9_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw

9_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw - O...

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MEDICALIZATION OF RACIAL FEATURES feeling thatnow her features will "make a better impression on people because I got rid of that sleepy look." She says that she will encourage her daughter, who is only 12 years old, to have double-eyelid surgery as she did, because "I think having less sleepy-lookingeyes would help her in the future with getting jobs." The aestheticresults of surgery are not an end in themselves but rather a means for these women as racial minorities to attain better socioeconomic status. Clearly, theirdecisions to undergo cosmetic surgery do not stem from a celebra- tion of theirbodies. Medicalization of Racial Features Having already been influenced by the larger society's negative valuation of their natural, "given" features, Asian American women go to see plastic sur- geons in half-hour consultation sessions. Once inside the clinic, they do not have to have the doctor's social and medical views "thrust" on them, since to a great extent, they, like their doctors, have already
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