BeautificAsian

We, Meha, Kimberly and Sarah, will be working on a critical blog that centers on the standards of beauty in America and how Asian American women are undergoing body modifications in order to adhere to the pressures of acculturation. Our main focus questions why Asian American women find the need to alter their bodies simply to “fit in” and what means are they taking to do so. These days, societal expectations pressures Asian American women to conform to the “white” ideals of beauty (big eyes, double eyelids, high cheek bones, etc). This, in turn, causes many Asian American women to endure rigorous processes, such as applying a plethora amount of makeup, placing scotch tape on their eyelids and even submitting to plastic surgery, in order to achieve the hegemonic idea that “white” is beautiful.

By having three authors, all from three different cultural backgrounds, our blog will consist of varying opinions and personal experiences from three different female perspectives. For example, a member of our group is guilty of attempting these “body modifications” and has even thought about getting plastic surgery to achieve this “ideal beauty.” As female Americans, we have all experienced the pressures of beautifying oneself in order to live up to society’s expectations. Thus, each of us can relate to this issue and contribute our own personal inputs. We will post approximately three to four blogs each – however, we are not limited to this quota. Additionally, we will occasionally post dialogue and discussions between the three of us as our research continues throughout the quarter.

Our research will begin with the history of the standards of beauty for Asian American women, which includes the desire for fair skin and small feet. In addition, we will also touch on America’s expectations on how an Asian American woman should look like- petite and sexual, similar to the Dragon Lady. For contemporary issues, we will elaborate on the hype to gain “white” physical features. We will utilize YouTube makeup tutorials, especially those made by Asian American beauty gurus, to discuss the alteration of physical features using makeup. We will also elaborate on the new eyelid surgery trend, which many Asian American women are getting in order to gain the appearance of larger looking eyes. This is simply a preview of upcoming attractions for we will continue to do more research and expand from what we already have. Check out our blog soon!

Here is our working bibliography.

1 thought on “BeautificAsian

  1. Looks like you guys are off to a solid start! Thanks for the break-down of work and the clear plan. The bibliography looks cogent and well-researched. I would definitely suggest you guys spend some time defining your terms (e.g. body modification, beauty. For example, what do you mean by “body modification”? Do cosmetics (which are generally temporary) fall into that category? For many, the term “body modification” brings to mind more permanent physical alterations (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_modification).

    And remember, some of the things you write of, like eyelid surgery, are part of much longer histories of permanent physical transformation. _Yankee Dawg You Die_, for example, speaks to plastic surgery (in that case, noses) as a practice that goes back decades and is particularly related to the culture industries.

    You may also want to differentiate or specify practices that were dominant in Asian countries but not transported here but whose images are still very prominent in the exotification, orientalizing, and othering of Asians in the US. The novel (later adapted to film) _A Thousand Pieces of Gold_, for instance, perpetuates the myth of foot binding as a dominant practice in China, when it was very much limited to the high-classes, and then later banned during the Cultural Revolution.

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