Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Perfect Race (?)

perfect race 001

My dear friend Jerri knows how much I LOVE trashy magazines. I won’t buy a People magazine, but I will devour a re-gifted one in no time at all! Talk about a guilty pleasure.



Anyway, there was an article on one of The Hill’s stars (can’t recall her first name, but her picture is above) and it struck me as kind of sad. I stared at her before and after and I wondered, is there a perfect race?



Hitler and his evil regime certainly thought so. Throughout history we have killed people based on little more than their ethnic identity—hair color, eye color, skin color, the shape of one’s nose, eyes or lips. But why? And what of our generation? What do we consider beautiful, what do we consider ugly?



For generations Asians have tried to whiten up with creams and those with eye folds were considered beautiful. Asians have also begun to enjoy the many miracles of silicone and a skilled surgeon’s hands and they are beginning to create their own ideal.



White Americans have bleached their hair and burned their skin for the past 40 years while black Americans artificially straightened their hair.



I looked at Montag’s “after” photo and she looked the same as every other nameless beauty in Hollywood. She could easily be one of Heff’s girlfriends or a porn star (evidently she got significant implants and wants to go back for some triple somethings…).



It appears we are creating our own “race”. We are creating faces and bodies that don’t match with the rest of society and are based on some beauty equation that I don’t understand. Since our ideal isn’t real, why do we continue to try and attain it? What is it about us that pushes us to become something we are not, something unnatural?



I look at my son and his beautiful caramel skin and his almond shaped eyes and I wonder how these images will impact his life. As an Asian American what kind of pressures will he be under to conform? Will he be as comfortable about his skin or his body shape as I am? I am far from the ideal woman—brunette, pudgy and oh so pale. Duc will never look like most the Vietnamese he will meet and he will never have the lean frame typical of many Asians. I hope I will be able to teach him that he is beautiful even if he doesn’t fit the “ideal” of many Asians and many Americans.

2 comments:

Christine February 1, 2010 at 8:01 AM  

I'm glad you posted this. I'm reading a lot lately about how far some Koreans are going with the surgeries in some of our Korean American magazines, and it just makes me so sad. The things they are changing are the exact things that I find so beautiful in my own son. It sounds like you know exactly how I feel...

Laura February 1, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

Great post. I think about the same thing with regard to my babies. I already stress about how Molley may perceive her gorgeous hair, being that hers is "different" than the rest of her family's.

And if THAT $hit is perfect, then I'd like to be anything but. I almost threw up when I first saw those photos. How sick is this society when someone wants to do THAT to herself?

Oh, it's Heidi, BTW. I'm such a loser...I used to watch the show!

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This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.


But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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