China’s Tortured Beauties: Make Me Look Western

China’s Tortured Beauties: Make Me Look Western


This is the modern face of China. The whole
nation looks to Shanghai for a vision of their future – modern, rich, and luxurious. The oriental superpower is undergoing a radical
transformation. The economic miracle has fundamentally changed the country; China is becoming a consumer
society. And according to Chinese sociologists, the beauty craze is its most striking effect. A glance at this chemist leaves no doubt about
what’s desirable in modern China: white skin is chic. Whitening beauty creams outnumber
non-whitening varieties everywhere you look. With the opening up to capitalism there came
a flood of foreign films, books, magazines. This made a huge impact. It changed our ideas
and values. This is why many young women want to look
like Western celebrities. 30 years ago this would have been unthinkable. No one could
afford cosmetic surgery. No clinics offered cosmetic surgery for reasons other than accidents. So just what should a woman in China look
like? What now counts as desirable? And why have these ideals of beauty changed? In a
former factory on the outskirts of Beijing, Photographer Zheng Chen believes he has some
of the answers to these questions. This is a woman from the Tang dynasty. Under
the Emperor, being curvy was considered beautiful. A wide face, long eyebrows, small mouth… Until recently, communist ideals valued natural
beauty. Women didn’t use make up. The natural, realistic look was ‘in’. Today other things are considered beautiful.
Big eyes, small mouth, high nasal bridge, pointy chin and of course, one’s meant to
be skinny. Unusually tall with white skin and an oval
face, model Ai Xiao Qi has more than a hint of a Western appearance; and she makes good
money on it. At just 19, she is already a well-known model. But she’s still not totally
happy. I want to look even more Western. My job demands
this. Especially when you’re a model, when you’re standing in front of cameras, your
face must have a strong profile. Cheng Zhen does what he can to help out: computer
software allows him to pick up where nature has left off. I make the skin cleaner, then change the face
shape, I make it smaller and longer. This makes people look younger and cuter. Then I take care of the eyes and nose, and
other details. According to Xiao Qi, cosmetic surgery is
out of the question… at least for the time being. Asian models with Western faces adorn the
showrooms of European luxury goods stores throughout Shanghai. Do you like this woman, her mouth, her face?
Do you think she looks good? I like her. She’s sexy. But why? She’s very pretty, she’s almost ideal… Her face shape is very three-dimensional.
Especially her cheekbones and pointy chin. What do you think is so beautiful about European
facial features? The European face is three-dimensional. The
eyes have got a good shape, a high nasal bridge. European women also have full lips. Us Chinese on the other hand have very flat
faces. It doesn’t look good in pictures. That’s why many Chinese women would prefer to look
more European. These four friends initially claim they wouldn’t
go under the knife for the sake of beauty. But they’re not being completely honest. Do you like my new chin? Yes, very pretty. The surgery did you good. Another girl from the group has recently had
an eye surgery. She also keeps quiet about it. Somehow, they find it all a little embarrassing. The girls are
typical of a new affluent, young demographic.
So they have a good handle on the latest tastes in cosmetic beauty. Small face, big eyes, high nasal bridge, white
skin. That’s pretty. I would look better with a smaller face. But
women are never satisfied. A good appearance helps at interviews. But
ultimately your achievements matter most at work. But apparently, this isn’t always the case.
This recording clearly suggests cosmetic beauty can seriously help your employment prospects. What looks like a fashion show is in fact
a serious application process, organised by an official employment agency. Beauty promises success to women in China,
both personally and professionally. I went to the States. I studied at Colombia
University in New York… This wealthy bachelor is in search of a beautiful
dream wife, and he’s come to the right place. This marriage market has been organised by
an exclusive dating agency, designed for rich men to meet beautiful young women. In China,
as in the West, financial concerns often come to the fore when it comes to choosing a partner. A
recent study questioned tens of thousands
of couples and singles from the across the country. 4 out of 10 women will only marry
a man who earns at least 1,000 euro a month. 7 out of 10 insist he must own a flat. Ms Fei manages the Peking office of a nationwide
marriage agency. Only the cleverest and prettiest women stand a chance here, and many applicants
are rejected. In contrast, male customers must meet only one condition: they must have
plenty of money We are very exclusive here. The men who come
here must have an excellent financial base. 10 million yuan is the minimum requirement. Once they’ve signed up, the male clients of
this exclusive and expensive agency expect to be able to ‘order’ a dream wife. This customer for example is 55 years old
and wants a woman aged between 27 and 35. He has clear aesthetic expectations. Her face
should be oval and have pretty facial features, such as young skin colour. He wants her to
have voluptuous breasts, and she should be between 5’4 and 5’6. Not many are able fulfil such high expectations.
The average height of Chinese women is just below 5’2″ tall. This is why some opt for
drastic measures. In this operating theatre, one of the most
extreme cosmetic procedures imaginable is being undertaken. This treatment has in fact
been banned in China, but some surgeries will still perform the operation for a five-figure
payment. First, the bones of the leg are sawn in two. Then, holes are drilled through the
calves. Long metal pins are hammered into the legs, before a brace is attached that
will stretch the legs as the bones grow back. Due to the high risks involved, leg extensions
are illegal in China; the procedure may lead to muscular atrophy, nerve damage and arthritis.
Nevertheless the demand for these risky cosmetic treatments remains high – some clinics are
performing as many as 300 procedures a year. Leg extensions may seem drastic, but they
aren’t the only cosmetic procedure to come with risks. The victims of the beauty craze are well documented
on some Chinese websites. Wang Bei was an up and coming pop star. She
wanted to narrow her jawbone. She died during this routine surgery, aged 24. This is an
extreme case, but there are many things that can go wrong in China’s beauty clinics. According
to some estimates, 200,000 faces are being deformed every year. This woman is one of the many victims – even
if it is barely visible today. Qi Lixia comes from a village hundreds of kilometers away
from Beijing. 4 years ago, the tour guide decided to have nose surgery. After the first
surgery failed, deforming her nose, she needed three further, painful interventions to correct
the botched job. When I complained after the surgery, the doctors
tried to re-assure me. They said the nose looked good. But it was completely deformed. She refuses to share pictures from that period.
Instead, she will only show photos of her face after the first corrective surgery. Qi
Lixia spent 3000 euros to make her nose look natural again. That’s as much as an annual
salary in China, and she had to pay for it all by herself. Any suggestion of compensation
was firmly rebuffed by her surgeons. Lawyer Zhang Gang represents many cosmetic
surgery victims, and says Qi Lixia’s case is not unusual. Many go to private beauty salons and clinics
without a medical license. The relevant documents are missing, there’s no treatment contract,
no official accounts. No medical records. Nothing. When something goes wrong, when the
result isn’t good, it’s almost impossible to demand your rights. Such warnings generally go unheeded. Cosmetic
surgery is booming. There’s a 20% increase in the size of the chinese market each year.
With 4 million operations and 3 billion Euros in sales last year, the Chinese cosmetic surgery
market is now second in size only to the US. China has bid socialism farewell long ago.
China is like an apple – red from the outside only. In China, capitalism is more brutal
than in the West. This discussion doesn’t concern Qi Lixia.
She’s now happy with her appearance. Her fear and pain seem to be forgotten. She tells us
she’d be happy to have further operations. Many customers want to have a good-looking
tour guide. Looking good helps me in my job. Before my colleagues were in a better situation
contract-wise. Now this has changed. The
beauty industry is big business. And as it
becomes more accepted as the norm in China, the message to young girls is clear: it is
what’s on the outside that counts.

100 thoughts on “China’s Tortured Beauties: Make Me Look Western”

  1. I like my round face and chubby cheeks. I thought the Chinese culture found that lucky? Foot binding might not be around anymore but it sure got replaced with worse voluntary mutilation of other female body parts. Korea also has this extreme beauty issue

  2. It's the evolving taste of beauty, which could be reflected in different ways for women from different worlds. Pop culture from western world and Japan has more influence over last few decades. It's not static and i'm sure it would change in the future.

  3. All over the world has been influenced by European standards to "look white" and so the iron their hair changed its natural color bleach their skin and so on

  4. This is so weird… Im an European and find asian celebrities so much more beautiful than most Western… ^.^

  5. Im pretty sure most of them get surgery dont even want to look white what a fucking reach man most of them wants to look those prettt celebrities aint no asian bitch want to look like w ugly average white person

  6. It’s even worse with darker-skinned Chinese females (more southeast Asian descent women). I have a friend who lives in China who’s wife is Chinese but of more indigenous/SE Asian descent who constantly uses whitening cream because Chinese society thinks pale women are much prettier. He always tells her to quit lol

  7. The girl with the shoulder length hair and bangs with the cheetah print hoop earrings is BEAUTIFUL! She shouldn't want to change a thing. I would kill to look that gorgeous! But I understand that people living in a society where many are getting plastic surgery and certain beauty ideals are constantly pushed to consumers through all forms of media, want to change something about themselves whether it is their body shape or facial features. It is just sad that even people (mostly women) who are considered very good-looking by others will still find something wrong with their face/body/style because they are being shown what is "perfect and desirable" every single day on TV, ads, magazines, internet websites, celebrities, models, etc. And on top of that always being told what they easily can and should change about themselves. The beauty industry capitalizes on this by selling thousands of products that for example… gets rid of wrinkles fast, makes your hair long full and shiny, contours your face and eyes with makeup, loses that belly fat fast with this special tea, jeans that make you look skinnier, special powders that build muscle faster, waxing to get rid of hair in places society deemed unwanted, lipsticks that plump lips, creams to make your skin lighter or darker, and SOOO MANY MORE. Since women see this everywhere they feel like they have to buy whatever makes themselves look as perfect/ideal as possible and go to any length they can afford. Then many men see these changes everywhere and develop certain standards for women they will date. It is not realistic and I wish it wasn't like this. Some people it affects a lot and some just a little, but pretty much everyone feels like they need to hold up some kind of standard whether that is a certain body shape, clothing style, or facial ideal… it's just the way consumerism works now. When it comes down to it, it's all about money.

  8. Why bother to have a model? Why bother for surgery if the photographer is going to photoshop anyway. We live in a fake as fuck world

  9. People need to find their own beauty…unfortunately we are looking at the outside to measure the beauty, attractiveness and worth of a person. Also, I've seen a lot of racist and angry comments here and I feel more sad for the racist than for the people they are attacking. Because you are poisoned…spoiled goods that can never amount to more than your odorous and vile small-minded views….and what's worse….you have no idea about the state of decay you are in. What a waste!

  10. @9:30 pretty picky guy for a 55 year old man who can’t get a date even and has to have someone find him a wife! Wow!

  11. Every ethnicity has beautiful features that are distinct to that particular culture and should be embraced.

  12. Actually the stereotypical look western people think our Chinese women would be is not everyone's look! We have 56 ethic groups with different appearances, some look like Russia, girls from Xinjiang Province look like multi-racial girls. They are born to look "western", and this video just ignore the fact that Chinese people have appearances varying a lot. And the actress on the poster is natural without any facial surgery! You think we are imitating Western look, but it is funny for us to see you are always judging aesthetic values from other cultures . And make your face deep in profile do not mean make your face western!!

  13. I hate matchmaking like this. Some men just see women as commodities, and they can buy(please) a beautiful one as long as they are rich enough. That type of matchmaking is like directly supporting this terrible idea.

  14. So I'm confused here do they want to look western or white because they are talking about caucasian features and white skin

  15. This is a typical Western made documentary about Chinese beauty standards, and it's embarrassing.

    Chinese people don't want to look Caucasian. They have their own traditional standards of beauty which have existed for a very long time – probably before they knew that white people even existed. I think what confuses a lot of Westerners is that Chinese girls want to have features which are more typically seen in Western faces i.e large eyes, very light skin and a high nose bridge. However that does not mean to say that they want to look like Westerners. We just want to think they do.

  16. Not all westerners look like that, with small faces and white skin! Actually, I don't find those pointy, washed-out faces attractive; a little color is nice. But these women don't want to look Asian because its frowned upon!

  17. I'll tell you what, this Journeyman really has some serious hate issues on China, this guy is like an extremist with his hate.

  18. Journeyman Pictures
    I really hope this all blows up in your face and people string you up for your lies and propaganda you vile pig. You're an embarrassment to all of us in the West.

  19. so basically forget about needing men as a fish needs a bicycle, women are gold diggers in any culture, it's in their genes

  20. If the men at these marriage agencies want an 'attractive' wife with plastic surgery they will need to be fully aware of what she looked like before surgery because your child/children will not look like your wife, post surgery. As long as they know! This kind of mentality is not just in China, it's in Western countries too. There are young Western girls who want to look like Kim Kardashian with botox, butt lifts, boob jobs and lip fillers etc. It's the same thing anywhere you go. It's sad when people aren't happy on the inside, however the advertising and marketing that you see everywhere makes money off of people's insecurities, self-confidence and the need to be 'accepted' by others.

    It costs very little to reflect on your inner self, gain wisdom about yourself, your purpose and the universe but companies aren't interested in that as it doesn't make money. There is a reason why celebrities exist, to manipulate people's perception about themselves.

  21. China is not more chinese by long time now, all the world is an european style thing in this century, old cultures are gone replaced by McDonalds, coca cola, language we use is english european, building is european worldwide, music mainly english, clothing is european worldwide. I'm born in italy and I hate this "new wolrd" without differences and based on white supremacy.

  22. 9:25 horrid selfish toad, expecting so much with little to offer himself. What happens when the lady gets old? He's just buying a toy. Why do these ladies lower themselves by going through such procedures?

  23. So i got a fucking question for non-Asian people.
    So are Chinese the only one think Europeans are more attractive?
    you don't think that Europeans are better looking in general?
    Whites are always the highest in sexual market value in America.
    i heard Americans prefer Eurasians over full-Asians.
    but why are the comments keep saying 'Muh Chinese are beautiful don't change'
    cut the moral, political correct bullshit. lets be honest.

  24. Western media hope to brand it as "everyone want look like westerner" LMAO How do I know the even before I watch the video

  25. There is a proverb in China: Don't stick gold onto your own face. <———– Very good for Western media Haha

  26. There is a proverb in China: Don't stick gold onto your own face. <———– Very good words of wisdom for Western media LMAO

  27. Let's all (Caucasian/Europeans and East Asians) get plastic surgery to look like black African people. Then we'll be praised on the first day by hipsters and do-gooders for being politically correct and showing appreciation to Black standards of beauty. Then on the next day we'll all be condemned for cultural or racial appropriation and stealing black standards of beauty!

  28. You are Chinese why do you want to be otherwise,do you know how stupid you sound,it's as if you hate your own kind.Natural is more beautiful than artificial looking people with fake boobs,fake eyelashes,
    fake noses,fake nails,fake hairs,everything fake.

  29. these kind of women are shallow … they dont appreciate their value.
    they are like in a meat market … selling whose the freshest meat.

  30. Whiteness just like Korean beauty. Western corruption of eastern culture.
    If this video can't get the translation right, it is distorting the true comments.

  31. They were not ready those people for capitalism yet money it will destroy them China soon or later and They are to greedy they follow in love with money terrible way of thinking

  32. One of the basic things they should first get done even before resorting to plastic surgery is to have their teeth fixed and to see an orthodontist. Their teeth will greatly improve their overall appearance.

  33. Western women are western and eastern are eastern, and mixing them up is not an improvement, its a dilution of the refined beauties into a muddied up mess.

    The heroines of my stories look very ugly according to modern beauty trends, this one, Jacqueline, is a mixture of Chinese and Japanese, a very flat, almost dished face, round and puffy cheeks, deeply slanted eyes, and many other features deemed undesirable by most…

    https://www.deviantart.com/deliciousdeblair/art/Jacqueline-Marie-Bunny-Shunokoi-430781165

  34. This what's on the outside that counts : THIS IS THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT CHINA AND CHINESE !
    I always found strange that the most ugly peoples in the world : asians care so much about appearence…You always want what you miss the most I guess…They have no inside beauty and no outside beauty either…such a pity since beauty is what they value the most, how ironic.

  35. You can bleach your skin ,hair, reshape eyes, etc, your DNA is still Asian. They want to look like an anime character, silly bitches.

  36. The danger of foreign cultural influence is the possibility you can wanna be like them TOO much.

    I like races. I have to agree half the whites look real ugly….because of ancient race mixing….sad thing. But half look pretty good because they have ethnic brains.

    I support the Love Ethnicity Foundation 😉 LEF!

    Let's all be LEF!

  37. Beauty is skin deep. Beauty must also be from the heart The oriental face is special. Many Chinese girl are very naturally beautiful. A happy.out look is beautiful.

  38. HAHAHA bleaching cream wouldnt lift the yellowie skin,The chimpnese have to much money and dont know what to do with it

  39. Perfect area to get paid pimping these girl's and their lack of self esteem. Pimp 2 get 1 Maybach, pimp 10 buy the Benz dealership and the McDonalds on the corner. 😈

  40. People need to understand that white isn’t right. Don’t take Europeans standards of beauty to equate global beauty. Women of color including Asian women have better skin than whites. We age fantastically.

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