Female American Beauty Vs. Asian Culture's Ideal Beauty

I was reading a featured blog earlier about this topic. Well…

The ideal female American beauty set standards to Asian women. Those who move here are surrounded by that kind of environment, and what I mean by environment is shows like America’s Next Top Model, celebrities like Paris Hilton, and the ever so “important” fashion magazines like Teen Vogue or Seventeen. I’m not directing this towards only Asian women either – it’s a universal controversy. 

So what is the ideal American beauty for females?

Abnormally thin, “flawless” skin, and 5’7 or taller (I saw this as a requirement on the America’s Next Top Model’s website), and tan skin.

It’s a little hard to meet most of these expectations, as the average woman is 5’4 tall and 130 lbs. Anyway, some Asians here want to obtain the standards that the American fashion industry dictate. Plastic surgery becomes the answer to make their busts bigger, and to create those double eyelids to make their eyes bigger-looking.

Some even go into the tanning booths to get that “California beach girl” tan. The tanning depends more on the situation. I’ve had friends who were pale as hell, and they wanted to be tan more than anything; the thing was, they absolutely could not tan no matter how much time they spent under the sun trying to.

I had a friend on my tennis team (typical Asian me, yes?) who spent hours and hours under the sun practicing – but she still stayed pale. Then I have the friends who are proud that they are pale and would hate a tan.

I found that usually, Asian women like to be pale. Although I am Asian, my skin is darker than most. I was once criticized by an aunt because she said I was too dark. I went home and asked my mom why, and she said it’s because Vietnamese people value light skin because it shows that you are wealthy enough to not have to work hard labor in the sun; however, these values only apply if you live in Vietnam.

This is true since I asked some of my other Asian friends at the time and they told me the same thing. Apparently I was in the unknown. I felt out of place because I tan easily; I played a lot of sports and spent a lot of time at the beach.

The thing that pissed me off was that we are not in Vietnam; we are in America, where people like to spend their leisure time under the sun. Life will suck without outside sports, a day at the beach, or a walk at the park. Sun damage? It’s called sun block. I wear sun block on my face every day since 7th grade when I learned that people develop wrinkles in their early-mid twenties if they don’t use sunblock daily.

Anyway, much of the ideal female beauty here is still seen through the images of Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, or whoever. Although it is not literally forcing women to live up to those standards, it is internally and silently persuading them to do so. It’s all in the mind.

What do you think about the ideal feminine American beauty? And if you’re Asian, have you ever had problems with our society’s standards?