Thursday, April 10, 2008

the fold

Fellow Fusion author, An Na's book "The Fold" just came out today and I look forward to reading it with great interest. In it, an Asian girl is offered the chance to get plastic surgery done on her eyes to give it the coveted caucasian eyefold.

And this surgery is quite common across Asia, especially in Taiwan. Having those eyefolds are mandates of beauty; something I experienced up close and personally.

Because at my photo shoot for my new author photo (my new novel is a Chinese folktale-inspired fantasy--since it takes place in an imagined reality, I thought it fit to have the author photo be a bit of a flight from the imagination as well), my eyes were the first thing that were changed. The make-up artist, after taking off my glasses, cut pieces of thin plastic and glued them to my eyelids and, voila!, I had eyefolds. I had misgivings about the entire procedure but was persuaded by the studio workers' coos of admiration.

And that is how they took me bouncing into the studio looking like this:

and changed me into this:

Yikes! (I also was instructed not to smile in the photos which is why I am smirking in all of them). Obviously, I have regrets.

Because now I, the me I know, am unrecognizable in the photos (the only good ones were the ones where I was looking down when the fake folds were not as noticeable). I realized, in that moment I allowed myself to choose between being "beautiful" and myself, when the original goal of the photos was to achieve both. I hope the character in An Na's book realizes the same.