Hafu gao

Hafu gao literally means “Mixed person’s face”. You see this word here and there on Japanese plastic surgeon’s websites. Actually many of them. I guess having a hafu like face is considered prettier and more trendy and many Japanese women as well as some men visit their offices with a hope to actually alter their facial features to look more Caucasian.

In America, Chinese American plastic surgeon was criticized for justifying Asian American women’s needs to want to change their mono eyelids because these are the ethnic identity according to Americans. Well, it may be. I don’t know. To me, whatever makes that person happy, I think she has the right to pursue her own happiness.

If changing her eyes makes her happier, sure, why not? But I was checking out some Japanese plastic surgeon’s blog and website. One plastic surgeon, let’s name him Dr. T went on and on how white people’s facial features are better than ours (Asians) and that is why many Japanese fashion magazines hire Hafu (white mixed models) as opposed to hiring pure Japanese less attractive models. I am going to translate some of his quotes.

“Lately young women come see me and ask if I could make her look like Hafu. This happens a lot lately. Then he goes on to say this, “Generally speaking, white people and Hafu Japanese or quarter Japanese are superior in terms of their appearances when you compared to pure Japanese.” ┬áHe goes on and on to say that basically our face is inferior due to smaller thinner eyelids, bulky cheeks, yellow skin…but so what?

Well, he is going to have to believe in whatever he is promoting because that is his business but what he is saying sounds very biased and he is missing this very important point. All white models we see in fashion magazines are models! Of course, they are going to be prettier. There are a lot of white people in where I live. But I hardly see any stunningly beautiful women and men walking down the street. Often some of them are overweight, legs are not that long, faces are not that small, so Dr. T needs to emphasizes that his Japanese patients want to look like eurasian models who are featured in ViVi or movies. Then it makes more sense.

I studied sociology so this always bring back the question of “who set the standard of beauty in the world? ” I don’t know. Maybe my reader can answer this question but in Japan, it is very obvious that Japanese media sets skinny and photoshopped white women the gold standard and they use these images repeatedly in fashion magazines, advertisement, TV commercial..These images are so saturated, So the notion of white or Hafu (white) girls to be pretty is very common among Japanese people. I think that’s something we need to think about. They are indeed pretty but there’s more than that.

I studied sociology and learned about the extensive discrimination Japanese American were subject to during the second world war and of course that wasn’t limited to Japanese people only. It was against all other Asians. Hollywood media constantly hire white actor.actresses although this trend is changing but I believe that this pattern has been affecting the way some young Japanese women feel about themselves.

I just want to give say one thing to these Japanese women who are hoping to rather go through more drastic surgery to become a different race. “I want you to really think if that is the right decision for your self. Is it because you are associating your current look with the past, perhaps you were bullied in the past. What makes you think that Hafu looks are superior to our Japanese face? There are a lot of beautiful Japanese face. The western media pretty much took over us and imposed their own beauty standards onto us and are we going to just follow that? and as Japanese, should we compromise who we are? You can have a small plastic surgery but are you sure about other drastic surgery like putting something under the forehead and under the chin to look even more white.

This young Japanese woman decided to be a model for this cosmetic surgeon’s office so she can get the Hafu face. She is an ordinary Japanese girl so you can see the drastic changes in her appearance in this youtube video. You can see before and after..

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