It’s no secret many people of Asian ethnicity look younger beyond their years.
As I’ve written, sometimes this can be a blessing, and sometimes this can be an unwanted trait.
I’m sure many of us have wondered at some point, why, why on earth do Asians look so young? How do they do it? Interestingly enough, a number of Asian lifestyle attributes seemingly explains this Asians-looking-young phenomenon.
The typical Asian diet is arguably one reason why many Asians look young, much younger than Caucasians of the same age as them. A study by Melbourne’s Monash University found Greek-born Australians who consumed more green leafy vegetables, eggplant, garlic, dried fruits and less mono-unsaturated fat, milk and coffee had less skin wrinkling than those who had higher intakes of milk, processed meat, potatoes, cakes and pastries among Anglo-Celtic Australians who lived in sun-exposed places. The former foods are major components of Asian diets.
For instance, kai lan, bok choy, tofu and eggplant are very popular ingredients in Asian dishes. Preserved and flattened prunes, dates and mangoes are often a hit with many Asian tastebuds with countless shops in Asia solely dedicated to selling them. On the flipside, pasta and potato dishes are staples in the average Western diet. Cheesy ham pizzas, burgers, fish and chips and meat pies are also Western favourites, processed meat favourites. Milky, sweet coffees are widely available and gulped down multiple times in one day in the Western world too.
So perhaps the Asian diet does keep skin wrinkles at bay and Asians are eating their way to a younger them. Perhaps the Western diet makes one look more mature and that’s why Asians tend to look young compared to Caucasians around their age.
Secondly, an estimated 80% of South East Asians suffer from lactose intolerance and don’t stomach dairy products too well. Naturally, those who are lactose intolerant would usually avoid eating foods that are overly laden with cheese and heavily infused with butter and milk. Most likely these Asians stick with the normally low-dairy Asian diet, possibly lowering their chances of getting heaps of wrinkles all over their faces.
Asians’ obsession with pale skin is another valid reason why people of this ethnicity tend to look young. Some of them go to great lengths to look as fair-skinned as Caucasians. On sunny days, it is not uncommon to find Asians wearing wide-brim hats or holding umbrellas over their heads in shaded cities. These are vain attempts on their part to shield themselves from the sun – shielding themselves from UV rays which dry out skin and cause facial lines, freckles and sun spots on skin, making faces look darker and older.
Anti-aging, whitening beauty products are crazily lusted after by quite a number of Asians who believe these chemicals have the magic powers to make skin fairer and more supple, and more youthful looking. Maybe these products do actually work for some Asians.
Still in line with the idea of using artificial means to keep up young appearances, plastic surgery is frequently the answer to attaining youthful faces in Korea. This is especially so in the Korean entertainment industry where standardised forever-21 looks are all the rage. Many K-pop artists strive to look more Western, prettier with smooth and umblemished faces by going under the knife, inadvertedly ending up looking superficially, creepily, doll-like young.
Also, it is fair to say Asians’ generally small physical statures contributes towards their youthful facades. Some petite grown-up Asians are known to fit into kids’ clothing sizes. Sometimes in Western countries where scores of Caucasians vertically tower over them, short, pint-sized Asian adults are even mistaken as children or teenagers.
Exercise arguably contributes to Asians’ small frames. Additionally, studies have shown that exercising slows down the ageing process and reduces wrinkles. In Asian cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong, getting around on a daily basis usually involves taking public transport and walking a fair bit. There is the probability such constant physical body movements keep Asians in East Asia small and slim body-wise and also somehow stave off lines across their faces.
So at the end of the day, perhaps there is some science behind why many Asians often look younger than they actually are.
But there are also the odds that Asians are simply lucky and have some undiscovered “youthful gene” in them.
In a world where there are endless possibilities, this might just be so. Why not?