For the past year, my daughter has gone on auditions for print advertisements and television commercials. I go along each time and enjoy watching the auditions because the cameras and make-up all seem very interesting and exciting, and most importantly, my daughter enjoys it.
Last week, my daughter’s agent called me because she wanted to know, if I was above 5’3” in height, Asian, and might be willing to go on an audition. I adamantly refused, until she told me the pay for one day was $2000 minus her 15% cut as an agent. Well, she got me when she mentioned the pay because I have mucho student loans to pay off and $2000 would be very helpful!
The day after I auditioned, the agent called me to say that I got the part and that I would be playing an Asian doctor for a print ad. I was amused at the new position and did not think twice about it, until the day that I needed to go in and take the pictures.
I was told to come clean faced and wear clothes that I could easily slip off since they would be supplying a hair, make-up, and clothing stylist. When I sat to get my make-up done, I heard a lead producer say that she wanted my make-up to be natural and professional since I was playing an “Asian doctor.” I thought it strange that they kept emphasizing the “Asian” part, but tossed it to the back of my mind because I was determined to enjoy my day of pampering and money making.
Everything felt normal until the make-up girl went to put shadow on my eyes. She initially chose a natural colored of brown, but then put it down to pick up black eyeliner. She used it to line my eyes, but then also used it to draw lines that were one inch from my eyelids. I was hoping she was trying to go for a smokey-eye, but she never used a brush to smooth out the harsh lines.
When I was passed to the hair person, she again commented on looking “Asian” and then proceeded to put my hair in a bun. When I suggested a pony-tail would probably hold better, she dismissed my words and told me, “nurses wore pony-tails and doctors wore buns because it was more professional.”
After three stylists examined my hair and make-up, they all agreed that I needed something in my hair because it looked too “plain.” What they brought back were not hairpins, but chop-sticks that were placed in the buns of my hair.
At this point, I started to look around the room because I was hoping Candid Camera would pop out or someone would tell me, it was all a joke. Do people really think or act this way toward Asians in 2012?
The lead producer eventually came back to check on me and she commented on how natural my make-up looked. When she saw the chopsticks in my hair, she made a face and started to remove them gently. I was so relieved and was ready to hug her, until she asked that the Montblanc pens be placed in my hair instead. According to her, “doctors always use these pens, especially the Asian ones.” Really? I have met many doctors and have never seen one use any type of expensive pen.
Though I made some decent money that day, I left with a heavy heart because it made me think about my daughter and other women who are told by society to look a certain way to fit in or be considered “beautiful.” Even Korea, a country that idolized full-figured women in the 1970s, is now one of many industrialized Asian countries where its standards of beauty have changed. The number of women seeking more Western looking eyes through plastic surgery has grown tremendously, and now high school and college age women are getting calf surgery to make their legs appear less like a “ Korean radish” and more Western.
If women feel the need to hide their uniqueness, then I wonder the damage it must be doing to their self-esteem? When I grew up in America, I struggled because I felt that I could not meet the American standard of beauty because of the shape of my nose and eyes, and I could not meet my Asian standards because I was 5’6” and wore a size 6 in clothes. When I visited Korea in the summer and wanted to buy clothes, it was impossible since most places only carried sizes 0-2. This dented my self-esteem because in America, I was considered petite, but in Korea, I was extra large!
There is so much pressure on girls and women to measure up with the standards of the society. Magazine, television, friends, and family are telling females how to look, how they should be performing in school, and what they should be doing with their time. All this pressure, can lead to destructive behavior that can leave a lasting imprint on their lives. Also, negative talk can keep a person from believing God loves or cares for them. Which can lead to inner questions and resentment that separates them further from Him. This is exactly where Satan wants them—isolated from God.
If anyone is feeling ordinary or yucky today, know that you are special to God because…
You are God’s child. (Jn. 1:12)
You are a disciple, a friend of Jesus Christ. (Jn. 15:15)
You have been justified. (Rom. 5:1)
You are united with the Lord, and you are one with Him in spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17)
You have been bought with a price and belong to God. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
You are a member of Christ’s body. (1 Cor. 12:27)
You have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. (Eph. 1:3-8)
You have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Col. 1:13-14)
You are complete in Christ. (Col. 2:9-10)
You have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. (Heb. 4:14-16)