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Eyes of the Beholder

Really enjoyed Eugene Cho’s post about slanted eyes. I’d been finding some videos on YouTube related to that very topic before the Spanish teams began all their affectionate displays for their quest in China. I wonder if they would have donned blackface if the Olympics had been in Kenya. Would that be considered affectionate as well?

Just so that we don’t take this too lightly, I just wanted to show you how profound this “affection” is..

And a trailer for a movie, “Never Perfect,” which I can’t post here, but is worthy of watching:

It’s crazy to see how much this physical characteristic that most Asians possess is so defining, and so hated by our own. How strange that through these almond-shaped eyes, we see our own eyes and deem them not beautiful. The very eyes that behold are to be corrected. You cannot mock us as much as we mock ourselves.

I thought also that it was strange that the Asian plastic surgeon said this eyelid surgery was akin to breast augmentation for White women. First off, this brings up a whole host of questions of where in the heck our ideals of beauty are coming from and why are women of all colors so enslaved by them. It was just the icing on the cake when she ends up having a White boyfriend who states that her eyes were beautiful before…wow. Who is her audience then?

And then of course, this surgeon wouldn’t want to threaten a mainstay of his income, would he? On top of that, he says that these women are not less Asian, which I suppose is true. But that’s a strange line of thinking isn’t it? How reductionist are we going to get? How much can we cut away and someone remain Asian?

About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

3 responses to “Eyes of the Beholder

  1. elderj

    David, it is painful for me to even watch and to hear. It makes me ill and angry all at the same time.

  2. I feel the same way, elderj. I feel sad, ashamed, and guilty too.

  3. So the doctor saying the surgery makes anyone less Asian is a strange comment considering he is the surgeon…

    But as an Asian American woman who was born with the coveted eyelid crease (I can show baby pictures to prove it), I have been asked by non-Asian friends why I had the surgery done. Imagine their surprise when I explain that I’ve considered plastic surgery but never for my eyelids.

    So, do the natural creases make me less Asian? No. But I can relate to various degrees of self-hatred because it’s not just the eyes. It’s the cheekbones, the nose, the breasts, the hair texture or color. It’s endless, and it is all very, very sad and maddening and horribly in need of Jesus.

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