“You inherited a Caucasian nose. Your nose is nice.”
As they traffic in all these modified body parts, even the most esteemed surgeons in the field can come across as almost blasphemously politically incorrect in casual conversation. (I had never thought Mongoloid was anything other than an insult until a black surgeon used it to praise a mouth, and even the term “ethnic plastic surgery” confuses most accepted distinctions between ethnicity, which is tied to culture and language, and race, which includes physical appearance.) These exchanges can be jarringly retro but also oddly refreshing — discussions of race with strangely post-racial specialists who choose to see beauty as something that can be built, à la carte, with features harvested from peoples all over the world. It feels like science fiction — but utopian or dystopian, I can’t decide.
The New York cover story this week is from our pal Maureen O’Connor, who checks in on the world of “ethnic plastic surgery” and is told, diagnostically, “You inherited a Caucasian nose. Your nose is nice. Your eyes have a little bit of Asian mixed in.” [The Cut]