Frances Cha’s ‘If I Had Your Face’


Source: Amazon

Jaden Juengel, Scoop Writer

Frances Cha’s If I Had Your Face unfolds in a lush kaleidoscope of blissfully polished, expressive characters, ablaze in ingenuity and toxicity. Meticulously rotating between four first-person perspectives, Cha dauntlessly devours harsh beauty expectations deeply embedded in Korea. By forging uniquely intertwined narratives Cha construes and demolishes her heroine’s wavering facades, unraveling an essence of crushed desire and brush-fire feminism. Cha ribbons her novel in crossroads of sensuality and vengeance, exposing trauma and tragedy. 

Cha emphasizes Korea’s flourishing plastic surgery industry with parallels of criticism and objective realism. When interviewed for an article by Refinery 29, Cha reveals her motives, explaining, “‘But I wanted to explore why women choose to undergo these extreme procedures and the answer is often very practical,’” (If I Had Your Face Explores Impossible Beauty Standards). Cha’s characters exemplify viable desperation and career-oriented lure, prompting surgery. Additionally, Cha weaves juxtaposing narratives around internalized self-deprecation, personal degradation and lust-ridden validation.

Furthermore, in her conversation with Refinery 29 Cha discusses her intricate writing process and cosmetic procedure exploration, vocalizing, “‘I did a lot of firsthand research by going to plastic surgery clinics and getting recommendations from them and having X-rays taken all over my body and that was a very crazy experience,’” (If I Had Your Face Explores Impossible Beauty Standards). Cha’s elaborate inquiry on surgical pressure in Korea and calamitous self-objectification embolden her novel in vulnerability and innovation. Her enthralling commitment binds readers to her writing in passion and purpose.

Cha carefully embroiders her novelism in ravishing aesthetic and wishful rhythm. Paragraph breaks frame Cha’s complex timeline, blending secrecy and varying disposition. Ever-rotating characters allow her to delve through unifying angle’s of feminism and evolve distinct lenses of female companionship. 

Overall, Frances Cha’s If I Had Your Face is an ambitious piece on sexuality, integrity and liberation. Her enchantingly insightful writing and genuine characters prove If I Had Your Face to be a crucially compelling endeavor.