Some know 43-year-old Lea Salonga as the first Asian actress to play Éponine and Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Misérables. Others know her as the first Filipina to be signed to an international record label. But I’m going to go ahead and bet that most of you know Salonga as the singing voice of Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan.
It’s been over two decades since the release of the beloved Disney animation Aladdin. This means it’s been over two decades since we first heard the unforgettable duet, “A Whole New World.”
Recently, Lea Salonga took us back in time by performing the beloved song alongside opera group Il Divo. 21 years later and she still sounds just as breathtaking as she did then!
Salonga’s work has gained her a Laurence Olivier Award, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Award and Theatre World Awards. In 2010, she was named a Disney Legend for her work in Disney. Currently, Salonga is a coach on the Philippine edition of The Voice.
Exactly one year ago, we posted “Why Asians NEED To Care About Breast Cancer.” The information in that story still holds relevance and is is still extremely important to the Asian/ Asian American community. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we bring you a very special #tbt by giving you an updated list of important reasons Asians need to care about breast cancer.
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to look into how Asian Americans handle breast cancer. We were shocked by what we discovered.
For years now, Asians have been comforted by the fact that we have the lowest rate of breast cancer in the United States. Unfortunately, this assurance may be the very thing that hinders us from taking the necessary precautions.
Studies from both the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) have confirmed that Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest breast cancer rates.
Although this is true, a number of things are not taken into consideration:
There are various types of Asians.
It is not a good idea to assume you’re safe from breast cancer simply because you’re Asian. In fact, the statistics greatly differ once we take a step closer. According to womenshealth.gov, Japanese American women have the highest rate of breast cancer among Asian Americans. Furthermore, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for Filipino women. Clearly, there are technicalities within the broad term “Asian” which should be paid attention to.
Our numbers are increasing.
Sure, we have the lowest rate of breast cancer and breast cancer deaths now, but that may be changing. Our rates are increasing faster than any other ethnic group. From 1988-2005, we’ve increased approximately 1.2% every year.
Some of us are not as safe as our parents and grandparents.
According to sampan.org, “Immigrant Asian women who have been living in the United States for 10 years have an 80 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than their newly arrived A&PI immigrant counterparts.”
We develop breast cancer at a younger age.
Compared to the other ethnic groups, we develop cancer at an earlier age, but we don’t know to address it earlier. In fact, many of us don’t address it at all.
Asian Americans are the least likely to ever get a mammogram.
Although Asian Americans need to take just as much precaution, we have the lowest rate of screenings. Is it because it’s taboo in our culture to discuss this issue? Is it because of the misconception that we’re relatively safe from breast cancer? Either way, there is clearly a lack of breast health/breast cancer education, screening and treatment among Asian American women.
Studies confirm that only 62% of Asian American women 40 and older have had a mammogram in the past two years. This is still the lowest percentage compared to every other ethnic community in America.
Some barriers to breast cancer screening include:
-Lack of access to care (such as lack of a local (or easy to get to) mammography center or -Lack of transportation to a mammography center)
-Lack of a usual health care provider
-Lack of a recommendation from a provider to get mammography screening
-Lack of awareness of breast cancer risks and screening methods
-Cultural and language differences
Just a few weeks ago, we showed you the incredibly talented Clara Hong who blew everyone away during her blind audition for The Voice.
Well it looks like we have yet another Asian contestant to root for. Filipino American Katriz Trinidad took the stage to sing the classic Etta James song, At Last. Needless to say, she impressed the judges and had three of them turn their chair around in less than 20 seconds of performing (gaining the applause of her many, many family members back stage). The most incredible part of all this? Trinidad is only 15-years-old.
During her performance, celebrity judge Pharrell Williams was so taken that he got on his feet and remained there for the rest of the performance. Blake Shelton also let out an enthusiastic “Yeah!” before clapping his hands mid-performance and grew even more enthusiastic as she hit her final note with ease.
Celeb judge Gwen Stefani also turned her chair to try and get the young singer to join her team, making Adam Levine the only to leave his chair unturned. Despite this, Levine acknowledged that the other judges would have quite the fight for Trinidad. “Congratulations, they’re gonna lose their minds.” he laughed.
Pharrell wasted no time. “I never thought that I would find something that I usually look for for my own label,” he gushed. “I’ve been dreaming for an artist like you all my career.”
“Just remember these words,” he continued before kneeling down. “I want you on my team so bad. And I’ve never done this.”
Blake then took over and added that Katriz was born to be a star. Gwen Stefani followed this up by detailing the way Trinidad sang.
“You started out so soft and controlled and you just ramped, and ramped, and ramped ‘til the end where you hit a note that was so beautiful.” Stefani said.
She added some constructive criticism by saying the performance was almost too perfect and too rehearsed. In the future, Gwen suggests Trinidad strip down the perfection.
In the end Trinidad went with her gut and chose Pharrell.
Back in the ’90s, the indie comedy Swingers popularized the “three day rule,” which said you had to wait three days to call someone once she’d given you her number. Supposedly, it was the perfect amount of time to let her know you were interested but not desperate. Because, you know, calling a girl any earlier obviously makes her think you want her babies. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? (Can you feel my eye roll?)
Flash forward to 2014, where this rule is basically nonexistent. Because let’s be honest here — who starts off with a call these days? Instead, our go-to method of breaking the ice is texting, and with this new avenue of flirting comes a whole new set of rules.
Now fellas, if you’re under the impression that you can’t ruin your chances with improper text flirting (and it is clear that many of you are under that impression), then this will be a rude awakening. You would think that texting generally results in fewer faux pas since people have time to think about what to say, but as it turns out, many still need a lesson or two on proper text flirting. Trust me, it’s pretty easy to come off as a creeper in a world where we all overanalyze smiley faces and ellipses …
But have no fear! We’re here to help you navigate through this complicated world of text flirting. If you’re doing any of the following, then I urge you to immediately stop. You’re not flirting; you just may be creeping someone out.
ONE WORD RESPONSES
If you were in a bar flirting with someone, you probably wouldn’t stick to one-word responses, right? So why on earth would you think that one-word responses would work out for you via text? No, these short responses sound just as uninteresting in text as they do in person. And if “sup” is actually the most charming and intriguing conversation starter you can think of, then even I don’t have the skills to help you.
BOREDOM You: Hi Me: Hi you, what’s up? You: Nothing, just bored. Me: ……………….
Please tell me why some people actually think this is flirting? Last I checked, this doesn’t make me feel like you legitimately want to talk to me. Honestly, it just feels like you couldn’t decide between texting or playing a game of solitaire. Go ahead and text your friends out of boredom, but don’t use this move in the text flirting world. You’re basically trying hard to seem uninterested when in fact you’re interested. See how that’s counterproductive?
If I ever enter the online dating world, my biggest fear would be that I’d finally meet up with someone only to discover that they’re nothing like their profile description and chats. With my luck, the 6-foot, 25-year-old would turn out to actually be a 40-year-old with a bad habit of staring at cleavage. Am I maybe scaring myself by thinking the worst? Probably, but I digress.
The point is, you don’t want to have someone believe you’re one way via text, only to discover you’re a completely different person in real life. Texting can already feel rather impersonal. Don’t take it one step further by faking it.
ABRUPT AND INAPPROPRIATE
I will never understand this, but some guys like to abruptly stop your nice, innocent text conversation with inappropriate comments. I’m not talking about guys who try to make you laugh with a joke. I’m talking about boys who legitimately think a random outburst of lewd sexual requests will work. (Excuse me while I go throw up real quick.) If you don’t believe me on this one, go and check out straightwhiteboystexting.tumblr.com. Go on, I’ll wait.
Don’t be gross. It’s that simple. If I hardly know you and you decide to take the conversation there, you’re not being flirtatious. You’re just turning me off.
Flirting is a rather tricky business in itself, and if you really like someone, I seriously doubt you’d want to ruin it with drunk texting. You could get emotional or inappropriate or end up regretting the words your intoxicated little fingers spelled out — legible or not. Worst of all, don’t send your ex flirtatious drunk texts. You’re basically asking for regret with that one. Friends don’t let friends drink and text. Remember that.
TEXT ON TEXT ON TEXT
Maybe you’ve just started to date someone and you can’t stop thinking about them. Ah, the honeymoon stage. As romantic as that is, I’m going to go ahead and guess that you both still have lives to live outside of each other. So try to make sure you give them some room to breathe. If they haven’t responded to your text from five minutes ago, it’s probably not the best idea to send them three more texts until they respond.
STAYING IN TEXTING PHASE
Yes, we certainly live in a world where texting is the initial platform for flirting, but don’t forget to move forward. You cannot get to know someone fully through text alone, so make sure you transition to phone calls, video chats and best of all, in-person dates. I know texting feels safe, but it’s never quite as good as in-person flirting.
I know it sounds like there’s a lot that can go wrong with text flirting, but as long as you stay away from these improper moves, you may just successfully avoid being a creeper after all. If you get nervous, remember that this is the easy part — there will be much more ways for you to mess up in person.
Just kidding. Kinda.
This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here. Photo courtesy of www.alleywatch.com
Audrey Magazine is looking to hire a part-time staff writer for its online magazine! Here’s your chance to gain experience at an award-winning, national publication that covers Asian Fashion, Beauty, Trends and Entertainment. We’re looking for creative writers who have a strong interest in the Asian/Asian American community. This job is based in our Los Angeles office.
-Time commitment of 25 – 30 hours a week
-Must be able to come into our Los Angeles office at least three times per week. No telecommuting.
-Write, edit and produce 9 – 12 stories per week
-Help spread Audrey content through social media (Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.)
-Help maintain Audrey website as well as Audrey social media platforms
-Weekly brainstorm meetings
-Manage weekly newsletter
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-Create banners and visual content using Photoshop
-Have a strong passion for the Asian/Asian American community
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-Prior experience in a similar environment preferred
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To apply send an email cover letter, resume and three writing samples (blog posts OK) to email@example.com.
The Thai Ministry of Tourism joined forces with Thai universities such as Chulalongkorn University and Silpakorn University to fulfill a single goal: To create a space where the visually impaired could experience art the same way others do.
Admittedly, many of us take our vision for granted when it comes to art. We forget that much of the beauty found in art exhibits — paintings, photographs and sculptures with giant “do not touch” signs in front– are only available to those of us with sight.
Well not anymore. In fact, you can kiss that “do not touch sign” goodbye.
Found in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a pilot project called “‘Feel the Happiness: Art for the Blind” aims to promote equality in the country by creating a space in which the blind and visually impaired can experience the country’s famous landmarks through feeling. For instance, there are bells in the shape of Buddha which can appeal to the sense of touch and the sense of hearing.
They hope to have artists create more sculptured and interactive artwork to be placed at Thailand’s tourist sites that allow the blind and visually impaired to experience the art.
Miranda Kerr is certainly no stranger to Japan. This time last year, the 31-year-old Australian model attracted quite a bit of attention for her odd, Japanese detergent commercials. Well it looks like she’s back and this time, she’s on the cover of the special 15th anniversary November issue of Vogue Japan.
While this excited many Kerr fans, much of that excitement was replaced with confusion when shots from the photo shoot were released. It was immediately clear that the actress was dressed to look like a geisha, a samurai and even an anime character. Of course, this begs the question: Where is the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, and what does this categorize as?
Most seem to be leaning towards cultural appropriation. Angry netizens question why a Japanese model wasn’t used for the 15th anniversary issue of Vogue Japan. After all, the magazine is a Japanese-language magazine. Despite Kerr’s undeniable popularity in Japan, Japanese readers have been shaking their heads in disapproval of the choice to have a foreigner in “Japanese-inspired” outfits.
However, others have come to Kerr’s defense including the photographer of the photo shoot, Mario Testino. In response to the controversy he explained, “I wanted to represent ancient and modern Japan with these three characters. Japan has geisha and samurai, as well as manga, and I hoped to express these themes through Miranda to the Japanese people.”
Some Kerr fans have even used cosplay as an example of cultural appreciation and note that race does not matter when avid fans dress up as their favorite anime or comicbook character. They argue that this photo shoot does the same. To others, the rebuttal for this argument is simple: this is not cosplay. This is a magazine which creates influence and for some, shapes beauty standards.
Kerr has not released her opinion on the matter, but she has been putting up photos on her Instagram since earlier this month.
Check them out below and give us your verdict. Is this cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?
His family and friends know him as Jin Au-Yeung, but you probably know him as MC Jin, former Ruff Ryder and Park Freestyle Friday legend.
Jin already has quite a number of accomplishments under his belt. He released his debut album The Rest is History back in 2004 and began his acting career in 2 Fast 2 Furious. The artist then took his talent to Asia where he captivated the music industry and starred in a number of Chinese films and television spots.
Well now Jin is back in the US and in a big way. His first full length album in the U.S. titledXIV:LIX will be released on October 19th (check out the first single off XIV:LIX titled “Chinese New Year” below) and Jin also has a role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film Revenge Of The Green Dragons.
Luckily for us, MC Jin took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and tell us more about what’s to come:
Audrey Magazine: So you began rapping in Middle school. Can you tell us more about that and what inspired you? MC JIN: Initially, I was spending most of my time emulating the rappers I admired. Looking in the mirror, using a comb as a microphone rapping along line for line, I envisioned myself as LL Cool J. Then when I heard of two young guys named Kriss Kross, it dawned on me that kids could do this too. At that point, I started crafting my own lyrics and next thing you know I found myself engaging in rap cyphers at school.
AM: As a young rapper, what were the sort of things you discussed in your music? MCJ: I would say the subject matter was pretty standard for the typical mind of a pre-teen. The lyrics didn’t stray too far from things like how boring I thought school was or the girl I had a crush on. For the most part, it mostly revolved around how great of a rapper I was, or thought I was.
AM: What gave you the idea to include Cantonese words in your freestyle verses? MCJ: That wasn’t something that happened until way later in my journey. When I did start doing it, it was more out of fun then to make a statement of any sort. It is interesting to note that from early on, it never crossed my mind what it would look like to actually write and perform in Cantonese. Who would’ve known that at some point down the line, I’d be doing both in Hong Kong on a scale beyond my imagination.
AM: Did your family and friends always support your career choice? MCJ: From the moment I made it know that this was my passion and career path choice, it was safe to say that no one was supportive. In the earliest stages, it did feel like I was the only one who believed in this dream. Eventually, both family and my circle of friends came around but to this day, it still feels like a dream. All I can say is, I’ve been extremely blessed to be able to do what I’m passionate about for a living this past decade plus.
AM: What’s the difference between performing in the U.S and in Asia? Which do you prefer? MCJ: I don’t really have a preference. Wherever I have an opportunity to share my story and do what I love on stage, I am grateful. As for differences, there are the obvious such as language and certain cultural elements. The more I think about it though, we are more similar than anything else.
AM: Tell us how you got into acting. MCJ: My first big screen experience that people would have knowledge of would probably be the second Fast & Furious film. This was over 10 years ago mind you. It’s encouraging to know people still remember that..
As for how that came about, you can say it was just being in the right place at the right time. The record label that I was signed with made a few calls and got me a casting audition with the director. I went and ended up getting the role. The few years that I spent in Hong Kong definitely opened my eyes to the craft and art of acting, through the tv and film projects that I had the opportunity to partake in.
AM: Do you have a preference between acting or rapping? MCJ: Both platforms allow me to express myself in unique ways and I find that I still have lots to learn and grow in regarding both.
AM: Tell us about the single “Chinese New Year.” What’s the message and what inspired you to create this song? MCJ: At the core of it, “Chinese New Year” is about acknowledging our cultural differences however celebrating together, in the fact that we are really all the same in the bigger picture. In that sense, everyday is Chinese New Year.
AM: What’s the overall feel of XIV:LIX? MCJ: It is definitely my most authentic, sincere and heartfelt album of all the projects I’ve released in the past decade. More than great music, what I hope listeners take away from the album is a true insight into the heart and soul of Jin Au-Yeung.
AM: Can you tell us a bit more about your role in the Martin Scorsese film Revenge Of The Green Dragons? MCJ: I play a young detective named Tang trying to take down the Green Dragons. It’s a minor role but I am super grateful for the opportunity, as it was an extreme learning experience. To be challenged and stretched is always a great thing.
AM: What can we expect from you in the future? MCJ: Depending on how the XIV:LIX album does, you might either see me making more music touring the world.. or I might be making you a soy latte at your local Starbucks.
These days, DIY weddings are definitely the latest trend. Soon-to-be brides have invaded craft stores everywhere looking for candles, mason jars and ribbon. But one bride has decided to take this DIY trend to the next level.
Seattle bride Chi Kreneta decided that she would test her crochet skills on something that many women spend years dreaming of: her wedding dress. The talented crocheter utilized her 50-minute bus commute each day to work on the gown of her dreams. The beautiful, floor-length gown features cap sleeves, an empire silhouette and uses a common pineapple stitch throughout. Chi Kreneta simply wore the piece over a white slip, accented it with a ribbon and voilà, her masterpiece was complete!
Although the dress took 5 months of hard work, it’s clear that it all paid off. Best of all, the materials to create the dress only cost a total of $30.
“I crochet a lot on the bus during my commute and have made other things like hats, scarves, and shorter dresses,” Kreneta told ABC News. “I knew I wanted to design and make my own wedding dress (I also sew) and figured that crocheting it would be the most efficient way to accomplish.”
Additionally, Kreneta points out that the dress is in honor of her late grandmother who taught her how to crochet as a child.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.