Why the Asian Eyelid Lift is No Longer Controversial | Dr. Malena Amato


Why the Asian Eyelid Lift Is No Longer Controversial

Approximately 50% of people of East Asian descent have a skin fold, or pretarsal crease, in the area above the eyelashes.   Those without this crease find that much of their eye area is covered by skin, making their eyes look small. The skin can also push eyelashes downward, making it impossible for women to get the upward sweeping, even curled eyelash look that draws attention to the eyes. Sometimes, these downward pointing eyelashes even poke into the eyes, causing tearing and irritation.

These issues have led those of Japanese, Chinese and Korean descent to seek the Asian eyelid lift, also known as a blepharoplasty or double eyelid surgery.  This surgery involves removing fat and skin and placing stitches to create an additional upper crease in the eyelids so that the “double” eyelid is established. Those getting the procedure explain that a more round eye will make them more attractive and even help them see better.

The eyelid lift does create an illusion of larger, brighter eyes, adds depth to the eyes, improves the width of vision, and may even make the recipient appear more alert. Many recipients of the Asian eyelid Lift procedure believe that having the surgery will increase their chances of finding a job. 

Still, others claim blepharoplasty doesn’t make people look “better,” just “more Western.” They even accuse those undergoing the procedure of “ethnic tweaking,” citing the case of CBS news anchor Julie Chen, who opted for double eyelid surgery after her boss told her her eyes made her look “disinterested” and “too Chinese.” 

If you’ve been considering the Asian blepharoplasty, you may run head-on into this controversy. No one wants to be accused of trying to escape their own ethnicity’s appearance. Knowing a little history as well as the current benefits of the eyelid lift will help you decide whether your values jibe with undergoing the procedure. 

At the Heart of the Controversy: Rejection of Ethnicity

The first Asian eyelid lift was performed during the Korean War (1950 – 1953) for the Korean women who married or wanted to marry American soldiers. Clearly, these women were trying to look more like the cultures they were marrying into. Overcoming a start that rejected the Korean appearance set the Asian eyelid lift up for controversy. 

In the years that followed, Korean eyelid surgery popularity grew in that country and even spread to China and Japan. History shows, however, that motivations for those participating in this trend often had little to do with looking like Westerners. The double eyelid lift has many practical benefits. With the procedure completed, the Asian blepharoplasty: 

  • Removes skin that impedes vision. Recipients find their peripheral vision improves. Those who had the procedure done say they’re thrilled to no longer have to force their eyebrows higher to see faraway objects clearly. 
  • Tightens sagging skin on patients who’ve aged. 
  • Keeps eyelashes from irritating eyes. 
  • Makes makeup application to the eyelids and eyelashes easier.

The Asian eyelid lift may have started with a desire to fit into another culture, but its usefulness and ability to conform to individual concepts of beauty propelled its popularity. 

The Asian Eyelid Lift Gets Patients Looking Like Their Best Selves, Not Another Culture

We find that looking like one culture or another isn’t even on our clientele’s radar. Instead, each patient has a unique idea of what procedures would emphasize his or her features the best. We customize procedures carefully to achieve the most exquisite, natural-looking results.  We customize procedures carefully to achieve the most exquisite, natural-looking results for each and every patient. If you’re considering the Asian eyelid lift, rest assured it’s easy to get others to understand that you simply wanted a few tweaks to get you looking your best. You can add that you wanted to have a better range of vision or that your eyelashes had poked into your lower lids for the last time.   

As a highly trained oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Amato is happy to talk with you about planning your Asian Eye Lift. View our before-and-after Asian Blepharoplasty gallery, then schedule your consultation with Dr. Amato to discuss your candidacy for your procedure. 

Call our Austin medical spa today at 512-501-1010 or reach out to us online. We are looking forward to hearing from you!