My buddy Megan is, by old-fashioned criteria, gorgeous. Her hair gleams, she tiptoes exactly in danger between svelte and skinny that is bean-pole the finesse of the dancer, and she’s that agreed-upon indicator of Tumblr “thinspiration” excellence, the unattainable “thigh space, ” without even trying.
It is a a valuable thing megan is gorgeous, because she’s become. She Actually Is Chinese.
I want to rephrase: for many that the alleged “model minority” has made gains in academic attainment, earnings degree, or general general public respect in the usa, we’ve done shockingly little to proactively throw away antiquated thinking on sex and real attractiveness — the type of philosophy that kept ladies’ legs bound through to the very very early twentieth century. Today, Asian-American girls aren’t mincing around on maimed foot. Alternatively, they truly are quietly experiencing consuming problems, undergoing plastic that is radical procedures to look more “Westernized” and spending a tremendous cost for the collective failure to embrace an Asian-American tradition that does not worship beauty as all-important.
For women like Megan — affluent, American-born ethnic Chinese — visiting Asia as a teenager brings along with it a unique rites of passage, like likely to studios that simply simply take heavily Photoshopped “glamour shots. ” In many of Megan’s pictures, she wears a dress that is frilly pouts while keeping a packed animal nearly bigger than by herself. Cuteness that edges on infantilization is common in Asian pop music tradition — look up “aegyo” or “kawaii” and you will see countless examples from Korea and Japan. The sweet, aegyo, or kawaii woman is pouty, submissive and ultra-feminine. In actual life, Megan is none among these things. Most likely, she is 16, maybe maybe not 20-going-on-five.
The ideals that are limiting drive beauty criteria on her pervade other areas of life and gender roles. Read More