Brevity Mag piece: Cheekbones

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I read an excellent short piece on Brevity Mag – Cheekbones, by Patricia Park.

Her piece was quietly compelling, and it felt like a glimpse into the inner world of North and South Korea. I’ve only ever heard about South Korea, so it was definitely refreshing to hear a different take on the North.This quote from the piece made me smile and shake my head. My mother has high cheekbones.

A woman with strong cheekbones is bound to have a hard life. “Her husband gonna die. Her children giving her the hard time. She has to do laundry and it’s so hard work.”

Gotta love these folk wisdoms.

 

Going under the knife

knifeCheck out this Daily Life article by Kasey Edwards – The Beauty Pageant Where Everyone Has The Same Face.

It’s scary to think that cosmetic surgery is now perfectly normal in South Korea. With all that carefully constructed beauty to compete against, au naturale seems to be a gigantic faux pas. Double-eyelid surgery, specifically, is a big hit in Korea. Inner beauty doesn’t seem to take much priority when pitted against the supposed perfection going under the knife. My fellow Asians sisters! You are already good enough as you are!

Imagine the pressure of growing up in South Korea and looking, well, like an ordinary South Korean. Which evidently isn’t good enough, so off you go to get some plastic surgery done. And then you look like what you’re meant to – really pretty, like everyone else.  I wonder if there’ll ever be some kind of plastic surgery revolution, where South Korean women (and men) kick off the gauntlets of societal expectations and just boycott plastic surgeries altogether.

Meh. I can dream.

Real conversation:

Australian Friend: Wow, where are these good-looking guys in Korea?

Korean Friend: I have no idea.

ON THE FLIPSIDE: I found something fascinating on Tumblr. Yes, of all places. Blowfishbubbles writes:

RACISM TO THE MAX.

I hate it when people say that Asians get plastic surgery to look like “westerners”. It’s just wrong. Completely wrong. I saw this Aussie interview a while back, and the woman was like “I think they’re denying their heritage.” Seriously, woman? Have you seen the descriptions of the ancient beauties of China? “A long straight nose, big, bright, and clear eyes, with folds, a cherry pout, and an face shape that was oval, and strong, but this lady needs soft brows that were shaped like grass, accentuating her proportioned forehead.” Those are what we base our plastic surgeries on. Not you, you narcissistic bitch. We don’t want to look “western”, we just want to look like what we’ve been told by the ancient emperors was the beauty standard. We only want plastic surgery to look like what we know as the golden beauty points. I wish the TV shows would stop mentioning us as “western wannabes” and “denying our heritage” because clearly, it’s not true. If I get plastic surgery, I want to look like 赵薇. I want to look like 杨贵妃. I don’t want to look like Megan Fox. I don’t want to look like Miley Cyrus. I want to look like people who were predecessors of MY HERITAGE. MY HERITAGE. Not yours. MINE.

Interesting. I guess some Asian people DO want to look Western, while others want to reach the Asian golden beauty points. That’s some food for thought.

I just think that some inner work and self-acceptance would save a whole lot of money, grief, pain and break this cycle of excessive physicality. Easier said than done, living in a world where there’s so much emphasis on the outward form.

(Note: I have watched a documentary in which a young Asian woman on TV had plastic surgery because she wanted ‘Megan Fox’s nose’. Dude, Megan Fox’s nose would look so weird on my face. Because I’m Asian.)