Blepharoplasty- A cosmetic approach

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Not long after his new baby arrived home from the hospital, Chung Jin Park peered down to examine her scrunchy pink face. Though it was still too early to determine the shape of his daughter’s eyelids, Park turned to his family and jokingly announced, “Well, there goes the money for her surgery.” Traditionally a procedure sought only by patients with excess eyelid skin or those hoping to lessen signs of aging, eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty has become popular among young Asian American women and accepted as just another cosmetic choice in an array of many — like tinting your eyelashes or straightening your teeth.


Approximately half of Asians are born with eyelids that are naturally smooth and uninterrupted by a crease in the skin. Asian patients seek out blepharoplasties to create or exaggerate a crease in their eyelids commonly referred to as “double eyelids.” Some parents, like Park, assume that paying for eye surgery as just another part of raising a daughter. This acceptance of surgery within the Asian American community, while not surprising, is now being seen by more and more feminist Asian Americans as the product of an ethnocentric, racist culture.


The fact that professionals use the terms “Occidentalize” or “Caucasianize” to describe the effect of the process, without thinking twice, is in itself-very telling. Blepharoplasty is a simple procedure and is usually performed on an outpatient basis. It begins with cutting the upper eyelid into two parts and removing a sliver of skin millimeters wide as well as some of the fat underneath. Then, the surgeon reattaches the lower eyelid flap slightly beneath the upper to create a crease. It lasts less than one hour, requires a week of recovery and an antibiotic regimen, and has permanent effects.

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