Although there are some advertisements in the city that feature Western faces, most of the advertising consists of fashionably dressed Taiwanese men and women with a distinctive look. By distinctive, I mean that they really do not look much like the other people you see on the street.
I will have to get some images of male models as well but for now I took these two photos. To me, these women look very nearly identical, and they are similarly similar to all the other female models you see. So much so that I started wondering if there was just ONE female model doing all the work.
People on the street are much different looking from this model archetype, and from one another. The Western joke of “all Asians look alike” is decidedly false. In fact, it has been amazing to see how peoples faces can often remind you of Caucasian people you know, despite being 100% Chinese– there is something deep about the genetics there. I couldn’t put my finger on it yesterday but our tour guide, a young woman named Sun, was completely Chinese ethnically but her face and mannerisms reminded me of a non-Asian person I’ve come across before, I just couldn’t remember their name or their face.
These models also seem much more expressive than the average population. Many people I see have a fairly neutral to somewhat dour or serious expression and their expression doesn’t seem to change much regardless of what they’re saying or who they’re interacting with. I find this strange especially because we’ve seen many children and the children are quite expressive and animated and often wear big smiles and have a playfulness to themselves. I would say the adults are most animated when interacting with children though.
The Taipeiese don’t seem to smile much, but I don’t know that that means they are not happy.
And our tour guides have been COMPLETELY different in this regard. A lot of smiles, laughter, jokes and expressiveness. Could be generational, educational, cultural, as they have all been young, highly educated and more connected to Western culture.