Ok, so let’s talk the "Fox Eye" beauty trend • What's going on? The “fox eye challenge” is a social media trend of lifting the outer corners of the eye. This can be done with eye-liner or surgery, but also by holding your face so your eyes are slanted. There are many beauty clinics around Australia marketing this as 'designer eyes' and promoting it as the 'Kardashian/Hadid' look. The trend’s hashtag, #foxeye, has gained more than 70 million views on TikTok alone.
Why is it problematic? Many have criticized the trend for being cultural appropriation. Again, white women are being praised for their eyes while Asians historically have been discriminated against for the exact same thing. "The cultural influencers from the dominant group legitimize it as a cool, style 'trend,' and in the process exoticizes and eroticizes it," Kelly H. Chong (CNN).
Is it misappropriation or ignorance? In 1896, Japanese surgeon Mikamo developed the procedure known as blepharoplasty believing the double eyelid to be “more attractive”. It's one of the most common cosmetic procedures in East Asian countries, as well as among Asian Americans. But in the early 1950s, it was used as a tool for Korean women to assimilate in the US. American TV personality Julie Chen said she underwent plastic surgery on her eyes to make them look "less Asian” earlier in her career.
Is this to look more white? This is usually the assumption but it’s important to remember cultural beauty standards are much more complex. There are many Asians in the west who have spoken about this as a cultural-norm and how bigger eyes have helped them feel more beautiful. Joanne Rondilla (NPR) says that when we think about "beautiful Asian women" — they're all women who seem beautiful to Western standards. They're of a higher class, of a different class, she says. Novelist An Na says, "I think that question of, you know, bigger eyes comes from wanting to emulate people who are in power, who have control of the media, who have control of different structures of a certain race."
This is a high level recap of what’s going on (first posted on our Instagram account).
Sources: CNN, South China Morning Post, NPR.