Managing expectations of beauty standards: Asian vs Caucasian

Beauty is subjective

Beauty has been a topic of fascination for scholars, artists and philosophers since 2000 B.C., when the ancient Egyptians tried to define what it meant to be beautiful. The answer is still as unclear today as it was four millennia ago. The thing about beauty and beauty standards, is that at the core, it is subjective. That means what might be jaw-droppingly beautiful to one person, another person might be completely indifferent to.

When it comes to attractiveness and how beautiful we think another human being is, the lines are just as blurred. Beauty standards differ across cultures and borders and with the recent main stream explosion of cosmetic surgery, it is worth taking a look at what certain ethnic groups find beautiful, focusing especially on the different standards between Asia and the west.

What is the ideal standard of beauty in Asia?

Asian females are more concerned with refining their Asian features and so two of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in Asia are: rhinoplasty (nose) and blepharoplasty (eye, eyelids and surrounding area). According to a study from 2013; Asian women find a narrower face more aesthetically appealing than a wide face. Also, faces with sharper features such as a more pointed nose and chin were found to be preferable.  With regards to eyes, the study also found that bigger eyes, around 10-12mm width, was the ideal height. This would make sense, considering the most performed surgery in Korea is the double eyelid surgery, with some girls having the procedure done while still in high school.

When it comes to the nose, Asians preferred a nose that has a slightly lower bridge protruding from the eyes. Also the bridge running down must be smooth and narrow all the way to a tip. A tip that is slightly elevated and not too wide. A sharper chin with smaller lips, in an inverted triangle shape finishes out the desired look of the bottom half of the face

What is ideal standard of Caucasian beauty in the west?

Western ideas of beauty used to be heavily influenced by renaissance art, but this all started to change in the 1930โ€™s with the introduction of film and Hollywood. Fast forward to present day and the ideal standard of beauty in the west is inescapable, all one has to do is look at their Instagram feed. Celebrities like the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and even the Sex and the City actors and actresses have all had a hand in shaping what the west believes to be aesthetically pleasing.

According to another study, it is widely accepted that Caucasian women with larger eyes and smaller noses are considered more โ€˜beautifulโ€™. Unsurprisingly a larger mouth and voluptuous lips were found to be more beautiful, hence the duck face. A relatively large forehead (top third) and a round face were also more desired looks.

Being realistic

You may be getting plastic surgery for a variety of reasons and whatever the reason may be always make sure you are doing it for yourself. An important thing to remember when deciding to get plastic surgery is that you should always manage your expectations. Managing your expectations means that you are fully aware of what is possibly achievable when taking into consideration things like: age, body shape and features and especially ethnicity.

Often times people decide to get plastic surgery thinking it is completely possible to transform their looks in a radical and unrealistic way. In very rare cases dramatic transformations are possible but in most cases plastic surgery is used to enhance or improve already existing parts of the body and face. For example an Asian person might be able to undergo rhinoplasty to have a higher bridge or rounder eyes but it would be unreasonable to expect to look like a western girl after plastic surgery. Likewise, any western girl undergoing surgery to have a cuter dolly nose is deemed completely reasonable whereas wanting to look completely Asian is of course outside the realm of possibility without looking strange.  

Every person has limiting factors, genetic and biological, that determines the extent to which they can alter themselves. And likewise, the surgeons performing these procedures are also limited to what they can achieve, regardless of their skill level. Obviously they will try their utmost to help achieve every patientโ€™s desired look but within the boundaries of what they deem safe and achievable. It is so important to communicate with the doctor before the surgery to make sure that both doctor and patient are on the same page. Only when you know what to expect when you wake up, and in the weeks following the procedure, can the results be truly satisfying.

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