have matured and I actually love my differences and the way I look. But I can understand why many Asians and other women of ethnic groups choose to alter their looks and go under surgery so they can feel better about themselves.


Many Asian women undergo double
eyelid surgery to change the look of
their eyes.
For instance, double eyelid surgery is a common surgery that many Asian women go through. Most Asians are born with a very small crease in their eyelid or nothing at all. Nowadays, many Asian women are led to think that the Caucasian look, including the eyes, are much more attractive which cause many to undergo changes. It's quite common in Japan for women to use special glue to lift their eyelids up to make them look more Western. Even magazines recommend girls to consider surgery to look better.

I understand where a lot of these girls are coming from when they say they want to look better, but I feel that there's really no need to change their physical appearance. These girls seem to be very weak towards criticism and the media, making them feel like they are not as pretty as another girl. The media does tend to pressure women into thinking that beauty is one or the other, but I think we should all understand that there's really no specific standard to being beautiful. I think it's time for women to become stronger and say to themselves, "I am beautiful, even if I don't look like the woman next to me."


Asians and other races have different
attributes, but I still consider them
beautiful the way they are.
Just to keep things straight, I want to say that I have no problem with surgery, I have nothing against people that do it, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it either. However, I think that all women of different races should be proud of their differences and embrace their beauty. Let's face it, every one's different - even celebrities look different, meaning everyone has a different part of them that makes them attractive. Besides, surgery often means lots of pain and money, and some cases don't even work out like you expected. I think women with different facial looks are absolutely gorgeous and they have a special beauty that no other can have. Why not treasure it?

69 comments:

Farren said...

It's hard at times to realize that what makes you different is also what makes you beautiful. And while I respect the surgery, just like you, I do agree with you also that people should try to embrace their differences instead of trying to change themselves into a cookie cutter form of beauty. =/

Sal said...

Well said.

K.Line said...

Great post! I think so many people growing up feel bad about the way they look - because they don't fit "cultural norms". Thanks for an insightful look at this...

Nothing Elegant said...

Thanks for your lovely comments -- I have added your link!

HANNAH-ZOË said...

wow! i totally agree, peoples differences are what make us all beautiful and interesting. I recently read an article in RUSH about the new breed of models who all have "imperfections" and "quirks" but thats what makes them so successful and beautiful.

HANNAH-ZOË said...

crap i didn't mean to press that button twice /:
by the way thanks for your comment, i would love to exchange links with you!

S said...

I agree wholeheartedly, 100%.
Great post as usual - I love reading your thoughts and how eloquently you express yourself!

LaCouturier said...

beautifully said. =]
it really is sad how many asian women do that; my mom and i were actually talkin about that a little while ago.

but hey, some ppl think we're exotic ;] hahaha

Tout de Noir said...

Could not have put it better myself! When I was a little girl, I couldn't stand the look of my my roundish, flat nose,and considered surgery, but I've learned to embrace it as the years have gone by. I've realized that no woman is identical to another, and beauty is so extremely subjective that we cannot hold ourselves to any set standard. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", as they say, and that beholder is the face in the mirror (you!) ;-)

Thanks for the link add. I've added you as well!

Martha said...

Great message, i think it's really important for women to embrace their differences at the moment i live in predominantly caucasian area and go to a predominantly caucasian school, so i totally understand how easy it is to feel that you don't belong. But i love the fact that i'm different to most kids in my school it makes me feel special. I think other people should learn to accept that people are different too, teasing and name calling doesn't help people's self esteem.

Beauty Confessional said...

I think that there is beauty in all races and I agree with you Uniqueness can be pretty.

Thats why on my site i try to feature Beautiful people of all different Ethnicities.

This was a great post it felt rally genuine.

LEESH said...

darling, thank you sooo much for your lovely comment! i think way you are SO right in this post! I looooove the way asian eyes look! you girls can do so many beautiful things with make up that we, as Caucasians, cannot do. gorgeouuus!!! and yes yes, i'm linking you now
XX

kirsty said...

you are so right here! i think it's sad when people get surgery to change something like that. especially as 'beauty' from a media point of view is so fickle and always changing. its always better to love yourself the way you are, because if you can't love yourself it doesn't matter what you change, you won't be happy.

Johnny said...

How about (super-creepy) extra-wide contacts that make you look like an anime character?

(In China Mountain Zhang--a science fiction novel set in the 22nd century, when China is the world's only superpower--all the rich young Caucasians get eye surgery to try and look MORE Asian.)

The Seeker said...

Another great post!!!
Very well said.

When I was a kid people used to say that I had 'Chinese eyes' and I used to feel flateared, now when I laugh I semi-close my eyes so they still call me 'Chinese eyes' and I take it as a compliment.
There are such beautiful Asian ladies.

xoxo

Perri said...

You're blog is so fabulous! You have won a Diamond Award! Go to my blog for the details :)

this wheel's on fire said...

i agree---very well written!

lisa said...

Very thoughtful post! I might link to it in a links round-up sometime next week. :)

I've never felt the need or desire for cosmetic surgery, but I have a friend (a fellow Asian girl) who's planning a mother-daughter cosmetic surgery trip to Asia. I respect that it's her decision, but at the same time I don't understand it: she's perfectly beautiful as she is and her mother looks fine, so why do they both feel the need to drop thousands of dollars on getting cosmetic surgery together and I don't?

Kris said...

Lovely blog. This is a very inspirational and insightful post!

I really do agree that more people should embrace their natural beauty and be proud of the way they are.

Very well said! :)

xox

Blicious said...

great post! love your blog!

stephanie said...

i completely agree with you.

Claire.x. said...

I couldnt agree more with this post


:)

-x-

Betsey said...

yes, great post! i absolutely agree!

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mapetiteamy said...

Hello!

I will for sure link you!

This is the my first visit to your blog and I really like it. It's inspiring and very thoughtful/insightful. I'll be back for more reads :)

Cheers!

Cheryl Lynn said...

Once again, you've hit on a very controversial and timely subject and expressed yourself very eloquently. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and remember a not so happy childhood in school as the "darkskinned girl."

Women have to learn how to be happy in themselves and to understand the image in which we were created.

We're created by a God who loves us unconditionally and we should look to him as our source of inspiration and not magazines or media people who suffer from the same human frailties as ourselves.

Anjeanette said...

Great post. We all have our insecurities. There will always be a girl who's prettier, thinner, richer. But it's our individuality that makes us special and we just have to love ourselves for it!

di said...

Well said!!!

besos

gliffyfille said...

so true about asian magazines. i find in my japanese magazines so many ads on surgery for eyelids and other cosmetic surgery. it's weird because it's not like we have it in seventeen or health (with the exception of cosmopolitan)

Hana said...

I am so, so glad you talked about this because I truly relate.

It's a shame more asian women aren't being shown in magazines or runways. Beauty runs in all races. A lot of people tell me they're actually jealous of me because asians are usually naturally skinny and have distinctive features like for me, full lips which is weird since I was always teased when I was younger. I used to hate my full lips or the epicanthric folds on my eyes but as I grow older I've come to love my different features.


Also, I've added you to my blog list!

Alison said...

wow, great post!

enc said...

This is really great: let's celebrate our individuality.

Vive la difference!

I'd be so sad if the entire world looked the same, adhered to a homogenous brand of beauty.

D said...

Well said! I agree with you. What a boring place the worlf would be if everybody looked the same! Confidence makes people beautiful.

P.s. I linked you! x

♥ Marta ♥ said...

Very thought provoking post ... loved it. First of all, I am against any kind of plastic surgery because I think beauty is something that everyone posses and should never be " corrected

M said...

i used to think that way too. but i realised why not just be happy with who you are and be yourself. anyways its so much easier than pretending.
lovely post

THE HOUSE OF STYLE said...

what a thought provoking post honey! I think our differences that makes us uniquely beautiful.
This sterotypical notion that beautiful is only one particular way is causing so much damage.
Beauty comes in infinite forms.
Treasure your stunning features! they tell a story,they immediately tell us where your from.If we all looked exactly alike that would a world of 6 plus billion clones,how boring would that be huh ;o)!?
muah!
x
Marian

p.s thanks for the link swap request! lets do it! xx

Alice said...

This was really well written.
And also, I must note that I am a caucasian and have actually wished that I looked more 'exotic' at times. I love how girls with a different ethnicity stand out and have this overal natural beauty.

Marilynn said...

Well nowadays, everyone is trying to achieve a certain perfection. I know many girls at my school who have gone through that eyelid surgery or use the eyelid tape to create that double eyelid. Someone even tried to copy my double lid with their surgery.
Yet I know a few girls who like the "Chinese eye" and wished they had eyes like that.

It really surprises me how far some people go for "beauty" when they're always beautiful just the way they are already. May be it's the whole "grass is greener on the other side"

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The Clothes Horse said...

You are so right! Many of my friends in Hawaii were very serious about wanting this surgery, but I never understood it. To me it is our differences that make us beautiful. I'm really tired of looking like so many other generic, white females! I wouldn't undergo surgery, but I do wish I was a bit more "exotic."

Dapper Kid said...

Wonderful written, sad but true. It's also the same in Asia with skin lightening products, people think you need to be fair skinned to be beautiful. I think those little differences actually help accentuate beauty, plus it's far more interesting to have more diverse ideas of beauty.

Claudia said...

Yeah. I love the asian look and I don't get it why they even consider plastic surgery, they look beautiful the way they are. :)

Thumbelina said...

You did a great job in putting this together I must say. It's is just so unfortunate that our media presents things in such a way that brainwashes our society into thinking what the 'ideal beauty' is. Because if everyone was to look like this model form then there would be no such thing as individuality which to me is beautiful. A person that is perfectly made up to me is actually less beautiful than someone who has flaws or differences because they are less interesting to look at than someone who has the 'classic' facial structure and hair color. I am glad that you respect the people though that do undergo surgery, because honestly it is a really hard topic. Very well written though.

And thank you for your sweet sweet comment!! I would love to trade links with you <3

Ciao ciao,
Marisa

{this is glamorous} said...

A really lovely, inspirational post.

Ariella said...

This was really well written, and I'm glad you have a strong opinion about this topic since it is so important. I also think people should be more encouraged to be happy with the way they were created even if that's often quite difficult. There is really too much pressure out there to look 'perfect' (whatever perfect really is...). Really well written nonetheless.

On another note, I'd love to trade links with you - I'm going to put you up right away!

Caro said...

great post! I think asian girls are so pretty, and I know the media has a bad influence for some people, but I think almost every girl in the world has something she wants to change. It's a big step to go for surgery.

Love your blog!

-Caro

belle.chantelle said...

This is a great topic for a blog post. Oh the things I hear from my best friend, who is vietnamese, and what her mother does just to look "beautiful" by her standards. Thanks for encouraging us to accept our difference, and ultimately, ourselves.

ps. Yes, linking sounds like a fantastic idea. I shall add you now. ^-^

Christina Lee said...

Really nice post!!!

* Fashion Dreamer * said...

Very thought provoking post. It's very important for us all to embrace our differences and celebrate them. It's very easy to feel like an outsider and minority, I'm a mix of a few different races and it's hard to feel like you belong anywhere

Little Bow Prep said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog! I'd love to link with you. I've added you :)

I'm Asian as well, but I have double eyelids, my eyelashes happen to be curly, and my skin is quite fair. My last name is distinctly Chinese though. People often think that I am half Asian and half Caucasian. Sometimes I wish I looked more one way or the other.

Emma said...

ah, beautifully said. let's trade links for sure! I'll stick you on my blogroll asap

moohoop said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post, what you talked about also has a lot of relevance in my life. Incidentally, four people I know personally have gone through double-eyelid procedures -- three with that double-eyelid tape that seems to be popular and one with full on surgery. And perhaps the depressing thing is that afterwards, people have commented that they "look much better with double-eyelids", which further encourages more of my peers to try to change their eyes. Not too good for self-esteem, that's for sure! Even I've (somewhat shamefully) tried the tape.

Anyways, just to let you know that I really enjoy these discussion posts, and I tagged you for an award on my blog. :)

Aly-gator said...

this article was actually inspiring. i get a double eyelid in one eye when i'm extremely tired and such. and both of my parents have double eyelids but somehow i wasn't born with it. i still embrace my appearance though and so should every other asian individual. www.thedailyalygator.blogspot.com

the.ramonas said...

wow, love your articles! we need blogs like yours in this trendy world.

Love,
the.ramonas

ashley said...

I would love to trade links with you!

Great post. I'm part Chinese, and as a kid, I was always a little ashamed of it. Growing up though, I've come to realize it makes me unique. I live in a town that is 95% white kids, so being diverse is a good thing, it allows me to stand out, and my heritage always makes for a great conversation.

Trixy Tran said...

I totally agree. I'm an Asian girl too! But seriously, it really is the differences that make us all beautiful, no matter what race you are -- I would hate to look like someone else, I wanna look like me! (:

miss a. said...

I wrote my college thesis about plastic surgery and the Asian (not Asian-American woman), and I came to the conclusion that although the surgery originally may have emulated the Western or Caucasian look, it's now become so common that it's being embraced as a qualtiy that Asian women should have, not because they want to be white, but because it's what all the celebrities have. It's now become so ingrained as part of the beauty ideal that it's a necessity. I also believe it's very difficult to embrace differences when you live in a homogenous country where there's really only one standard of beauty and any deviations from that standard is considered unattractive.

miss a. said...

And to address the comment about fair skin: in the olden days, dark skin was associated with farm work, which was the most degrading and lowest of all occupations. Wealthy people could sit inside, away from the sun, and lounge about all day doing whatever they wanted. Skin color was a status symbol, being the most easily distinguishable character for a homogenous country. The belief just simply carried over from generation to generation and still holds true for most of Asia. I personally think that this is due to the fact that the entire continent is so homogenous, but the views are slowly changing because of the availability of informatin via the Internet. The trend of "suntanned" skin is articulately explained on feetmanseoul.com, probably much better than what I'm attempting to do now.

lisa said...

I linked to this post in my blog today! Check it out.

TheSundayBest said...

Asian and proud.

Annie said...

I understand this, but being Asian has many desirable attributes: always looking young, not needing fake tan, good skin, etc. I'm gonna post a little about this on my blog, but not copy you word-for-word. feel free to email or comment me back if you have an objection.
www.modeandme.blogspot.com

Elizabeth said...

I got the double eyelid surgery and I LOVE IT!!! I lived in a heavily Caucasian environment in grade school and then moved to a place that was like 80 percent asian (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!! hahaha) and I never got flak about my completely non existent eyelid. I liked them alot actually. But I chose to get them to look more like my mother and because I just like the aesthetic of them and for the ability to use a wider range of eye makeup. But some people don't seem to understand that! People tell me I'm a "traitor" and that I should stop trying to look more white. Its uber confusing but whatever. I liked the way I looked before but I love the way I look now :)

Annie said...

I really think it's wrong for people to oppose this surgery. It's someone's personal choice and it doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't mean they're a traitor because they want to break out the eyeliner!!

yello said...

hey, itotally agree with you :P
people should be proud of the differences (:
AZN PRIDE :D

skinnyGLASSESgirl said...

HA! I'm caucasian and I got made fun of so much when I was little for my big nose, skinny legs and flat chest, I think every race will get made fun of-so silly in the end.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing up this post!

I am fully Caucasian, and yet have no visible crease. It's not the same thing as those who are Asian, but I still lack that visible second fold in the eye.
In school, I was called, Chinese eyes, and I'm not even Chinese! I thought it was insane. I love my eyes, heavy lidded or not, they are the thing that sets me apart from a lot of my friends. And I love them.

I think embraces things that make you different is such an amazing thing to do. I've gone as far as to love my undereye circles that appear.

Each "race" of people have certain facial features that set them apart from the rest but that does not mean they are not beautiful.

This whole obsession with the western society is kind of sickening.

Deekay said...

Great post, but I just want to get one thing straight.

Please don't take this the wrong way - but please don't pull off a 'Tyra Banks'. Asian women often do admire the beauty of Caucasian women, but when some of them opt for surgery for larger eyes or double eyelids, it's really not so they would look more Caucasian.

We've considered large eyes and double eyelids as an icon of beauty for a long time. And it's only that nthese features happen to be more prominent in Caucasians, whereas Asians are "prominently" slanty-slitty-eyed yellow people. LOL.

Even then, like 50% of Asians are born with large eyes and double eyelids anyway. So it's not that we want to look "white", it's just longing for facial features that we consider beautiful, just like the way people long for buttchins, or button noses (which most Asian people have, ironically).

For example, if 99% of Swiss Mountain people had butt chins, and someone went to get butt chin plates implanted into their skin, it's not because they want to look Swiss-Mountainish.

Anonymous said...

honestly, i cant stand that hair!

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enterrement vie de jeune fille Paris said...

Tout a fait d'accord super ce blog !!!

Séréna

enterrement vie de jeune fille Paris said...

Tout a fait d'accord super ce blog !!!

Séréna