Insecurity about my appearance in Taiwan

Hi all,
Im a German girl (29) engaged to a Taiwanese guy (33) and we have been to Taiwan to visit his family four times. We consider to move to Taiwan from Germany where we have been living. While I like the country I notice that everytime I go here I start to feel insecure about my looks.

In Germany I would say I am average to maybe slightly above average. So I never felt insecure about my looks before but in Taiwan I am in awe of how pretty the girls look.

The majority of the people is very fit, has nice hair and skin and is very petitie compared to me (1.66). Girls here dress very nicely as well.

Again in Germany I am of average height which translates to Taiwan as being tall.

Also without argument people age much better here. Ive seen people look 20 years younger, people still have a lot of hair even at an older age and remain fairly fit. I feel its almost impossible for me as a Westerner to age like this.

I wonder if anyone else start to feel insecure after moving here? And if so, how did you deal with it?


You’re worrying too much. Many of the informal rules dont apply to foreigners. And most people will think you are drop dead gorgeous simply because you are foreign.

Congrats on the engagement.


I can assure you many of the girls you envy also envy your European looks. People want what they don’t have :sweat_smile:


Thank you for your comments! I dont necessarily feel that Taiwanese would be jealous, because i feel on fairly objective measurements (fit, hair/skin condition) Taiwanese people are overall “better” than German girls.

But who knows of course, maybe they like lighter colored hair and eyes.

Did you guys (I assume) ever feel insecure related to Taiwanese men? Curious from a guys point of view as well.

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When it comes to outward appearance, it’s always subjective. Majority of the people may have similar tastes as far as what outward appearance, but it’s still subjective.

What matters is if you are compatible with your fiancee, and that any insecurity is dealt with because they can poison relationships.

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No. I don’t have time for insecurity. It’s unattractive for most women.

I am who I am.


Some of us weight 3 times as much as the average Taiwanese guy and have less hair on our heads and more hair on our backs than our Taiwanese counterparts. But locals still compliment us on our blue eyes.


Speak for yourself! If you are 29 and you feel like you look old then start a healthy new lifestyle maybe. 29 is super young. I’m 39 and Taiwanese people are always shocked when i tell them.

1.66 isn’t considered tall as in, you are a lanky tall freak standing head and shoulders above everyone else and standing out because of it. 166 is a good desirable height for women here. Its going to be viewed as strictly a positive thing.

There is one man who has an argument for that. allow me to introduce you to karl pilkington!

And yes Taiwanese people like light skin. Pasty white like an albino is what they strive for i kid you NOT.

“tall” nose is also a bonus. Tall nose, light hair and “big eyes” are wins across the board. The thing is being fat will cancel all of them out. Taiwan and asia in general are pretty harsh on fat. especially for girls. 50 kg is the ideal, although now its more fashionable and acceptable to be curvaceous. But still, gonna be different to a western standard.

Do they think you are older or younger than 39?


I agree I shouldnt make general judgements, however my mother in law is almost 70 and can pass for being in her 40s. I havent seen this in Germany yet.

Thank you for sharing your view. I guess its indeed subjective what people prefer.

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So glad I’m no longer 29.


It’s a mind fuck when you’re doctors all look like they aren’t old enough to be out of high school, let alone med school. Yes aging is different


Speak for yourself. :whistle:

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I’d agree with some of the others here that you’re making more out of this than is necessary. You’ll be fine. What I would strongly suggest you do (this is based on a number stories of other foreign women who’ve gotten engaged/married to a Taiwanese man) is to make sure that your relationship with your future in-laws is very clear and in good standing. There are many nightmare stories of marriages crashing because mom didn’t approve of the foreigner. Not good enough, doesn’t know how to take care, clean, cook for her precious boy.


god I wish I could just think that and be done with it. That’d be fucking awesome.

As for OP, could just do what I suspect many locals do, wear a face mask all the time. So much covered up beauty.

Please nobody make this another COVID thread. Not judging them for doing it or truly assessing their reasons for doing so. Just commenting :smiley:


To begin, I don’t mean to pile on and I don’t want you to obsess over your looks. That being said, you are in a unique situation that I believe you should be aware of:

  1. Taiwanese are not tolerant to larger women. Be ready for uncouth questions and comments.
  2. Taiwanese, and this is just me, nitpick more than anyone I know. They are constantly “encouraging” you to be like everyone else.
  3. Appearance is everything in Taiwan. It matters less what you are like as a person and it matters more how you present yourself.

As I person that’s always had trouble looking in the mirror, I hope you understand that it is 99% in your head.

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I suppose the question is … are you looking for reassurance, or do you want to do something about it?

It could be that you look perfectly fine and you’re just uncomfortable about being “different”. We can’t see you, so it’s hard to tell - and it isn’t clear exactly what you feel insecure about. You mention “very fit, has nice hair and skin and is very petite” - so I’m guessing you feel you can’t apply those descriptors to yourself?

It’s true that most people here look a lot healthier than people in the West, and they age better. But there’s nothing special about Taiwanese people - they’re just “normal”. The reason, IMO, is really very simple. Western diet is appalling. It’s barely even food. 30-60% of the European population have some degree of metabolic disease. Of course it varies from country to country, but if you look in the mirror and can objectively say “I don’t look very healthy, and I don’t like this”, the reason is almost certainly diet-related.

Westerners usually don’t realise how terrible their food is. I certainly didn’t until I moved to Taiwan - and even then, it took me some time to figure out what the problem was, and what people were doing here that was different/better.

If you’re insecure about feeling “bigger” than Taiwanese people, or if you feel that you have skin/hair problems, this is something you can easily correct. For example, does you skin appear blotchy or puffy? Do you feel like you’re holding water (press the skin on your thigh and see if it springs back immediately, without any visible dent)? If so, you can fix this.

Have a look at what you’re eating. Is it mostly home-cooked vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy? Or … do you eat a lot of bread, potatoes and pasta? Breakfast cereals? Sweet snacks? Things-in-packets? The typical Western diet looks like the latter. Mine certainly did, and I looked terribly unhealthy at your age.

Nope :). Guys from Western country generally don’t have much reason to feel insecure in Taiwan, and it’s mostly men here on Forumosa, so you’re probably not going to get many helpful replies on this part of your question!

Back when I had a 6 pack I was judged for being XYZ Now with my beer gut I am judged for being ABC. Don’t sweat it, assholes are everywhere. And a common greeting in Taiwan is directly calling you out in your physical appearance while smiling. It’s literally the culture, judgement. It’s sworn. It’s annoying. But it’s also reality. Don’t waste time on people you don’t care about. On e you have a long term relationship of respect (hard to earn, but worth putting the family on equal standing) then have a heart to heart, in their languelage, with mature words describing how you feel it’s disrespectful and you prefer not to be judged.

When I get in a mood I like commenting on my mother in laws forehead wrinkles, under arm flab and how her hair dye isn’t working anymore. Only directly after she calls my wife dark, or me older or some such stuff. I do it ironically in her tone, with her voice. And, most importantly, spell it out for her after she complains about it being disrespectful, pointing out the irony. Sometimes, I record her first and replay it later when she denies being a c*nt. The loss of face, but priceless education is worth the temporary bad mood.

One of those games you will need to learn to play. In my opinion, the last thing you want is to join a Taiwanese family and become subservient to them due to either lack of confidence or via lack of communication abilities. Almost never do our spouses translate literally :wink: if they can’t be respectful, they don’t need to visit. Draw a line in the sand, after a couple years of verbal abuse


I’m in decent shape and look decent, not a stunner by any means but 1.75m, 56kg. While the apparel of the guys here infrequently puts my effortless dressing to shame, I will say that I kinda get op. But that might just be because I’m very self-conscious, just period.


You must be in Taipei or something. Leave the big city and come down south and you’ll see people walking around town who look like they just got out of bed.