South Korea is the world’s plastic surgery capital with advertisements littering the walls of subways and increasing similarities in outward appearance among the workforce. Pressures are on for South Koreans and other Asians as family members nag and job applications routinely require an attached picture (Marx). Because of increasing interconnectedness and plastic surgery, cultural views in Asia have evolved into a unique blend of personal and societal preference that may be partially associated with Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks”. Contradicting popular belief, the culture of Asian plastic surgery is not intended to ‘Westernize’ the outward appearance; the general aim of face-altering-life-changing procedures is unique in its style and connection …show more content…
The first few sentences of the story outline an awkward connection between Amy and her self confidence. The line, “...I prayed for this blond-haired boy, Robert, and a slim new American nose” displays a superficial idea that requires a second thought (Tan 184). Why does Amy want a new American nose? Evidently, it implies that she has been exposed to pop culture and plastic surgery; enough to slightly brush upon the concept. The connection to ‘Westernization’ is too strong to ignore. Perhaps “Fish Cheeks” was written before the trend of ‘Westernization’ died or maybe this is a thought unique to minorities living in America. Whatever the case, it is clear that Tan felt an inclination to merge with common societal culture, which is comparable to youth in Asian society. Popular trends or social media influences most of the youth in any society. In Amy’s case, this urge was probably stronger on account of being a minority in a culture that did not appreciate differences. Amy’s mother is also a prime component to the story, ultimately stating the moral of the story: “You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame.” (Tan 186). This encompasses most of the views in modern Asian society. Granted that adolescents growing up in America may feel differently, most East Asians are proud of their ethnicity. They look up to celebrities of the same background and entertain different beauty ideals. Obviously Tan’s mother was encouraging her to be true to identity — whether it is Asian, American, or both. Further speculation into Amy’s mother might reveal a background that understands Asian culture and popular American culture. Amy’s mother accepts that her daughter wants to fit into the American society; however, embracing cultural differences can be a huge benefit in finding one’s
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Throughout chapters 8 and 9 of Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin discusses the relationship between humans and other organisms, specifically the connection regarding the sense of smell and vision. Fossils and the geological record are powerful sources of evidence about the past. By extracting DNA from a tissue of varying species, the history of any part of the body, such as smelling, can be deciphered. Similar to fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds, the human’s sense of smell is housed in the skull. Like the other animals, there are one or more holes through which air is brought inside and a set of specialized tissues where chemicals in the air can interact with neurons.
And in Thailand, women spend excessive amounts of time and money to always be seen as beautiful– a slim figure, white skin, a small head and nose, etc. Among these examples and many more, it is seen that Asian people are held to impossibly high standards in their home countries. And though America is seen as being a land of opportunity where people can break free of the shackles that other countries’ societal standards have put on them, Asian Americans receive the
In "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan, the author utilizes the symbolic beige tweed miniskirt to represent the main characters yearning to be the same as American girls. After her parents invited her crushes family over for dinner she is apprehensive as to what he will presume about her traditional relatives and culture. The text states,"What will he think of our Shabby Chinese Christmas"(2). Which reveals that she wants to be like traditional Americans and doesn 't appreciate the unique differences about her culture. She also spends too much time caring about what the boy will think of her relatives and the non-american food served, that she doesn 't fancy over the fact that all her favorite foods were served.
She ended up giving up on these magazine beauty advice, including other advice that her friends would suggest to her such as tape, make-your-own-crease glue, and sang ka pul. Chung tried it all, except the sang ka pul because she was afraid of the surgery. Her mother continuously brought up the question about whether or not she wanted to get the sang ka pul, but every time she brought it up, Chung always said no. Chung didn’t understand why her mother couldn’t accept her without creased eyes. In the end, she had realized that “He looks at the heart, and that it really doesn’t matter how a person looks” (107).
Amy Tan is a Chinese-American author who was born on February 19, 1952, in Oakland, California. In Tan’s early life she had many struggles because her parents desired for her “to hold onto Chinese traditions and her own longings to become more Americanized” (Encyclopedia). While she wanted to become a writer when she was still young, her parents wanted her to become a neurosurgeon. When she got older and went to college she majored in English then started her career in the 1970’s. She was a technical writer and then started writing fiction stories.
In “Fish Cheeks” Amy realizes she should be proud of who she is even if she tries being American, and not to be ashamed of her Chinese customs and traditions. She learns to always be true to herself. In “Taco Head” it’s different because Sofia learns to be who she is. Sofia learns to be proud of who she is and to stand up for herself and all the Mexican American kids like her. In “Taco Head” it also said, “That year I kicked that girl in all classes and sports, especially soccer.”
Her sense of race is affected by the environment she is in, in some places she doesn’t feel “colored”, and so she does not let it hinder her. She tries to get readers to see race and ethnicity as fluid and dynamic as opposed to static and rigid. She wants readers to
As she got older, she started to be ashamed of her own race. Most of her friends were Caucasian, but she never
Technology used or abused? Imagine a world run by technology. This world will be a dream until the reality hits. Technology isn’t what people perceive it to be, it’s dangerous. Scott Westerfeld, Uglies, Science fiction novel.
Fish Cheeks, by Amy Tan is a story of love, culture, being different, and accepting one's differences. A young Amy falls in love with the son of a white minister and is shocked when she finds out that her mother invited the ministers family over for christmas dinner. Amy is very embarrassed because of her asian heritage, and some of the asian customs her family embraces. She explains that her mother went out of her way to prepare many traditional asian dishes that most people would find quite odd. When Christmas eve came around, she explained what her mother was preparing and used imagery to paint a picture in the reader's mind as if they were there.
She talks about how her friends could not understand her mother 's talking but Amy thought her mother was good at speaking English. Amy states, "Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mother 's English is
There’s a myth about Asian Americans, that generalizes them into one group. People create false images of us through stereotypes. These stereotypes have been manifested in books, movies, and literature, but they have repercussions for Asian Americans in society. We are often treated as foreigners, people leading us to believe that we don’t belong in American society, and that we have no purpose being here. Stereotypes are natural things that people will talk about.
Also, cosmetic procedures have increased by 39% over the past ﬁve years (from 2011) with surgical procedures up 17% and nonsurgical procedures up 44%(ASPS statistics). It shows that young women are willing to put themselves in danger because they feel the need to meet society's expectations of beauty. When going into cosmetic surgery, there is a risk of death or side effects that people are aware of, but still undergo the procedure. All because we live in a world where first impressions are made by how we look and thanks to magazines advertisements they set the “ideal” look for us and we all try to reach that look no matter how it
That in return turns into resentment within the mother daughter relationship. In a study performed by Akm Aminur Rashid that was published in the Journal Of Humanities And Social Science states Mrs. Woo “places unreasonable expectations on the shoulders of her young tender daughter. While the mother may not exactly know where her daughter’s prodigal talents lie, she is nevertheless adamant that her daughter is destined for greatness, by virtue of having been born in America” (Matondang, A. Yakub, and Dja’Far Siddik, IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Www.iosrjournals.org). Although, Tan’s story is set 29 years ago, this issue of elevated expectations and cultural differences still remains today.