Two Chinese-American Sisters: One Got Double-Eyelid Surgery — the Other Sister Opted Out

Growing up as Chinese-Americans in the primarily white Bay Area of northern California during the 1990s, Jenny and Willa Jin were realized their eyelids were different. “If only you had double eyelids, it would make your eyes look bigger and you’d look better,” Willa, now 21, remembers hearing her parents and family members say.

Double-Eyelid Surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty, was a hot topic in the Jin household. Both sisters were born with monolids — an eye shape characterized by the absence of crease. When Jenny, who is now 28, was 18, their mother offered to pay for Double-Eyelid Surgery. “I definitely didn’t feel like she was pressuring me,” says Jenny. “It was more giving me the option and letting me know it would be okay if I wanted to.”

So, in the summer of 2006, just mere months before Jenny started her freshman year of college, she flew to China, where the procedure costs less. (Willa, then 11, accompanied her for moral support). The two sisters, who used to have practically identical eyes, are now separated by a delicate piece of skin. Willa, who has often been asked if she would like the surgery, too, has never felt the urge. Willa and Jenny’s story draws attention to the middle ground of family, physical alteration, and cultural pressure.

According to the sisters, Double-Eyelid Surgery is copiously embraced in Asia. “There’s less stigma around Plastic Surgery and almost none around Double-Eyelid Surgery,” says Willa. “It was encouraged by my Chinese mother and grandmother.” Things may be changing around the globe, too: According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Blepharoplasty is the second most popular Plastic Surgery procedure following Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery) in the U.S.

Jenny’s Blepharoplasty took less than an hour and only required Local Anesthesia. “It was really freaky,” she reminisces. “Imagine being fully conscious and having your eye region numbed, but being fully aware that surgeons were essentially sewing up your eyelids.” She went home that same day with swollen eyelids. “It looked like someone punched both of my eyes,” she remarks. After a week of healing, her stitches were removed and her new double lids emerged. “I was super excited! I could do so much more with my makeup,” she recalls. “I still felt like I looked the same, just with a subtle alteration.”

Even though monolids are most frequently associated with those of Asian descent, the trait sometime appears on European and African faces, too. Many critics consider Blepharoplasty a desire to conform to Western beauty ideals. “I don’t think my mindset was that I wanted to look less Asian or more white,” Jenny says. “It was more that I thought double eyelids would enhance my face.”

Regardless, it’s hard to ignore the cultural aspect. Like natural hair, stereotypically Asian features, like monolids, aren’t considered traditionally beautiful by today’s standards, says Willa: “It plays into the Western dominance over the rest of the world, not just in beauty standards but in other ways, too. No matter what, even subconsciously, it’s still an influence.”

An understanding of sociocultural pressures has not shielded Willa from them. “I have felt a certain level of shame in my life. Everyone around me was telling me I needed to look a certain way to be beautiful,” she says. In high school, when she was first beginning to dip her toes into the makeup world, she was frustrated by the number of YouTube tutorials for women with double eyelids. “I always felt like I wasn’t the norm,” she says. Today, age and wisdom have played a role in her decision not to undergo surgery. “Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with myself,” she says. “I was born this way, so why should I try to change it?”

Jenny never regrets her own decision to go under the knife. “I had something done to positively enhance my features and it’s made me more confident,” she says. She makes the distinction, though, that surgery is not a panacea for low self-worth. “For people who feel like there’s something wrong with them, Plastic Surgery is not going to completely solve your problems,” she says. “It’s more beneficial to people who are already comfortable with themselves, but just want that extra boost.”

The question persists: How does Willa feel staring into her own sister’s double-lidded eyes from her own unaltered monolids? “At this point, I can’t remember what Jenny looked like before. I was young, I just accepted it.” At the end of the day, she continues, “It’s a personal choice. If getting Double-Eyelid Surgery makes someone feel more confident, I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with that. Who am I to shame someone else for doing something for themselves?”

“Ethnic Facial Cosmetic Surgery is a personal choice meant to enhance one’s appearance and help increase self-confidence and self-esteem it’s not meant to make everyone resemble Caucasian individuals or look like Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber, or Barbie.”

— Dr. Slupchynskyj

If you are a Chinese-American interested in learning more about Blepharoplasty, schedule your consultation today with Facial Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj, who is celebrated for helping Ethnic patients preserve their cultural identity.

Can Plastic Surgery Improve Your Sex Life?

Recent studies show that Cosmetic Surgery procedures can improve your sex life. Multiple studies published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal tracked patients after they had received various body contouring procedures. An overwhelming percentage of responses indicated these procedures enhance the patients’ sex lives as well as their interpersonal relationships. Not only are their own sex lives enhanced, studies show that the sex lives of their partners are also improved.

We have known for a long time that Plastic Surgery had a marked impact on our patients’ self esteem, but this is the first time that research has been used to correlate a relationship between an enhanced physical body, increased self-esteem, and a more satisfying sex life.

Self-esteem Plays a Critical Role in Your Sex Life

A satisfying sex life is dependent on several factors, including a positive body image, healthy self-esteem, and a general feeling of satisfaction regarding life in general. In an article titled, The Secrets to Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life, published on the Harvard Health Publications website, aging and the negative self-image that can develop as a result are noted as significant factors in the decline of a healthy sex life. The aging process can cause individuals to mourn the loss of their youth as well as the noticeable change in their physical features. This dissatisfaction with physical aging is enhanced by a culture that celebrates hyper-glamorized examples of human form. Perhaps you are dissatisfied by the way your body has gained weight, lost tone, or the wrinkles that have developed as skin elasticity decreases.

This dissatisfaction can lead to a type of body-image related depression. These issues can make a person so self-conscious that s/he no longer feels uninhibited in the bedroom. Plastic Surgery can use procedures like Face and Neck Lifts to remove wrinkles, breast augmentation, or liposuction, all of which can restore a person’s physical sense of health and vitality.

Of course, if your sex life is improving, so is the sex life of your current partner. Self-confidence is one of the most desirable qualities a person can have. We are all attracted to people who are comfortable in their own skin. When you use Cosmetic Surgery to enhance your physical appearance, and become more comfortable in your body, you will naturally become more desirable to others. This enhanced desire will increase their libido and will further enhance your sexual relationship.

Never Undergo Cosmetic Surgery for the Benefit of Somebody Else

While we feel this scientific evidence is exciting news for our patients, we would never advocate getting Cosmetic Surgery for the sole purpose of enhancing your sex life. It is important to us that our patients have a very specific, physical issue that they want to change. Perhaps they are tired of having a large nose or thin lips, and these features cause them to be self-conscious when they meet others. Maybe they are getting ready to attend their 50th high school reunion and would like to have some work done to erase unwanted frown lines. These are all anatomical issues that can be easily resolved using Plastic Surgery.

However, sometimes clients come to us because their significant other has requested that they make a change to their body or face. In these cases, we ask that our clients seriously consider their options before making a final decision. The effects of Cosmetic Surgery are permanent, and you should never make permanent changes to your body at someone else’s request. We have even been known to refuse to do a procedure if the doctor feels a patient is pursuing Plastic Surgery for the wrong reasons.

Is Cosmetic Surgery the Answer for You?

If you are in the process of determining whether or not Cosmetic Surgery is right for you, please ask yourself these important questions. Make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Slupchynskyj so you can ask questions, and learn about the various procedures we offer, as well as their potential risks and side effects. Then you can take this information and discuss it with your partner. It is imperative that you feel 100% confident in your decision to have Plastic Surgery.

However, once your decision is made, the procedure is behind you, and your healing process is complete, you can enjoy the fact the fact that your self-confidence may be in for a major boost. And, if you’re like 96 percent of the respondents in the recent research studies, you and your partner will benefit from an improved sex life. That’s certainly something to look forward to!

Please contact the office of Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj to learn more about the Cosmetic Surgery procedures we offer, and to schedule your consultation.

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