Its always quite a delight to see Bollywood as a dance style featured on such a mainstream dance show as So You Think You Can Dance. Not only is it a representation of beautiful Asian dance, its also just incredibly fun to watch.
Last night, the final 6 dancers of So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 gave it their all in hopes of claiming a spot in the finale. The judges have raved that this group of finalists is quite possibly the best they’ve seen yet. Admittedly, I had high expectations.
Luckily, they didn’t disappoint.
19-year-old Ukrainian jazz dancer, Amy Yakima was given Alex Wong as a partner to perform a Bollywood-style dance.
This is a big deal. 23-year-old Wong was a previous contestant on SYTYCD, but injured his Achilles tendon during rehearsals of his Bollywood number with Adechike Torbert, and was unable to perform. As it turned out, the injury required surgery and at least 3 months recovery time. Wong was forced to to withdraw from the competition.
Needless to say, everyone was holding their breath during this performance. We can only imagine the fear that Wong must have felt having to perform the very same style that took him out of the competition a few years ago.
Luckily, the performance was a success. Following a standing ovation from the judges, the two dancers were showered with compliments for their physically intense number. The performance was so well done that Amy secured her spot for the finals.
With the rise of EXO’s popularity, we can confidently say that Ivy Club made quite a good decision to have the boys model and endorse their Autumn 2013 look.
Already strong in their “school-boy” concept, EXO looks even more adorable in this fashion line. September is near and “back to school” is here. In case you’re not excited for the new school year, check out EXO-K sporting Ivy League’s Autumn 2013 Schoolboy look. Trust us, its sure to brighten up your day.
I first became interested in Kpop with the release of DBSK’s Hug in 2004. Like any young fangirl, I blew up my social media sites with pictures and videos of my newfound love. At the time, however, I received an overwhelming amount of criticism from friends:
“But you’re not Korean?” “Why are you into this? You don’t even speak Korean.” “Korean music is really weird.”
“But you don’t understand what they’re saying.”
Fast forward 9 years and the rise of Kpop has become a world-wide phenomenon. The very same people who questioned my interest towards Kpop were jamming to Big Bang and now criticizing me instead for not hearing the latest song a week after its release.
The point is, times have changed and this weekend was quite the eye opener. I realized that a lot of my non-Korean friends were fans of Kpop, but when a Korean co-worker said, “Most of the hardcore fans are not actually Korean Americans,” I assumed she was joking.
I was obviously proved wrong.
This past weekend was the 2nd annual KCON- a Kpop music festival held in the United States which presents an opportunity for American fans to come together and share their love for Korean Music. I expected the crazy fangirls, the intense cosplay, the neon-colored fan signs, and the korean food galore. What I didn’t expect, and was pleasantly surprised to discover, was the cultural diversity of the event.
Upon entering the festival, I was met with a sea of color. No, not the bright pink Mnet bags and the neon green Bibigo balloons. The palette of ethnicities was beyond impressive. Because of my initial experience with Kpop, I had expected this festival to largely consist of Koreans along with a handful of Pan-Asians. I assumed that I would meet the same criticism that my friends initially gave me about not being able to understand the language, but a visit to the dance workshop area proved otherwise.
The stage was covered with Caucasians, Latinos, African Americans, and various other non-Asian folk. Not only did East Asians show their presence, but Southeast Asians and South Asians did as well. Fans who clearly stated they were not Korean were singing every single word of their favorite songs and impressively showcasing the intricate dance moves to these songs. Yes, these fans took time out of their lives to memorize lyrics to Korean songs without actually knowing Korean. Now that’s dedication.
The more time I spent at the festival, the more I came across cultural diversity. I came across a Caucasian man (well into his 30s) who excitedly purchased a heart-shaped fan with the pictures of 2am printed on it. I came across a group of Latina girls sporting G-Dragon hats, shirts, and even sneakers. I came across a non-Asian boy (who couldn’t have been older than 12) perform the choreography of Growl so well that even EXO would have been impressed.
I came out of this KCON experience realizing that the beauty of this festival was not in the performers and the pretty concert. The beauty was in the fans who attended. Never once was anyone criticized for their racial background or their inability to speak Korean. This was a place for fans, whatever color that may be, to get together and celebrate their fandom. This was a place where it didn’t matter where you came from and how you looked — you were accepted because you loved the same thing.
As Korean American rapper, Dumbfounded, mentioned during his panel “Asian Americans in Hip-Hop”, Kpop is special because of the different kinds of people it can bring together. Clearly, Kpop should be applauded for the array of fans it has been able to captivate.
Bobby Jindal, the current Governor of Louisiana and the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, recently wrote a story on race for Politico, an American political journalism organization.
“Scan the news on any given day in America, and you will invariably find multiple stories about race, racism, ethnicity, and race relations,” Jindal writes, ”We can’t seem to get enough of this topic, and correspondingly, the media appetite for all things race-related is unquenchable.” I nodded my head to this. After all, when you write for an Asian-American Women’s Magazine Publication, how can you not pay attention to race?
He then continued to point out that we ought to be judged by our character instead of the color of our skin. He notes that humans are shallow to think of others in terms of their skin color. Again, I found myself nodding in agreement. I can’t even count the number of times we’ve found ourselves angry at being associated with stereotypes simply because we’re Asian.
But then his opinion piece starts taking an abrupt turn. “Yet we still place far too much emphasis on our “separateness,” our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc.” Jindal writes, “We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few. Here’s an idea: How about just “Americans?” That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our “separateness” is a step backward.”
He ends his piece by stating, “We are all created in the image of God — skinny, fat, tall, short, dark, light, whatever. Who cares? What does it matter? It’s time to get over it. It’s time for the end of race in America. Now that would be progress.”
This is the point where we shake our heads in a very frustrated no. Our culture is a very very big part of our identity and its most definitely something we can’t ignore. Yes, I consider myself an Asian-American, or according to Jindal a “hyphenated American”, because I choose not to lose any more of my already blurry cultural identity. I choose to be a “hyphenated American” because even if we wanted to go along with the unrealistic belief that all Americans are treated equally, how can we possibly ignore all the racial slurs and all the racial stereotyping? How is ignoring a problem the solution to solving it?
While I agree that in an ideal world, judgement would be based on character as oppose to the color of one’s skin, the idea of being completely “color-blind” is not the solution. Is it not better to keep our eyes open, and accept all the colors none-the-less? We can’t pretend to be colorblind because ultimately many people are indeed treated a certain way because of the color of their skin. It is only by looking at the issue full-on and realizing that inequality is present that we can hope to address the problem.
Most of the racist things that I come across online (and trust me, I’ve seen my fair share of them), typically create emotions of anger. While I can’t say this craigslist listing is completely void of anger, I would use other words to describe this: weird, creepy, and uncomfortable are just a few examples.
Hailing from Portland, John is currently seeking “2 young, gay, Asian waiters” to help with “an over-the-top gay, costume party” which is themed “The Secrets of the Orient-The Year of the Snake”.
Although he claims that this party will be “awesome”, we don’t quite see how having Asians as his party props will do so. The mere fact that he specifies that these individuals must be young gives us the jitters. And a costume party? We can already smell the troubling racial stereotypes that are headed in our direction.
There are many ways to celebrate cultures that are not your own. There are many ways to celebrates the gay community. But having young, gay, Asians act as waiters and serve you for your “over-the-top gay, costume party” is not one of them.
2) She looks beautiful even when she’s upset.
How is she doing this?
3) Don’t let the cute side fool you- Kristin can be seductive (and does a damn good job of doing so)
4) Probably our favorite reason: Despite her undeniable beauty, Kreuk was raised humble and always believed that “your currency isn’t in your looks”. Clearly, this girl has quite her share of inner beauty. Check out the story here.
5) She was absolutely stunning for Audrey Magazine’s photoshoot by Dexter Quinto.
Hearts all around the world can be heard breaking.
Well not really, but according to my facebook newsfeed, there is certainly a great deal of sadness. One Direction’s 20-year-old British Pakestinian heartthrob, Zayn Malik, proposed to his girlfriend of two years, singer Perrie Edwards.
The news was confirmed by Edward’s brother via twitter. Still in denial? Hate to break the news, but the couple hit the red carpet in London this past Tuesday for the premiere of the boy band’s documentary, “One Direction: This is Us.” Edwards can be seen clearly flaunting the gorgeous engagement ring.
There’s no denying that Malik was a fan-favorite. As much as we’re sad to see Malik leave the market, I’m sure everyone wishes the best of luck for this marriage (I hope?). So chin up everyone! The best news? We can still swoon over pictures of Zayn all we want!
Receipts for Asian customers labeled “Ching Chong”, music videos that insult and stereotype our women, people ranting on the internet about how Asians annoy them – Yup, we’ve seen a lot of disrespectful things thrown towards our community. Well unfortunately, this is another one to add to the list and get just as angry about.
In Vancouver, a 51-year-old Chinese woman is demanding a printed apology from the franchise owner and manager of a specific McDonalds for the manner in which they treated her. According to Hai Xia, a McDonalds manager refused to serve her and kicked her out because of her English skills.
Xia, who speaks English as a second language, was allegedly trying to explain to the workers that her order was incorrect, but she was dismissed by the manager because she apparently didn’t “understand English”. Additionally, the manager added that they didn’t speak Mandarin although Xia was speaking English.
Was this manager simply having a bad day? Its possible. Xia noted that when another worker came over to ask what was going on, the manager scolded him for interfering. Clearly, this manager woke up on the wrong side of the bed. But is this any excuse for discriminating against someone for their limited skills in a second language? Absolutely not. Is it okay not to serve someone just because you don’t have the patience to be decent? Nope.
McDonalds claim that they are taking the complaint very seriously and officials will meet with Xia to resolve the issue next week.
There’s no denying it- when it comes to KCON 2013, EXO easily ranks as the group we’re most excited to see. Admittedly, we had some doubts when we first laid eyes on this group. You see, EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it?
YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes.
Any doubts we may have had about this group were blown out the window when EXO released the music video to their song “Growl” and created an online frenzy. How good is this thing? People who had no previous interest in KPOP what-so-ever were complimenting the song, the hypnotizing dance, and the music video style.
Needless to say, we had this video on repeat for days. In less than four minutes, the boys were able to grab our attention and keep it there. Suddenly we were watching their interviews, listening to their songs, and slowly but surely learning their names and personalities. (We were also squealing, blushing, and hyperventilating over our favorites, but lets not get into that)
So we’re here to help you out. Having some trouble distinguishing the boys from one another? Check out Audrey’s Ultimate Guide to EXOand you’ll be all set for this weekend!
1) S U H O
NAME: Suho (Kim Joongmyun) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDATE: May 22, 1991 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Leader, Lead Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Suho likes a girl with an interest in literature and long, straight hair. He wants someone that is knowledgeable with an explosive personality. FUN FACT: Known for spoiling his band members by buying them lots of food.
DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: It is said that he looks similar to Super Junior’s Choi Siwon
2) B A E K H Y U N NAME: Baekhyun (Byun Baekhyun) HEIGHT: 5’7” BIRTHDATE: May 6, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Baekhyun likes a gir that is full of charm. He likes a girl that looks good wearing jeans, which means someone with a good figure. FUN FACT: Some of his international fanbase has nicknamed him “Bacon” DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Thick Eyeliner and Charming Smile
3) C H A N Y E O L NAME: Chanyeol (Park Chanyeol) HEIGHT: 6’1” BIRTHDATE: November 27, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Rapper, Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Chanyeol wants someone cute, someone who smiles a lot, and someone who is sincere person. Someone who will laugh when he is talking to her and has a bubbly personality. FUN FACT: He is very musically talented and plays the guitar, drums, bass, djembe, and more. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Big Smile (sometimes jokingly a creeper smile)
4) D. O. NAME: D.O. (Do Kyungsoo) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDATE: January 12, 1993 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: D.O.’s priority is that the girl is kind and appreciates good food. He wants a sexy, cute, and beautiful girl. FUN FACT: He is the cleanest and tidiest member of EXO DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Thick lips and strong brows
5) K A I NAME: Kai (Kim Jongin) HEIGHT: 6’0” BIRTHDATE: January 14, 1994 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Main Dancer, Vocalist, Lead Rapper IDEAL TYPE: Kai likes girls who are gentle and passionate. His ideal type is Han Ye Seul. FUN FACT: He has amazing dance skills – He’s been doing ballet and jazz since childhood DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: ABS
6) S E H U N NAME: Sehun (Oh Sehun) HEIGHT: 5’11” BIRTHDATE: April 12, 1994 NATIONALITY: Korean POSITION: Lead Dancer, Rapper, Sub-Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Sehun likes girls who are bright and cheerful. He also wants them neat and clean. FUN FACT: He is the youngest of the group and has a habit of sticking his tongue out DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Uninterested/stoic resting face
__________________________________________ EXO M
7) X I U M I N NAME: Xiumin (Birthname: Kim Min Seok) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDAY: March 27, 1990 NATIONALITY: Korean BAND POSITION: Lead vocals, Lead dancer IDEAL TYPE: A comforting person who can keep him warm with hugs and will also smile at him brightly. FUN FACT: He’s often been told that he looks like the Wonder Girls’ Sohee (http://24.media.tumblr.com/ff03db8621b7dd8579a0993a88b390d2/tumblr_mprfjwCbom1st49nxo1_500.jpg_ ) and is the “high note champion” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqaWYRvk2P4) of the group. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Sharp eyes and round cheeks (one of his nicknames is Baozi, or “Little Bun”)!
8) L U H A N NAME: Luhan (Birthname: Lu Han) HEIGHT: 5’10” BIRTHDAY: April 20, 1990 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Lead vocalist, lead dancer, “Face” of the group IDEAL TYPE: A gentle, quiet girl who is graceful and elegant and someone who will cheer him on. Physically, he likes a girl with long straight hair and fair skin. FUN FACT: He’s scared of heights; in fact, when the group went to Disneyland, he stayed with their manager and didn’t go on a lot of the rides. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Large, doe-like eyes
9) L A Y
NAME: Lay (Birthname: Zhang Yi Xing) HEIGHT: 5’9.5” BIRTHDAY: October 7, 1991 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Main dancer, Vocalist IDEAL TYPE: A girl who is kind-hearted, cute and respectful with a positive personality. Physically, someone who has large eyes, long hair and shorter than him. FUN FACT: In 2010, he was in SHINee’s concert tour as Jonghyun’s dance replacement. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: One dimple on his right cheek
10) K R I S NAME: Kris (Birthname: Wu Yi Fan) HEIGHT: 6’1.5” BIRTHDAY: November 6, 1990 NATIONALITY: Chinese-Canadian BAND POSITION: Leader, Main Rapper, Sub-Vocals IDEAL TYPE: Likes girls who can cook, are kind-hearted and willing to take care of people. FUN FACT: Though he doesn’t draw well by most people’s standards, he firmly believes in his artistic ability. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Strong, bold eyes and eyebrows
11) T A O
NAME: Tao (Huang Zi Tao) HEIGHT: 6’0” BIRTHDAY: May 2, 1993 NATIONALITY: Chinese BAND POSITION: Lead Rapper, Vocalist, Maknae (Youngest) IDEAL TYPE: A girl who is pretty with a nice body and has a nice personality. But, he’s revealed that love isn’t something he’s necessarily looking for, saying in an interview, “I really don’t care [about love/ideal types] because I’m still young and I’m a hardworking ninja that want to focus on my career.” FUN FACT: He’s trained in wushu, a skill he often shows off on variety shows. DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: Dark circles under eyes (One of his nicknames is Kung Fu Panda!)
12) C H E N NAME: Chen (Birthname: Kim Jong Dae) HEIGHT: 5’8” BIRTHDAY: September 21, 1992 NATIONALITY: Korean BAND POSITION: Main vocalist IDEAL TYPE: Someone who is noona-like (“noona” = a woman who is older) and will take care of him and treat him well. He also likes a girl who is pretty when she smiles, has a faithful personality and an open mind. FUN FACT: His main specialty is singing high notes (and even participated in a high note battle against fellow EXO members Xiumin and Baekhyun). DISTINGUISHABLE TRAIT: A super sweet smile
Seungri’s second mini album Lets Talk About Love is now available on iTunes and it has already made quite a splash. The album, which was timed perfect with Big Bang’s seventh anniversary, has a lot to live up to. Seungri’s first mini-album, VVIP, which was released back in 2011, sold over 40,000 copies.
But from the looks of things, Seungri may already be on track to beating that number. The album has been taking over iTunes charts worldwide. As steamy as these new songs may be, we couldn’t help but release a communal “awww” at Seungri’s excitement over his ratings.
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.