By admin | January 19, 2014

If you think American game shows are vapid, then consider a Chinese program where a group of young women compete to win free cosmetic surgery that will make them more “Western” looking. On this program, the contestants complain about their appearances and express their desires to have plastic surgeons at a hospital in the Chinese city of Chengdu remake their faces with Caucasian features.

The central focus of this documentary is 18-year-old Christine, whose vanity obsession with obtaining non-Asian facial features is more than a little disturbing to witness. The fact that a TV show can be spun out of the low self-esteem of Christine and her peers might confirm that the Chinese have picked up too much of the worst elements of Western-style exploitation culture.

This documentary short by Bobby Moser and Ben Mullinkosson can be viewed as an affirmation of the universality of inferior complexes or as a statement of how cosmopolitan Chinese youth are more influenced by Western standards than their own culture. It is an extremely fascinating short documentary, as well as being an extremely depressing one.

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