Ladies, would you like a new, prettier face without having to endure painful surgery or injections?
Head over to the Uniface mask site. There, for $399.99, you can buy yourself a new glue-on face with flawless human-like bionic skin, perfectly arched eyebrows, and tantalizingly full rubber lips.
"Uniface mask is a dream-fulfilling face that satisfies today's beauty standards," the site says. "Giant anime eyes, long lashes, a high nose bridge, and narrow chin and cheeks are all in one product for a lifetime's worth of confidence."
In a world where researchers are working on light-up e-skin, Japan sells anti-aging cheek stretchers and clip-on nose straighteners, and at least one woman has undergone extensive surgery to become a real-life anime girl, "cell-blending glue spray" and "dolly-blink" eye membranes hardly sound far off. But you can't own them, at least yet.
Zhuoying (Joy) Li, a design and technology graduate of NY's Parsons The New School for Design who now is studying interaction design at NYU, conceived the mask to comment on the pressures women face to adhere to mainstream standards of beauty. She was motivated in particular, she says, by the many young Chinese women who she says suffer negative self-esteem due to beauty images perpetuated by the media. Li grew up in China and lived there until the 10th grade.
"The longer I stay in the U.S., the more important I feel individuality is regarding facial appearance, which is the opposite in China," she tells CNET.
The mask "is branded and commercialized to ironically communicate how media has manipulated women's desire to have the same extreme facial features," she writes on a Parsons design page describing her thesis project from last year, which takes on particular relevance now in light of stories like this one about plastic surgery being blamed for making all Miss Korea contestants look alike. "Uniface is intended to raise the awareness of this beauty issue, and to make women rethink about what they are doing to themselves."
The site looks surprisingly authentic, and it would be easy for anyone googling around for beauty products or Asian beauty standards to come across it and think it was a real, if bizarre, offering. The site has customer service contact information, product clean and care instructions, a shop page that details the best way to take facial measurement, and plenty of before and after photos.
Then again, for cautious consumers, the "All materials are qualified for FDA G.R.A.S. (generally recognized as safe)" might just be a giveaway.