18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends

Everyday, it seems as if we come across products, trends and even holidays from Asia that gets us quite confused. From fuzzy-hair stockings to an actual single awareness day, Asia never seems short of these bizarre creations. Check out our list of 18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends below. Weird or awesome? You be the judge.


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1) The “Liberation Wrapper”
“For years, Japanese culture has encouraged women to strive for “ochobo” which is described as small and modest mouths… [The liberation wrapper] is a large burger wrapper with the image of a women’s face. The wrapper is meant to hide women as they take a big bite of their burger and maintain the appearance of ochobo.” Read the full story here.


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2) Finger Trap Beauty Test
“The concept is simple: Touch the side of your index finger to both the tip of your nose and your chin. If your lips don’t touch your finger, congratulations! You’re pretty! If they do, well, er … there’s always Photoshop?” Read the full story here. 


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3) Surgical Masks
“Apparently, there are 5 main reasons for the popular mask trend: for health purposes, to avoid social awkwardness, for warmth, for the lazy and in the name of fashion.” Read the full story here. 


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4) Black Day: Korea’s Single Awareness Day 
“As you may have guessed, Black Day is practically the opposite of [Valentine's Day and White Day]. This is a day is for those who did not receive gifts on Valentines Day or White Day. Yup, this unofficial holiday is for single people.” Read the full story here. 


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5) Double Eyelid Training Glasses
“The glasses are a non-surgical option to create the illusion of a double eyelid. The Eyelid Trainer is worn like any other pair of glasses. Apparently, 5 minutes a day with this contraption will give you the double eyelids you desire. ” Read full story here. 


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6) Tokyo Street Fashion 
“While many people find popular Japanese fashion styles such as Harajuku and Lolita confusing, New York-based photographer Thomas C. Card was intrigued by the street fashion that he spent months in Japan to document the various styles.” Read the full story here. 


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7) Edible iPhone Case
“The Survival Senbei Rice Cracker iPhone 5 Cover is handmade by “Mariko” using only brown rice and salt. For $64, you can have a phone cover that doubles as a tasty snack in case of an emergency.” Read the full story here. 


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8) Cosplay Graduation
“But the Kanazawa College of Art is not like other colleges. Graduates are apparently allowed to wear absolutely whatever they would like. So what happens when Japanese students have no dresscode for graduation? Some of the best cosplay ever.” Read the full story here.


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9) The Virtual Girlfriend
“Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.” Read the full story here. 


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10) The World’s Longest Kiss
“The world’s longest kiss lasted a whomping 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. The record was set by Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat during an event organized by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Thailand. The annual kissathon competition happens during, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.” Read the full story here. 


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11) Snail Facials 
“Although some of us may see snails as pesky and slimy or even a delicious delicacy, Japan is definitely transforming the use of these creatures and women are paying a pretty big price for this treatment. One session costs approximately 10,500 Yen, which is about $107.” Read the full story here. 


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12) Sex Ed For 30-Year-Olds 
“The tutorials cost more than $400, but women have been lining up to learn and lessons are booked weeks in advance. Many of these students are 30- to 40-year-olds seeking to decrease the anxiety before their first sexual encounter.” Read the full story here. 


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13) The “True Love” Bra
“Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love. The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.” Read the full story here.


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14) The Study Cube
“Last year, South Korea’s environmentally-friendly furniture manufacturer Emok unveiled the Study Cube, a wooden box just big enough to seat one person in front of a built-in desk. The box comes with a bookshelf, whiteboard, LED light, outlet and ventilation grill. There’s even a massage bar under the desk that also serves as a footrest.” Read the full story here.


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15) Strange Asian Hairdos
“Whether its creepy, funny, or just intriguing to look at, all of these hairstyles are undeniably strange. Although strange hairdos are certainly not something people are born with, a quick google search of “strange Asian hair” is enough to let us know that this is a pretty common search.” Read the full story here.


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16) Anti-Rape Stockings
“The most recent fashion creation from China are hairy-leg stockings designed to ward off men and decrease the possibility of rape. The theory behind this creation is that the male will be so disgusted with the appearance of your legs that you don’t have to worry– they wouldn’t want to have a sexual encounter with you anyway.” Read the full story here


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17) Plastic Surgery Television Shows
“The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.” Read the full story here.


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18) New Elementary Desks 
“Wuhan City, China has introduced these bars into an elementary school’s first grade classroom. Each bar is drilled into the wooden tables of school children in an effort to preserve the eyesight of the students.” Read the full story here. 

MUST-SEE: Google Glass Used to Create Touching Video

Get your tissues ready. Directed by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian, the short film called “Seeds” is made entirely using a Google Glass.

For those unfamiliar with the device, Google Glass is worn like any other pair of glasses. It has an optical head-mounted display and allows wearers to communicate with the Internet though voice commands. Aside from it’s impressive LED display and touchpad, Google Glass also comes with a camera that allows users to take pictures and capture video. It was through this method that “Seeds” was created. 

The short follows the 23-year-old filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty as he travels to India and teases viewers with a mysterious manilla envelope. According to Mashable, the video was shot over the course of 10 days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo and India. 

Thus far, Google Glass has received quite a bit of criticism and has been questioned as an invasion of privacy. This short aims to highlight the benefits of Google Glass. In this case, “Seeds” shows how the device can capture beautiful and touching moments.

Check out the must-see video below.

 

New Korean Show Allows Contestants to Reverse Excessive Plastic Surgery

If you told us that South Korea was releasing a new television show based on plastic surgery, we admit that we wouldn’t be too surprised. After all, we’ve already seen twin sisters look completely different after appearing on the show Let’s Beauty.

We will, however, admit that we were caught off guard with the new Korean show Back to My Face. The popular show does focus on plastic surgery, but it has a big twist: the show focused on “reverse makeovers” that allow contestants to go back to their original appearance.

Back to My Face features contestants who have had 10 or more procedures done and may have some regrets about their decisions. Contestants are encouraged to go back to their original appearance through a number of “therapy sessions” such as getting feedback from strangers about their pre-surgery photos.

After their sessions, the contestants decide if they want to have reconstructive surgery to remove implants or undo excessive plastic surgery that has been done. 

Although the show has gathered quite a bit of attention for itself, netizens have mixed feelings towards the show. Some claim that Back to My Face has a good message and reminds people to embrace what they are born with. Others have complained that the show tries to be redeeming, but it is still about more surgery.

Watch the preview below and tell us what you think.

 

Here is a photo of one contestant who regretted the amount of surgery she had done:
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Here is the contestant after her reconstructive surgery:

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And here is an old photo of the contestant before excessive amounts of surgery. Were they able to match her original appearance? :
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Check out more contestants who wanted to get their original appearance back:

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(Source 1, 2)

Image of the Day: Most Commonly Spoken Languages in the US

Yesterday, Mentalfloss released an image showing the most commonly spoken languages (other than English and Spanish) for each state in America. The results were quite surprising!

We were delighted to find a number of Asian dialects such as Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Hmong and Chinese. In fact, California’s most commonly spoken language aside from English and Spanish is the Philippine dialect, Tagalog.

This data comes from he Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Read more about it here.

 

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Meet Blink: Fan Bingbing In “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Among the many reasons we’re excited for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fan Bingbing’s new character Blink definitely ranks up there on the list.

32-year-old Chinese actress Fan Bingbing began her career in 1996 in the Chinese television series Princess Pearl. Since then, she has been in a number of notable films, was ranked first on the “50 Most Beautiful People in China” list in 2010 and has been in Forbes China Celebrity 100 list since 2006. 

In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bingbing plays the Blink– a mutant in the Marvel comics who has the ability to teleport. She can teleport herself as well as large masses such as groups of people. Blink also has the capability to create teleportation portals. Additionally, she is a skilled hand-to-hand fighter and proves that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Blink became a fan favorite in the early 2000′s and was even featured in the four-issue Blink limited series. 

Just yesterday, X-Men: Days of Future Past released a trailer introducing us to the much-anticipated character. Check it out below:

Disney Princesses Re-Imagined with Different Ethnicities

For years, we have hoped for more variation in ethnicity when it comes to Disney Princesses. Don’t get me wrong– we love the current Princesses, but who doesn’t want a Princess they can connect with on a cultural level?

This may be the reason that Tumblr artist lettherebedoodles created a series depicting famous Disney Princesses with different ethnicities.

“I honestly just did this for fun. No political agenda, no ulterior motives,” the artist, who goes by TT, explained. “I just love Disney and chose a few of my favorite characters to alter. I feel like there’s beauty in every racial background, and this is honestly nothing more then an exploration of different races from a technical and artistic standpoint.”

“Fairy tales are constantly being taken out of their cultural context. Most of the fairy tales that we know now were taken out of their original cultural context and altered,” TT continues. “Aladdin was originally set in China. The Frog Prince was Latin, and was altered over and over again in several countries. The stories have been and can be altered in many ways.”

TT also says that the race-bending art was created in hopes of seeing more diversity in our media. Of course, we whole-heartedly agree. Check out the thought-provoking art below:

 


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(source 1, 2)

Lisa See’s ‘China Dolls’ San Francisco Flyaway Sweepstakes

We have exciting news for our Audrey readers! We’re teaming up with Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret FanPeony in Love and Shanghai Girls, to bring you an amazing opportunity.

Writer and novelist Lisa See, who is strongly influenced by her Chinese American family, brings you her highly anticipated novel set in San Francisco, China Dolls.

China Dolls brings us to San Francisco in the 1930′s where three very different girls compete for the same showgirl role at San Francisco’s exclusive “Oriental” nightclub. Of course, things take a dramatic turn with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Needless to say, this must-read novel gives a very detailed and emotional look at the Asian American struggle in the 1930′s. 

In honor of this highly-anticipated novel, Lisa See is bringing you an opportunity to win a 3-day, 2 night trip to San Francisco for your own private tour of Chinatown!

 

CHECK OUT THE DETAILS BELOW:

These Family Photos Will Melt Your Heart

Trust us, you’ve never seen family photos this creative or this cute.

Wedding photographer Jason Lee began taking pictures of his two daughters when his mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006. The girls, who were very prone to getting sick, were rarely able to visit their grandmother in the hospital.

Lee did not want his mother to miss out on her grandchildren, but also knew that he couldn’t let his daughters get their grandmother sick. He decided to utilize his occupation for a more personal project and decided to keep her updated with her grandchildren through photography.

Of course, he didn’t want just any picture. He wanted pictures that told a story and would make her laugh. The results? Visually stunning family photos.

My Modern Met sat down with Jason Lee and asked him to divulge more information about his incredible photography:

Q: How did you get into photography?
A: I picked up my first digital camera a year before my first daughter was born, which was about 8 years ago. I really enjoyed taking photos and getting the immediate feedback from digital and it just grew from there.

Q: How do you come up with such creative photos of your daughters? What’s your creative process like?
A: Most of the ideas come from the girls, from observing them play, or hearing the funny and outrageous things they say. Their day to day life also plays a big role for my inspiration. Creative process, hmm, thats a tough one. After coming up with an idea, I then ‘set up’ the scene, and often use artificial lighting to enhance the images. It helps to plan out the shoot before hand, so at most, I only have them in the shoot for a minute or two.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
A: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Take notes. When you have an idea, jot it down somewhere for later. Practice, practice, practice. Start a 365 project, or at least try to shoot something on a consistent basis.

Q: Any quotes you live by?
A: Like in Finding Nemo, Dori advises “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” Replace swimming with taking pictures and I think you have a winning formula.

 

 

 

Check out his incredible pictures below:

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Posted in Art

Top 10 “Scary” Asian Dishes We Love

Among the numerous things we are known for, Asians are known to have “bizarre” cuisine. While many of us grew up eating all this, an unfamiliar tongue may find some Asian dishes down right scary.

Check out our picks for the top 10 “scary” Asian food we love.

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1) CENTURY EGGS
A Chinese delicacy where duck, chicken or quail eggs are preserved until the yolk of the eggs to take on a creamy texture and the whites turns into a dark-colored jelly.

 

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2) DURIAN
A southeast Asian fruit known for its large size, strong (and often disliked) odor, and horn-covered exterior.

stinky tofu3) STINKY TOFU
A form of fermented tofu that actually does have a strong enough odor to gain its name.

blood sausage4) BLOOD SAUSAGE
Links of pork and other meats mixed with blood to give them their distinct, dark color.

balut5) BALUT
A developing duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in its shell.


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6) Bird’s Nest Soup
Made with the nest of Swiftlets who use their own saliva to create their nests.

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7) Natto
Fermented soybeans known for their pungent smell.

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8) Drunken Shrimp
Live shrimp swimming around in alcohol.

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9) Live Octopus Tentacles
The octopus may be dead, but the nerves of the tentacles allow them to move on their own.

 

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10) Wasp Crackers
Just as the name suggests– dead wasps within rice crackers.

 

These Puppies Are The Best Marketing Strategy EVER

I once ran up to a stranger to tell him how lucky he was to have such a cute puppy. He shrugged and very seriously said, “I have him because he helps me get dates. I don’t ever need to approach anyone now that I have a puppy. They come to me.”

I automatically wanted to tell him how creepy he was, but then I realized he was right (to an extent). While I certainly had no intentions of asking him out on a date, his puppy plan was successful– I approached him and not the other way around.

It was clear that this wasn’t the first time he had strangers start a conversation with him just because he had an adorable puppy friend. Can you blame us? Who doesn’t like cute puppies?

Well it seems like LG Mobile Korea picked up on this too. A recent LG Mobile commercial advertised their LG G Pro 2 cell phone and used the best marketing strategy ever: cute puppies.

The puppies keep our attention for every second of the commercial and soon we couldn’t help but want the LG Pro 2 for all of its impressive features. As dramafever mentioned, these puppies can probably get you to buy anything.

Smart move, LA Mobile Korea. Smart move.