You’ve heard of epicanthic folds? Well of course you have. They are skin of the upper eyelid that covers the inner corner of the eye. Epicanthic folds are largely responsible for the distinctive “Asian” facial appearance that is so often mocked or viewed with appreciative awe by Westerners.
I know this only because I heard something, probably on NPR, and decided to do some follow-up after the program.
The distinctive appearance of epicanthic folds makes me wonder how and why humans evolved in different ways. Light skin versus dark skin; blue eyes versus brown eyes; Roman noses versus pug noses; etc., etc., etc. Many explanations exist; they are all theories, not necessarily facts.
I considered writing a story about a little boy, born to Scandanavian parents, who has distinct epicanthic folds. The story would unfold as a mystery with suggestions that the mother might have been unfaithful. But it would become apparent that was not the reason for for the eye feature. It would unfold as a simple physical deviation from the Scandanavian norm. But before that unfolding, the boy and his parents would go through an enormous volume of shame and accusations.
Why does it all have to come back to the ugly reality? We fear and distrust people and things unlike us.