Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Beauty Deception

I had no idea Ayumi (Japanese + Korean singer) had that much surgery done...
But I think most of it is just weight loss --
Her in 2003:
Her eyes and nose are sure different though.

For those of you who don't understand what "double eyelid" surgery is, it makes eyes that look like this:
Into this:
A lot softer, less bored/angry looking, and easier on the eyes eh?
It's super popular in Korea. Girls get it as graduation presents. The average price is around $1,200USD and 3 months of swelling lol so a lot of them get it done in the summer.
There are surgeons trained in Korea that work in Shanghai that charge a lot less... and I've heard there are tons in the States that do it for only $900!

I (thankfully) don't need this done, but I'm definitely not against this. I think it's a lot like getting cosmetic braces -- altering one's features to make their life easier/more enjoyable/less self conscious. I'm tired of reading all those "inner beauty is more important than the outside" blah blah blah comments. Face it. We live in a materialistic and image-driven (plastic) world. People only take notice of you if you look a certain way and they seriously don't give a rat's bum what you're really like until they are somewhat attracted to your physical appearance. Personality is so important too, but it seems you need both personality and looks to be "happy" and personality can be developed moreso than looks; if you're not good looking, nothing (but surgery) can change that. "Looks aren't everything". True, but good looks = confidence. Confidence (people agree with) gets you everything you want, makes you feel better in general, and can even alter your personality for the better. Simple as that.
Natural beauty is best, but this is an unfair world - only some of us are lucky enough to have it and be happy with what we've got.
You only live once and if you think that a couple changes here and there will drastically improve your life,
I say go for it... as long as you don't change everything...

It's just too bad you're that unhappy with yourself.

I was also browsing on Soompi and saw this thread called "Beauty Perception" which I thought interesting. The girl who started the thread was saying how she'd get a lot of compliments and is considered beautiful whenever she'd go to Asia, but back home in Australia, she's just considered average. Nothing special. Is it b/c the perception of what is beautiful different? Yes....?
"Just take Lucy Liu for a perfect example - Americans find her beautiful, Asians don't really find her attractive at all." Hm... I'd consider myself to be more Westernized and I still don't find her very pretty. Same with Sandra Oh. I don't know.. it's a bit confusing.

When I was in HK over the summer, I thought it was interesting how nobody really stares at each other. (Actually that's not true - there were these construction workers checking this lady out 'cause she was wearing a super short skirt) But anyway, both B and I thought it was so unlike here. Here, you'd get stares/glances (and I know you do it too!) if you were decently attractive (we're only going to talk about the attractive-stare here haha) and you'd know from that that you're not a plain Jane... but in Taiwan and HK, I never noticed the locals even glance in the corner of their eye.. or, you know, pretend not to look or be interested but turn their head to look just as you're walking by so that it's less obvious but you still catch them anyway.
BUT in HK, every single girl is constantly being called lang nui (meaning "pretty girl") everywhere they go... even if you're not remotely attractive, they'll call you that anyway. To be honest, I wasn't really used to that so at the beginning, I thought they were actually complimenting Bern and I 'cause I find true Asians to be quite blunt and honest (read, sometimes rude)... but then I realized that every girl is a lang nui so it's like.. ih. And plus, they're just saying that to get you to buy their things... and that's why they call you lang nui at the markets haha
I've heard stories on how people are called fat in China when they're actually so thin in Western standards!
And me - I think of myself as pretty normal and that's what I think a lot of people from here think too. As for my family, well, my family is quite westernized on both sides so I don't hear anything unflattering from them. Only probably my Grandpa (mom's dad) - but he doesn't say outright that I'm not thin, he says "I love food" and that "I look healthy" lol He's very amused that I'm so hoi sum (happy) when it comes to food lol. I am proud to be but sometimes I just pretend to love it so that he'd be happy. Butchea, I think it seems even more evident when we eat out 'cause he's picky when it comes to food so he only orders the better stuff so everything is good.

Speaking of which, we're going to Westward Ho for Dine Out Vancouver tonight with my grandparents!
And now I'm going to treadmill it up even though my contacts don't like my eyes so I have to wear my glasses if I want to watch TV and I have a sliver in my right toe that I can't get out.
Suck it up, princess, right?

Agree? Disagree? Here's your chance to rebuttal lol


Nat said...

hmm i agree half and disagree half with you. (ayumi looks unbelievably different, amazing what the modern world can do. not to mention lighting and photography are great tools as well! did u know she became deaf in one ear? i read it in the paper a while ago)

i agree that maybe some small things are okay, and that yes, we do live in a materialistic world. but i disagree that you should go along with it. inner beauty IS more important than the outside.. even if you're pretty, if you carry no confidence or happiness, i doubt you will get that far in life. good looks dont always = confidence.. so many already attractive girls become anorexic or bulemic! yes, so we do live in a materialistic world, but i doubt that it's wise to go along with it. there are a lot of people trying to reverse this thinking.

and beauty is astoundingly all about perception. a long time ago, maybe around the renaissance (my history is so bad) women who were skinny were viewed as ugly, but those who were round and robust were beautiful. there is a term "rubenesque" which refers to curvaceous women, referring to the style of a flemish painter named Peter Reubens. then in a later art movement, illustrative style came in and this guy drew a skinny silhouette of a woman and that became the ideal shape for a woman. unfortunately that hasn't changed.. sigh.

if so many people are not blessed with these "good looks" why is it "wrong" to be a bit lumpy and bumpy??

i can answer my own question: because we are all average, and no one likes to look at something that's average. they want to see something different and unique, therefore exotic. no denying human nature.

of course, it may be easy for me to say this since i am lucky enough to have relatively normal features and nothing drastically horrible. and i'm quite guilty of looking at people and judging them on their appearance. it's so hard to avoid this thinking when media bombards us so heavily.. it's a struggle!

i guess i've completely made a hypocritical statement. perhaps really, the best solution is to have a balance of decent looks and good personality - actually, awesome personality. you don't need to be stunning, let your personality carry most of the weight. that's something i should remember..

N said...

oh yes I did read that Ayumi is deaf in 1 ear. Avex's (the company she's under in Japan that DBSK is also under) share price or whatever dropped a bit because of it!

Anyway, I agree with everything you say - especially that even though our world is materialistic, we don't have to agree with it or act like it is. There are a lot of other things I could have written in my brief argument but I stopped 'cause it's really endless.

Looks fade, personality doesn't. And as for confidence, that's very true that good looks doesn't always = confidence, but for some ppl, it does. Some people who aren't good looking at all have a lot of confidence! And it's even true that even if you get all the surgery you want, you'll still be unhappy and unconfident but that's just b/c of psychological issues (don't you think it's a good idea to have PS patients go through some psychotherapy beforehand? Maybe that will cure some of their confidence problems and PS might not even be needed! BUT it's hard to find psychologists who aren't persuaded by money 'cause those w/ a lot of money can just bribe them so they they'd get the job done)...

It's really just too bad that the world turned out to be like this eh?

Health is the biggest issue. As long as you're healthy, that's all you need.. but then there's the point that PS is not needed (unless you're gonna die/had an accident etc). It's all extra.

Sometimes good personalities are hard to develop actually, especially on your own. In most cases, you practically need to transform your life to change your personality... different friends, doing things other ways.. etc.

And it's interesting how ppl commented about what I said. You took it differently than other ppl.

P.S. Thanks for the history lesson! I will now know what you're talking about when you say Rubenesque haha I might even start using that term for those who are more curvaceous in a historical way.

Nat said...

waat? what did other people say? i dont see any other comments :(

yeah, this discussion IS quite endless. you had another tangent going there too, about the psychologists who aren't in it just for the money. MONEY .. now THAT'S the real motivator.

sigh. now im all depressed about the world. AIYAAA =P

N said...

haha oh they didn't comment - we communicated other ways about it.

money money money moooooooney!!

Aw don't be depressed!! The world isn't going to turn into bad apples b/c of this. Have faith.

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