Strange New Japanese Photo Trend?

One of Japan’s most popular subcultures is the gyaru/gal subculture. Gyaru is largely characterized by having heavily bleached or dyed hair fashioned in big and eccentric hairstyles, highly decorated nails, dramatic makeup and equally dramatic clothes.

Even more interesting, this Japanese street fashion has various subcategories which have distinct styles. Some wear more glitter, some dress up in school uniforms, some even sport dark spray-on tans. Needless to say, these boys and girls are not afraid to catch attention.

And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. The current trending topic on Japanese twitter as well as 2ch, the country’s largest and most popular online forum, is a new Japanese photo trend that seems to be gaining popularity in the gyaru subculture.

If you were upset that the duckface ruined pictures, you haven’t seen anything yet. This possible new photo trend seems to defeat the purpose of the picture all together.

According to Kotaku, the latest photo trend to hit Toyko is to hide your face by looking down while a picture is being taken. Everything else about the photo seems natural. Many of the girls are even still throwing up a peace sign.

You can bet people have been confused about this pose which Japanese media is calling the “Face Down Pose.” People have tried to find the meaning and purpose behind the photo trend. Some claim the teens are trying to make their head/hair appear larger. Others have said that the culture is shy and ashamed of how they look, but we doubt that one.

Realistically, trends may not have a reason behind them at all. Someone could have looked down once and others followed along for humorous purposes.

Whatever the reason, let’s just hope the trend doesn’t make its way here. The last thing we need is a bunch of faceless pictures. pt 2 pt 3 pt 4 pt 5 pt 6

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Already Broke Your New Year’s Resolutions? Feel Better With Wong Fu’s Resolution Fails

It’s hard to believe that its been two weeks since the Times Square Ball dropped and welcomed 2014.

And what comes along with every New Year? You guessed it- a handful of determined people making New Year’s resolutions. According to Statistic Brain, the top ten New Year’s resolutions of 2014 are as follows:
1) Lose weight.
2) Get organized.
3) Spend less and save more.
4) Enjoy life to the fullest.
5) Stay fit and healthy.
6) Learn something exciting.
7) Quit smoking.
8) Help others in their dreams.
9) Fall in love.
10) Spend more time with family.

Unfortunately, less than 10% of people admit to being successful with their New Year’s resolutions every year. Even though we’re only two weeks into 2014, many people have already given up on their resolutions, haven’t started yet, or say they’re “taking a break.”

So where do you fall?

If you seem to have already broken your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t worry! It’s time to bring back Wong Fu’s “Two Weeks Later: Resolution Fails” short to remind us that we’re not alone with our resolution fails. Check it out below.

 

Besides, who says New Years is the only time you can improve your life?

This May Be The Most Awkward Thing You Watch Today

These days, we embrace awkward and quirky. In fact, many of Hollywood’s top celebs (looking at you Jennifer Lawrence) embrace and openly admit to awkwardness. Even the newest Disney Princess, Anna from the Golden Globe-winning animated film Frozen, points out that she’s awkward.

But Rio Mints Hong Kong has decided to take this word to a new level. A Rio Mints commercial, which was released late last month, has been making its way around social media and has gathered quite some attention.

In the commercial, a pair of friends are innocently sporting some beachwear and enjoying what seems to be a carnival of some sort. After the woman offers the man a Rio Mint, the commercial becomes completely unrelated to candy. With a… unique way of utilizing a puppet llama, this commercial certainly tops our awkward list.

And no, not the cute-and-charming kind of awkward. This is the kind of awkward that leaves you confused and not sure how to feel. Watch it for yourself below.

 

Calling All Screenwriters!

Are you an aspiring screenwriter? Do you have material, but need some guidance on how to successfully pitch your project? We’ve got just the thing.

The 14th Annual Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) New Writers Fellowship is now open for submissions.

The two submission categories are Film and Television. If you are one of the 10 fellows selected, you (or your writing team) will receive $1,000 stipend, intensive 11-session curriculum with industry professionals in Los Angeles from March to April (all finalists must be attend all classes and lab sessions), and exclusive opportunities to meet with successful entertainment agents, managers, producers, and executives.

The deadline to enter is January 31, 2014. For more information, click here.

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Adorable Asian Babies Who Dress Better Than You

Our faithful Audrey readers have made one thing clear to us: they love adorable Asian babies. Of course, we don’t blame them. Who can resist squealing over those round eyes and chubby cheeks?

To appease our readers, we brought you the Adorable Asian Baby Overload, Asian Babies With Puppies and even A Halloween Costume Edition. Looks like we’re all out of cute babies, right?

 

Don’t you worry. We noticed one thing in particular with these children who reach social media fame. Many of them have a killer fashion sense. That, or they have parents who understand how much we eat these pictures up. Some people complain that these fashion-heavy photos are simply parents vicariously living through their children by dressing them up to reach viral fame. Others claim that these parents simply enjoy the idea of a well-dressed toddler. Whatever the reason may be, they certainly caught our attention.

Here are kids who make the playground their runway and lower our self-esteem by dressing way better than we ever did during our toddler years.

 

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Problematic Image of The Day: Japanese Show Claims There Are Right & Wrong Ways To Be A Fat Woman

In the United States, the pressure for a woman to be thin is undeniable. Nearly $35 billion a year is spent on weight loss products such as pills, machines and supplements. Everyday advertisements remind us that society has an ideal body weight and we are pressured to try every method to obtain this ideal body image.

This is precisely why it’s striking to discover that Japan places even more pressure on Japanese women. Japan goes to extreme lengths to make sure their citizens are maintaining a slim physique.

Last year, a B&B in Osaka called Lady Share House had the rent of their rooms dependent on the tenant’s weight. The rent would increase with every pound gained and decrease with every pound lost. We can already see the problems which may arise from this tactic. What if someone is in the position of financial hardship and is willing to go to extreme and unhealthy measures  to decrease their rent price?

A week later, a Japanese weight loss app was released which had  “attractive” anime men encourage the user to lose weight. By encourage, I mean these anime characters would say verbally abusive things to the user like, “Fat girl, do some more exercise, okay fattie?”

Every now and then, some Japanese citizens show resistance towards this insane amount of pressure, but these methods can quickly backfire. For instance, La Farfa, a magazine which features only plus-size women, has started to advocate for the term “marshmallow girl.” The aim of the new nickname is to associate chubbiness with cuteness instead of the negative connotations of a nickname like “fatty.” Unfortunately, many readers seemed to dislike the idea of chubby women being associated to food of any kind. One Audrey reader simply stated that they would rather be called fat.

Clearly, good intentions may still be very negative and problematic. This seems to be the case with a Japanese television show pointing out the “right and wrong ways to be a fat girl.”

According to RocketNews24, a Japanese twitter user posted a chart which they saw on a morning television show. The chart distinguished the traits between “OK Chubby” girls and “NG (No Good) Chubby” Girls.


According to the RocketNews24 translation of the chart, the following are considered traits of “OK Chubby” girls:
-Charming and bright smile.
-A big eater.
-Makes an effort an effort to look cute and doesn’t worry about showing skin.
-Clothes are brightly colored.
-Hairstyle and make up is carefully done.

The following are considered traits of “NG (No Good) Chubby” Girls:
-Expressionless and always alone.
-A small eater.
-Clothes are not revealing and attempt to hide figure.
-Only chooses dark clothing.
-Dress like they don’t care or just gave up.


Where to begin? Let’s start with the very big fact that there is no right or wrong way to be chubby. The chart not only makes broad assumptions about women, it’s just plain insulting. How is a woman a “No Good Chubby” simply because she wears dark clothing?

We’re not sure if the chart was trying to be helpful, but it definitely missed its mark. There is no information about the television show which featured the chart, but we certainly hope this was poor taste in humor instead of actual opinion.

 

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Amazing Way Photographer Chino Otsuka Travels Through Time

Imagine how it would be like to meet yourself as a child. What would you say? How would you feel? How much would you have changed?

This is exactly the sort of questions that London-based Japanese photographer, Chino Otsuka, had in mind for her “Imagine Finding Me” series. With a unique and visually stunning method of venturing into her past, the creative photographer travels through time by inserting her current self into images of her childhood self.

The photos show Otsuka at various stages of her life as well as various places around the world. “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” Otsuka tells to AGO.

AGO explains that Otsuka utilizes photography to “to explore the fluid relationship between the memory, time and photography.”

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GET INSPIRED: 4 Years Later, Haiti Can Still Use A Good Neighbor

Earlier this month, Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal presented their 12th annual awards gala, Unforgettable. Historically, this event recognized the success of the Korean American community, but in honor of Audrey Magazine’s 10th anniversary, Unforgettable expanded to celebrate the achievements of the entire Pan-Asian community. Not only did we get to take part in this extravagant event, we presented Janet Yang with the very first Audrey Woman of Influence Award.

Aside from the awards, show-stopping performances and incredible food, Unforgettable stood out this year because of the event’s amazing charity partner, Good Neighbors.

Good Neighbors pride themselves in being an international humanitarian organization focusing on child education, community development, health, and disaster relief projects in  30 countries worldwide.

Needless to say, this organization has been doing an incredible amount of work over the years. For example, Good Neighbors has been aiding Haiti since the destructive earthquake in 2010. But now they need your help:

We’ve come a long way in four years.

This Sunday, January 12th, marks the fourth anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in 2010. Right after the quake hit, Good Neighbors arrived with an emergency relief team to provide food, water, tents, and medical support to thousands–and ended up staying. Since then, we’ve established an official field office in Port-au-Prince to identify the most urgent projects and focus on community development. In four years, we’ve built 31 new homes for displaced families and two new primary schools for children in Wharf Jeremie, one of the most dangerous slums in the region. The homes currently house 50 families and the schools support 615 children and 27 teachers.

As a new year begins in 2014, we’re centering our attention on the rural village of Oranger, where 300 kids in the community still have no access to an education. The few that do attend school study in makeshift rooms made out of cut cloth and wooden sticks, with no real tables and chairs, and no textbooks. Our goal is to raise $18,000 to build new schools and cover these children’s tuition, supplies, and lunchtime meals. We believe that giving Haiti a fresh starts begins with giving every child an education. 

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CrowdRise Campaign:

Nelson Mandela said that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Every child has the right to a basic education and Project Promise300 will help us provide this to 300 children in the village of Oranger, Haiti.

 

In April 2011, Good Neighbors completed two schools in Cite Soleil and Wharf Jeremie, two destitute areas in Port-au-Prince where the majority of the population is illiterate and live in extreme poverty. These schools have since provided children ages 4-18 with primary school education, nutritious lunchtime meals, school supplies and uniforms.

Our plan is to expand these educational opportunities into the village of Oranger, where there are no schools built yet and only a few dozen children currently attend class in makeshift classrooms made from wooden sticks and cut cloth. By supporting Project Promise300, you’ll help us build new schools, provide school supplies, uniforms and meals, and hire teachers and principals. Help us enroll 300 children who are waiting to start their education, so they can create the future that Haiti deserves.

http://www.crowdrise.com/gnusa-haiti

 

 

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Top 5 Reasons We Love Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough Actress OLIVIA MUNN

Variety‘s Breakthrough of the Year Awards celebrates and recognizes rising stars in entertainment and technology. This year, the awards ceremony took place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

Much of our attention was focused on Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough Actress Winner, Olivia Munn. The 33-year-old half-Chinese actress has been on our radar for quite some time. Thankfully, the world is taking notice.

Munn is most known for her roles in films such as Iron Man 2 and Magic Mike as well as her roles on television shows such as The Daily Show and New Girl.

Although she is considered a “rising star,” she has captivated the hearts of her fans for years. Don’t know her yet? Now’s the time. Here are our Top 5 Reasons We Love Olivia Munn.

 


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1. She never gave up on her dreams.
In a 2011 interview with Audrey Magazine, Munn admits that when she first told her mother she wanted to be an actress, her mother adamantly disagreed and insisted that she become a lawyer.

In fact, her mother wasn’t the only one who doubted Munn’s choice of acting. Initially, Munn found her dreams difficult to follow. Her unique look and Asian eyes originally caused her to feel doubtful.

But Munn didn’t give up on her dreams. In fact, it all made her work harder to prove to everyone (including herself) that she was capable. “I told myself, my bar will always be higher than what I was doing at the time. Then if I reached that one, I would make another higher one, and another one,” she says. “I’ve worked hard for a long time [so I could] tell myself, I’ll never be the reason I hear no.”


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2. She overcame social pressures.
Munn spent much of her childhood moving around. She was born in Oklahoma, but spent a large portion of her childhood in Tokyo, Japan. Needless to say, she found it difficult to fit in.

According to Refinery29, Munn tried to change her appearance to be accepted by her peers. “I wore men’s clothing a lot in high school because I wanted to hide behind baggy pants and T-shirts. When I moved from Japan to Oklahoma at 16 I tried to go more preppy to fit in. I ditched my skater clothes but I just ended up looking like some weird girl desperately trying to fit in. The kids in school would be wearing sweater vests from Gap, but we couldn’t afford brand new clothes so I would borrow my grandmother’s linty, moth-eaten sweater vests and not realise how much of a sore thumb I looked like.”

But as expected, she overcame this need to fit in. “When you’re always the new girl, it forces you to come up with new ways to make friends,” Munn tells Audrey Magazine, “because every time you go somewhere, it’s literally the same battle. Eventually with me, once I built up so much scar tissue, I didn’t have to worry so much about becoming popular or being welcomed or being accepted.”


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3. Her strong relationship with her fans.
Over the years, Munn has gathered quite a handful of loyal fans and has proven that she doesn’t allow fame to get to her head. Her fan club is called OMFGs (Olivia Munn Fan Group) and Munn has been known to be extremely generous and kind to her dedicated fans.  In an interview with US Magazine, Munn has stated that she owes everything she has to her loyal fan group, OMFG.

“They’re amazing. I’m very lucky. It’s a really good feeling to know they have my back,” says Munn. ““They put me on this ride. They’re coming along for the ride.”

 


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4. She’s a published author.
Although Munn pursued her dream of becoming an actress despite her mother’s initial sentiments about the career, the last thing Munn wanted to do was go against her mother’s will. Munn admits that no matter what, she needed her mother’s approval before making big decisions like moving to Hollywood.

To satisfy her mother, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a journalism degree and work for a year at a local television station before moving west.

Although Munn is now a successful actress, she still put her degree to good use and became a published author. Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, was released on July 6, 2010.

 


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5. She’s an Audrey Magazine covergirl.
The beautiful Olivia Munn graced our Spring 2011 cover. Check out the must-read cover story here.

 

You Won’t Believe How They Paid For Their Son’s Tuition

With the rising cost of education, many families are left wondering if they can even afford to send their children off to college. The Asian community, however, is known to endure many obstacles in order to ensure an education for their children. Why? College is seen as a necessary step towards a better life- one in which parents will do nearly anything to achieve.

This appears to be the case for Jiagu Zhu and Jianying Liu, a couple in Hengyang, China. The couple realized early on that they would have to work hard to get their children into college in hopes of an easier future. To reach their dream the husband and wife rented a factory unit  in 2004 and got to work.

How was the determined couple planning to send their sons to college? By collecting and recycling over 180kg of plastic (about 7,000 plastic bottles) each day.

According to RocketNews24, the couple must both work tirelessly everyday to make a living. Mr. Jiagu Zhu rides through the streets on his tricycle and alleys to collect discarded plastic and Mrs. Jianying Liu separates and cleans the collected bottles.

“Having it tough is a fortune in disguise, as after the bitter times there will be sweet times. After putting in hard work, you’ll reap good results. We’re countrymen, there’s nothing we’re afraid of. We’re not afraid of leading a hard life, we’re not afraid of exhausting work, we can carve out a happy life with our bare hands,” says Mr. Zhu.

After ten years of hard work, the couple has been able to send both their sons to college and one to Germany to pursue his PhD. To them, all their hard work was entirely worth it.