Making The Cut
Every time a baby is born in the U.S., doctors decide whether its genitals are "normal" or not. A girl born with a big clitoris is in big trouble.
by Martha Coventry

Sarah Jones Can't Wait
A woman on a mission to marry activism and art
by Jennifer Block

Lunching With the Enemy
The Independent Women's Forum are a slick antifeminist bunch, and they're always ready for prime time.
by Susan Jane Gilman
Naked Old Ladies
These arresting portraits of aging women debunk the myth that beauty is synonymous with youth.
Editor's Page
The Pale Males

Book Reviews
On the Ms. bookshelf
An American Story by Debra J. Dickerson
Manifesta by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amelia Richards
Scapegoat by Andrea Dworkin

The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart by Alice Walker
Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva
White Turtle by Merlinda Bobis
Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Minn


First Person: Childless by Choice

Special Report: A Married Woman's Right to Live

Women to Watch
Just the Facts
Word: Tenderhearted

Uppity Women: Go, Granny, Go

Your Health:
No Coverage

Music Reviews
In Search of an American LanguageLettersColumns: by Megan Koester, Patricia Smith, and Gloria Steinem

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What are beautiful eyes? For some women of East Asian descent the answer is having a crease in their eyelids. And it's not uncommon to hear friends and family call those born with natural folds "lucky." Many who aren't so "lucky" fake the fold with precut surgical tape-packaged specifically for lid duty and as readily available as toilet paper and cotton swabs at the nearest convenience store in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, or Singapore.

In some circles, using precut eyelid tape is just the first step. Next comes blepharoplasty. This cosmetic eyelid surgery is often meant to reduce signs of aging, but increasing numbers of young women in East Asia, as well as many Asian Americans, are going under the knife to have creases created. It's all part of the beauty standard being set throughout the world, which calls for women to be thin (to the point of fragility), pale, long-haired, slim-nosed, and wide-eyed. Sure, that sounds suspiciously like Courteney Cox, but some Asian women who tape claim they're not trying to look white-just prettier and "more awake." But to critics it's all about the influence of Western culture.


Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009