No, this is not about looks or Botox or face lifting creams or hairstyles, or the desire to have a rounder, paler moon face—the standard of beauty to the Chinese.
What I am writing about is the meaning of “face”.
Dr. Martha Lee wrote, “Nobody ever said what you do with those who have ‘disgraced’ the family name by getting divorced.”
In China, if you do something that is considered a disgrace, like getting divorced, that may be considered a loss of face for everyone in the family.
When our daughter was a pre-teen, we went on weekend hikes in the hills behind our home. The end of the hike was a large park across the street from the La Puente Mall. On one fateful day, when she was nine or ten, she was the first to discover a dead man. She came running back with a shocked look on her face.
It turned out that the dead man was an architect from Taiwan and his company had gone broke. His loss of face for failing had driven him to take an extension cord from his mother’s house, find a suitable tree in an isolated portion of that park, and hang himself. He was dead when we reached him.
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