‘Bagel head’: My theory

The currently most-popular article on Huffington Post is about saline forehead injections, ‘Japan’s hot new beauty trend’:

Botox is more ubiquitous than yoga pants in Hollywood. But women (and men) in Asia have been taking part in a different injection “trend” for years: saline bagel-shaped injections on one’s forehead.

Here’s how it goes down: technicians insert a needle into the forehead and inject about 400 cc of saline to create a forehead-sized blob. (One bagel-ee describes is as feeling like “something’s dripping down [his] head” and a “slight stinging sensation.”) The practitioner then places his or her thumb into the blob to create the indentation.

It’s the kind of story I would file away with vodka eyeballing (i.e. as reliable as a New York Times trend piece), save for the existence of horrifying, graphic photographic evidence:

The trend is stupefying – the Huffington Post’s explanation amounts to ‘because they want to’, though I can’t even imagine – so I’ve been forced to come up with a somewhat more satisfying explanation: Jews.

Yes, Jews are the missing link between Asians and bagels: people in Asia are clearly growing bagel foreheads because they’re hoping to bring home a nice Jewish boy.

A June New York Times trend piece about Jews marrying Asians started much like any other – with a handful of anecdotes:

The early adopters in the realm of Asian-Jewish marriage included the jazz musicians Lew Tabackin and Toshiko Akiyoshi (1969) and the television personalities Maury Povich and Connie Chung (1984)… Well before Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan exchanged vows, there emerged such intermarried power couples as Noah Feldman and Jeannie Suk, both Harvard Law School professors, and Amy Chua of “Tiger Mom” fame and Jed Rubenfeld, her colleague at Yale Law School. The late star of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, was married to Dechen Wangdu, an activist for Tibetan independence.

But, atypically, it also included some facts, reporting the findings of a 2000 study that “more than 18 percent of marriages by Chinese- and Japanese-Americans were to American Jews.”

That number sounded implausible, given the fact that Jews constitute approximately 2 percent of the US population – that is, until I discovered that there actually not as many Chinese- and Japanese-Americans (according to Wikipedia, approximately 1.4% of Americans are of Chinese or Japanese descent) as I had been led to believe over four and a half years at Penn.

I only hope my theory is correct because I prefer not to entertain any of the alternatives.


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