Why 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 CNN.com 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.
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. Here is a slow motion video of Wendi Deng protecting her husband from a shaving pie throwing assailant. Her fast reflexes as an ex-volleyball star came into play as she knocks it away. Some think she smacked the assailant, but even in slow mo, it’s hard to tell. Go Wendi! The video link is to the Wall Street Journal.
p.p.s. Asian super models at New York Fashion Week. The many faces (and eye shapes) of Asian beauty.