I don’t watch The Talk but I couldn’t miss all the chatter last week about Julie Chen’s big announcement. *Gasp* she had plastic surgery to make her eyes look less Asian. I’m sure you’ve all seen her before and after photos by now:
Errrrmmm…let’s be real, here. Her eyelids aren’t the only thing that’s been worked on! But I digress.
She was told (among other horrifying things) that she looked bored and disinterested when she was interviewing people because of her heavy lid.
Folks, this eyelid thing has been happening for a looooooong time. It’s called Asian blepharoplasty and it’s a procedure “where the skin around the eye is reshaped … [in order to] create an upper eyelid with a crease (i.e. “double eyelid”) from an eyelid that is naturally without a crease (a.k.a. “single eyelid”)” (from my favourite source of all information, Wikipedia). All my life, I’ve read articles about the prevalence of this surgery among Asians, especially in China and Korea. It helps in western society to look less “Other” and it was inevitable that our standards of beauty would infiltrate other parts of the globe.
This is certainly not the craziest thing I’ve heard of. I used to read Marie Claire magazine and years ago, they had a horrific article chronicling a leg-lengthening procedure in China. There are height requirements for jobs (i.e. flight attendants and government positions) and even for schools! My people are not tall, yo. We’re a nation of shorties (the Yao Mings aside). Women will pay tens of thousands of dollars for the most excruciating experience ever, only to elongate their legs by one to five inches in order to open the doors to opportunities that were closed to them before. The article I read stated that most surgeries only increased one’s height by about an inch. Check out this cringe-inducing description from the MSN article What Some Women Will Do For Beauty: “Calf and shin bones are broken and pierced with steel pins, which are fixed to an external frame with screws. Then stretching — by means of turning those screws and lengthening the bone at the point where it was broken — is carried out over the next several months. The steel pins are left in for another year as support for the newly regenerated bone.” Risks include: “misshapen legs, feet that splay outward, and bones that never heal properly and break easily.” There’s no way in hell I’m letting someone break my legs and screw ’em back together in the hopes that I won’t be horribly disfigured and will gain an inch in height.
But then again, I had the good fortune of being born in North America, where my worth and economic status aren’t determined by my height (I’m 5’2″ meaning I’d be ineligible for a job with the Chinese foreign ministry).
Unlike Julie, I was born with a double eyelid so the only time I look bored and disinterested is when I AM bored and disinterested. In my life, I’ve faced more adversity based on the fact that I’m a woman than the fact that I’m Chinese but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the effects of racism. I remember riding transit one day when I was a teenager and an older Caucasian gentlemen pointed at me and my friends and said very loudly, “Korean, Chinese, Japanese, it all sounds the same to me.” Ummmm…we were standing there speaking English. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, buddy.
Or the time I was walking in Chinatown and the light changed for me and the other pedestrians to cross the street. As we were stepping off the curb, a car ripped a right turn right in front of us, narrowly missing a few bodies and the driver yelled out of his window “fucking Chinks.” Stay classy, asshole.
I’ve been asked numerous times by both clients and fellow lawyers whether I’m the Chinese interpreter. Ummm, I’m wearing a full suit, clutching a stack of files and sitting in front of the bar WITH all the other lawyers in open court, so, no, I’m not the interpreter. Nor am I the court clerk – one genius approached me and asked if I were the secretary with whom they needed to sign in. Nope, not me. I actually went to school to get my law degree and passed the bar, mmm’kay. Thanks.
Julie Chen needed to do what she did in order to further her career. Especially back then. Because while it’s gotten a heck of a lot better for visible minorities, it’s still messy out there so I can’t imagine how many no’s and roadblocks Julie (or as I like to call her, Jules, because we’re tight) faced.
Y’know what makes me feel better about the world? S’mores cookie bars.
S’mores Cookie Bars (adapted from Baking Bites)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I ground about 11 graham cookies in my food processor)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 to 2 bars of dark chocolate (depends on how much chocolate you want)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add it to the butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Add the chocolate chips. Divide the dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer in your pan. Break up your bar of chocolate and press the pieces into the cookie dough.
Spread the marshmallow creme/fluff over top and then dot the remainder of the cookie dough overtop.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars. I pressed some broken up graham crackers into the top and sprinkled on more chocolate chips immediately after removing the pan from the oven for a nicer presentation.
Oh baby, are these good. I dug in about four hours after baking them and they were super gooey, melty, sticky…everything a perfect S’mores should be. There’s not much sugar in the recipe so it’s not too sweet, especially since I used a dark chocolate bar. There’s a slight hint of cinnamon that plays beautifully with the caramel tones of the graham cracker flavour of the cookie.
I may or may not have shovelled this into my mouth after I finished taking these photos.