I am a native of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. I graduated with a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where I conducted research on discourses around beauty through case studies of racialized cosmetic surgeries among Asian and Asian Americans. As an undergraduate, I also attended the University of Cape Town, South Africa where I studied Anthropology and African Studies. I am currently a third year PhD student focusing on sociocultural anthropology.
While my past research topics include tourism and political ecology in Eastern Africa, as well as work on multispecies ethnography, my current research interests include critical tourism studies, and examines racialized cosmetic surgery within the tourist industry. By approaching this topic from a critical feminist, postcolonial, and medical anthropological perspective, this work contributes to current literature by expanding on notions of the co-opting of racial and ethnic identities and the allure of cosmopolitan whiteness via various beauty practices. From skin bleaching to eyelid surgery, this work provides an analysis of this rapidly expanding industry, including the globalized trade of these "health" services across borders.
I seek to continue to explore a variety of topics including beauty practices, cosmetic surgeries among Asians, and conceptions around the standardization of beauty, all within the context of gender, race, ethnicity, and class.
Please visit my website at: Kimiko Tanita