East Asia’s Obsession Over Small Faces

In East Asian countries, the obsession over a small face is getting out of hand. People are undergoing highly invasive procedures including double jaw surgery, which involves cutting through bone and can lead to facial numbness and consequentially nerve damage. In places likes South Korea, transforming one’s physique is a significant “ritual”. High school graduates often get huge discount deals to achieve a more “beautiful” look. Parents encourage their children to get plastic surgery for reasons including increasing the likelihood of getting a job, fitting in, and being liked by others. While commenting on face size may not necessarily be a compliment nor criticism in the Western society, in East Asia, remarking one’s small face is said to be flattering. In Japan, a “Kagao” or a small and oval-shaped face symbolises the embodiment of femininity and delicateness, making it the big craze in not only Japan but its neighbour countries as well.

Here are a few ways the obsession over a small face can get crazy:

Image taken from Instagram @soozy_725

A pose known as mushiba pozu, or “cavity pose” is the new big craze with children as young as 8 years old even carrying this trend. While simply covering your face may not be practical nor a longterm solution in reducing one’s face size, this pose is essential for those who desire a slimmer face in photos without the filters or photoshop. The hand partially covers the jaw line which makes your face looks slimmer, similar to the effect caused by the shokkaku hairstyle (later discussed in this article).

Image taken from https://newagespainstitute.com

The benefits of a massage comes from its ability to help flush out the excess fluid retention in your face or your body. There are countless of Youtube videos posted online including Asian women discussing massage routines that can help one achieve their ideal smaller face look. The benefits include: tightening loose skin, toning facial muscles, and brightening one’s complexion. While many wonder how massaging can help reduce one’s face size, facial massage is said to release the tension between the muscles as well as distribute fat to different parts of your body. The hand motion dealt with this massage is said to have the key role in reducing one’s face size. Yet, while a DIY-massage won’t be as costly, if you are looking for professional facial procedures done by technicians, prices can go all the way up to thousands of dollars per procedure.

Image taken from https://jpninfo.com/42374/kogao-shokkaku-hair

Shokkaku hairstyle, otherwise known as the antenna hairstyle, is where two long strands of hair frame the sides of the face. Japanese and Korean idols can be seen rocking this hairstyle often. The purpose of the strands is that the thicker it is, the slimmer your face would appear. While it may sound crazy to rock a hairstyle for the sole purpose of slimming down one’s face, when it comes to East Asians, they are willing to risk it all for that true small and tinier look. Because this hairstyle is not common anywhere else in the world other than East Asian countries, it has recently become a representation of Asian beauty.

Various cultures embrace a smaller face. Whether it is through plastic surgery or even through changing one’s hairstyle, there are multiple procedures East Asian women take in order to achieve this idealistic appearance of a less rigid and tinier face. While the outsiders may say that this obsession is both confusing and an uncanny trademark of Asian girls, all we can say is that we should appreciate it until it comes to the point where things cross the line. This may include plastic surgery or possibly spending thousands of dollars for massage that supposedly can reduce one’s face size. Our next step should be to uncover the most critical concerns of plastic surgery and to correct it, if possible. Otherwise, our other role would be to embrace this culture and learn to accept this craze.

Author: Angela Hwang

Angela Hwang is a junior at Singapore American School and this is her second year working for The Eye. She is thrilled to return back to journalism and wants to produce more exciting content for the upcoming year. Angela embraces her Korean background, but considers Singapore her home. Her hobbies include taking aesthetic photographs, collecting CDs from her favorite artists, and travelling to some of the most majestic places on earth. She can be contacted at hwang41112@sas.edu.sg.

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