Asian transformation makeup videos have gone viral due to the dramatic and ways these bloggers change their features with makeup. Some love it, others hate it, so what’s the deal with this trend?
We’ve all been amazed, intrigued, and even a little bit weirded out by these viral videos of Asian women revealing their extreme makeup transformations. But what is it about this practice that makes it so popular? The obvious answer is that it can make anyone look absolutely different with products we can find (at least most of them) quite easily without having to take permanent measures to achieve it.
We could sit here for ages and talk about how these trends are outrageous, or how they respond to unreal beauty standards for women, or even how this particular trend is a symptom of Asia’s obsession with Western beauty standards. But actually, this trend is actually quite interesting to discuss, so, if you’re here to judge, you’re respectfully invited to leave before we start.
One of the biggest criticisms this trend (actually called “sculpture makeup”) has received is that it deceives others by showing a face that’s not really yours. Let’s start with the fact that yes, it’s a bit drastic if you think about all the work it requires, but isn’t it the same thing we’ve always heard about makeup? As surprising as it might sound for many people, makeup is a tool to be creative and to please ourselves.
I must admit I’m a big fan of contouring and highlighting, and yes, I might look a slightly different when I do it, but I don’t really care what others think. For many, makeup isn’t a mask to hide behind, but rather a way to feel better about ourselves. Also, do you think that if these girls really wanted to fool people they would show their “real selves” on camera? Didn’t think so.
Now, these videos, as shocking as they might look, are actually made and edited to make viewers feel that way. Seriously, take a close look and you’ll realize that most of these have a filter that helps create a more dramatic look. This is something we all do as well, only with Snapchat and Instagram filters.
About the notion that Asian people are obsessed with Western beauty standards: if you really think about it, this trend doesn’t appeal to them. It’s literally about making ourselves look like a classic anime cartoon. This involves sharp v-shaped jawlines, huge eyes, tiny lips, and even tinier, straight noses. Yes, the manga and anime illustration style did take some elements of Western comic illustration techniques, but this trend doesn’t really aim to replicate western people’s real features.
The interesting thing here is what is happening the other way around: the West is looking at these techniques and incorporating them into their own beauty routines. Today, we can find lots of these products, and many have become a crucial part of our everyday life. So, who’s copying who?
Another really important issue that I barely mentioned is that one thing is what we see in these viral videos and another different thing is what regular people do in their everyday lives. Yes, many do use some of these techniques, but not in that dramatic way. Most of these videos teach you how to change some parts of your nose, like the bridge if you have a slight bump, or even if it’s crooked, which is something I’m actually willing to try to make it look straighter (which, again, a bit of contouring can do the trick as well).
When you think about it, these things are just techniques to create effects we all do with regular makeup but in a more creative way. More importantly, whether you want to change some aspects of yourself or you just want to have fun with it, it’s fine! It’s time we really understand that the only person we need to make happy is ourselves. It’s also time to start minding our own business instead of judging people for their looks or what they do to achieve them. Now, please, someone tell me where I can find that nosewax!
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Cover photo by @ponysmakeup