Eyes

October 9, 2009 at 11:15 am 6 comments

It’s kind of hard for me to post about this here. But I pour out my heart about everything else, so why not, right?

A few days ago, pretty much by chance, I found a blog on makeup design. It got me thinking about the way I do my makeup and how it’s difficult to know exactly how to make my Asian eyes look their best. I googled Asian eye makeup and found a site of a plastic surgeon who performs eyelid surgery for Asians.

These stupid eyes of mine. They don’t have a crease. The eyelids are broad and cover a lot of my eyes, making them look small. My eyelashes point down instead of up like those of my parents and my friends. I’ve always hated my eyes. Always.

Yeah, it would hurt to have the surgery. It would be painful for weeks, maybe months. But how much is a little physical pain in comparison to twenty two years of emotional pain? How much is that when you compare it to twenty two years of self loathing?

And I’m sick of the people who make comments like “Oh but you’re trying to make yourself look white” if I want to get highlights in my hair, go to the tanning bed, or get a nose ring. Why is it that anytime a minority wants to look different, we hate our race? Why can’t I like my race and want to straighten my hair or get a tattoo? Maybe I just want to look a way that will make ME happy.

In Asian culture, this is a huge surgery. Probably on the same level that boob jobs and botox are in America. Most Asian celebrities (including Jackie Chan, who people like to compare Koreans to even though he’s Chinese) have had the surgery. Young women often have the surgery as a graduation present or a coming of age type gift. It’s arguably the number one surgery in Asia. Do all of those REAL Asians really just want to look white? I doubt it.

I’m on the fence about it myself. I think I would like to be able to wear eyeshadow on my eyelids like everyone else, and have eyelashes that point towards the ceiling instead of the ground. I would like to look at myself and be a little happier with myself. But will I see someone impowered, or am I just going to see someone broken who hated herself so much she paid someone to cut open her eye and sew a crease in it?

I’m so utterly fucked up.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kim  |  October 11, 2009 at 12:21 am

    It’s not the same thing but I paid money to have my teeth cosmetically changed. They (unlike your eyes which are beautiful no doubt) were really scary looking, all discoloured and crooked and I found it hard to smile. A few people were really negative about me getting them fixed saying I should be myself blah blah.

    anyway after I got them fixed I felt so great and confident and my life changed dramatically.

    But they were really ugly before.

    So I am not sure what you ought to do because I don’t see Asian eyes as ugly or needing change.

    I am wondering if you would be able to talk to some girls that had the operation and see how it made them feel afterwards. At the same time why not do some self esteem issues and see if afterwards you still want to change your face. Maybe it’s better to see if you can feel good about how you look right now before having such a huge surgery?

    Those are really good questions you are asking yourself because that’s what I think about those kinds of surgeries too.

    There must be some famous glamorous Asian models and actresses who haven’t had this surgery? Would it help to cut pictures of them out and put them on a vision board?

    Hope my comment is not annoying, I hated it when I used to open myself up on my blog and someone would leave an annoying comment!

    Reply
    • 2. kateiskate  |  October 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      Hey Kim! Thanks for your comment 😀 You’re NOT annoying!

      I have tried to relate the eyelid surgery to getting breast augmentation…it’s not that small breasts are bad, some women just feel better with larger breasts. I kind of believe that I would feel prettier if I was able to wear eyeshadows the way they were intended (lol) and if my eyelashes pointed upwards rather than down. But as much as I equate it to that, and as much as those reasons are true, it is also kind of a self hatred thing about not being comfortable with my heritage.

      I’m going to wait a few years, work on my issues and try to get some peace and then revisit the topic.

      Reply
  • 3. Jackie Borrero  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I must be egocentric or something, at least when I was younger because I thought other people’s eyelids looked strange, not mine. An Asian friend, a white friend and I were doing our eye makeup and I was telling my white friend that her eyelids looked weird (she had creases) and my Asian friend like, no *we* have the weird eyelids, not her. Once I realized that I became more aware of the differences. I have no idea why it didn’t occur to me that *I* was the one who looked different. Maybe the sizable Asian community in VB? But then, you’re not that far from me.

    Reply
    • 4. kateiskate  |  November 3, 2009 at 10:02 am

      Hey Jackie!!

      I wish I had that kind of confidence in my eyes. I envy that. I think most of it comes from how my parents and extended family treated the situation. My grandparents would make racist comments in front of my sister and I, and my parents acted like we were all the same. Being outnumbered in my family and not having any Asian friends made me kind of feel I was the weird one…I don’t know if that makes sense or not?? And I just need to get the confidence in myself to be like “Hey, I’m awesome, AND I’m Asian!”.

      Reply
  • 5. Jackie Borrero  |  November 3, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with my Asianness. Because I’m mixed, sometimes I still feel out of place. I definitely am not white and sometimes not Asian enough. I remember wishing I was either all white or all Asian. My adad is Asian, so I wasn’t alone. I don’t know how I would have been if I grew up like you did. Did you ever have times where you ‘forgot’ you were Asian because you felt white? (I hope you get what I mean about ‘feeling’ white. It’s kind of hard to explain) To be honest, I didn’t really embrace Asian pride until I had a proud Asian BFF and married an Asian. I did have some prejudice against my own kind, what is that internalized racism? It’s so complicated. I forgot to say in my last response, don’t do the surgery!! I think once you become comfortable in your skin, you might regret stripping away something that makes you You. Know what I mean? You’re beautiful, you’re Asian… own it! When you have kids, no doubt you will want them to be proud of their Korean and black heritage. You could have a daughter with your Asian eyes and it would be nice for her to see where she got them from. I do understand where you are coming from… just hang in there. When you find your mom, you just might find that you look just like her. That would be so awesome!

    Reply
    • 6. kateiskate  |  November 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

      I totally had times when I forgot I was Asian. I still do. And I’ve fought a lot against internalized racism. I really have no Asian friends and never really have…

      I still might get the surgery. I don’t know yet. I certainly am not even close to being able to afford it, what with a wedding to plan and everything. But if I do it, it won’t be about me being Asian, because I’ve realized that there’s nothing I can do to myself that will change that. I’ll still look in the mirror and see a Korean girl.

      Reply

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