Blasian Photoshopped Across the Globe

The “Before & After” project was release by Esther Honig in June of 2014.  In this original project, Honig asked the world to define beauty by sending an un-retouched photo of her head and shoulders to 25 countries with the simple instruction – “Make me beautiful.”  The results were a peek into the idea of beauty through different cultures.  Fellow journalist Priscilla Yuki Wilson followed up on Honig’s project, replicating it with her own photo,  While Honig is of European descent, Wilson is biracial with a Japanese mother and an African American father.  Wilson received edited photos from 18 countries.  The alterations varied from lightening her skin to emphasising different aspects of her features.

Original Photo by Che Landon.

Below is the description of “Before & After Part Two” from Priscilla Yuki Wilson’s personal website.

The question of “what are you?” regularly influences how I experience the world.  It serves as a reminder that I am living in a  culture that’s still adjusting to my kind of face.  Growing up my Japanese mother would often tell me to wear sunblock and to stay out of the sun to avoid getting “top dark”.  Being that my father is black, this paradox always troubled me because I was clearly a product of a radical racial union.  In these subtle ways I was taught that my natural self did not comply with conventional standards set forth by society, saying fairer skin is better, straighter hair is more attractive, and that skinny tastes good.  For that reason I decided to carry out a reproduction of the project Before & After because I wanted to see how a face like mine would be transformed on the digital surgical table.

As in the original project I approached each photoshop aficionado with the request to “make me beautiful.”  Similarly I utilised the international freelancing platform, which has allowed me to contract nearly 30 individuals from more than 25 countries.

In contrast to Honig’s results, where her face became a canvas to express more than a dozen contrasting beauty standards, I found that my face actually challenged the application of photoshop in this instance.  As a biracial woman there is no standard of beauty or mild that can easily fit my face.

This photoshop experiment, like Honig’s, revealed the different views of beauty around the world, verifying that a universal concept of beauty does not exist.

View all of Wilson’s altered photos on her website.  For more information about the original “Before & After” project, go to Esther Honig’s personal website.

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The Year in Review

In 2012, “Blasians Defined” has published 17 posts and launched a shop.  I appreciate your taking the time to share in this journey of discovery about the blasian experience.  I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage you to participate in this journey.  If there are stories that can supplement and build on the posts that have already been published, please make a comment, so that I can pursue those leads.  If there are stories that you would like to see developed on the blog, please comment.  This blog is meant to support your ideas and engage your thoughts.  Your ideas are valued!

A list of blog posts follows for your review.

* Why a Blasian Blog?

* The First Blasian on TV

* Asians & Basketball

* Asians & Football

* Korean Basketball League Ethnic Draft

* Blasian Chart Toppers in the US

* Blasian Singers in Asia

* Blasian Reality TV Stars

* Blasians in the Congo

* Blasian Olympic Medalists

* Blasian Americans at the 2012 Olympics

* Blasian Olympians Worldwide

* Blasian American Olympians

* The Newest Blasian Reality TV Star…

* Two New Blasian Reality Show Stars Debut Today!

* Blasian Presidential Campaign Merchandise

* Blasian to Star in Nick At Nite Pilot

I look forward to hearing from you!  Thank you for your support!

Why a Blasian Blog?

 

The term “Blasian” refers to a person of mixed Black and Asian (specifically East or Southeast Asian) ancestry.

 

I always knew I was different. Growing up biracial in the American South, I knew no one else with parents who were not of the same race (other than my sister). As I got older, I did meet other mixed race people, but not until college did I meet someone like me – of black and Asian ancestry.

For the longest time, I felt extremely unique, which was not necessarily a good thing. I became used to being singled out and often felt alone. There were no role models for me. I rarely saw anyone who looked anything like me. There was no one like me.

Humans have an inherent desire to be a part of a group. Where was mine? It seems as though I have always been searching for people like me. This blog is a manifestation of that. This will be a forum in which I can share my discoveries of noteworthy blasians with other blasians, parents of blasian children, those in black/Asian relationships, and anyone else who may be interested in blasians, their impacts, and their experiences. With this blog, I will attempt to define what it is to be blasian. This blog will serve as a narrative of the blasian existence.