Lies You’ve Heard About Asian Glow

Story by Teena Apeles.

All Asians turn red when they drink.
False. It’s estimated that 36 percent of East Asians have the genetic variance that causes facial flushing, according to Dr. Philip Brooks and his colleagues. Other studies suggest this genetic variant in Southeast Asians as well, such as Vietnamese and Indonesians, and there is a considerably low occurrence of the ALDH2 deficiency in the Filipino population compared to Japanese, Chinese and Koreans.

Only Asians have the ALDH2 deficiency.
False. It is estimated that 8 percent of the general population has this genetic condition. It has also been observed in South American, North American and Mexican Indian populations, but the deficiency, according to many published works, occurs “rarely” or is “virtually never seen” in Caucasians or Africans. “For the most part, we don’t think that the flushing you see in Caucasian people is the same ALDH2 deficiency that you see in the East Asian population,” says Brooks.

If you are Asian and get flushed after drinking alcohol, you definitely have the deficiency.
False. While it’s a pretty solid biomarker for the genetic condition among East Asians, Brooks says the only way to know for certain that you have the deficiency is to have genotyping done. In the Japanese study by Dr. Yokoyama, participants were given a questionnaire that was designed to be almost 99 percent accurate in identifying people with the ALDH2 deficiency, and an ethanol patch test was also suggested as fairly accurate.

There are certain types of alcohol that don’t cause facial flushing.
False. Some Asians have speculated that rice-based liquor does not cause flushing. “I found I don’t get red if I drink sake or Korean drinks like soju or makgeolli,” says Jeannie. “Engineered for Asian people!” And Faith believes that a little lemon or lime with liquor goes a long way for her: “Tequila is my drink of choice because it always settles best with my body. I think part of the reason tequila settles better with me is because I usually chase shots with a slice of lime or lemon, and something about the acidity in them helps the al- cohol digest better or something.” She adds, “I know for a fact that when lemons or limes are involved, I have way less of a chance of getting the Asian glow or any of the side symptoms.” But Brooks says there is no basis — and he’s not aware of any data — for ALDH2-deficient people to assume that different kinds of alcohol won’t cause facial flushing, and if it does, on occasion, that that in any way decreases one’s risk for esophageal cancer.



This story was originally published in out Summer 2014 issue. WANT TO LEARN MORE? Be on the lookout for our feature story coming soon! You can also purchase the issue TODAY.

Americans Overreacting to Asian Food

Recently, Buzzfeed released a video called “Asians Taste Exotic Asian Food.” It’s pretty easy to guess what happens in the video, but we ended up rolling our eyes while watching it anyway.

As expected, the Asian food chosen were some of the most intimidating options imaginable. They clearly had the goal of scaring the unsuspecting food-tasters. In fact, almost all of the dishes in this video were part of our list of “Top 10 “Scary” Asian Dishes We Love.” Admittedly, we’d be pretty hesitant to try some of these too. We definitely don’t blame anyone for reacting with shock when they realize their food can still move.

No, shock was not the reason we ended up rolling our eyes.

We understand hesitance and even dislike for unfamiliar food, but based on the reactions from this video, you would think Asian food is the most horrible thing imaginable. It’s an understatement to say that the food-tasters showed disliked for the Asian food. They gagged, spit it out and called it “rotten” and “gross.”

A few of the tasters were able to show some courtesy. They ate the food no matter how intimidating it looked and even admitted when it tasted better than expected. After all, these dishes are delicacies in many Asian cultures.

The rest of the tasters? Watch the video and see their reactions for yourself.

25 Asian YouTubers You Should Check Out This Summer






1) Jenn Im (clothesencounters)
I’m Jenn Im. Korean American. Born and raised in LA, but now living in the Bay. Clothes Encounters is a vlog of style musings, tutorials and lifestyle advice.”






2) Karen O (iamkareno)
“Hello! I’m Karen and I make fashion, lifestyle and lookbook videos. Born and raised in Hong Kong and the Bay Area. My style is influenced by the toughness of the city and the lax suburban lifestyle.”






3) Claire Marshall 
LA based Makeup Artist turned Beauty & Lifestyle Vlogger.”






 4) Cassey Ho (blogilates)
Full length POP Pilates and fun Bootcamp Sculpting workouts to Top 40 Hits with certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho.






5) LaurDIY
Hey! I’m Lauren, a 20 year old, Toronto based DIY and fashion YouTuber. Glitter, DIY, ripped denim & shiba inus pretty much sum up my existence.”






6) Sam Tsui (TheSamTsui)





 7) Wendy’s Lookbook
Hi everyone! I’m Wendy. I find inspiration in art, nature, culture, architecture, food, people and music. For me, fashion is a compilation of all that. The goal of my channel is to share outfit suggestions, create fun pairing ideas, provide fashion tips, play with shapes & colors, and put a smile on your face =D”






8) Vagabound Youth
19 year old Los Angeles native. CEO & founder of vintage boutique Vagabond Youth. Full time UCLA student. Feminist.”






9) Amy Pham (The Platform)
The Platform is a community of passionate content creators who share a love of beauty, fashion, and self expression. We celebrate real faces, real voices, real points of view, and believe that being unique never goes out of style.”






10) Just Kidding Films 
“Teaching Good Things In A Bad Way.”






11) Wong Fu Productions 
“Short films, music videos, and vlogs from Wes, Ted, and Phil. We like to tell stories, whether they’re funny, sad, or thoughtful. As emerging artists and filmmakers, we hope to continue to improve our craft, grow as a company, and reach people with our work.”






12) itsJudysLife
“Daily Vlogs with my husband Benji!”




13) Emmy (emmymadeinjapan)
“Join me on my international tasting adventures eating viewer-sent treats, Japanese candies, and homemade eats on Emmymade in Japan.”






14) Jessica Sanchez (jsanchezfan)






15) TantrumJas
“I am Jasmine. I am a 13 year old from London. I sing, I play piano and guitar. I will keep you updated with what I am up to on my facebook page (link below) – make sure you give it a ‘like’ !”






16) beautifymeeh
“Korean Makeup, Beauty, Fashion, Style, Tutorials, Inspired Looks, Vlogs and more ♥”






17) Keone & Mari 
“Doing what you love, with the one you love, through His love.”






18) Jeannie (alittleaboutalot)
“I love sharing things I discover and hope to encourage a few people along the way!”






19) Sophia Chang (fashionista804)






20) BubzBeauty
“My channel is to help make people realise their own beauty. In their hearts.”






21) Jubilee Project
“We are Jubilee Project – we exist to tell stories that inspire change!”






22) Joseph Vincent/Jason Chen






23) ochikeron
“This channel will show you how to cook Japanese Home Cooked Meals. Some are kawaii (cute) ♥”






24) SoothingSista






25) Taro (runnyrunny999)
“Hi, I’m Taro. Not pro but been making a cooking video since 2008. Japanese food, Japanese twist food… What is your favorite dish? ”

Beautiful Fashion Designs Using Flower Petals

Creativity reaches new heights with the work of a 22-year-old student in Singapore, Grace Ciao. Instead of using ink or fabric, Ciao creates her designs with an unexpected, but beautiful medium: flower petals.

Ciao told Buzzfeed that this creative idea was purely accidental. A boy had given her a red rose and she wished to preserve it.

Clearly, her idea was brilliant. Ciao currently has over 20,000 followers on Instagram and her beautiful petal designs have been featured on a number of media outlets.

When asked about her most favorite flowers to work with, Ciao responded that she favors flowers with multiple shades.

“They help me create prints which I otherwise couldn’t have thought of,” she explained “I think petals work really well for illustration also because their delicacy and exquisiteness mimic those of a soft fabric.”

Be sure to support Grace Ciao by checking out her official website and following her on Instagram.

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These Unsuspecting Movie-Goers Had No Idea What Was in Store For Them

In an MCL Cinema in Hong Kong, a group of unsuspecting movie-goers were in for a big surprise.

Volkswagen has officially raised the bar when it comes to advertising. In an effort to show audience members the dangers of texting and driving, Volkswagen decided to create a commercial that truly lets the audience in on the experience.

We don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say this advertisement does a brilliant job of getting it’s point across. Watch it below.

Video of the Day: “If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say”

A Buzzfeed video called “If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say” has only been out since Friday and has already gathered over 1.6 million views. With a title like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued to see it?

While watching it, we couldn’t help but think of a Wong Fu short called “Accidental Racism” which highlights the way innocent curiosity may be misinterpreted as ignorance or racism.

Well it looks like Buzzfeed has a thing or two to say about that. The hilarious video, which is directed by Abe Forman-Greenwald and stars Jenny Yang and Eugene Yang, shows just how ridiculous this “innocent curiosity” can be by making Asians say the things we have to hear allllll the time.


11-Year-Old Audrey Zhang Wins Google Doodle Contest

If you check out Google’s homepage today, you will see the incredible work of 11-year-old Audrey Zhang.

Zhang beat out thousands of other young artists in the Doodle 4 Google competition. The competition was for kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade and there was certainly no shortage of competitors. In total, there were more than 100,000 submissions, 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and five national age group winners.

The task was clear: draw an invention that would help make the world a better place.

Titled “Back to Mother Nature,” the doodle featured a “water cleaning machine.” The idea behind the illustration was a water purifier that would clean dirty rivers, lakes and oceans.

Not only did Zhang put a smile on many faces, she really did help make the world a better place. In honor of winning the competition, Google donated $40,000 to a charity that provides clean water to schools in Bangladesh. Zhang received a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for her school.

Audrey was asked to spend some time in Google’s headquarters to help turn her illustration into a moving animation. Check it out below:



The History of Cambodian-Owned Donut Shops

You’re probably already aware that a large amount of independently-run donut shops in California are Cambodian-owned. What you may not know is that the donut shop industry is an integral part of the Cambodian immigration story.

In honor of National Donut day, we decided to look into the history of hardworking, Cambodian donut shop owners:

1) You won’t find a donut in Cambodia.

Well, you can probably find a few donuts, but if you thought you’d find streets lined with donut shops in Cambodia, you’re in for a let-down. While donuts are a large part of the Cambodian American culture, many can tell you that this is purely an American tradition. Allegedly, there is only one donut shop in all of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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2) It all began with a man named Ted Ngoy.

Before donut shops were associated with the Cambodian American culture, there was Ted Ngoy paving the way. He arrived in the U.S. in 1975 and two years later, he begun his own donut shop. Clearly, his legacy continued.

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3) “The American Dream” 

“Ngoy is the one who found a way for Cambodian immigrants to become part of the American dream of owning their own business,” said Dennis Wong of the Asian Business Association. “Taking a loan from an Asian loaning society, Ngoy was able to buy two stores, operate them for awhile and then sell to someone in the community or a family member who wanted to buy them. That’s how they got into it.”

“Italian immigrants are often working with restaurants, Indians with newsstands and hotels. With Cambodians, it happens to be donuts,” he said.

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4) Running a donut shop is hard work. 

You’ll often hear about these donut shops having only a few workers in order to save money. In fact, many of the workers are family members who must find time within their day to help the family business. As a result, many owners will work long and tiring hours to make sure their shop is functional. Additionally, many donut shop owners have voiced that the long hours have made it difficult to assimilate into a new society.

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5) They have thrived. 

An estimated 80% of donut shops in the Los Angeles area are owned by Cambodian Americans. In Houston, Texas, the percentage is an even larger 90%.

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6) A day in the life:

(Source 1, 2, 3)

India’s Inspiring One Legged Dancer

There are many reasons to be inspired by 27-year-old Subhreet Kaur Ghumman. Aside from her high spirits and willingness to overcome any adversary thrown her way, Subhreet has become an online sensation as well as an inspiration to many for her one legged dancing abilities.

It all started on the 21st of October 2009 when Subhreet experienced a life-changing accident. While riding on the back of a friend’s moped, the former nurse was thrown off the bike during a sharp turn. Subhreet was sent to the hospital with a fractured knee, but the local government hospital left her lying in a bed for over two weeks.

“The negligence in a basic government hospital is terrible,” Subhreet recalls. “My mum begged doctors to treat me, but they just put my leg in a brace and left me. They didn’t even attempt to treat my fracture.”

After 15 days, Subhreet eventually got surgery, but Dailymail reports “a doctor cut a vital vein and Subhreet began to bleed uncontrollably.”

Subhreet’s condition worsened and infection spread throughout her leg. The pain was so unbearable, Subhreet begged to have her leg cut off. It took the family an entire year to find a doctor who would help them.

Following the operation, Subhreet recalls having tears of joy. “When I woke after the operation tears filled my eyes out of pure happiness. That feeling of not having a lifeless leg was amazing.”

Subhreet then went on to do the amazing. Rather than allow her disability to hinder her, she decided to show strength. “I decided not to fall into darkness but show the world that I was a strong person and continue my passion for dance,” she said. “My mother was shocked but happily agreed to support me.”

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She enrolled in a dance academy and eventually found herself auditioning for India’s Got Talent. Her performances wowed the audience, gave her a standing ovation from the judges, and brought her all the way to the final round of the competition.

“Though, I lost the competition with a small margin of votes, but still I am very happy with my performance,” Subhreet told the Hindustan Times. “It is like my dream having come true, and I have proved that only self-confidence is enough to achieve any aim in life in spite of physical shortcomings.”

“My life has changed completely,” she added. “I have seen the darkest days but now everything seems beautiful. People recognise me when I go out, they ask me for photographs and autographs. It is an amazing feeling.”

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(Source 1, 2)

Eternal Youth: You Won’t Believe How Old These Asian Women Really Are

There are countless stereotypes about Asian women. One stereotype says we all have sleek, black hair. Another says that we are incapable of getting fat and a dangerous one is the misconception that we are immune to breast cancer.

While many of these myths are over-generalizations (and problematic ones at that), there are a few of them that have us nodding in agreement. An example is the stereotype that many Asians look much younger than their biological age in comparison to other ethnicities. While this is certainly not the case for all Asians, we will admit that we have come across some awfully impressive examples of Asians who defy their age.

Just take a look at the following women and you’ll see exactly what we mean.


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Masako Mizutani

There’s a reason why Mizutani has been called “Japan’s Lady of Eternal Youth.” This beautiful woman is an unbelievable 45-years-old. Mizutani has two daughters and her eldest, who is in her early 20s, is often mistaken as her sister. During a TV appearance, she revealed that she spends five hours a day just taking care of her skin. Mizutani advised other to make sure they’re drinking plenty of water to flush out toxins, eating a fresh, healthy and balanced diet, using vitamin E based creams, sunscreen, cleansing, toning, moisturizing, getting plenty of sleep and not smoking.

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Jung Dae Yeonn

We know what you’re thinking. This woman’s body is impressive. For any age, we would commend her obviously fit lifestyle, we’re even more impressed to find out that she’s 47 years old. Of course, she wasn’t always this fit. She allegedly went through a huge transformation through intense dieting and exercise.

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Liu Xiaoqing
Chinese actress Liu Xiaoqing is most known for her undeniable talent. She has three Best Actress awards, one Best Supporting Role award, and she’s a business woman and published author. Now, she seems most known for her youthful looks. Taking Asian youth to a new extreme, the 59-year-old actress played a 16-year-old girl in the drama Lotus Lantern.

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