I have a small face

初めて日本に行った時、よく言われたことは「わぁー、顔ちっちゃい!」。そう聞いて、意味まったく分からなかった。最初に考えたことは、「顔がちっちゃいって、どういう意味だろう?ほめ言葉かな~?顔が普通より小さい?それと、身体と比べると顔が小さいって意味?」それから何回も言われたことがあるけど、ほめ言葉のつもりで言われてること以外に、まだまだその言葉の意味ほとんど分からない。日本人がなぜ顔の大きさに気になってるのか、誰かがが説明できれば、教えてください (>_<) どう見ても人の顔が同じ大きさに見える!

On one of the first days of my very first trip to Japan in 2007, I was in the high school gymnasium with all the other students as we waited for an assembly to start. Some of the girls nearby me looked at me, and turned to giggle to their friends. Then they said to me something that has baffled me ever since, 「わぁー、顔ちっちゃい!」, for those of you who do not understand Japanese, I was told that I have a small face. At the time, I had absolutely no idea how to deal with this comment. I have a small face? Is that a compliment? Is my face smaller than average? Do I have a small face in comparison to the rest of my body? As all these thoughts rushed through my mind, I simply nodded and smiled. They didn’t seem to be saying it in a negative way, perhaps I had simply misheard them, or the phrase had some kind of nuanced meaning that I didn’t know about. I pondered this conundrum throughout the whole month I spent in Japan and never really quite grasping what it meant to have a ‘small face’, beyond the vague understanding that it must be a compliment.

Although I have been to Japan since, including my year-long exchange last year, my understanding of this concept has hardly expanded. My limited understanding of the matter is that a ‘small face’ is related to the size of one’s cheeks/cheekbones, and their jawline, and perhaps the size of your head overall. Although I don’t really know for sure. What I do know is that whenever I am told in that my face absolutely tiny and try to picture it in my mind, all I can think of is a person with a head the size of a tennis ball.

Having a large face seems to have become something of a complex for Japanese people (men included! I once saw a wee article in a magazine about a young man who felt his face was too large), and having a small face is greatly sought after. In Japan, I saw on TV a number of times different facial massage techniques said to reduce facial size. They’d show the before and after and everyone would ooh and aah about how small the person’s face had become, while I remained fixated on the before shot, trying to work out how they had a big face to begin with.

At least I can go to Japan and be amongst all the attractive girls, with their perfect hair and skin, and their high-heels and make-up, and know that I have the ultimate weapon in my disposal. A small face.


To finish off this post, here is a (slightly old) picture of my small face and Ryan in Japan.


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One thought on “I have a small face

  1. Just had to comment on this post because I totally understand where they are coming from! I always feel like my face is too large…perhaps this is some sort of odd Asian complex? You’re face is perfect! ^_^

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