One thing that I really like about myself is that I love to learn about new cultures. If I like something, I will literally learn everything there is to know about it in a very short span of time. So, when I fell in love with Korean music, it was only natural that I began to learn more and more about South Korea itself.
Now I’m no stranger to plastic surgery: American artists and Americans have been under the knife for breast enhancements and nose jobs for ages. Some individuals, particularly those who are transitioning, use plastic surgery to develop the image they want to see for themselves. And I completely understand why someone would want to change something about themselves. And I support people doing what makes them happy, as long as it is in within reasonable limits and doesn’t hurt others.
What I don’t understand about Korean culture is their obsession with double eyelids. I understand that it’s something they don’t like about themselves, so they want to change it. But why is a double eyelid so desirable? Up until now, I didn’t even notice what someone’s eyelids looked like, ever.
Coming from Indian ancestry, my culture has always been: let’s try to be and stay as white as possible because if you’re dark, you’re ugly. It was never explicitly said this way, but it was the truth. It was so utterly ingrained in our heads that “Fair is Lovely”, and we subjected ourselves to all sorts of home remedies and strategies to minimize our tans (Indians get browner with sunlight and don’t get the typical sunburn). And to be honest, I’ve always found my skin tone annoying to deal with. I could never find anything in my shade with makeup, brown eyeshadow was skin-color on me, and my lipstick collection could only range from dark pink to black. I love being Indian, and I love everything that comes with it, but I think everyone in my culture secretly (at least a little bit) wants to be “white” if that makes sense.
With this perspective, I kind of understand the double eyelid thing. Just like my skin tone makes me recognizably different, Asian eyes distinguish Eastern Asian people from most other Western cultures. I once read that Chloe Grace Moretz was very well-liked in South Korea because she looked exactly like the Korean standard of beauty.
She is beautiful, no doubt. But why is the Korean epitome of beauty not, well, Korean?
I’m just getting to know this culture, and while I love most of it, this is one aspect that slightly confuses me. How can an eyelid matter so much? Does having double eyelids completely change someone’s face?
I have double eyelids and almond shaped eyes (my irises are so dark I look almost demonic but that’s a different story). I like my eyes, and I think that they show a lot of my personality.
So I get why Koreans care about their eyes. But does having one crease in your eye really change that much about you? Maybe it’s just me, but when I look at someone’s face I notice the color of their eyes and their smile and their nose and all that, but not particularly their eyelids. Eyelids are just eyelids to me.
Example: Jungkook from BTS once said that his eyelids keep changing, and he doesn’t know what to go with (he has hooded eyes, and I’m guessing he puts some kind of insert to get double eyelids or something). AND I LITERALLY DID NOT NOTICE THIS UNTIL HE MENTIONED IT AND I PUT TWO PICTURES SIDE BY SIDE AND HIS FACE LOOKED GREAT EITHER WAY.
(I SEE NO DIFFERENCE IM BEING HONEST I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE HE DID THIS)
I’m not saying double eyelid surgeries should be banned or anything, but I honestly can’t tell a difference. I wonder if when a South Korean meets someone for the first time, they notice their eyelids. I wonder if having double eyelids is suddenly a reason to think someone is beautiful in Korean culture. I wonder why every Asian culture tries so hard to look caucasian. I wonder if anyone would care about how their eyelids looked or how their nose was if their immediate society didn’t emphasize those qualities as measures of beauty.
Just some thoughts from…