Ms. Marvel Steps Into the Real World to Combat Anti-Islam Ads


It looks like Marvel superheroes can exist in the real world after all. Citizens of San Francisco can now see Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani American Muslim teen named Kamala Khan, fighting against racism. How exactly is she doing this? By fighting back against Anti-Islam bus ads.

It all began when the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group that is sometimes classified as an extremist anti-Muslim hate group, purchased some offensive bus ads which correlated Muslims to Nazis.

You may be wondering why these ads weren’t taken down immediately. Apparently, despite countless complaints from the public, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) could not take the ads down because of freedom of speech. In fact, Muni is even running it’s own campaign against the ads.

In the meantime, are citizens supposed to sit around patiently and just put up with the racist ads? Absolutely not. San Francisco street artists responded to these ads with none other other Ms. Marvel. The ads have been blocked with strong pictures of Ms. Marvel as well as statements such as “Calling All Bigotry Busters,” “Free Speech Isn’t a License to Spread Hate” and “Stamp Out Racism.” This brilliant response even caught the attention of G. Willow Wilson, the creator of Ms. Marvel.   

So who says superheroes can’t exist in the real world? Ms. Marvel is certainly doing a good job with it.


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Photos courtesy of


Why Asian Americans Should Care About Fred Korematsu Day


Never heard of Fred Korematsu before? Well today may just be the perfect day to learn about him. After all, January 30th is proclaimed Fred Korematsu Day. Unfortunately, he often flies under the radar because his story is still one that barely receives recognition in your average American history lesson. In fact, Korematsu Day is only recognized by the states of California, Hawaii and Utah.

During World War II, President Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066 which made it legal to incarcerate Japanese Americans and anyone of Japanese descent into concentration camps, and Korematsu’s family fell victim to the legal discrimination. But Korematsu defied the president’s order believing he was an American citizen, and saw the situation for what it was — an injustice.

In an effort to avoid the unjust discrimination, Korematsu got minor surgery to alter his eyes, changed his name to Clyde Sarah and even claimed his ancestry as Hawaiian and Spanish. However, his efforts were foiled when he was arrested and convicted in federal court for violating the government orders.


Photo courtesy of

“According to the Supreme Court decision regarding my case, being an American citizen was not enough. They say you have to look like one, otherwise they say you can’t tell a difference between a loyal and a disloyal American,” said Korematsu.

It wasn’t until years later, in 1983, when Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco formally overturned the conviction of Korematsu that his innocence was acknowledged. It was a pivotal moment in U.S. civil rights history, especially because Korematsu would never forget these injustices. In fact, he decided to make sure America wouldn’t forget these injustices either.

Flash forward to 1998 and you’ll find President Bill Clinton honoring Korematsu with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his persistence to fight against the federal courts for governmental misconduct, as well as his work to pass a bill that would grant an official apology from the U.S. government and compensation of $20,000 for each surviving, formerly incarcerated Japanese American:

Why is his story important? Because it serves as a reminder for Asian Americans that we are still very much human and we deserve our human rights like any other American.

If you feel that Fred Korematsu’s history deserves to be highlighted, 18 Million Rising is holding an online petition to have Korematsu featured as a Google Doodle. They’re 200 letters away from reaching their goal!


Photo courtesy of

For more about Fred Korematsu click here, and you can send in your letter to Google here.


Featured Image courtesy of


Audrey Column: How to Survive Meeting the Scary In-Laws

When it comes to “for better or for worse,” it doesn’t get much worse than nosy, critical, undermining parents-in-law. Columnist Paul Nakayama may have gotten lucky with his, but he’s heard his share of horror stories. If you’ve got (potential) in-law issues, follow his plan of attack for turning one that’s meddling into manageable.


I’ve been in relationships that I felt would have survived had we been stuck on a deserted island together. I often (and mistakenly) credited forces outside of our relationship with causing these ridiculous arguments, which would then highlight other issues and spiral into a big breakup countdown. I realize now that those relationships were doomed to end regardless. But you can imagine my fear on the night before I met my in-laws, a potentially big external threat to a happy marriage. If I had to describe my fear in one word: incontinence. Thankfully the gods acknowledged the chickens and goats I ritually sacrificed and my in-laws ended up being incredibly nice people. And my wife gets along with my family, so that’s great. But in an alternate timeline, there were some potential in-laws that could’ve been a desperate and dark hell for me, the kind of hell I hear often about from my friends and co-workers.

My fears are not unfounded, by the way. It’s in recognition of a long-standing practice of fathers protecting their daughters, something I’m sure I would do and even escalate should I ever have girls. I remember a time when I called a girlfriend’s house to confirm her address before heading over with some cake for her family. Her father answered the phone and told me that she’s moving to Europe and to not bother coming over. Seeing him a couple hours later was how I learned how to smile while being completely uncomfortable. Another girlfriend’s father often remarked how nice I would be for his daughter if I were taller — while I was actually dating her. I can’t fault these fathers though — they have to at least try to take me down. It’s a coping mechanism.

Being Asian American compounds the in-law issues with unique cultural dynamics, and by dynamics, I mean sh-t we have to deal with. For example, dating someone that isn’t prestigious enough (e.g., doctor, lawyer, Internet millionaire) for your parents means they’re going to dive in and introduce the concept of arranged marriages to stir things up. Or if you have a baby, your in-laws will use that opportunity to establish your home as their brand new timeshare and engage in their favorite pastimes, like laughing at your naïve view on child-rearing, undermining your authority or judging your life choices. And since America is a multicultural shabu shabu, that means you’re probably dealing with this in a language you don’t understand.

With that in mind, here are some tips on how to survive and manage a relationship with the ’rents-in-law.




1. You and your spouse are the Home Team.
Everyone else, even the people who raised you, are now the Away Team. While respecting the relationships with our parents, it’s all about making a home and a family that you and your spouse envision. So make sure you defend each other against the in-laws. Nullify any smack talk and hazing your parents might try on your spouse. This includes setting agreed-upon boundaries. And anyway, as you and your parents get older, roles do reverse, and you have to take care of them, so it’s time to lay down the law. (Oh, it’ll feel so good.)

2. Find some common ground, or divide and conquer.
It doesn’t have to be an antagonistic relationship, even if they’re hazing you. You can make them feel more welcome by making an extra effort to learn some words in their native language or preparing a gift with a personal touch. If broad kindness doesn’t work, then you gotta choose which in-law you have the best chance of winning over and go all Game of Thrones on them. Make them your ally, and have them fight your battles for you. If you need a reference, check out how the Lannisters got the Boltons and Freys to do all their hard work.

3. Never complain about your spouse to your parents.
Your parents will almost always be on your side, so any lodged complaints will stay with them, and eventually they’ll think your spouse is a douche or a bitch, even if you’re long over it. Your parents will give you the “I told you so” talk, and it’ll be annoying all around. By the way, this includes openly complaining on Facebook or Twitter, which usually serves to make you look crazy and your spouse a subject of pity.

4. Be the bigger person.
Sometimes it’s not about being right; it’s about being strategic in the long haul. Lose the battle to win the war. His mom is driving you crazy by insisting that her [insert cultural dish] is much better than yours, and you should follow her recipe. Fine, do it. Who cares? Another week and you can take the MSG out of your stew recipe.

I’ll stress again that I have great in-laws (never know if they might one day decide to start reading American publications), but even with cool people, there are going to be moments I’m not happy with or that test my patience. I accept that, because I’m in this for the long game. I’m in this for her, and I don’t need to give her any (additional) reasons to leave me behind and move to Europe.


This story was originally published in our Winter 2014-15 issue. Get your copy here.


Noodle Alternatives That Won’t Ruin Your Healthy Streak


Pho, pad thai, ramen, udon… the list seems endless when it comes to Asian comfort food. What do these foods have in common? Noodles! Who can resist the carb-tastic, chewy goodness that soaks up flavors we all know and love?

The only downside? Although these dishes keep our tummies happy, it’s not the healthiest option. If you don’t want to break your new year’s resolutions but crave those noodle-filled dishes, here are a few healthier alternatives that will satisfy those cravings.



Does the winter chill call for a hot bowl of pho? Try this zucchini noodle chicken pho instead! It’s packed with lean protein, vegetables and herbs without as much bloat-inducing sodium.


Courtesy of PopSugar.

How about some pad thai? Here is a salad version with similar flavors.


Courtesy of PopSugar.

If these aren’t your cup of tea and you really want that true noodle texture, try the zero calorie and zero carb Miracle Noodle. These shirataki noodles, which are made from the konjac yam, sounds too good to be true, but trust me– it’s definitely good and very true.

Cassey Ho from Blogilates has a delicious and healthy pad thai recipe using Miracle Noodles that taste so much like the real deal, you won’t have to order it from a restaurant ever again.

Feature image courtesy of


Top Stories of the Week: Lost Twins Find Each Other Through YouTube & The Harsh Reality of Cambodian Sweatshops

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Video of the Day: If Gandhi Took An American Yoga Class


Although yoga is a mental, spiritual and physical Hindu discipline that originated from India, many Americans of every religion have embraced yoga in almost every gym across America. Despite the rising love for yoga, ask most Americans about the religious history behind this discipline and you’ll probably hear crickets.

College Humor, fresh off their “Diet Racism” video which hilariously took on racial microaggressions, now takes on yoga’s popularity among Americans by creating a fictional scenario where Mahatma Gandhi steps out of a time machine and takes a yoga class with mostly all-white students. The results are hilarious and troubling.

Right off the bat, the white instructor is condescending and claims a false sense of authority. Gandhi’s fellow classmates aim to use yoga to “prepare for beach season” and throw the word “spiritual” around until it’s rendered meaningless. Eventually, Gandhi loses it. While we do not want to fully spoil the video for you, let’s say f-bombs are flung.


Yes, there is a difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. However, as yoga has entered the mainstream, there is no doubt that it is being changed and watered down from it’s original roots.  A key moment of the video is when Gandhi says “Bitch, you do know this is my actual religion, right?” when a classmate describes a yogalates class as “so spiritual.” Right now, there are an increasing amount of vocal critics against the cultural appropriation of yoga and even a “Take Back Yoga” movement started by the Hindu American foundation.

While the time-traveling, sassy and foul-mouthed Gandhi of this video is of course fictional, the real Mahatma Gandhi did practice yoga. In his own words, “the yogi is not one who sits down to practice breathing exercises. He is one who looks upon all with an equal eye, sees other creatures in himself.”


“Let it Go” Composers Are Writing a Song for Neil Patrick Harris to Sing at the Oscars


Recognize Robert Lopez? Well you certainly should. Lopez was the very first Filipino American to win an Oscar during the 86th Academy Awards. If you don’t yet recognize his name, you’ll certainly recognize Lopez’s work. This songwriter took home an Oscar for composing Frozen’s “Let it Go” with his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

His time with the Academy Awards is far from over it seems. He and his wife are now writing a song for Neil Patrick Harris to sing at upcoming Oscars.

Neil Patrick Harris revealed this news just a few days ago through his official Twitter account. He explained that while he wasn’t at liberty to say what the duo is planning, he can promise that it won’t be a song called “Let It O.”


Of course, an Oscar isn’t the only thing Lopez can boast about. He is also the first Filipino American to be part of the prestigious group known as EGOT. This group– which contains only 12 individuals such as Audrey Hepburn and Whoopi Goldberg –consists of individuals who have won the four top entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Lopez has voiced that he hopes “Filipino artists everywhere take my example as proof that you don’t have to look a certain way for your dreams to come true. It just takes hard work, perseverance and some luck.”

Want to check out the couple’s work for yourself? Here’s an interview with Hola Hollywood about the making of “Let it Go.”




Actor Ayushmann Khurrana Tells Us Why We Should Watch ‘Hawaizaada’


Directed by Vibhu Puri, Hawaizaada is a period drama set in the heart of Mumbai, India in 1895, eight years before the Wright Brothers flew the first plane. It is about Shivkar Bapuji Talpade’s struggle against all odds — his singular mission and dream of becoming the first man to fly a plane. The British do not want him to get the credit for flying the first plane and become a hero to his people so the odds are stacked against him. Shiv, driven by an incredible grit, wills an impossible dream to come true. The ordinary young man becomes a hero to his friends and well wishers. Hawaizaada is a work of fiction inspired by true events.



One of Bollywood’s rising stars, Ayushmann Khurrana, plays Shivkar Talpade. Khurrana recently opened up about his life and, of course, Hawaizaada


How was the transfer – shooting to presenter to singer to film actor?

I became an anchor because I was a very natural radio presenter. I was a radio presenter for two years in Delhi and I’ve done theatre in the past for 5 years.  So I think the combination of theatre and radio somehow makes me a good presenter. Because one is a visual media, the other one is audio media and both communicate in a way. And after becoming an anchor for four years, I made this transition from television to films. But at the same time I had to unlearn a lot stuff, because anchoring is like talking to the camera and acting is like ignoring the camera. So I again had to do a lot of workshops before Vicky Donor and in fact before every film I have workshops with the director.
And singer?

I used to take classical training as a kid from Mr. Prajesh Uja, but never took it too seriously. I had to choose between music group and theatre group in college – I chose theatre. I think even in theatre we used to compose our own songs for our own theatre productions. So in a way, I got ample practice for acting and singing at the same time.

What attracted you to Hawaizaada?

Hawaizaada is a potential cult film, you know, it’s based on true events and even the one liner draws a lot of attention. It’s a very novel script and the director Vibhu Puri has a great eye for detailing. Be it entertaining with the language or the sets or the scripting. I think he’s another prodigy in the Indian film industry from FTI, whose short film was nominated for the Student Oscars.

How aware were you about the original story it is based on?

I was completely unaware. It was a pleasant surprise, pleasant shocker for me when I heard that it was an Indian who made the first aircraft. Though it’s a conspiracy theory but it’s broad enough for a filmmaker to make a story.

Can you tell us about your character?

Shivkar Talpade is a happy-go-lucky, maverick kind of guy, who is a genius, who is wise, who doesn’t believe in a formal education but believes in the education of life. And he has various tracks in the film. One track is a love track. There is another track with his guru, the master Shastri. One track is with his father and eventually how we fly or propose to fly the plane.

How did you feel stepping back in time for the movie?

I always wanted to do a period film. It was on my wish list because I have a good command of the language– I’ve done theatre in the past and Indian Sanskrit. So I always believed that the root [of] every Indian language is Sanskrit. It was easy quite for me to learn Marathi and I’m looking forward to this film.

How did your look get decided?

We had almost seven look tests before finalizing this one. And it took us a good two months to finalize the eventual look. And Vibhu has an eye for detailing. Eventually we decided on this geeky/charming look.

How was the experience of acting opposite a legend like Mithun Chakraborty?

Mithun is amazing – he still feels like an eighteen year old. He has an amazing energy and there was this huge fan boy moment when I met him for the first time on the sets of Hawaizaada. And I used to dance to his song “I’m a disco dancer” – it’s wicked. It’s a pleasure working with him.



You star opposite Pallavi Sharda in Hawaizaada who is fairly new to the Indian film industry. Do you bounce off each other, help each other for your respective roles in the movie?

We used to do a lot of jamming together & Pallavi is a very natural actress. Apart from that, she trained a lot and it required a trained dancer. She’s one of the most intelligent actresses I have ever worked with.

What was your favourite moment in the movie?

I think all the flying shots are my favorite because I had this fear of heights, which was completely eradicated when I was suspended in the air for long hours and it used to take a lot of takes. Eventually I started enjoying all the flying shots being on a harness.

Are you a good dancer? What’s your favorite move?

I think I have a good sense of rhythm because I am a musician and a singer myself. Apart from that, I am a huge MJ fan so my favorite move is the moonwalk.

Who is your all time acting idol?

Shahrukh Khan & Govinda.

Why should we all go watch Hawaizaada?

Because as I said, Hawaizaada is a potential cult film. It is the untold story of an unsung hero and the climax is going to give you goose bumps.




Hawaizaada premieres across North America tomorrow, January 30.



Master Your Contouring Skills … With A Spoon?

Are you having trouble perfecting your contouring skills? Do your contour lines resemble dirt on your face rather than chiseled cheekbones? Theres no need to go out invest in expensive new makeup brushes. You can achieve the perfect contour with the help of a metal spoon and standard clear tape. Yes, you read that correctly.

Mari from the beauty website, XOVain, shows you step-by-step instructions for three contouring methods. Now grab your favorite contour shade, your go-to face brush and let’s get started!



1. Apply tape on top of your cheekbones.Contour1

2. Sweep contour shade beneath the tape.Contour2

3. Blend until the harsh line softens.





This is similar to the tape method, but your contour line will be less angular.

1. Place spoon on your cheekbones and use the curved edge as a guide to apply the contour.


2. Once again, blend the harsh line.ContourSpoon3



This method is a bit more time consuming, but the goal is to contour three points on your face: the temples, cheekbones and jawline. What’s the point? Besides cheekbones, contouring your temples will give the illusion of a narrower forehead, and contouring your jawline will give you a chiseled jaw line and even help hide a double chin in photos. Initial placement of the contour shade in these areas will look like an “E” and “3” on the sides of your face. But not to worry! That is why blending is the most important step.

1. Sweep contour from your temples, to below your cheekbones and around your jawline. ContourE

2. Blend away!CountourE2


Voila! With some practice, you’ll be a contour master in no time and will be ready for your next photo op. Don’t forget to turn your head and pout to show off your new contour skills!

Which method was most helpful to you?

All photos courtesy of Mari at


How Filipino Performer Gabriel Valenciano Inspired Beyonce’s “7/11″ Music Video

It’s been a few months since the release of Beyonce’s 7/11 music video and we’re still bumping it. Aside from being a great work out jam, there was something about the video that seemed so familiar, but we couldn’t figure out what it was.

That is until we discovered that Gabriel “Gab” Valenciano was the muse for Queen Bey’s music video! Gab, a 26-year old Filipino dancer, actor, musician, choreographer and model produced a series of viral videos called “Super Selfie.” Apparently, it was this video series which caught Beyonce’s attention.

Queen Bey must’ve been thoroughly entertained after watching Gab. She was so inspired that she had to contact him for a brainstorm session. On ABS CBN News, Gab talks more about the phone call and how Beyonce uses his signature move.

He also posted Beyonce’s music video on his official Facebook account saying, “Hi everyone, this has been a very surreal season for me, and today is quite special. This video, which apparently was inspired by my videos, is now out. I was told that she herself watched my videos and asked to bring me onboard the creative process. Unbelievable. To God be all glory. Thanks for the support everyone! Still can’t believe it.‪#‎superselfie

Beyonce’s 7/11:


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all. Performing must run in the family because Gab is the son of one of Philippines’ most acclaimed entertainers, Gary V. You may recognize Gary for his heartfelt and lovesick ballads of the 90s; the one’s that’ll make you sigh and swoon. Oh yeah, and for performing alongside the one and only Brian McKnight (Yeah, no biggie).

[BONUS] Father and Son Super Selfie: