Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

Mysterious. Enigmatic. Mona Lisa might called a lot of things, but cute isn't one of them. Until now.

A Japanese morning program showed off recent trends in sticker picture machines. Sticker picture machines were originally developed by Persona developer Atlus in 1996 with the help of Sega. The machines were an arcade smash hit with young Japanese women.

Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

Fast forward to 2010. Atlus might be out of the sticker picture business, but the industry continues to evolve and change. One popular development is skin-blemishing and eye-enlarging software.

Large eyes, standard tropes in Japanese games and anime, are viewed as desirable for Japanese women. Take singer Ayumi Hamasaki, who is noted for her "large eyes".

Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

But what might might work Ayu, probably won't work for dudes. When this dude's sticker picture was showed to girls on the street, the general reaction was "creepy". The majority of Japanese women find dudes with big eyes less appealing. What about, you know, the Mona Lisa?

Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

A sticker picture was done of a Mona Lisa copy. See how it stacks up to the original. The consensus from young Japanese women was that the Mona Lisa looked quite fetching with bigger eyes.

Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

As website Japan Probe points out (and something I agree with whole-heartdly and have covered before), skin-whitening and larger eyes are not Japanese women trying to "look Caucasian". White skin has traditionally been a symbol of feminine beauty for hundreds of years — even before Japan really had contact with Westerners. And large eyes make the face appear smaller. This is something that is considered desirable for both males and females. "Moon faces" or "big faces" are generally considered ugly in Japan.

Mona Lisa, Made Cuter

Purikura – Japanese Print Club Photos Make Your Eyes Bigger & Skin Lighter [Japan Probe]