I don’t know if I can count the number of conversations I’ve had with my girlfriends about the irony of being an Asian American woman. We could rant for hours on end about how it is literally impossible to navigate the beauty standards and gender constructs of both cultures that we resonate with. In America, we value individualism and body positivity while in most East Asian countries, women idolize and strive to achieve a certain look that represents ‘true feminine beauty’. Beauty is hard to achieve when the standards of both of the cultures I identify with are polar opposites of each other. As an ABC, and I'm sure this goes for other ABC women, it's a constant struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with our own bodies when we see one thing on Instagram and hear the other from our parents.
↓ breaking it down↓
Self-care is everything. The general consensus is that if you look healthy and confident, then you are attractive. Fad diets are now frowned upon and women are more open about their relationships with food and eating disorders. There's a trending appreciation for curves and tan skin that look healthy and glowy. Women go out of their way to get a nice sun-kissed tan. But because we all come in different shapes and sizes, there isn't a specific look that we try to achieve.
Women are held to a certain look that society is obsessed with thanks to celebrity/influencer culture. The closer you are to achieving that look, the more attractive you are. The look is characterized by snow-white skin, a very thin frame, a tall nose bridge, big eyes, oval face, small feet, that list goes on and on. Women would go through immeasurable lengths to avoid the sun and whiten their skin because having pale skin is traditionally a sign of wealth and class.