Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chinese Women and Double Eyelid Standards of Beauty

Western men and women alike find the eyes of Asians beautifully exotic, pertaining particularly to their slanted or almond shape. Chinese women are seemingly unaware of this, though; countless numbers undergo cosmetic surgery to change how their eyes look. Among the many physical characteristics of western women that Chinese women covet, double eyelids are the most popular.

In fact, double eyelid surgery is among the most common cosmetic surgeries performed on women in China. The Chinese standards of beauty necessitate such procedures or, at least, Chinese women feel they absolutely have to live up to these standards (of course, the feeling that they need to live up to certain beauty standards is shared by all women from all cultures).

Most Chinese women will actually be shocked to hear that western women find their eyes beautiful. They will be even more shocked when they hear that it’s the shape of their eyes that makes them so appealing; the fact that their single eyelids are not factored in at all is what really floors them. They go through all that trouble to get that crease on their eyelids, after all!

But, of course, Chinese women do not get the double eyelid surgery to look attractive to westerners; they do it to look beautiful in the eyes of their family, Chinese men, and other Chinese women. It’s just one of the items on the list of Chinese beauty standards that they get to check off and which bring them closer to being the perfect Chinese woman.

Chinese actresses in Hollywood who are considered exotic goddesses for their “natural Chinese beauty” won’t turn heads at all in China. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that most of them will totally fail Chinese beauty standards. It’s a head-scratcher, or maybe not.

It’s a very human characteristic to want what we don’t have. Westerners have double eyelids and so the easterners want them; easterners have beautifully shaped eyes and so the westerners want those. Perhaps it also has to do with the uncommonness of the other look. Slanted/almond Asian eyes are rare on western faces, so their uncommonness makes them appealing; the same goes for double eyelids on Chinese faces.

And of course, there is also the status and the “face gained” that go with being able to afford to get the procedure. They all come in one “beautiful package.” And there are so many Chinese women who spend years working hard and saving up to get that crease on their eyelids, and those whose very first paycheck they spend on the procedure – their self-confidence and sense of self-worth depends on it.

Women obsessing about their looks and building their sense of self-worth around them exist in nearly all cultures, past and present. In China, however, the standards have changed drastically ever since the country opened its gates to the west. In fact, their old standards of beauty were far healthier than the western ones they have adopted.

Getting double eyelids may not seem like an extreme step on the ladder of obsession with physical beauty, especially when compared to the many, drastic cosmetic procedures that women in the west undergo in their pursuit of physical “perfection.” All the same, it is a step away from the natural, which is the healthy standard of beauty that is fast becoming extinct.

When it comes to beauty, it is said over and over again that it is in the eye of the beholder. Every culture has its own standards of beauty, but more and more, modern societies are coveting the looks of people that come from a different culture. Nowadays, the oft-repeated quote has evolved into: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder from the other side of the fence.

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  1. yeah I agree. I find every race's eyes to be very attractive-the hazy look of the indian, the fine Chinese eyes, the brilliance of black and the dazzling of white. They shouldn't try to make all their eyes double-lid. They have beautiful long and elegant eyes. It suits them as well.

  2. I agree with you Teaw Ro.. I don't think there is still a need for them to get on a surgery... They are already beautiful even without surgery. I find a girl more pretty if she doesn't change anything about how she looks. It's how you handle yourself and how you dress up.. Just that..

    My two cents.

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