There’s a certain dilemma that plagues us the moment we consider to go under the knife.
It’s not about whether it demands beyond the depth of our pockets or the fear that results might wind up poorly—but it’s more about a question about other people’s perception on us based on our ethnic identities. Our desire to look better is sometimes contested by our fear of being lashed out with criticism and scorn:
“Going through ethnic cosmetic surgery means erasing one’s racial identity.”
“You are trying hard to be Caucasian.”
Of course, we shrug in refusal to these unwelcomed thoughts. But, we cannot also deny what we see in the news or surveys which a lot of African-Americans or Middle-easterners get ‘nose jobs’ or a lot of Asians rave in excitement about ‘double-eyelid surgery’. These patterns which narrate the explosion of cosmetic surgery demand have attracted quite a fair share of critics. Critics assert that this is a movement to mask native identity as well as to easily ‘assimilate’ with Caucasian western standards. But are these critics somehow right?
Let’s find out.
The influence by the media, entertainment and fashion have placed Caucasians or white people in the limelight as if they won the ‘first prize’ trophy for genetic superiority for beauty. They also seem to have been able to set up ‘gold’ standards—which works favorably for them, implying that being beautiful means being white.
If this is so, does it mean Caucasians don’t ever feel the need to step in a cosmetic surgery clinic?
Statistics tell otherwise.
From the 2015 American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics report, 70 percent of the procedures were done for Caucasians, prompting an idea that even them have no qualms about plastic surgery—that they too, have something they want to change physically.
Science couldn’t agree more with this. The sentiments expressed support the research which reveals that the way we perceive ‘attractiveness’ has something to do with ‘balance’. The people we seem to be the most physically attractive are the ones who perfected the standards of facial symmetry.
Thus, the pursuit is not to be ‘white’, but for the golden ratio.
We may not be sometimes aware of it, but what we seek all along is to have every facial feature work harmoniously with other feature. What we have long strive for in this pursuit of beauty and perfection is the ‘golden ratio’ while retaining our ethnic identity.
The best surgeons are experts in both technical and aesthetic aspects. The client can freely express how she might want her nose or lips be, but the doctor, with the help of computer imaging technology, will also discuss with the client if the results would give a ‘balanced’ and more attractive look.
There’s more to ethnic identity than we are aware of.
Most of the time, when we refer to ‘ethnic identity’, we basically link it to the skin color and other physical attributes that make up a person. However, what we seem to know is just a part of a much bigger whole of the concept. As Trimble & Dickson puts it, ethnic identity is an affiliate construct in which a band of people share likeness in physical characteristics but also in common customs, traditions, historical experiences and geographical residence (in some instances).
This whole concept just put the critics in their own rightful place. Altering one’s physical feature does not really mean denying or erasing his or her ethnic identity. We have to take into account that our sense of being connected to a particular race also speaks about on how we value our heritage and how we put on our hearts on the traditions we try to keep.
If you want to learn more about the ethnic cosmetic procedures available today, feel free to consult board-certified and industry expert, Dr. Andrew Kim of Advance Beauty Cosmetics Surgery.