Friday, August 31, 2007

Western Eyes

A friend sent me a link to a very disturbing surgery that is apparently taking place in record number in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. It is called "Westernization Blepharoplasty" otherwise known as "double-eyelid surgery"--otherwise known as Asians/Asian Americans who lack a double-fold in their eyelid undergoing elective surgery to cut their eyelids, creating a fold which also makes their eyes look rounder, more "white." For the link to the disturbing video, click here:

About 20 years ago this was a semi-popular trend among Asian Americans to enhance their "caucasian" features. I suppose it's not so much enhance as to give them the illusion that they could see out of white-eyes.

I'm not sure what else to say about this, other than I wonder if this is happening in other places--I would be surprised to hear about this being popular in California or New York or other urban areas, but perhaps I'm wrong. I also wonder if the state of Asian Americans in the South is comparable to Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s--that a lack of critical mass along with a historic and traditional entrenchment of white-values has created this desire for Asian Americans to achieve whiteness however they can. Of course class plays into this--after all, refugees from Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia living in the Atlanta area are probably not getting elective eye surgery. What seems saddest of all is the belief by the woman interviewed in this piece that beauty is dependent on this surgery--that caucasian feature are, in fact, more beautiful, pleasant, and desired than Asian.

Maybe someone can do an intervention and lock her in a room with Margaret Cho, some documentaries by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena, and loads of Asian American studies texts and literature. Asian American self-hatred is so ugly.

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