Friday, November 2, 2007

Erasing Ethnicity

Has the craze for a more Westernized look sparked a global identity crisis?

YES! Around the world, the desire for pert features, pin-straight hair, and a willowy physique - those dubious emblems of American beauty and success. In this "supposed" age of multiculturalism, why are we trying so hard to obscure our origins?

In an attempt to preserve traditional Eastern looks, plastic surgery was banned in China until, it's a $2.4-billion-a-year business. Japan spends $18.4 million on plastic surgery annually and India has experienced a 15% growth in the past three years. Asia is now the world's second-largest plastic-surgery hub.

Extreme Makeover, Part 1

Double-Eyelid Surgery (aka Asian Blepharoplasty)
About 50% of Pacific Asians do not have an upper-eyelid crease. For those who do, the crease falls about 7mm above the lashline - whereas for Caucasians, the crease falls about 11mm above it. A crescent shaped incision is made along the new crease line and a small amount of skin, tissue, and fat on the upper eyelid is cut away.

Extreme Makeover, Part 2

Skin: The New Status Symbol
In June 2007, the first ever tanning salon opened in Beijing. Called DB salon, it serves legions of women under 30 with a strangely specific goal: to have the caramel coloring of American Pop Princess Christina Aguilera. In India, Bollywood stars are going for the burnt-sienna hue one sees in Malibu - achievable only via a bottle. And in Japan, bronzing goods account for $140 million in sales - challenging the East's centuries-old belief that pale skin is synonymous with high social standing.

Extreme Makeover, Part 3

Turning Those Brown Beauties Blue
Color contacts are HUGE with Middle Eastern women because their clothing often covers everything except their eyes. It's the ONLY ways they have o express their originality. With thin uniquely exotic notion of lighter eyes coming in to vogue, colored-lens users climed to 2.7 million in the US alone.

Extreme Makeover, Part 4

The Quest For a Ski-Slope Nose
Unlike the rhinoplasties performed in Caucasians (often to straighten a bridge or remove a bump), nose reshaping for minorities generally leads to narrower nostrils, a higher bridge, and a pointier tip - shapes typically of white noses.

Extreme Makeover, Part 5

Leg Lengthening
The Chinese are so height-conscious, jobs and even schools often post height requirements. Hence, being taller has it advantages. Calf and shin bones are broken and pierced with steel pins, which are fixed to an external frame with screws. Then stretching - by menas of turning those screws and lengthening the bone where it is broken - is carried out ove rthe next few months!

Extreme Makeover, Part 6

My Chemical Romance
This is up ladies, can you spell RELAXER!!! For those of yoo who are not familiar with our "struggle" here's teh break down - a petroleum base is applied to the scalp, then a relaxer with sodium hydroxide is put on the hair close to the scalp. (refered to as the "new gowth") It stays on the hair from 15-30 minutes and then is washed out two times with a neutralizing shampoo. May not sound too extreme but trust me - if you use one that is TOO strong or scratch the week of, you are in trouble! (T-R-O-U-B-L-E)

WOW ladies, it's deep for all of us in all cultures! (thank God, thought Americans were the only shallow ones)

Anyway, happy primping.

Until tomorrow - Smooches, Quick Claps, and Much Love-

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