Living well: Sun sets on the Sayonara Syndrome

It is a mistaken notion that Asians want to look like Caucasians to feel beautiful. In fact, they are now more likely to embrace their ethnic identity


Historically, each culture has had its share of beautiful faces.

Greek mythology had Helen of Troy whose legendary face sank a thousand ships; Egypt had both Cleopatra and Nefertiti, whose striking silhouette with the long graceful neck still adorns many a plastic surgeon's clinic; while China had its four famous beauties. They are Xi Shi (whose beauty caused fish to forget how to swim), Wang Zhaojun (whose looks caused birds to fall from the sky), Diaochan (whose face caused the moon to retreat into the night so as not to compete with her luminescence) and Yang Guifei (whose beauty put all flowers to shame).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2019, with the headline 'Sun sets on the Sayonara Syndrome'. Subscribe