Japanese beauty standards
If you live in Japan are not familiar with the way Japanese people describe others, you might be surprised by some of the language choices that people make. There are some attributes that are considered attractive in Japan that people from overseas would normally not even consider. These apply especially to women.
One of the most surprising is the “double eyelid” or “Futae” in Japanese. Yes, they even have a name for this. Some Japanese people don’t have a visible fold or wrinkle on their eyelids when their eyes are open. However, it is considered more attractive to have an eyelid fold. This is probably something that you have never even put any thought into – not more so than into the folds on your knuckles, for example – but it is something that Japanese people really notice and pay attention to, to the point where “double eyelid” surgery is one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery in the country. Having big eyes in general is also a good thing.
Another thing that people might say to someone in Japan is that they have a “small face”, or “kogao”. If you’re someone who’s not familiar with Japanese beauty standards, you might think this is an insult. Rest assured that having a “small face” is definitely a positive trait. If you’re wondering what a “small face” is, it means that you have more a V shape jaw line and small cheeks. This is especially true for women and, again, some of them go through surgery to achieve this.
Also, while having a healthy tan is considered attractive in Western countries, pale women are considered more attractive in Japan. Japanese women will go to great lengths to avoid being exposed to sunlight at all costs, to the point of being totally covered in clothes in summer (including gloves!) and carrying a parasol everywhere.
Having a high-bridged nose, while not a particularly sought-after trait in other countries, is also considered attractive in Japan. Japanese people will often comment on your “tall nose”, and that’s supposed to be a good thing!
One beauty standard that applies to men is the effeminate look. You’ll see that many men have voluminous, long, straight, dyed hair or boyish looks. Many Japanese women are attracted to the “young, effeminate” boy type, and that’s the reason K Pop boy bands are popular in Japan, even among women in their 40s or 50s.
If you find yourself a pale, small-faced girl with a double eyelid and a big nose, or a young-girl looking boy, consider yourself lucky!
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