Unveiling The Asian Definitions of Beauty

That statement is always true, in my personal point of view. Beauty depends on the eyes of the person who witnesses and appreciates it. Everybody has a different taste. However, different opinions do not define a person’s beauty.

No matter where a person comes from, beauty standards are always what people struggle with. Growing up as an Asian girl, I get to explore a lot of unique things about this culture. For example, unlike a healthy and strong image of woman is considered to be cool in Western culture, feminine image is what Asian women are expected to have. Everyone knows that Asia is the home to the most popular beauty trends, especially Korea, Japan, China, etc. These beauty trends don’t just naturally appear on the market. They are actually originated from the standards of beauty in Asia, which have lasted for a long time. Asians are most known to be really traditional, especially in families. As things become a tradition, it also becomes a concept in the minds of people, and then being passed from generations to generations. Unlike how tanned skin becomes a symbol of in many other cultures. Asians love fair skin. Most of the products in our skincare routine has the function of whitening in it. It is not hard to find advertisements of whitening cosmetics on TV. There are also people who would do many other spa processes just to get there skin whitened a bit more than their natural tones. This concept started from our history that people with fair skin means that they do not have to work outside on farms, which is a sign to show that they come from a wealthy background. This, in fact, is not 100% true, but as time goes by, this belief turns into a new idea of beauty: fair skin is always beautiful.  Undoubtedly, this has become a beauty statement for Asians. We live by it.  Another perspective of Asian beauty standards is that face shape plays a big role in a person’s concept of beauty. In the past, elder people like girls with round face, as they usually say these are the type of kind, generous women that would bring prosperity to their family. However, Asian ladies nowadays want to possess a slim, V-line face with edges. They believe that makes their looks more attractive.

Throughout all the centuries, we all share a common thought of how beautiful skinny people look. We admire all the girls that looks thin. They all seem to fit in every clothes beautifully. I’ve been raised to know that being thin is pretty, although my parents aren’t that strict, they still think I need to lose a lot more pounds. And it stressed me out, just like all other girls have in their mind to lose weight. We would go on diet, do workout, and sometimes to the point of tiring ourselves out. I remember the days of eating only 2 meals a day, taking in unhealthy diet pills, feeling guilty if I skip gym for a day, or eating a piece of cake. I remember the days of looking into the mirror and sometimes hate the way I look.  I am sure not only Asians, but also many other girls from other different backgrounds have experienced the same issue. We would do everything just to fit in a society concept of beauty that we did not create. There have been many cases of women, especially in Asian countries, risking their own lives because believing in the advertisements of dangerous weight loss supplements.  

Sometimes, elders approach us and whisper “Are you a little too fat compared to your friends?”

They do not know how that statement kill us, mentally and physically. However, as social media plays a major role in everyone’s life, it is not hard to find mesmerizing photos many other beautiful women. Sometimes, just like you, I compare myself to that beautiful “her” on the screen. Why is she so beautiful? Why is she so thin? Why can’t I be like her? I know not only Asian girls who have to live under these beauty standards suffer this, but I bet many other girls of other ethnicities have to go through the same thing. It is crucial to always remember that each and every woman has her own unique traits, and that no one can replace your position in this world. You deserve all the best, and you have that beauty inside of you. More important thing, we glow by lifting each other up, not tearing other people down so we can feel better. Pointing out flaws of another person doesn’t make you look prettier. Instead, you make your aura glow a little better with every positive and loving thoughts you have in your life. You create positive energy for yourself, and also spreading it to the people around you. That lovely aura is the beauty inside you that starts to glow out.

These beauty standards are not something we should just bring out. Solutions come from us and how we decide to perceive things. We are a new generation. We have the ability to maximize the uses of social media, of spreading the words, and speaking out on an issue that we are concerned about. We are an unstoppable and powerful team of women who are capable of loving ourselves and reshaping the standards that affect our lives and how we see ourselves. After everything, standards from the society can always change, but your inner beauty is something that will last forever.

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Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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