The Real Reason Behind Japan’s Surgical Mask Trend

Even if we don’t understand it, we’ve all seen it before– the strange trend in some Asian countries to wear surgical masks.

So what’s the reason behind this phenomenon? In some cases, the justification is perfectly understandable. For instance, residents in China are often seen wearing masks because of the poor air quality. In some cases, this is even a requirement. During a runway show in Jiangsu province last year, models were forced to wear surgical masks because the smog was far too dangerous to inhale.

So what about Japan? According to Rocketnews24, there are 5 main reasons for the popular mask trend.

1.) For health purposes.
While China residents wear the mask to protect themselves from the unfit air quality, Japanese residents wear the mask for any sort of contagious disease. However, the mask is not used to protect themselves. Instead, it is used to protect other people. Because Japanese residents often come in close contact with one another, it is common courtesy to wear a mask if you are sick.

2.) To avoid social awkwardness.
Rocketnews24 reported that the mask is sometimes used by an individual who simply does not want interaction. A Japanese psychologist added, “When we deal with others, we have to judge whether to do things like smile or show anger. By wearing a mask, you can prevent having to do that. The trend of wearing a mask to prevent directly dealing with other may have roots in the current youth culture in which many of them are more accustomed to communicating indirectly through email and social media.”

3.) For warmth. 
Tired of wrapping a scarf around your face to keep it warm? Why not try a surgical mask?

4.) For the lazy.
Have you ever wanted to go out, but you’re too lazy to put on make up? Or maybe you have a pimple and you’re just too tired to cover it up. Maybe its just one of those days when you just want to leave the house for a quick errand and dolling yourself up seems like a hassle. Apparently, Japanese women have decided that a quick way around this is the surgical mask.

5.) In the name of fashion.
We certainly expected this one. As the popularity of the mask grows, more and more people are finding ways to incorporate it into their outfit. Black masks and printed masks were created for that very purpose.

 

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Asians in Fashion: Park Shin Hye Pays Tribute to Audrey Hepburn

The March issue of Marie Claire Korea is certainly one to look forward to. What are we most excited to see? Park Shin Hye’s gorgeous looks as she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn– the film and fashion icon during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Clearly, Hepburn’s legacy is one that has endured long after her death in 1993. In fact, the American Film Institute named Hepburn third among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.

Although it is impossible to recreate a legend, we are awfully impressed with Park Shin Hye’s stunning tribute spread titled “My Fair Lady.” For the spread, the South Korean actresses reenacts iconic Audrey Hepburn styles from Roman HolidayFunny Face, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Park Shin Hye not only shows her versatility as a model, she points out that she is a force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old artist has been quickly rising to fame and is most known for korean dramas You’re BeautifulFlower Boys Next Door and Heirs. In fact, her role in You’re Beautiful shot the actress into worldwide popularity.

Check out the beautiful tribute below.

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Do Girls Find You Romantic or Creepy? The Answer Could Surprise You

Wong Fu Productions is awfully great at making us stop and really think about many of our everyday social situations. In one video, they made us realize just how crazy we look while we’re taking our foodies for instagram.  In a more recent video, they pointed out that as much as we deny it, we treat people differently if we think of them as “more than a friend.”

So what could be next on this list of social situations? The fine line between being romantic and being a creeper.

According to this video, there’s not much of a difference at all. Apparently, what categorizes you with the creepers or the romantics is whether or not the recipient is attracted to you.

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No matter how much I deny it, I can’t help but recall a number of times that I’ve seen this happen in real life. In fact many comments on youtube show women who agree and admit that they have been guilty of this. Of course, even more point out that men are just as guilty of this habit.

Watch the video below and tell us what you think. Is there really no difference between the romantic and the creeper?

 

EDITORIAL INTERNSHIP AT AUDREY MAGAZINE (Winter/Spring)

Audrey Magazine is looking for editorial interns! Applicants should be either college students or recent grads.

Here’s your chance to gain experience at an award-winning magazine that covers Asian American news, lifestyle and entertainment. We are looking for winter/spring interns to assist in office activities and gain hands-on experience in an innovative, fast-paced and family-oriented environment. Interns are given significant responsibility in areas such as research, writing, marketing, event management, and will provide general office support.

Ideal candidates are detail-oriented, able to multitask, have strong communication and writing skills and should have an interest in the Asian American community. Tech-savvy people with experience with WordPress, Photoshop, Google Analytics, social media and other software and online tools are a huge plus. Time commitment of 10-20 hours per week preferred. Position would begin immediately and run through May 2014.

To apply send an email cover letter and resume to ethel@audreymagazine.com

Audrey is an award-winning lifestyle publication created by Asian American women for Asian American women. Our official website features everything you want to read from hard-hitting articles on current events as well as cutting-edge fashion, arts & entertainment, beauty, dating advice, health and more.

Some of our top stories focus on what we all love: adorable Asian babies, the breakdown of Asian stereotypes and even Smoking Hot Asian Guys (SHAGs).

Traditional Chinese Instrument Creates Best Super Mario Bros. Cover EVER

Who doesn’t like a good cover of Super Mario Bros. music? We’ve seen this with just about every sort of instrument imaginable– using a piano, using the guitar, using a harmonica and even using wine glasses.

So what sort of instrument can produce the best cover? As it turns out, the most fitting instrument may be something we didn’t expect at all. A traditional Chinese instrument called the sheng may be our top contender.

You may be unfamiliar with the strange device, but it has actually been around since 1100BC. The sheng is a mouth organ made of wood, metal, or a gourd with a blowpipe and at least 17 extending pipes made from bamboo or metal.

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Although  the sheng is used primarily to play Chinese classical music with other traditional Chinese instruments, there seems to be room for its beautiful sounds here in modern times.

In the video below, a Japanese student is seen doing a sheng cover of the Super Mario Bros. theme song as well as many of the songs and sound effects from the original game. We even get to hear as Mario accumulates coins.

Needless to say, this impressive cover is on its way to viral fame. Check it out for yourself.

 

 

Even More Korean Couples With Matching Outfits on Valentine’s Day

Recently, we showed you a very popular trend among couples in Korea. In an effort to publicly show their relationship, many couples will go for the “couple look.” They will match with the same color, shirt, shoes, or even go to extreme lengths and match head-to-toe in identical his-and-hers versions of an entire outfit.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon. Some couples use this as a way of showing affection. Others use it as a clear sign that they are off the market. Some have even reasoned that it makes a big fashion statement because it is so easily noticed.

Whatever the reason may be, matching couple outfits are getting more and more popular everyday. WWD wandered the streets of Seoul on Valentine’s Day to catch a glimpse of the “couple look.”

Sure enough, the matching outfits popped up everywhere during the romantic holiday. One couple argued that they didn’t need Valentine’s Day to be cute with one another. “We dress the same every day,” said Shin Seung-Chul and fiancée, Bae Jung-a.

Check out more couples who decided to flaunt their love for Valentine’s Day:

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Possibly The Most Uncomfortable Marriage Proposal Ever

Are we a fan of marriage proposals here at Audrey? You bet.

So far, we’ve seen quite an interesting array of proposals. For instance, there was the adorable one that happened in the middle of a sing-along to Disney’s Frozen. Then there was the elaborate, 27-minute video proposal that contained music videos, flashmobs, and even movie trailers.

And then there are the people who do everything in their power to stick out from the rest. Who can forget the young lady who decided to defy gender roles and propose to her boyfriend instead? And surely we all remember the uncomfortable live marriage proposal that angered feminists everywhere.

Well now, we’ve uncovered a marriage proposal that aims to be even more uncomfortably awkward.

This past Valentine’s day was an opportunity for everyone to embrace their romantic side. This certainly seemed to be case for this Chinese woman in Xiamen, Fujian who made special arrangements at this movie theater. She then waited for her boyfriend to appear.

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After giving a proposal speech, she gets down on one knee and reveals a ring to her boyfriend.
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This is when things get a little awkward. Pictures of the boyfriend show a man who doesn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Or maybe he’s just expressionless because he’s surprised?

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Here he is seen placing the ring on her finger, but he definitely appears reluctant to do so.
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And here we see the happy couple. Well, she certainly seems happy. His half-hearted hug and sour expression is questionable.
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Very little is known about the couple so our optimistic side says he may just carry that expression naturally. However, if our instincts are correct, we may be looking at the most uncomfortable marriage proposal ever.

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Even After Being Bullied Mercilessly, Harnaam Kaur Learned to Embrace Her Beard

Kids can be cruel. This was certainly the case for Harnaam Kaur who started growing facial hair at the young age of 11.

“I got bullied badly,” she recalled. “At school I was called a ‘beardo’ and things like ‘shemale’ and ‘sheman.’”

Harnaam Kaur has polycystic ovary syndrome which causes thick hair growth. In a desperate effort to look more like the other girls at school, Kaur would try waxing, bleaching and shaving, but her efforts proved only temporary. The hair would grow back quickly and in some cases, more thicker.

Unable to stop the hair growth, Kaur was forced to face cruel taunts and even online death threats from people who didn’t accept her.

“I can laugh about it now,” Kaur admits, “but back then it affected me so badly that I began to self harm because it felt better than all the abuse I was getting. I’d talk to people with a hand over my face and I wore baggy, tomboy clothes to cover up the hair on my chest and arms. I didn’t want to go outside my house because I couldn’t take the stares from strangers so I’d lock myself in my room. It got so bad that I just didn’t want to live any more.”

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Her outlook on life suddenly changed when she decided to be baptised as a Sikh – a religion where it is forbidden to cut body hair. Her parents were originally opposed to the idea. They believed that she would not be able to get a job or a husband with her beard, but Kaur was determined to turn a new leaf. She knew she needed a new outlook on life and she needed a way to end the suicidal thoughts.

Her decision has helped her embrace her physical appearance.

“I would never ever go back now and remove my facial hair because it’s the way God made me and I’m happy with the way I am,” she says. “I feel more feminine, more sexy and I think I look it too. I’ve learned to love myself for who I am nothing can shake me now.”

With her new-found confidence, Kaur has no problem doing the things that made her uncomfortable before: wearing dresses, putting on jewelry and getting her nails done. She even shares her story to the public despite death threats.

“All that matters to me at the moment is that I love myself,” Kaur explains. “I love my beard and all my other little quirks – my tattoos, my scars, stretch marks and blemishes. I want other women to find the strength that I have. If I had any message it would be to live the way you want – it’s your journey and it’s your life.”

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Image of The Day: The Best ‘Attack on Titan’ Cosplay EVER

Japanese manga series Attack on Titan has received quite a bit of fame since it began in 2009. The past few years alone have been an indicator of the manga’s large success.

In 2011, Attack on Titan won the Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category. Nearly all of the volumes made it onto The New York Times Manga Best Seller list  and the Young Adult Library Services Association in the United States named the series one of its “Great Graphic Novels for Teens.” So far, over 22 million copies have been sold in Japan.

So what sort of manga can possibly attract this much attention? Well Attack on Titans happens to be about gigantic humanoid creatures called Titans who devour and destroy humans. After a massive attack, the remaining humans were left to live confined in concrete walls. After a 100-year absence, the Titans mysteriously reappear and humans must deal with the vicious creatures once more.

Clearly, this violent series isn’t the usual dose of “cute” that our Audrey readers typically prefer, but this little girl is here to prove to you that she can make absolutely anything cute.

This adorable bit of cosplay is from the Fancy Frontier comic and cosplay event in Taiwan. The cutie is dressed as Attack on Titan character Sasha Braus. The character is known to have a large appetite so, to our delight, the tiny girl appears to be nibbling away at food.

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What Happens When Asian Kids Swap Outfits With Their Grandparents

The Singaporean artist simply known as “Qozop,” proves that age is just a number in many ways.

For instance, the artist appears to be rather new to the scene. Qozop’s facebook emerged late last month and the official blog has only two posts thus far. In fact the artist is such a mystery that the about me is kept plain and simple. It reads, “There is nothing special about me. I am just an artist who has caught a picture-making sickness.”

Despite Qozop’s “young” talent, the artist has already picked up quite a bit of attention. Qozop has been featured in Design TAXI, Demilked and Huffington Post.

The art that has sparked attention is Qozop’s series titled “Spring — Autumn.” He photographed pairs of relatives, such as parents and kids or grandparents and grandchildren, then had them exchange outfits.

“Fashion (other than wrinkles) is one of the best tell-tales of how old a person is, or what generation they hail from,” Qozop writes. “Skinny jeans just aren’t a thing for old people. But! Imagine a world where people of a certain age need not necessarily dress a certain way.”

Many viewers have interpreted the series as an exploration of identity and age, especially within Asian Americans.

Take a look at the entire series of Asian youth trading outfits with their parents and grandparents.

 

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