Category Archives: fashion & beauty

tumblr: Arts & Crafts / Design Binge: Arden’s 2nd Birthday…

Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Arts & Crafts / Design Binge: Arden’s 2nd Birthday Gift Package

It’s only Monday of my week off (official announcement at the end of the month, but hint— just treated myself to these new Dark Wash Neon Converse Oxfords in “Purple Cactus Flower”, perfect for taking the next big step in my life), but I’ve already gone on one arts & crafts / design project binge putting together the main part of my niece Arden’s second birthday package even though it’s still a couple of weeks out. (Obviously, I took these photos all Memento-style as I wrapped everything up and am now presenting them essentially backwards, as if opening the gift yourself, so: SPOILER ALERT for little Korean American girls named “Arden” who are almost 2 years old— quit snooping!)

Photo #1:
White gift box with rainbow color stripes and a curly silver ribbon, all mostly to hold the card…

Photo #2:
Now opened, another, smaller gift box is inside— dark purple decorated with pink and white glittery flowers and a handmade/homemade birthday card made from textured “Parakeet Green” card stock and a wide, pearly white vellum strip decorated with matching glittery stickers. Clipped to the front of the card are two pink “crystal” (plastic) butterfly hair clips (pair #1)— foreshadowing…

Photo #3: Inside the smaller, purple gift box are two pairs of gemstone butterfly hair clips in blue and purple (pairs #2 & #3). A fancier variation on the butterfly theme for special occasions.

Photo #4: Inside the card, a custom birthday message to my niece— granted, she may only understand the “Happy Birthday” part, but hopefully, she’ll hold onto this and have it to look at if and when she eventually looks back and reflects on this particular time in our family’s life.

Photo #5: And finally, of course, the copyright and credit label on the back— I’m playing around with the company name “With An S” or something like that.

What do you think?

Posted via tumblr: published on March 24, 2014 at 11:02PM

tumblr: Instant Boobs?! Also seen @ Daiso in Cuperino. Oh please,…

"Instant Boobs" package - front
"Instant Boobs" package - back

Instant Boobs?!

Also seen @ Daiso in Cuperino. Oh please, please, somebody who reads Japanese (I know for a fact some of you nerds are more than fluent / literate in Japanese and have lived or live in Japan now) translate this for me because I’m pretty sure, given the drawings and the look on the girl’s face as she discovers her new ginormous bosom at the end of the instructions, something more is going on than just stuffing her bra.

Posted via tumblr: published on March 24, 2014 at 01:01AM

tumblr: Irie man Sherwin, you never told me about your career as a party…

Japanese Party Wig at Daiso

Irie man Sherwin, you never told me about your career as a party wig model in Japan!

Seen at Daiso in Cupertino. I can’t tell if the guy is a light-skinned black guy, a dark-skinned Japanese guy (more likely a Korean or Pilipino model then), or something Blackface-like going on with the makeup. I also can’t tell if it’s racist or not. I just feel like it’s what conservative Japanese businessmen think of as a “crazy party wig” when most of us probably know at least one guy that just looks like that normally.

Or are one of the tons of guys that just looks like that normally.

Posted via tumblr: published on March 24, 2014 at 12:55AM

tumblr: Maybe only on the streets of San Francisco… Or New York…

Maybe only on the streets of San Francisco…

Or New York City would I look up to see this guy in a partial hot pink bear suit walk past me and not even give it a second thought. I only took some quick photos because I ended up walking behind him for several blocks during end of business day rush hour traffic. Which also made me realize that just like in NYC, both the guy in the bear suit and everyone else could not care less and were too busy getting on with their own lives to give this guy more than a brief double-take. Hey, after all— bear suit or not— we’ve all got places to go, things to do, so let’s keep it moving.

Of course, the outfit couldn’t help reminding me of the 90s club kid scene in New York, including Clara the Carefree Chicken (and crack addict).

Posted via tumblr: published on March 20, 2014 at 12:12PM

Nail Salon Stereotypes

I was looking up Platino pedicure chairs for a friend and found something amusing: the spatech website includes documentation (installation instructions, specs, etc.) on equipment and for this chair, they have non-English versions. The languages the documentation comes in? Korean and Vietnamese.

While nail salons are stereotyped as being owned and run by Korean and Vietnamese people, but there’s always some truth to a stereotype. For example, I am related to people who own and run a dry cleaners, a nail salon and a liquor store. My parents even owned a grocery store back in the day.

My Small Breasts and I

No, not actually my small breasts and I, but building on my brief claim to search fame for being the top hit for “blog breasts” back in 2004: it’s apparently Body Image Season on BBC Three and one of the latest episodes was a special on women with small breasts and how their breast size affects their body image, lifestyle, etc. Having the opposite problem, it was pretty interesting, especially watching one woman attach a suction apparatus to her chest every day in hopes of boosting her cup size.

However, the most interesting thing I learned about was the site Cosmetic surgery financing at its finest, the site basically pairs up women who want to get breast implants with men who are willing to “donate” money to their cause.

Only in America. You’ve got to love a free market.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode My Big Breasts and Me.

The case of the double eyelid, part 3

Believe it or not, but yes, I have been asked to appear on the Montel Williams Show. Next week, they are taping a show on race and one of the topics they are focusing on is the idea of “erasing race.” One of the guests will be an Asian woman who has had Asian blepharoplasty (double eyelid surgery) to look more “westernized” and the representatives from the show contacted me to see if I (or someone I know) would be interested in appearing on the show as someone of Asian heritage who is against such surgery.

I assume they found me by stumbling on my 2005 blog posts on the topic (part 1 and the very brief part 2), but I’m not quite sure of the path they took to find the posts since, unlike some Google searches, I don’t show up as one of the top results for “double eyelid surgery” or “Asian blepharoplasty.”

In any case, while Montel is one of the more respectable daytime talk shows, it sounds like I would basically be going on the show to tell this woman that I think what she’s already done to herself is wrong. And to be honest, while I am against this desire among some Asian people to try to, as the folks at Montel say, “erase their race” and look more westernized, this desire to deny one’s own heritage, and (for the most part) purely elective plastic surgery in general, at the end of the day, like most things, I don’t feel so strongly about it that I expect other people to replace their own judgement and choices with mine. While I may not make the same choices, your body is yours and, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you are free to do with it as you wish. If you think double eyelid surgery or breast implants or liposuction will make you happy and you really want to do it, you should do it.

So, given all that, one of the things I’m really against is staged conflict (I have enough problems without having to create drama) and that is exactly what most daytime talk shows and going on Montel would be. Sorry America, I won’t be launching my talk show career just yet.

The case of the double eyelid

Eyelid Crease Comparison Between 2008 and 2011UPDATED September 18, 2011: This post has been updated to correct my own confusion over the epicanthal fold versus the crease in eyelids. Namely, the epicanthal fold refers to the skin of the upper eyelid that covers the inner corner of the eye. Many people– mostly of Asian descent, but also from other ethnic and racial backgrounds– have an epicanthal fold. Independent of that, many people from all ethnic and racial backgrounds do not have an eyelid crease, described sometimes as a “monolid”. Therefore, when we talk about double eyelid surgery– or Asian blepharoplasty, as it is often called because of its popularity among people of Asian descent– we are talking about adding a crease to the eyelid and perhaps even reducing the prominence of the epicanthal fold, but not actually removing or eliminating it (which is actually referred to as an epicanthoplasty). I have included a photo here showing how in 2008, I did not have a crease in my eyelids, although there is a very faint one that could be considered a precursor to the image on the right from 2011 where a (deeper) crease naturally developed and is now clearly visible. The epicanthal fold is circled in both images.

In my weeks of illness and lack of sleep lately, I’ve noticed that my eyes have been doing some weird things– specifically, one or sometimes both of them will develop a “double eyelid.” It’s not really consistent and it will stay sometimes for a few hours or a few days and it will switch between eyes, but it’s definitely weird.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the reduced prominence of the Epicanthal fold, the fold of skin that covers the inner corner of the eye, as well as development of an eyelid crease, both of which make Asian people (among others) have “slanted” eyes (although the palpebral slant– the angle of the eye itself– is yet another separate factor or trait). I’ve had this on and off thing as far as I can remember, but it’s never stayed around as long as it has lately. I’ve kind of grown to expect it considering my dad actually only has the fold in one eye and it’s always been like that. Strange, no?

When I was younger, I, like many Asian women and probably men too, wished that I had a double eyelid to make my eyes bigger– that is, look more “American.” You know, basically more “white.” I remember my first little boyfriend in eigth grade (who was as white as they came) pointed out once how he was fascinated by my almond shaped eyes. Can you imagine? You just moved to a new school and you’re one of the handful of Asian students in the whole school and this is what your first boyfriend says to you? And for the longest time, half jokingly, half serious , everytime my brother and I would pose for a picture, we would say, “open your eyes as wide you can!” to avoid looking chinky in photographs. If you ever take a look at our family photographs, you’ll see we’ve taken a lot of photos with our sunglasses on.

It’s a huge complex that Asian people have. And that’s why so many Asian people, mostly women, have gotten Asian blepharoplasty— plastic surgery to create the crease in the eyelid. Isn’t that horrible? How desperately we’re trying to look more “American?” I suppose its the same as someone getting a nose job or liposuction to fit into some idealized American standard of beauty. But unnecessary plastic surgery (as in anything other than reconstructive surgery) has always made me a little uneasy and certainly so when it’s part of some weird cultural and racial inferiority complex. People will pay something between $3000 and $5000 dollars for the surgery and frankly, a bad one will make you look like a fish. Do they think everyone won’t notice when it’s done? With liposuction, it’s plausible that you actually lost the weight.

And somewhere in the time that blepharoplasty became increasingly popular is when I finally accepted, even among some Asian teens I knew that were way too young to be getting any type of plastic surgery, that this is the way my eyes look and this is the way I look. I’m Korean, I’m Asian, and nothing I will do will change that, so why obsess? And of course, years later now when I least expect it, I’ve started to develop some phantom double eyelid that passes unexpected in and out of my life. Well, at least I saved myself a few thousand dollars and maybe putting on eye makeup will get a lot easier.