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Price Of Beauty: Jessica Becomes A Geisha In Tokyo

In last night's episode of The Price Of Beauty, Jessica Simpson and her pals were in Japan, where they learned the ways of the geisha, tried out Harajuku Girl fashion and learned about eyelid surgery.

First Jessica, Ken and CaCee met their beauty ambassador, Riyo Mori, who was Miss World in 2007. Riyo told the crew Japanese women believe that being reserved is beautiful, and also that eyelid surgery is a fairly common procedure. The group gasped, and Jessica said, "I think that the Japanese eye is so incredibly beautiful."

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Next Jessica and her friends went to a spa, where they were mildly disruptive, and tried out the fish pedicure, which Diane Sawyer has also tried and New York lawmakers have attempted to ban.

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Then it was off to discover the ways of the geisha, whom Jessica called the "icon of beauty" in Japan. Though Jess claimed she had "so much respect" for the geisha, she and CaCee giggled through their tea service.

Part of the problem with this show is that it's impossible to sum up the standards of beauty Japan — or any country — in 30 minutes. But the "Harajuku" segment was so short and dull! It didn't delve into the psychology of the Gothic Lolita movement, or the sociological implications of dressing like a doll or little girl. And the outfits Jess and CaCee tried on weren't even cute.

The best part of the episode was when Jessica, Ken and CaCee met with a woman considering having eyelid surgery, and not just because the doctor was so hot. It was because Jessica and CaCee finally seemed to "get it." At first they were shocked by the idea that a woman would change the shape of her eye, but then CaCee said, "Well, why is this different? Instead of big boobs here, women want big eyes."

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While the show is not about Jessica's personal life, I found it interesting that there was no footage of her equating eye surgery to a nose job, a procedure her sister famously admitted to undergoing. In addition, there have been many rumors about Jessica also getting cosmetic procedures, and it would have been nice to see her address those instead of just "I've been called fat." (Then again, perhaps she'll tackle that in next week's Brazil-oriented episode, where plastic surgery is the focus.)

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But in the end, this episode seemed less embarrassing and more informative than some of the others, even though it was by no means thorough. The friends celebrated their adventures in Tokyo with a fashion show, where Ken wore eyeliner and heels, and Jessica wore a babydoll dress. Jess said of Japan, "It's all about just being who you are," which seems like a contradiction, considering the eye surgery candidate, but on the other hand, perhaps that is indicative of the things you see in Japan — old and new, reserved and free?

Price Of Beauty [VH1]

Earlier: Price Of Beauty: Jessica Wears Short-Shorts To Meet Veiled Women
Price Of Beauty: Jessica Visits Ugandan "Fattening Hut"
Price Of Beauty: Jessica Says India's People Are "Comfortably Beautiful"
Price Of Beauty: Jessica Meets An Anorexic Model
The Ugly American: Jessica Simpson's The Price Of Beauty (Thailand)

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DISCUSSION

Okay, so I actually watched this show for the first time last night and I have what may be a semantics issue.

See, I think of Harajuku as being about fashion, not beauty. Much like Goth (from which it often borrows heavily), it's not about the idea of beauty or attractiveness as it is about an aesthetic or a personal statement. Therefore, including Harajuku as though it's the current beauty standard in Tokyo seemed misleading to me and sort of missing the entire point.

Also, can we specifically note that they were in Tokyo? Because Japan is a country, which like all countries is quite diverse. It's like mistaking NYC culture for all of NY state, or Dallas for all of Texas. The whole show was set up as though they somehow thoroughly toured the whole country by being in Tokyo for a few days.