Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | asian self-hate
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These contact lenses make the wearer Asians have a long history of trying to change their appearance, specifically by messing with their eyes. As if it's not bad enough that so many of us wear glasses (isn't it enough to have a cool-looking pair?) many Asians -- especially women, and apparently more Korean women than other ethnicities -- have turned to surgery to add a fold in their eye lids. And now, we have contact lenses that make the wearer's eyes look larger, like a character in an anime. Typical rendition of anime characters with large eyesIt's kinda creepy. Is this the latest reflection of a deep-seated sense of inadequacy and self-hate within Asians? The "Angel Series" contact lenses -- made in Korea by the GEO company -- are touted as the best way to create the "Dolly Eye" look. They come in various colors, and emphasize a darker rim around the edges, which cover beyond the wearer's iris. These lenses have been available for months, and fashion sites first wrote about them in August. Angry Asian Man posted about them yesterday, and it got me to thinking about the image of Asians eyes, and how they're perceived differently by Asians versus Westerners. Westerners have exoticized the "hot Asian babe" for centuries, and the size of their eyes didn't seem to matter -- as long as they were slanted and uh, well, Asian. But in Asia, women are more desirable if they look, well, more white. Maybe Michael Jackson was on to something. Look at magazine covers and ads everywhere, and the ultimate vision for a beautiful Asian woman is one who has pale skin and large eyes (and these days, reddish-brown hair) -- not unlike the look that's the image of women in many anime.