ABC Nightline, eye jobs, and me


I don’t recall exactly how or when I became an “expert” on Asian eye jobs and cosmetic surgery, but every few years I’ll get a phone call from a TV show producer regarding the subject: Tyra, Dr. Phil, CNN, and now ABC News. It was unexpected but not totally shocking when I was contacted by Nightline on Thursday morning.

I respectfully informed the producer that the Asian pop culture magazine I helped make is long gone, and suggested that she find someone from entertainment or academia instead. Isn’t there someone with more authority or star power who is willing say something negative about cosmetic surgery being used to erase one’s ethnicity? Or at least get a woman to comment on a woman’s decision. But when she insisted that they really wanted my quote, I thought, “Hell, what the heck.

A cameraman came over that afternoon, a quick interview was conducted in my backyard via speakerphone, and here’s what aired on Friday evening:
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There’s also a text version at

It’s flattering to be asked for my opinion but how sad is it that a similar story keeps running year after year. If someone wants to change his or her look, that’s a personal choice. A lot of them will look great afterward. But what message are they sending to the world or to their kids (or nieces or nephews or kids they know)? What is beauty? What is real?

The is the first time I’ve done one of these segments now that my daughter is a little girl and not a baby, and I have to admit that the story hit closer to home as a result. Although Eloise will surely (and preferably) develop her own aesthetics and interests, I hope we can instill in her the security and confidence to overcome the monster that is The Beauty Myth no matter what direction she goes in.