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To the Woman Who Allowed Me To Be Beautiful

By November 3, 2018 December 18th, 2018 No Comments

By: Balbina Yang

(Featured image: Liu Wen)

East Asians, whether they be from East or Southeast Asia or from America, are Mongoloids. Mongoloid features include narrower eyes, flatter nose bridges, wider faces, and yellow-toned skin.

In a culture dominated by European ideals it is hard to believe that anyone with Mongoloid features is beautiful.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to get plastic surgery all over my face so I would be “fixed”. I hated how people with mongoloid features were mocked in both media and in reality; I hated how having smaller eyes automatically made someone look “chinky”; I hated how people would tell me to love myself but never realizing that they fit the European ideals and had nothing to worry about.

Most of all, I hated how much I hated myself.

Until I saw Liu Wen.

I first came across Liu Wen in middle school when I saw her in an Estée Lauder photo shoot. Her face was blown up on the magazine, and I was in awe.

She was East Asian, and she was beautiful.

But how?

She doesn’t have large eyes and she doesn’t have a tall nose. Her cheekbones are high and her hair is black, and she is Chinese. How can someone who is East Asian and with predominantly Mongoloid features be beautiful?

But she is.

Sure, I have much darker skin, freckles on my nose, and a wider face, but at that moment – when I flipped to that page in the magazine – my world came tumbling down in the best way possible.

I couldn’t stop staring at Liu Wen. I was captivated by her beauty and her “Asianness”. For the first time in my life, here was someone who was of my race who was beautiful not only because I thought so but because Estee Lauder and this magazine – one of the best fashion magazines in the world – thought so, too.

I almost cried.

Somehow, I was inspired, and I had rushed to the mirror to stare at myself. I looked at my almond eyes with the slight double eyelids, my wider forehead, my flat nose, my yellow skin. I looked at myself for the first time, and for a split moment, I considered myself beautiful.

Like everyone else in the world, I have my bad days. There are times that I hate being East Asian and having its features. I wish to have Caucasian facial characteristics and be able to fit in.

Other times, I love my mongoloid features. There is no other race out there with similar features. East Asians, and Mongoloids in general, have unique facial structures that deserve to be appreciated. Too long have we been either ignored or mocked for our “ugly” faces. Too long have European beauty standards dominated and appreciated.

We as East Asians – Mongoloids – are beautiful. No more eye-pulling, no more ridiculing, and no more disregard.

That fateful day when I saw Liu Wen in that magazine was the first time that I realized that European facial features aren’t the only features that are beautiful. East Asians and their Mongoloid features are beautiful.

I am beautiful.

Balbina, in her own words: I’m an exhausted college student who loves tofu, Sour Patch kids, and cheese. Also a fan of Conan, Gina Linetti, and Wonder Woman (exactly in that order).

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