“East Asian blepharoplasty before after” by User:People bios (original photos). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
The controversy over whether Asians get plastic surgery on their eyes to look White won’t be solved here, but the surgery in South Korea has controversial origins.
The Tech Insider
reports double eye-lid surgery goes back to Dr. Ralph Millard who was stationed in Seoul with the military from 1950 -1953.
“The absence of the puerperal fold produces a passive expression which seems to epitomize the stoical and unemotional manner of the oriental,” wrote Millard in the American Journal for Ophthalmology in 1964. He described his first patient for this procedure as “a slant-eyed Korean interpreter, speaking excellent English (who) came in requesting to be made into a ’round-eye.'”
According to the Tech Insider, most of his patients were women working in the sex trade who wanted to appeal more to the American GIs. Still others where woman who became Korean war brides and wanted to fit in better when they moved to the U.S.
An article by David Palumbo-Liu of Stanford states that double eye-lid surgery gained in popularity especially after WWII for that exact same reason. Japanese and Korean women wanted to blend in better in the West.
You can read about a study done on 11 Asian American women in San Francisco who went through the procedure and the controversy in South Korea in the Tech Insider