When I think of plastic surgery, I imagine a paper woman. She has cut-out lines under her eyes, down the bridges of her nose, and round the edges of her slender jaw. A pearly white smile is plastered on her lips, and her eyes twinkle as if she holds the secret to eternal beauty. But what is eternal beauty? Many believe you can only achieve it on an operating table. I guess a part of me has always wondered whether plastic surgery was in line with my feminist beliefs. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never considered it, especially during my younger years when the mirror was both my best friend and worst enemy.
TW: Suic*de, de*th, hom*phob*a
‘My mind is bisexual. It’s easy for me to love a woman. It’s also easy for me to love a man, too” – Leslie Cheung, 1992.
Dear Asian Youth,
Amongst the actors and singers of the canto-pop scene, the late Leslie Cheung springs into the mind of many as a figure who embodies the genre. My older cousins were especially fond of his music growing up and felt an affinity towards Cheung, they even called him “gor gor” (big brother), which I later found out was a nickname that the people of Hong Kong gifted him. It was clear to me that he was a figure of hope to my cousins for his determination to express his sexuality despite belonging to a largely homogenous culture. It was only natural that this admiration would be later passed onto me.
Appreciation versus appropriation.
It almost seems comedic how similar these words are and yet, how different their definitions are.
“Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homer’s Iliad, and as motifs in art from the Chinese Shang dynasty. They have also been used in myth and folklore as symbols of carefree living and immortality”
purpose’. The words subjectivity has always perplexed me. What constitutes ‘success’? If I asked my parents, they would most likely say happiness or health. I’d ask what they mean by happiness, and they would say a comfortable life. To many, success means money. After all, the quote “I’d rather be rich and miserable than poor and miserable” must hold at least some element of truth. I sometimes lay on my bed and think about the children, teenagers, adults even who have been running from success in order to obtain it. The pressure to achieve greatness seems to be one of the most consistent themes in Chinese and generally Asian cultures.