As much as I adore using the swear word beginning with F in my everyday life (and yes, I have managed to continue to do so here in Taiwan), I refrain from using it when I’m in “discussions”, as I don’t want to come across irrational. So with that in mind, other than the 1 F word in the title of this blog post, I shan’t use it for the remainder of it, not even in the censored version.
What has gotten me so worked up, is this piece of sh…ahem *gulp*… program, that was aired on the Australian network SBS on 3rd of December. You can watch it here if you’re interested (video expires Dec 17th), I have to admit I wasn’t, as after reading the synopsis I can pretty much gather what nonsense it’s about:
Anna Choy takes a personal and highly confronting journey uncovering the growing trend of de-racialisation cosmetic surgery in Australia. Procedures include extreme facial contouring, double eyelid surgery, nose jobs, skin whitening and calf reductions. But as Anna digs deeper into what drives people to change their race, she comes face to face with her own demons.
My assumptions were verified when I watched this segment of Australian morning show Sunrise:
Having grown up in Australia, I love the country and am proud to be an Aussie – case in point my penchant for swearing, and beer. I am also proud of my Asian heritage, and other than a couple of years in primary school when I first moved to Australia where I copped a bit of unoriginal and laughable teasing, I experienced absolutely no prejudice of any kind, and I can confidently say the same for all my Asian friends.
In fact, I’ve always considered myself lucky to have the best of both worlds: I have the traditional values and strict discipline from an Asian culture, as well the courage to do, think and speak for myself from the Australian culture. And hey, I can speak two languages!
It is for this very reason, that I am so very angered, and furthermore disappointed, by this so-called “documentary”, which is even more sensationalised than the Bogan-creation Australian programs aka Today Tonight and A Current Affair. It vilifies Australia and ALL of the people living in it, when in actual fact Australia is an awesome country, celebrated and loved by most of its residents for its diversity of culture and people.
So after keeping mum about this topic for so long, I can no longer do so after hearing it coming from the mouth (ie. media) from the country that love me just as much as I love it so dearly. Taking the story of one insecure, possibly depressed girl who happens to be of Asian descent and is having plastic surgeries for all the wrong reasons, then turning it into a propaganda about how intolerant the white Australians are against other races, and a generalisation that ALL Asians have plastic surgeries because they hate being Asian and want to be white. Seriously SBS? What has happened to you?
Let me say this once, and let me say this slooowly, in perfectly fluent, slightly Occa accented English: ASIANS DO NOT HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY TO BECOME WHITE~~ If you care to hang around, allow me to explain.
For some reason, the Western media thinks all Asian women should look like this:
Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui – you’ll need this for reference later on
Oh yes very beautiful and elegant, she was also from the 1700′s. If this is how it works, then Hollywood starlets should look like this:
Omg did I just see her on the Victoria Secret parade? Errr… don’t think so!
Here’s the Deal
It’s absolute rubbish and extremely Anglo-centric to say that Asian people get plastic surgery to look like white people. For more than the last 20 years or so, there have been an abundance of Asian people in Australia, and as I said previously, I and none of my Asian friends have ever felt alienated, nor have we found our heritage to be a hindrance to any aspect of our lives in Australia.
The real reason that plastic surgery has become more popular in these few years is due to the influence of ASIAN pop culture. Yes – Asians want to be Asians!!!
(hey look the F word didn’t come from me okay?)
Thanks to the Internet, now anyone, anywhere can access media from any part of the world, and it’s natural to seek out style or beauty idols who have a similar background to you. I can tell you that websites that contain Asian drama series, TV programs, music, fashion have enormously high popularity amongst those of Asian descent who live in Western countries. Hell, it’s how I’ve managed to pick my Mandarin back up (thank you http://sugoideas.com/)!
This popularity has sky-rocketed in the last couple of years; pretty much in the same way that the Western world was hit by Gangnam Style. So nowadays, Asian girls who live in Canada, are pretty much aspiring to the same beauty ideals as her Taiwanese counterparts, which could look like this:
Girl’s Generation – apparently the biggest K-pop girl group of 2013. I know they’re huge (I’m not that old), but I had to Google “hottest korean girl band 2013″ lol
Hyuna – I noticed her for her song “Bubble Pop”, such an annoying song but yet so catchy. Anyhow she is HOT. Oh BTW she’s the girl who dances with Psy in Gangnam Style.
Dream Girls from Taiwan – pretty talentless but fun to look at.
(Apologies if I haven’t included your favourite Asian starlet(s). I’m not familiar with pop culture from all Asian countries – I work 60 hours a week and I’m over 35 y.o. >.<)
Whilst these girls don’t look like Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui, I think it’s pretty damn obvious that they are all Asians righhhhtt??? So most Asian girls are actually emulating and aspiring to look like their favourite Korean pop star, NOT their plain Jane next door neighbour!
But those Girls don’t look Asian
OK if you’re still thinking this then I’ll explain it further. I’ll explain it further not because I’m a patient person but because it’s a Saturday night and it’s raining outside, so I can’t be bothered doing anything else except for drinking wine and having a self therapy session by releasing my frustrations through my fingers and onto the laptop.
Let us look at Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui again. Seriously I didn’t even have any idea who she was until I Googled ‘Empress’ in Chinese, found the picture, then had to Google again to translate her Chinese name to English.
Anyway first of all notice how porcelain-like her skin is. White skin has been popular amongst Chinese women for centuries, even before they have even sighted a single Caucasian person, as a pale complexion means that the girl is from a family wealthy enough not to have to subject her to outdoor labour. As early as the 3rd century, Japanese women rubbed bags of rice bran on their faces and used nightingale droppings to whiten the skin, the exact motivation I’m unsure of, but I’d assume it’s also not influenced by Caucasians!
As far as larger rounder eyes and taller nose; these are simply parts of an evolution of what is considered beautiful, no more shocking than fuller lips and sleeker hair for Caucasian women. If Asians really want to emulate Caucasian features, then why doesn’t Hyuna have a large hook nose and wide deep set eyelids?
Oh the Ego! *Facepalm*
The truly sad thing here is how the Australian media, with this one single piece of garbage, can actually fuel the white superiority and the divide between the races, where none existed before.
It is arrogant beyond belief and a little too convenient to be able to attribute all the current desirable features by the Asians to the Caucasians. The white skin, the eyes and the nose I’d already explained; if you still don’t get it then please click on the little x button on the top right hand corner of the screen, as I really don’t need to bang my head against the wall whilst not getting paid a single currency of any kind.
As for the V-shaped face, less prominent jawbone and cheekbones, slim calves – why I had no idea those are Caucasian people’s features!? Have I missed an important headline?
Let’s Flip the Coin
Interestingly, no one says Caucasian people are trying to be black when they get an tan, their lips puffed up with fillers, and boobs enlarged with silicon. Or that they’re trying to be Asian when they get their noses reduced, their hair straightened and dyed black, and loose weight to be skinny.
Liv Tyler wants to be black!
Megan Fox wants to be Asian!
Wait… Kate Moss wanted to be Asian back in 1990!
Cameron Diaz wants to be black… and Asian… and Hispanic? Oh I’m getting so confused by all this racial appearance stereotypes *knocks head*
My Take on Plastic Surgery in Taiwan
I’ve specifically said Taiwan because obviously I am not Korean and I don’t live in Korea, so I would be in no authority to comment on the mentality of why they go through plastic surgery there (hmmm kinda like the makers of that doco heh?) But here in Taiwan, plastic surgery is fairly common, cosmetic procedures even more so, and most people including celebrities are open and honest about it.
The most common procedures here, are double eyelid surgery, nose enhancement, chin enhancement, face fillers.
What happens when something is readily available to you, that you know you can get just as easily and in just the same quality as your favourite celebrity? It becomes no big deal. In Taiwan, it’s all about doing whatever make you feel your best. I work with as many women who don’t wear a scrap of makeup as those who wear a full face of makeup (including massive fake eyelashes) to work everyday. Either party judge or think anything of the other.
Except for celebrities and models, no normal person would be made to feel that they must go get surgery for a smaller face or taller nose, but if someone feels that it’s important enough for her/him, they go and do something about it, that’s all plastic surgery is here.
My Final Words
The pressure to look a certain way is there across the globe, and more and more people, regardless of race, are getting plastic surgery. Besides doing the research to find a good doctor, first and foremost you MUST BE doing it for the right reasons, and have a healthy sense of self-esteem to begin with.
I’ve had fillers to enhance my nose bridge, botox to lift the corners of my mouth and fillers/thermage to counter the effects of ageing. None of what I’ve done is to look like anyone else (let alone a Caucasian!) – I want to look like the best version of ME.
It would seem that SBS is the one who’s wanting to Change its Race – it has decided that being the smart geeky foreign exchange student is no longer the way to go; it’s much more important to be, like, all popular and stuff, and has she got some goss for you!