The Mutt Look Through Surgery

Erasing Ethnicity with a Knife?

 I have oddly mixed feelings about the idea of someone getting plastic surgery to enhance or reduce certain facial features that seem too much one ethnicity to achieve another “look.”  As a mutt-Asian, the idea of doing “eyelid” surgery to increase one’s eyelid crease sounds, well… weird.

Not that I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror when I was younger and wished that my hair was straighter and skin porcelain and freckle-free, like a Japanese doll.  Not that I haven’t wished that my nose was narrower and my face a little longer.  Not that I haven’t wished that I was taller, instead of my 5’2″ height.

But I wouldn’t be me, and so I haven’t chosen surgically to alter anything.  Yet, I can’t comfortably cast aspersions to those who feel like what nature has given them isn’t them, and therefore they choose to opt for plastic surgery.  It’s their money, it’s their bodies, it’s their choice.

Still…  I dunno.  It still seems, well, weird to me.  From the story, it’s not so much being *ashamed* of one’s ethnicity but wanting to pick and choose, like some kind of aesthetic buffet, to add another’s ethnicity to one’s own.  I can easily see this when it comes to non-surgical options: hair styles, clothing, body movements, tone of voice and diction.

But surgery?  Like dog breeders, who dock tails and pin back ears, to achieve a certain “desired” look?  Elective surgery that has nothing to do with health or longevity?

Perhaps I just don’t understand.

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3 Responses to The Mutt Look Through Surgery

  1. James says:

    Let me play Devil’s Advocate.

    What is responsible about mutilating the human body? What is the line that has to be crossed before it is no longer a responsible action and one of sheer vanity or the end-result of a neurosis?

    Was it ok for Chinese women to bind their daughter’s feet until they were practically cripples because men found their small feet a fetish? Was Michael Jackson’s effort to become an old white woman in any way justifiable?

    I have qualms about using medicine to alter an otherwise healthy body for the sake of vanity or because, in the west, young girls are taught to loathe their bodies unless they fit a certain particular look. The money spent on Boob-jobs in this country has been growing at an astronomical rate in the last few years, and some for girls still in their teens.

    Perhaps I am just hopelessly old-fashioned.

  2. happycrow says:

    As long as it’s done responsibly, I’m all for it. We may be what we are, but it won’t be all that long from now when what we are is ALSO optional. And as a guy who has to teach about historical bigotry on a nearly daily basis, I’m really happy to hear people looking at different minor phenomena as what they are, human epigenetic options, rather than indicators of something more meaningful than they are.

  3. JimDesu says:

    I think it’s creepy, personally. We are what we are.

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