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SAN JOSE, CA, September 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Julie Chen's revelation this week on The Talk that an agent pressured her to undergo plastic surgery as a young news reporter left many people believing that Asian women want to shed their cultural identity when they get eyelid surgery.
But San Francisco Bay Area facial plastic surgeon Dr. Chase Lay (www.chaselaymd.com), who specializes in procedures for Asian women and men, said the discussion following Chen's widely reported statements reveals a common misunderstanding about what motivates Asian women to get double eyelid surgery.
Lay, who has traveled extensively in Asia to educate colleagues about blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and rhinoplasty on Asian faces, says "The idea that women undergo these surgeries to look more Caucasian, or to 'Westernize' their features, reflects a lack of understanding of the Asian culture."
"Although I believe Julie Chen was coerced into getting double eyelid surgery," says Dr. Lay, "I think it's important to note that my patients aren't feeling cultural pressure to get this procedure."
Dr. Lay says Asian women he sees at his San Jose, CA practice generally seek eyelid surgery with the hope of achieving the most natural appearance possible, and that they dearly want to maintain their Asian identity.
"Asian patients make modifications to their appearance for the same reasons people of all races do: to feel more confident and have features that they feel are more attractive."
Statistics support Dr. Lay's comments. According to a report from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), double eyelid surgery is the most common aesthetic plastic surgery procedure performed in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and other parts of the region. In general, the popularity of plastic surgery is skyrocketing throughout Asia.
Similarly, blepharoplasty is the 3rd most popular procedure performed in the United States, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
"Quite simply," says Dr. Lay, "the reason Asian eyelid surgery is so popular is the same reason blepharoplasty in general is popular: because larger eyes are universally considered beautiful. Asian people - like most people - find larger eyes more attractive. It has little to nothing to do with the influence of Westernization."
Dr. Lay says Julie Chen's story is, unfortunately, not unique. Many celebrities have felt pressure to change their appearances to enhance their careers.
"Julie Chen is clearly very proud of her Chinese heritage and this is really an example of a driven woman with a goal who, at someone's urging, underwent plastic surgery to help reach that goal."
Dr. Chase Lay (www.chaselaymd.com) is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty for Asian faces. Dr. Lay earned his medical degree at the University of Texas, and completed his residency in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Southern Illinois University. While there, he performed more than 1,000 functional, reconstructive, and cosmetic procedures on the face. As a facial plastic surgeon trained in Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Dr. Lay understands the importance of maintaining proper form and function of the eyes, nose, and face when performing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
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