Monday, October 26, 2009

Asian Eyes

My 11-year-old daughter and I have been recently had discussions around when she can use make-up. Yikes! I am not ready for this, but I know that she is starting to feel more grown up, and I knew that this would eventually be a discussion we would have. She and her younger sister have a bag of make-up they can use for play, but I knew this recent discussion was beyond just play. She has been fascinated watching me put on my make-up. Although she won’t be wearing makeup out in public anytime soon, we have had some very interesting discussions around her Asian eyes.

She has been very concerned about putting on eye make-up without any eye folds. I have told her that when the time comes for her to be old enough to do this, we would get some books, research, and visit some cosmetologists that specialize in Asian eyes so that we can learn how to do this right. She has been one to comment on our differences in my Caucasian looks and her Asian looks since she was five years old. Her absolutely gorgeous eyes have been a topic of many conversations. When she was five, she had to have an entropion repair, to tilt her lower eyelashes out, as they were scratching her corneas and causing her severe vision issues. From this surgery on, she has asked so many questions about her eyes.

Having just had another discussion this weekend about make-up and her eyes, including the eye surgery she had to have when she was little, I was so interested to read this great blog from Malinda, who runs the China Adoption Talk blog. Last Monday she had a very interesting and controversial blog titled “Eyes Wide Open: Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child”. This blog was about a man who had his daughter's Asian eyes surgical changed to be more Western. I didn’t even know that this surgery existed, and I had no idea that some parents had even thought about changing their daughters' eye shape. I did a little more research and found this article titled "With These Eyes" from the Los Angeles City Beat. I was surprised to read that four out of ten women in Korea have this procedure done. Malinda had a great article today titled “Asian Beauty/Asian Makeup Links". I will be saving these links for our future beauty lessons.

Have you had a discussion with your daughter about make-up or applying make-up to Asian eyes? Do you have any great resources or websites for teen girls to use to tastefully apply makeup? What do you think about eye surgery to change the shape of Asian eyes?

Karen Maunu


  1. Wow, didn't know that was possible! Our next child may or may not have Asian eyes, as he/she will be from Central Asia. It's good to be aware of issues like this, to help equip us for future questions and such that may arise. Thank you for posting this topic.

  2. When we were in China adopting our second daughter, our guide told us she was saving money to have her eyes fixed. She had a fold in one eyelid but not the other..she said that a fold in the eyelid was highly desirable in their culture and many women who could afford it had the surgery. My daughter has had 2 eye surgeries and will need several more over her lifetime. I hope she never feels the need to "fix" the shape of her eyes. She is so beautiful just the way she is..

    Shame on that father who wanted to Westernize his daughter's eyes. He should embrace her natural beauty.