Joking or not, I pretty much completely disagree with Tony’s post, but I’ll just comment on one part: beauty.

I actually find beauty a fascinating subject. It’s easy for Christians to say that caring about beauty is vanity or a bad thing, but that’s simplistic and wrong. The Bible uses the words beauty and beautiful at times in a positive way. And we have a bunch of worship songs nowadays that bandy about “beauty” and “beautiful”. So it can’t be that beauty itself is bad. It’s just more we should have the right criteria for beauty, which is I guess inner character.

What’s interesting to me, and I’ve written about it before, but there are standards of beauty in science. Biologists might think of the interplay of biological functions as beautiful. I think when the structure of DNA was discovered, it was described as beautiful. Even mathematicians and computer scientists have standards of beauty, but we use words like elegant, for example as applied to a proof or algorithm. In any case, if you think about it, the concept of beauty is a really pervasive value in life, and that’s really interesting.

Anyway, from the random stuff I’ve read through the years, I believe that in general, people’s standards of beauty stem from 2 criteria – health and average. The health thing everyone always mentions, nowadays often in an evolutionary context. But yeah, what makes you seem healthy is attractive. Like no pimples. Being tall. Nowadays, being thin is seen as healthy, so that’s attractive. In times past, the opposite was true, thinness was a sign of sickliness, so they valued more filled out frames.

The other criteria is the average. Newsweek had an issue on this years ago. But there were a bunch of studies that showed that while we think that we value extreme features as attractive, the opposite is actually true – we value the average. The closer a feature (or face) is to the average, the more attractive it is. It’s actually a really interesting result.

So that’s why we often (not always) think of people of mixed races as attractive. Their features are closer to the average of what we see. It’s also probably why white people who are tan are thought of as more attractive, same with light-skinned black people.

My point: I don’t think Asian women’s standards of beauty are based on trying to be Western, at least fundamentally. It’s more, Western influence has changed the perception of what’s “average”, and at heart, that’s what most people base beauty on, at least subconsciously. That’s my theory.