Your Eyelids and You
So I’ve got this really wacky class of kids, and they usually spend every moment in class that they possibly can screwing around. Yesterday two of the boys in the class, Nate and Richard, started showing everyone their talent for forcing a crease in their natural epicanthal folds. Here’s Nate in his normal state
And here’s Nate after giving himself a ‘double eyelid’ or ssangcouple (쌍꺼풀) as they say round these parts.
Yes, Nate is kind of cross-eyed in these pictures, because he chose to stare directly into the camera four inches in front of his face.
The topic of double eyelid surgery or ssangcouple surgery (technically Asian blepharoplasty), as I’m going to choose to call it, is a complex one. So many of my friends here in Korea have had the surgery both before and after I’ve met them. The results vary from attractive and natural to jarring and artificial. The motives usually involve making the eye look bigger and more attractive, although some claim that they’ve been ordered to do so by their doctors for various reasons. Korea’s president Roh Mu-hyun had the surgery last year, but I highly doubt he did it for aesthetic reasons. The word on the street is that heavy epicanthal folds get heavier as life goes on, and eventually they can weigh heavily on the eyelashes, which I guess is what happened to Roh. Here he is before and after
Here is a somewhat more typical before and after pair from an actual advertisement for a hospital that performs this procedure
To get an idea of how big a deal all this ssangcouple stuff is, check out all the people who posted pictures of themselves and their ssangcouples. Truly staggering, the number of people crowing about their new ssangcouples, their babies’ ssangcouples, and anything that even looks remotely double-lidded.
According to the website of Dr. Frank Meronk, a plastic surgeon specializing in Asian patients based in Santa Barbara
Irrespective of ethnicity, an upper eyelid is typically considered more attractive by most people if it lacks excessive skin and fat, possesses a reasonably defined crease (which makes the eye appear bigger–a universal signal of youth and attention), and displays at least some platform of exposed skin between the crease and the eyelashes (which, in ladies, allows for a more effective application of makeup).
[M]ost experienced eyelid surgeons agree that the qualities noted here are generally appreciated across many diverse cultures and not solely a matter of Western bias.
This website is truly fascinating and has a lot to teach us about the procedure, but be warned that it does contain graphic images. I just accidentally exposed a bunch of little kids to an interior view of uneven fat deposits in a Vietnamese lady’s eyelid, which is a sight none of us is likely to forget soon.
I don’t know what you think about this procedure and I frankly don’t know which side of the issue I am on, but I do know that ssangcouples make it possible for Richard to do his signature “haughty seductive CEO” face.