The Misconception of Ethnic Eyelid Surgery

In recent years there has been a rise in the number of people getting blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. Blepharoplasty is a procedure meant to make eyes appear larger and pull the eyelid back farther giving the appearance that eyes are more open. Eyelid surgery is also a common procedure meant to help patients that have problems with droopy eyelids and is not always considered cosmetic. 

Age, race and gender can all play a role in determining the desire to undergo blepharoplasty. Most of the social cues during human interaction and communication come from the eyes and if eyelids become droopy, they become tired looking or sad, sometimes conveying the wrong emotion or feeling. In determining if blepharoplasty is the right procedure, a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon is necessary.

Typically, there tends to be more demand among Asians for this type of procedure due to the natural construction of their orbital bones and eyelids. There is usually a flat crease or the absence of a crease in the Asian eyelid and because it can complicate vision and give an appearance of boredom or sadness, many look to have their eyelids shaped and undergo blepharoplasty.

Dr. Robert Flowers has been performing blepharoplasty and Asian eyelid surgery since the 1960s and has advocated subtler surgeries to attain the desired effect. There isn’t a willingness to have ‘whiter’ eyes, but as Flowers states, the fundamental shapes of the Asian and Caucasian eyes differ greatly and Asian eyelid surgery isn’t necessarily about cultivating a more ‘western’ appearance, but rather a more desirable appearance from an Asian perspective.

Flowers estimates that natural eyelid creases occur in about half of the Asian population and that it is different from the crease that Caucasians typically have. He proposes that Asians seeking this procedure are looking to be ‘…beautiful Asians, not westerners.’

In conclusion, there are many different reasons and many different types of people seeking cosmetic surgery. It just isn’t prudent to lump everyone and everyone’s motives together and assume that all Asians seeking eyelid surgery are looking to become more Western. Everyone is unique and has their own reason, medical or otherwise, to have blepharoplasty surgery.

The Misconception of Ethnic Eyelid Surgery