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September 03, 2006

Almond Eyes

I would have put this in Strunk & Light, but this is a peeve of another color. Observe:

This is an almond.


These are all possible almond eyes.


See? Look Asian to you? Okay ...

These are the real, actual eyes of an East Asian person (Lucy Liu).


And these (Anna May Wong).


And these (Jet Li).


And these (Mr. Miyagi ... I mean Pat Morita).


Look "almond shaped" to you? Wanna have a look at the almonds again? Here you go:


So ... whaddaya think? Were those Asian eyes "almond eyes" or "almond-shaped eyes"? Not so much?

How about these?


Or these?


Or these?


Or these?


Those were, in order, Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, Ben Affleck, and Brad Pitt. In other words, Whitey. (Yeah, I don't think Brad was such a great example, either. But you have to have him if you have Angelina.)

Still not getting it?

How about now?


... now? ...


No? ... now maybe?


Jesus H., people, do I have to spell it out for you? East Asians don't have almond shaped eyes. White people do.

Yeah, that's right. So the next time you're looking for a cheap way to say that your Fu-Manchu-Dragon-Lady-love-you-long-time character is fucking Asian, know that if you write that s/he has "almond (shaped) eyes" we are all gonna know you for the fraud you are.

Look at what you're looking at!

ETA: Further reading:
Borg Eyes
Why Are Interracial Relationships Important to Society?
Vin Diesel Breakdancing


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This is hilarious, and right-on.


I have NEVER understood that concept. Shit, I haven't seen eyes that aren't shaped like almonds. I think mine are more football-shaped!

it just occurred to me ... if you turn an almond sideways ... nope, still not. nevermind.

This is amazing! Don't most human beings have almond-shaped eyes?


That was deeply beautiful. Cheers!

THANK YOU! YES! This is SUCH a sloppy writing shortcut, I'm shocked it still exists!

Hey, I found this entry through Ragnell's blog. Great entry! I actually had never been aware of the fact that Asians are stereotypically described as having almond-shaped eyes. I am white, and have always described my eyes as almond-shaped, and that anyone would do the same for Asians is apalling and somewhat hilarious.

wow you're racist..and i have almond eyes and i'm not white. I'm puerto rican. So that just proves your theory wrong you supremisist.

You certainly misrepresented facts. I have almond eyes and i am not white. I am an Indian. There are lots of exceptions to your theory :(

First off, I agree that it's too simple to refer to all Asian eyes as "almond shaped", but just to play devil's advocate or whatever, I think the "almond shaped eyes" thing is due white folks getting freaked out by the epicanthic fold (which not all Asians have, and it's not super strongly represented in the pics you posted...but whatever...). If you look at the white people eyes, they do not have the epicanthic fold on the inside corners, and so are "extra pointy" on both ends. Whereas an eye with an epicanthic fold is pointy on the outer corner and more rounded off on the inside...like an almond.
But whatever, it's stereotyping BS...

So if their eyes are not almond shape (which they arent) what shape are they?

Dude, put the almonds on those Asian eyes so that we can at least compare, not that this can help you. First, I don't really see what makes eyes non-almond-shaped. Second, you have to remember almonds come in different shapes too. Third, saying Asian eyes are not almond-shaped by just listing a few (four) examples of white people who have almond eyes and four examples of Asian people who don't have almond eyes (according to you) is a BAD argument. It's like saying only white people are Christians and LOOK, I can list four Christian white people and also four non-Christian Asian people! Of course, if you are not trying to make sense or take yourself seriously, then fine.

By putting the almonds on Asian eyes I meant enlarging the photographs so that the almonds might fit.

Hey! I'm a whitey and I DO have an epicanthic fold. So do lots of other whities. Pretty much all of them with slavic origins.

no, justine, you're australian. it's the pressure from growing up at the bottom of the world and having all that load of humanity on top of you. it makes your eyes go all wonky.

lol! That was so funny!
THANK YOU! Thank you for clearing that up! hahaha!!!

comment deleted because it was stupid and pointless. Please, people, no more stupid and pointless comments on this post, or on this blog in general. Thanks.

I am South East Asian (Filipina) and I was born with large almond eyes. Ever since I was a chid, my relatives have said that I have large saucer-like almond eyes. There are several different eye shapes that Asians can have. My eyes are most similar to Angelina Jolie's.

The photos of Asian eyes selected are the stereotypical expectation of Asian eyes. However, it is possible that there are Asian eyes that can be naturally large with a natural lid.

I don't know how to describe my eyes, either. I guess they're almond-shaped. I'm African-American mixed with God knows what. So anyway, just my 2 cents (and eyes!)

I've posted pics of my peepers here:

Ms Ado

A friend reocmmended this post to me because I'd just protested the usage of "almond eyes" in a post on my blog. The young adult novel I'm proofreading, about a young girl growing up during the Cultural Revolution, and which was written by a Chinese woman, uses "almond eyes" twice in the book (so far). It has weirded me out in all sorts of ways...

oh, the echoes of echoes of otherness! alack!

My baby's father has almond-shaped eyes. He's Black. His eyes are what drew me to him. Okay, so Asian women are known for their eyes and beauty...so, everyone tries to compare their beauty to these women. I think every race has beautiful people! Why does it even matter what shape their eyes are! God made us all beautiful... and He made us beautifully! :)

Thanks. I've always thought this, and get really annoyed if people talk about 'almond-shaped eyes' and mean East Indian persons.
But, not all white people have almond shaped eyes.
Also, take a look at Indian women. Lots of almond-shaped eyes.

Okay, I'm done with these comments. If anyone had anything interesting to say, they would've said it by now. I didn't post this to solicit comments from random-ass people about what their own eye-shape is. I don't care what your race is, or your babydaddy's race is, or how cool that makes you and your kid. Closing comments now. (oh, and by the way, don't comment about this post on another post. I will delete.)

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