This photo popped up on my Twitter feed this morning and it is true. This is a frequent topic of discussion in my family — mainly among Alan and me, because we’ve had quite a few experiences with Asians who do not believe that a Caucasian man and a Korean woman are an ideal couple (which I will write about later). At PG, there is a Chinese waitress who looks to be in her mid-twenties. Apparently, she’s closer to her thirties. And the woman who translated my sister’s adoption papers in the early ’90s and now has a teenage daughter? She has no gray hair and a petite figure. And the mother of that Korean boy (and by “that Korean boy” I mean “the only Korean boy in school”) I “went out with” in middle school? She still looks like she’s 20. And, when I was in England, I met an Asian woman who looked to be 18. She told me she was in her early thirties.
I’m frequently mistaken for either a 16-year-old or a 26-year-old, depending on how I wear my hair and makeup. Dad says I’m in that “in between” stage where my age can be guessed on either extreme. Either way, most Asians do seem to age a lot more slowly than any other ethnic group. While I assume that genes play a huge role in the youthful appearances, I believe that a good part of that can also be credited to skin care. For example, Mary Kay TimeWise Replenishing Serum + C is a very popular anti-aging product. Guess who developed it and uses it? Asians!
Also, stereotypically Americans believe that tanning = beautiful. And I will admit that I have, for years, spent many summer days lying out in my backyard, prepping my skin for melanoma — however, I have decided that I’m done with that, because I do not want cancer and I do not want to have a seasonal tan on my wedding day (I hate looking back on photos and being able to tell distinctly when they were taken, based on my skin tone or haircut). Koreans, on the other hand, do not tan (and by that I mean that Koreans slather on the sunscreen and carry parasols, not that Koreans cannot tan). According to a New York Times article, “‘skin color’ and ‘peach’ are synonymous.” And no tanning = no advanced aging + no loss of moisture = no wrinkles.
Or maybe Asians are just incredibly blessed in the aging department.