many years ago, a very close friend told me that all the young women in buenos aires have rhinoplasty and a perfect midriff. they strutted down the streets of the capital donning low slung jeans and midriffs to bare their bellies [and perfect noses]. while it is easy for me to think that perhaps their menfolk must dig noses and bellies, i thought to myself what a dreary thing to see everyone looking alike! perhaps because i prize difference and it seeps into all my reflections- malgre moi!
one of the greatest things about NY is its lack of homogeneity in the way people look. people are so beautiful because they are so different. you can never get bored while people-gazing! it’s like hearing only ONE language for the rest of my life. that would be simply unbearable! it’s almost as if i exist because of the many languages i hear. and if that were to be denied my ears, what an utterly sad, dismal, music-less and inglorious world this would be!
so these portenos idolize nose and belly button. and korean women all want v-shaped chins, small noses and big eyes. i imagine that this finished image would be part manga, part pandoran. their men must like chins, eyes and noses. women who change their ‘looks’ do it usually because men in that culture like it. or their magazine covers [the equivalent to cosmo, marie claire, elle etc] all boast of such women! but all that my paupered reaction could conjure up in front of this article was an ‘ick’!
an ‘ick’ because beauty lies not in what we see, but what we feel. we cannot feel with eyes, only with the heart. the eyes cannot see what the heart does unless those feelings have a time limit.
the argentines and koreans aren’t the only women in the world to fall under the sign of vanity; the US isn’t trailing far behind. women do plastic surgery as well when they can afford. and for those who can’t afford, well… there’s lots more distractions here that meet the eye to enhance visual effect. remember bullying -especially in the 5 boros of NY- is based on looks and is one of the biggest peer pressure bullying tactics in American elementary & high schools. teenagers behave and look alike because they think it’s cool. they all want to fit in. as a matter of fact, those adult korean women -20% of korean women- who go under the knife to look alike are acting like american teenagers, wanting to be ‘same-looking’ and ‘matchy’. why are they being infantilized? and as though that was not bad enough, the mothers and grandmothers are encouraging it; like how american parents are telling their children that it’s time to get braces.
i’d like to teach a course using st exupery and his Little prince to korean girls and highschoolers. then i’d show them the film “misrepresentation” among some other awesome Iranian [and other] films etc where beauty shines brighter than any thing visual! and i would hope to impress upon them that difference is ALWAYS good. ALWAYS beautiful!