02 August 2010

Asian Eyes


Its a question many always wondered but thought it was too racist to ask. What makes asian eyes look the way they do? The cause is a small skin fold in the corner of the eye called an epicanthic fold. It produces sort of an arch over the inner corner of the eye. Take a look at these comparison photos.




The true evolutionary purpose of the fold is not known. Some scientists believe it may be a neutral trait that simply arose in certain populations with no benefit or handicap. Others attribute it to the climate conditions of populations with the folds. It is believed that people with the folds have their eyes better protected from UV rays, a trait that would be useful in environments with bright landscapes or strong winds, like say ones you may find in Mongolia?


The degree of the fold can also vary. Those of mixed race or those further or closer to the center of the sinosphere can have more mild or extreme folds. For example below, the picture on the top shows a girl from Central Asia, where the fold is barely noticeable. The one on the bottom shows a girl from Korea, where the folds are extreme, causing a “fish eye” appearance.



The fold also may occur in some non-asian ethnic groups, such as those in Oceania, Central Asia, Native Americans, Inuit, certain tribes in Africa, and certain Scandinavians such as the Saami.




Another question is wether or not the folds restrict vision, while in fact it does not. It just causes them to view alignment differently, outlined in this article.


There is also a cancer spreading in China and East Asia. As the Korean pointed out some time ago, many people are getting plastic surgery. One of the surgeries that is quite popular is the East Asian blepharoplasty, where the exterior around the eye is reshaped to give a double eyelid look. This does not remove the fold, but still makes the eye look less… asian. The removal of the fold is called an Epicanthoplasty and is still uncommon. Below shows the before and after pics of an Epicanthoplasty.



Such surgery in not recommended even by plastic surgeons, as it could risk damaging the tear duct, plus many feel the result looks unnatural.


There are also ‘eyelid pastes’ that are sold that allow someone to temporarily hide their fold without surgery.


Of course if you really want people to notice, one could buy those anime eye contacts that make you look like a possessed zombie and scare the shit out of people.



15 comments:

  1. Epic, I see those Zombie type women in Korea all of the time.

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  2. My doctor stated that the fold is the reason Chinese type people get more eye infections
    than people without this fold, I get eye infections all the time because of this

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  3. I don't understand this second eyelid fascination all Asians have, can someone explain it to me?

    As a child my 'aunties' always commented about my eyes and nose. They always saw me and said, "Ai-Ya!! It's ok, when she gets older you can get that all fixed with surgery. Ai-Ya!!" They were my grandmother's age so I dismissed them.

    But even the parents and their friends complain about how Ziyi Zhang is famous because 'her eyes aren't double lidded.' Dude, the girl is hot, albeit on the skinny side, but I'm a girl saying that! Please tell me I'm not going to get old and do that.

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  4. Ziyi Zhang earned her position though. As she spent ages being an unsucessful actor in China before getting international recognition. Namely as she got her tits out in the film Crouching Tiger Hidden dragon. Oh and latched onto the fame of I never need to reload my gun Chow Yun Fat.

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  5. I wonder if this goes some way to explain the fact that 90% of people in HK and China appear to wear glasses? Must be all the MSG in all the food or somethin'

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    Replies
    1. Have you even been to HK and China? Nowhere near 90% of people wear glasses. It's probably more like 20%. None of my mother's extended family in HK wear glasses, apart from the older folk which is natural (presbyopia).

      I think it's more the case that in the western world, people are more vain so they refuse to wear glasses unless they are very short- or long-sighted. For the Chinese, it's more important to be able to see 'perfectly', so even a child with 19/19 vision (i.e. not quite 20/20) will be forced by his/her parents to wear glasses.

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  6. My Florida-based cousin who's of Korean descent has been preparing herself for blepharoplasty. It's not because she hates her Asian eyes, but (I think) she just wanna make her eyes a bit wider. I gotta tell you that I'm perpetually fascinated with Asian girls' eyes. My weakness, actually.

    Oh yeah. Gotta love Zhang Ziyi.

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  7. Yes you will be like that. Because you need to take advice from other people in what you will be like, your friends will convince you of it when you get older.

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  8. Uh, you've taken the alignment article completely out of context. The article focuses on societal differences -- not genetic differences. Added to the fact that they use the term American vs Chinese, not Caucasian vs Asian. The study has nothing to do with the optical biology.

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  9. Where can you buy the eyelid paste

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  10. I think the epicanthic fold is a lovely feature and it's sad that anyone would want to get rid of it. Also, there are some Europeans with this trait, including my husband and daughters.

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    Replies
    1. I meant to say people of European descent. My husband & daughters are European-descent Americans. :)

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    2. Then they possibly have a congenital abnormality.

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    3. Abnormal but it's lovely. In Scandivia, it's a common trait

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  11. It's a trait normally present in the genetic set of many scandinavian, estonian and polish people.

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