Asian Supermodels and Evolving Beauty Ideals

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Striking Beauty, Zero Body Fat, Killer Cheekbones

in The Australian, Sharon Krum profiles Liu Wen, the first Asian face of Estee Lauder as well as the first Asian model to walk the Victoria Secret show last year.

killer cheekbones
Source: The Australian

The author describes Ms. Wen as "blessed with striking beauty, zero body fat and killer cheekbones." On tap: ad campaigns for Calvin Klein and Gap.

Ms. Wen's career in modeling "has paralleled the forward thrust of the Chinese economy - unstoppable."

As China has grown into a lucrative luxury market, the West's overall perception of East Asia has grown far more favorable.

"The rise of a cluster of Asian models correlates equally to shifting global ideals of beauty," notes the article. In fact, a recent Givenchy runway show featured only Asian models.

APSG Comment: Wait. Killer cheekbones? Isn't that one of those detestable features that hordes of young East Asian women are now so anxious to have erased from their faces by plastic surgeons in China and South Korea?

So what are prominent cheekbones doing on the face of a supermodel?

Don't worry -- that's not the least of it. While stunningly beautiful, Ms. Wen also sports fully single eyelids and even the pouting lips that are a feature of what has been termed a protruding mouth, both common Asian facial traits that many now see as a clear call for cosmetic surgery.

As we noted in our Asian Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2011 (prediction #9), a backlash against surgical Westernization seems to be taking hold. While far from a mass phenomenon, consider the effect of millions of Asian women watching more and more of the likes of Ms. Wen being featured and adored by the global and especially Western fashion media for their "striking beauty."

Is it possible that their ideals of physical elegance and allure may begin a realignment away from the over-operated K-pop alphabet and back towards anatomical attributes more native to the East?

Really, it's harder for us to imagine otherwise. What about you?

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Asian supermodels and evolving global beauty ideals