Sakumi Shimose rightfully lauds the accomplishments of Japanese women in Miss Universe competitions in recent years. She also touches on the subject of Japanese women needing to have more pride in a “natural” Japanese appearance, instead of trying to imitate a “Western” one.

But what represents beauty in Japan these days? What role models do Japanese women have? If one looks carefully and critically at the physical appearances of many famous actresses, bikini idols and fashion models, it becomes starkly clear that cosmetic surgery to alter eyes, noses and breasts is quite common in Japan now.

It is not uncommon for Japanese even today to claim that Westerners and other Asians, especially Koreans, get cosmetic surgeries much more frequently than Japanese do. But there is abundant evidence nowadays that quite a number of Japanese — and not just famous ones — are getting alterations and enhancements that Nature never intended. Is this the Japanese beauty that Shimose would like the world to see and admire?

patrick hattman