Why Are Double Eyelids Attractive? - Shens Clinic
3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Why Are Double Eyelids Attractive?

asian woman with double eyelids smiling

The eyes are one of the first things we notice in a person, and they can give valuable insight into one's mood and physical state. Although they come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, there are certain ideals for male and female eyes in both East Asian and Western cultures. Some facial features are universally considered attractive compared to others.

Key Takeaways

  • Double eyelids are considered the most attractive by people of all ethnic grounds, including Asian Americans and East Asians
  • The middle-height upper eyelid is the most coveted eye shape
  • People get double eyelid surgery to appear more open-minded and alert rather than more Westernised

According to beauty standards these days, double eyelids are more appealing since they appear more responsive and interested than monolid eyes. Studies have shown that a well-defined supratarsal crease, which is what double eyelids boast, is perceived as more beautiful and better defined.

It comes as no surprise then that a lot of Southeast Asian women pursue cosmetic surgery to obtain that dreamy look. This post will dig into why double eyelids come across as more attractive and play a significant component in an appealing upper eyelid. Let's get started.

What Makes Double Eyelids Attractive?

woman with single/monolid eyelids smiling while doing exercise

When it comes to the upper eyelid, the one that has a visible crease above the lash line is deemed attractive. It is called a double eyelid, and the opposite of that is a monolid (the absent crease).

For some reason, the presence of an eyelid crease, known as a supratarsal crease, makes the eyes appear bigger, more alert, and youthful, therefore more beautiful. A little bit too much fat and your eyes will look puffy and tired.

Double eyelids are common around the world, especially in people of non-Asian descent. This is not to say that those who do not possess a crease on the upper eyelid are not attractive.

For the most part, views of beauty depend on differences in consideration and perception. Just because one type of eye is considered more appealing than another doesn't mean it really is. In medical terms, whether you have double eyelids or monolids is irrelevant. This is purely a matter of aesthetics.

What Do Studies Show?

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal released this Internet-based survey tool, which was translated into both English and traditional Chinese (also suitable for Taiwanese participants). The survey involved people of both genders and all ethnic backgrounds that were between 18 and 64 years of age.

The duration of the survey was 6 months, and the respondents were reminded to complete the survey three months prior to its end. They were asked to compare a total of 4 facial photographs of 19 different models from 1 to 4, with one being the most attractive face and 4 being the least attractive one.

There were 19 Chinese women overall, with absent upper eyelid creases, low, medium upper, and high upper eyelid creases. The double eyelid creases were manipulated with computer imaging software, but that was never revealed to survey participants. Every face had 4 photographic versions that were shown in no particular order.

At the end of the survey, mean attractiveness scores for every type of upper eyelid were collected and compared from different cultural groups.

Overall, the survey recruited 409 participants from many social media websites. The findings revealed that the middle-height upper eyelid version was perceived as the most attractive, while the absent upper eyelid crease was deemed the least attractive. This was true for both self-identified white respondents/non-Chinese participants and the combined Chinese and Taiwanese American subgroups.

The results were the same when they were analysed based on gender: men and women alike favoured the middle-height upper eyelid version.

When asked how they felt about double eyelid surgery, 21.2% of the respondents stated they liked the surgery and 16.2% disapproved of the plastic surgery. The rest of the participants (63.6%) had no opinion on the matter. Non-Chinese observers considered the procedure less appealing than Chinese participants.

This study gives an insight into patients' expectations by showing their preferences on potential eyelid position and Asian eyelid height. It is also revealing of East Asians' mindset about double eyelids vs monolids, regardless of exposure to Western cultures. The preference data can be used to better counsel patients of East Asian/Chinese descent during doctor's appointments.

What about an Absent Supratarsal Eyelid Crease in the Upper Eyelid?

A monolid is the lack of an upper eyelid crease above the lash line, and it occurs in about 50% of the Asian population. Plus, some have one double eyelid and one single eyelid shape.

In 2017, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery published a report claiming that 1.3 million people around the world had undergone double eyelid surgery. While some people do it for physical concerns - vision problems brought about by droopy eyelids - other folks are all about the aesthetic part of it.

Admittedly, the double eyelid surgery creates a crisp fold, defines the eyes better, and improves makeup application. For the most part, makeup tutorials are tailored for more universal features, which often makes girls of East Asian descent insecure about themselves.

The procedure called blepharoplasty in medical lingo was invented way back in 1896 by Japanese surgeon Mikamo and has seen massive success over the years. In most cases, it is carried out on Mongoloid Orientals such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc. Not all people of Asian descent have single eyelids, though. About half the Asian population has a "Western" type of eyes.

Even though monolid eyes are prevalent in certain parts of Asia, some people become self-conscious about them as they are exposed to Western culture. The beauty ideals encouraged by mainstream media have a great impact on Asian American women who come to the realisation that they don't look "alert" enough.

Why the Surge in Cosmetic Treatments?

Today, this desire to look more Western has led to a rise in double eyelid surgery procedures in Singapore and South Korea. The treatment has become the norm for many young people. Sometimes it's parents who push their offspring to undergo surgery in order to become more attractive and land a better job, respectively. Advertisements of double eyelid surgery pop up from every corner.

In South Korea, this transition started in the early 1960s after the Korean War when people wanted to attain the foreign aesthetics they were exposed to via the American troops.

These days, it is pretty much normal for K-pop celebrities to get double eyelid surgery under the pressure of managers. They admit that the treatment has actually won them more fans.

There is a difference in the height of the crease. Many years ago, plastic surgery experts duplicated the methods employed for Western patients, which led to the crease being positioned too high from the eyelid margin (about 10 mm). Over time, they figured out that when a bigger distance was applied to the Asian eyes, they looked anything but natural. Thus, the crease is now positioned 6-8 mm from the eyelid margin.

Be that as it may, not every patient schedules double eyelid surgery to obtain a more Western appearance. It may have been true in the beginning, i.e. many years ago, but it is no longer the only reason behind the treatment.

What the majority is looking to get is an enhanced appearance that makes them look more open-minded. They also want to be able to express a wider range of emotions with their faces rather than look passive and dull.

So, if you ask around, you will hear a slew of different reasons why Asians have double eyelid blepharoplasty. It's not a "one size fits all" decision.

What Does Double Eyelid Surgery Entail?

woman preparing for double eyelid surgery in Singapore

If you are bothered by the lack of upper eyelid crease, not that you should be, you can undergo double eyelid surgery, a procedure that makes the coveted fold on the eyelid skin.

Double eyelid surgery is also known as East Asian blepharoplasty and differs from upper blepharoplasty procedures performed at European and Northern American clinics. The difference is that with the latter, patients aim to remove excess fat pads and droopy skin that interfere with vision. This is a medical problem.

With respect to East Asian blepharoplasty, the focus is on the creation of that fold above the lash line, which makes the eyes bigger and more symmetric. It consists of reshaping the eyelid skin and tissues to get the desired effect. There are two main techniques involved.

Full incision

If you have excess skin and fat in the upper eyelid, your surgeon may opt for the full incision method because it provides better access to the tissues under the skin. The incision is basically made along the length of the eyelid, so there is a visible scar. It is hidden when your eyes are open or when you wear makeup.

As the doctor gets access to the tissues underneath the skin, they can remove excess fats, muscle, and - most of all - skin. After that, the incision is stitched together. This treatment ensures long-lasting, permanent results.

Partial incision

For this one, the surgeon makes an incision into the skin of the upper eyelid that is no more than 5 mm. It is best suited for people who don't have excess skin or excess fat or those with too much fat and no sagging skin.

The incision is stitched together with sutures that have to be taken out about 6 days post-op. There is no visible scarring.

No incision

There is also a technique that makes tiny holes into the upper eyelid through which a suture is passed. These are used to mimic the fibrous attachments that double eyelids typically have.

The sutures remain in the skin. They don't have to be removed afterwards. There is no scarring, and swelling is minimal or non-existent. The main disadvantage of this technique is that the results are temporary.

Alternatives to Double Eyelid Surgery

Upper blepharoplasty surgery is a common cosmetic surgical procedure, but that doesn't make it any less scary. For people who are afraid to go the surgery route, there is eyelid tape and glue that can help get a temporary upper eyelid crease.

Application is easy and effortless. There is no pain involved. The tape has to be removed and discarded at the end of the day. If it comes in the form of strips, you have to peel away the strip from the backing. Then, you should also peel away the tape strip.

If they are not the right size, you should consider trimming them. You are aiming for strips that are slightly shorter than your eyes. If that's not the case, you might have to make them narrower so you can get high upper eyelid creases.

Apply the trips on a clean face. Gently push the strip on the skin with your fingers or the prong that should come with the package. Before you do that, think about where you want the fold to be.


Double eyelid surgery should be a personal preference, not something you do to appeal to others. Accepting your natural beauty is one way to stay true to yourself. And beauty standards should be taken with a grain of salt.

Monolid eyes are unique and special in their own way. They are not a sign that something is wrong with you, and neither do they mean that there is something you need to change about your appearance.

As a matter of fact, they are natural features that you need to embrace. All eye shapes should be celebrated. Don't feel pressured to look a certain way.

Want to learn more about what you can do? Read our guide on how to lift droopy eyelids.


Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

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Saturday: 09:00am – 02:00pm
Sun and PH: Closed

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