There is an old Chinese saying; “There are no ugly women in the world, only lazy women in the world.”

Right before the Chinese New Year, my friend Judy told me that she is going to make some changes on her face, I was shocked and confused at the same time. She is already considered as a beauty in all Chinese standards – tall (168cm) with slim figures, super white skin, a ‘melon seed face’ (the English translation would be an oval face, but with a pointed chin), big eyes and small nose with a high nose bridge.

In short, I don’t think that her face needed any extra work. But human nature is never satisfied with what we have. With Judy’s big eye, she wish to forever remove the eye bags, and a cheek filler procedure to add more youth to her face.

After 3 days, she achieved her goal and looked even more beautiful. But the reason why she did this to herself is because her boyfriend told her that she is not pretty enough.

While I mainly using my leg for walk and occasionally running, I was never aware that my two legs could actually qualify as a pair of luxury items – In my friend’s word: “Janny, it is so unfair that I paid over USD2,000 to lose weight and reduced only 1cm of my fat leg, but people like you were just born with a pair of perfectly formed and shapely legs.”

Whenever I think about this, I have to laugh as it looks like I saved a lot of money because I don’t need to pay for my legs. I always admire people who wanted to do more and be better, but I feel that every woman is beautiful, in her own way. No matter if you are fat or thin, white or black, big eyed or small eyed… the beauty is within…. and people should learn that just because a woman is beautiful on the outside does not mean she is beautiful on the inside.

Chinese standards of female attractiveness emphasize height (165 to 170cm), an oval face, long straight hair, wafer-like thinness, a pale complexion, a complete absence of moles and freckles, large eyes with a double-fold or crease in the eyelids, and a pronounced bridge of the nose. Unfortunately, most of these features are not characteristically Chinese at all. The average height of Chinese women is 160cm (about 5′ 3″) as compared to 170cm (about 5′ 7″) for Chinese men.

Modern women in China are evaluated on physical appearance and overall attractiveness against standards of beauty that are based primarily on Western (European) facial features. The most desirable look is actually based on the Japanese animated cute girl – with big eyes, pointed chin, long legs and a very slim body but attached with D size cups.

In their quest to attain these features, more than 30,000 Chinese women flocked to just one public hospital in Shanghai alone over the course of a single year for cosmetic surgical procedures that mostly included blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), rhinoplasty (nose job), malar augmentation (cheek implants), and augmentation mammoplasty. Cosmetic surgery is a USD2.5 billion a year industry in China, and it is growing at a pace of 20 percent a year according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Nationwide most of those having cosmetic surgery fell into two groups: women in their 20s hoping to give their careers a lift or landing a good husband, and women in their 40s who want to look younger. By some estimates about 3 million cosmetic surgery operations are performed every year in China. This is an extraordinary leap from virtually no cosmetic surgery in the 1980s. At the No. 9 People’s Hospital in Shanghai, a double fold operation cost around USD360. Breasts implants cost around USD2,500.

Chinese people believe, “Bigger eyes make you look more awake, more beautiful.” Double slit operations aim to make the eyes pop out and look rounder and more Caucasian.

Due to the “big eye” phenomenon, Johnson and Johnson even created Circle lenses (Meitong), cosmetic contacts which make the eyes appear bigger, brighter, more colorful, and more prominent. These contact lenses don’t correct vision but make the iris of your eye look bigger thereby giving the illusion of having larger eyes. The center of these lenses are transparent, allowing the user to see through them clearly, but there is a color ring around this optical zone that extends out into the white part of the eye. Apparently, the perception of a larger iris equates to the perception of a larger eye. The promise is that you can have larger looking eyes without surgery.

I can’t help but wonder where does this image of beauty coming from? Why some men in China prefer women to be a beauty not to be intelligent. Is it because of their own low self-confidence? Or they can’t have a woman who is more than just a pretty face?

When I started to write about this article, I decided to get my male friends involved. Asking them what they think is beautiful. Surprisingly, none of them showed interests in dating a girl who wears these “big eye” contact lenses. One guy said “I’m afraid they looked quite unnatural and it reminds me of a doll with flat shiny eyes. It sent shivers down my spine.” They actually prefer more nature look and think personality is far more important in a relation-ship than anything else.

So it looks like the guys I have been with are indeed not so superficial, perhaps that’s why I keep them around?! It is so important for me to be with someone who makes me feel good about myself and appreciate what I have.

If you really interested in checking out the standard China Beauty and finding out what type of man are with them, visiting the following places:

The PuLi Hotel and Spa

1 ChangDe Road, JingAn District

Shangri-La, West Shanghai

1218 Middle Yan’an Road

Shanghai IFC

8 Century Avenue, Pudong