Seattle-based filmmaker Jade Justad is getting the word out about Creased, a short film about race, mainstream beauty standards, and the pressures to conform. The film centers around Kayla, an Asian American high school senior who is considering getting double-eyelid surgery. Jade describes it as "a coming-of-age film that takes place at the crossroads of race and mainstream American beauty standards."
To make the film, she's raising production funds through Kickstarter. Here's a video with some more details:
Jade says one of the inspirations for the film was the story Julie Chen, co-host of The Talk, who revealed that she succumbed to pressures and got double eyelid surgery at the beginning of her career.
CREASED is about a very sensitive and often overlooked issue. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, double-eyelid surgery is the third most popular form of plastic surgery for Asian Americans. However, it is rare to see any depiction or mention of the surgery in mainstream media or film. I think this is a topic very worthy of bringing attention to in the form of a narrative film.
One of the inspirations for this film was the story of Julie Chen, the co-host of the daytime talk show The Talk. During an episode in 2013, Chen revealed that at the beginning of her career she had this surgery done at the behest of her superiors who assured her she would never be successful in front of the camera unless she went under the knife. Coincidence or not, her career began to flourish post-surgery. What I found equally interesting were the reactions of her (non-Asian) co-hosts. For the most part they applauded her surgery. When a before and after photo was shown many remarked that she looked "better" in the after photo, thus telling Chen once again that her natural monolids were less acceptable than a creased eyelid. The pressure that not only Chen, but clearly her colleagues felt to conform to a homogenous beauty standard is at the heart of the story.
There are strong and opposing feelings surrounding the implications of this surgery so to make it clear from the beginning, the goal of this film is not to place judgement on an individual, but to look at some of the reasons why an American teenage girl of Asian descent might come to believe this plastic surgery could hold the key to her happiness and success.
The goal is to raise $8,000 by July 4.
For further information about Creased, and to make a pledge to the project, head over to Kickstarter.