It’s no secret that the pressure to be thin is one faced by many woman. A simple flip through your average Vogue is enough to get the point across: society tells us skinny is pretty and fat is not.
Even worse, any woman in Japan will tell you that their pressure is far greater. Apparently a chubby figure (much smaller than what we consider obese here in the U.S.) is not acceptable.
As a result, some in Japan have tried to counter this perception of chubby girls. A magazine called La Farfa was created and features only plus-sized women. It is an effort to show Japan and the world that plus-sized girls are beautiful as well.
Recently, the magazine called one of its models, Goto Seina, a “marshmallow girl.” The magazine has since been advocating for the term and claims that it hopes the nickname will change the general perspective on chubby girls.
The aim of the new nickname is to associate chubbiness with cuteness instead of the negative connotations of a nickname like “fatty.”
While the new term inches its way towards viral popularity, netizens seem torn on the issue. Some claim that the term is much more user-friendly and “you’re a marshmallow girl” creates a much cuter image than harsh terms like “you’re a fatty” or “you’re a pig.”
Others claim that its association to food is problematic. One commented on JapanCrush.com, “How about just calling them “pizza girls”?”
Some netizens want nothing to do with the confusing issue and refuse to recognize the issue at all. They simply say women should just lose weight and that’s that.
Let us know what you think. Will “marshmallow girls” be a productive method of combating fat-shaming?
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are artists who have been working together in Beijing since the late 90’s. The duo is known for using extreme and sometimes controversial mediums. For instance, the two have used live animals, human fat tissue and baby cadavers within their installations. These works of art often deal with the theme of death. As expected, the two have come up with some of China’s most controversial pieces of art.
This year, the duo put together a very personal piece inspired by the passion of Peng Yu’s mother.
According to RocketNews24, Peng Yu conducted an interview with her mother before she died to discuss the end of her life and her thoughts on afterlife. Peng Yu’s mother went into detail about rebirth and reincarnation.
“If I die, I don’t want to come back as some creature that lives on land,” she explained. “I want to fly, soaring above the earth in the company of red-crowned cranes. How free it would be, live where I want, land where ever I wish.
Inspired by her words, the artists decided to honor her life with a piece called “If I Died.” The installment portrays what his mother hoped for in her afterlife. The piece shows Peng Yu’s mother soaring with the bird and see creatures. Precisely as she had wished, she seems at peace.
The birds are stuffed specimens while Peng Yu’s mother and the sea creatures are made from fiberglass and silica gel. Check them out below.
In 2011, the Boston Globe’s Billy Baker wrote a story on Johnny and George Huynh– two impoverished teenage brothers who spent every day dreaming of better circumstances.
Baker delved deep into the lives of these brothers and discovered that their abusive father committed suicide leaving their mother to spend her days locked up in her room, succumbing to her mental health issues.
The boys supported themselves and had to work to afford basic necessities. Despite these adversaries, the story highlights the boys’ unyielding passion for academics. Though they had to take the bus to get there, the boys attended a prestigious Boston high school and achieved top grades. This gave them a tiny ray of hope that things could change.
“I just want to fit in,’’ Johnny told Baker. “I’m tired of being known as that poor kid who is struggling.’’
The story goes on to describe the boys giving a emotional speech for the Catholic Charity which often helped them when they were in need.
The first half of their speech is jokey, a back-and-forth about who is taller, who is smarter, culminating with a story of the time their mother received a turkey from Catholic Charities. She didn’t know what to do with it so she stuffed it with noodles. The crowd laughs.
Things are going well; their delivery is better than in rehearsals. Then they get to the second half of the speech, the part about their father’s death.
First, George tells the story of that night when the police came to the door, carrying their father’s photo. Then Johnny picks up the story. “He was only 54,’’ he says. “He took his own life. And we didn’t have any money.’’
As he says the word “money,’’ Johnny cracks. He tries to push on, but the words won’t come out of his throat.
After bringing the audience to tears, Johnny concluded the speech by saying, “There are times when we all need to depend on the kindness of strangers.”
And then the story finishes and readers are left hoping that the two boys really do find a way to turn their lives around. Fast-forward a couple of years and it turns out that their story isn’t done after all. A few days ago, Baker began tweeting about the brothers. As it turns out, Baker was touched by the story and let the boys into his own life.
A competition was recently held by Chinese social media site Sina Weibo. Their mission? To find China’s hottest mom.
While American Pie has made the idea of a MILF (you can look that term up if you don’t know it) a run-on joke since the 90’s, China seems to take this concept very seriously.
The competition was influenced by Coach’s Mother’s Day “Hot Mom” Campaign. Once again- no, we’re not kidding. In America, Coach has recently seen a slow decrease in sales. Apparently, Coach bags have been criticized for being “mom bags” and lacking personality. Coach’s China branch decided to use this to their advantage.
With the help of social media, the China branch ensured that their products gave a youthful feel. They worked in the idea of mom’s feeling even more youthful after purchasing a Coach bag. They then launched the “Hot Mom” campaign and sales have gone up nearly 40% this year.
Inspired by this idea, Weibo launched the “Hot Mom” photo competition. The competition proved to be a success. Tons of moms took part in it to show off their beautiful and youthful looks.
While many people seemed pleased with the competition, others seemed uncomfortable with the whole ordeal.
MailOnline remarked “Some of the mothers look so similar to their daughters it is difficult to tell them apart and instead they look like sisters.” Shanghiist shared the same discomfort and agreed that it was often very difficult to tell who was the child and who was the mother.
MailOnline also commented that motherhood was already stressful enough. Jezebel highly agreed and said, “As if beauty culture didn’t already put enough pressure on us to never start looking old, working tirelessly to turn us all into a diverse chorus of consumer Queen Grimhildes.”
As the growing pressure to be beautiful gets even heavier in Asia, is it right to pin these expectations onto mothers as well? Be a good mother, wife, and now maintain your youth until your own daughter reaches adulthood. Are we asking for too much?
Or is this simply a way to keep mothers healthy and active? Maybe this is a way to congratulate the mothers who worked hard to stay healthy? Tell us what you think.
While it is true that Asian Americans don’t receive enough time to shine on mainstream media, we are far from silent. In fact, there were quite a number of Asian stories that went viral this year.
Comedy duo, The Fung Brothers decided to highlight 25 Viral Asian stories of 2013. If you watch this video and don’t quite know what they’re talking about, have no fear! As it turns out, we’ve written about many of these viral stories. Watch the video then click the links below for a more in-depth look at the Viral Asian stories of 2013.
Kenichi Ebina won America’s Got Talent. Japanese Dancer Kenichi Ebina Wins America’s Got Talent (READ HERE) “Months ago, Kenichi Ebina’s audition performance for America’s Got Talent went viral. Ebina stunned the judges and viewers nationwide with his “dance-ish” performance that included the robot, some gasp-worthy matrix moves, and entertaining martial arts…”
K-pop got popular. KCON 2013 | Proof That Kpop Is Not Just For Koreans (READ HERE)
“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…”
Linsanity came out in theaters. Linsanity Coming To A Theater Near You (READ HERE) “Although many of us may have gone linsane back in 2012 when third-string guard, end of the bench player, Jeremy Lin became a new sensation, many fans and even sports professionals did not know much about him. Director Evan Jackson Leong and his crew began documenting Lin’s journey in basketball way before all the hype of Linsanity pushed him to stardom…”
Man sues wife for being ugly/ Family photo was fake. Horrible Reaction To ‘Man Sues Wife For Ugly Children’ Hoax (READ HERE) “According to multiple sources, a Chinese man named Jian Feng was “horrified” when his beautiful wife gave birth to an ugly child. He suspected his wife of an affair because he could not see how the two of them could create the child. After tests proved that it was in fact their child, the husband discovered that his wife had undergone surgery before they met…”
Indian woman won Miss America. Miss America Makes History with First Indian American Winner… But Not Without Racist Haters (READ HERE) Top Five Reasons Nina Davuluri is Awesome (READ HERE) “But not long after the coveted crown was placed on her head, Davuluri, who performed a Bollywood fusion dance routine for the talent portion of the competition, quickly became the focus of discriminatory and racist comments on various social media platforms. The 24-year-old aspiring doctor was referred to, among other things, as “Miss 7-11,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” and as a “terrorist.” Some expressed their disappointment that an “Arab” who had performed “Egypt dancing” won Miss America, just days after the 9/11 anniversary. Some even retorted that a Miss America winner “should have to be American.””
City urges nearby Sriracha factory to shut down. Sriracha Factory Odor Causes Burning Eyes And Headaches (READ HERE) “Residents have filed several complaints about burning eyes and constant headaches due to the intense and painful odor emitted by the factory. One family in the area stated that they were forced to move a birthday party indoors due to the strong odor…”
Situations like this is precisely the reason Audrey created the Daily SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy) to prove that, contrary to popular belief, Asian men in all shapes and sizes can be desirable.
Who better to portray this than K-pop’s current dreamboats, EXO? The 12 member boy band, which consist of Korean and Chinese members, clearly bring an array of looks, personalities and body types. They easily prove that Asian men are perfectly capable of being hot.
The boys are accompanied by actress Seo Yea Ji while they make school uniforms look more attractive than we could have ever imagined.
Click below for some Daily SHAG pictures you’re sure to enjoy. As an added bonus, we’ve included the behind-the-scenes footage of this swoon-worthy photoshoot. And if you still find yourself lost and unable to distinguish the members, have no fear. Check out The Ultimate Guide to EXO.
On December 16th, the 56th Asia-Pacific Film Festival Award Ceremony was held in Macau at The Venetian.
Wong Kar-wai’s much anticipated film The Grandmaster proved that it was worth the anticipation by taking home two awards that night: Best Cinematography and Best Actress.
Zhang Ziyi, one of the top actresses in China’s film industry and best known for her roles in the Oscar-winning films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, was well-deserving of Best Actress Award. She was also awarded Best Actress at the recent Golden Horse Awards for the same role in The Grandmaster.
Zhang Ziyi plays the strong-willed Gong Er who learned Kung Fu in secret when women were not allowed to. Zhang Ziyi admits that she simply could not say no to Wong Kar-wai, but certainly did not expect the film to take three years to shoot.
Clearly, that decision was worth it. The actress did more than stun audiences with her acting, she also took everyone’s breath away with her red-carpet look to accept the award. Zhang wore a stunning Armani Privé Spring 2013 red latex bustier mermaid gown coded in strands of sequins.
These days, we get the striking feeling that feminism has become a misunderstood concept.
Time and time again, I’ve come across individuals who associate feminism as the hatred of men. Thats it. Apparently there is no actual and logical reason behind why women are feminists aside from the desire for bra-burnings, anger, and the shared hatred of all males.
Even worse, “feminism” has gained some negative connotations. Suddenly, women who are feminists are viewed as bad girlfriends and bad wives. As a result, even women who feel strongly for their rights as an individual do not want to be associated with the description “feminist.”
These misunderstandings are exactly why 20-year-old Katarzyna Babis designed a comic to show why feminism exists.
“I would like to take away the bad rep of the word ‘feminism,’ broaden the awareness of the actual agenda of this movement, and of the need for discussion about the way in which women are treated in our society,” Babis told HuffPost.
Her comic portrays the double standards that women often face and the judgements they receive no matter what lifestyle choice they make.
“[I wanted to start a] discussion about the problem with the way women are perceived by the society, about huge and often contradictory expectations that are put on their shoulders,” said Babis. “In this reality, a woman’s body doesn’t belong to her –- it is either a public property, intended only to be admired, or a source of sin, shame and guilt.”
As Asian American women, we are no strangers to expectations and judgements. Dressing a certain way or even choosing a certain career path can trigger a number of judgements from our very own family. This is exactly the thing that Babis portrays in her comic below.
Rumors began to spread that the 17-year-old singer called Justin Beiber and the members of One Direction “ugly.” As a result, Beiber fans and One Direction fans chose to retaliate. Their main focus? Lorde’s 24-year-old rumored boyfriend, James Lowe.
The worst part about all this is that the cyberbullies chose to use some of the worst stereotypes about Asian males. Although he did nothing to deserve the insults, Lowe was called ugly, scrawny, nerdy, Psy gone wrong, and a number of other derogatory terms.
While many Asians expressed anger about the racist remarks, comedian Andrew Fung tried to focus on some of the positives of this situation.
“I was like, ‘Oh, he’s a skinny Asian guy! It’s not like he’s a buff K-Pop guy,'” said Fung. “That’s very cool.”
Fun pointed out that the situation would be much less controversial had Lorde been dating a more “conventionally attractive Asian-American male,” but is glad that a “nerdy Asian guy is in the spotlight.”
Fung and his brother David expressed their full views on the situation through the following video. Though it was uploaded less than a week ago, the video has already gathered over 66,000 views on YouTube.
There is no denying that cute Asian babies have become viral sensations. While some popular fads are questionable, we completely understand why adorable babies are irresistible to squeal over.
On the very top of our list is none other than Yerin Park. Her chubby cheeks, habit of smiling, and squeal-worthy facial expressions catapulted her into social media fame. Her father, a software engineer, claims that he first began videotaping Yerin to try and show her grandparents how she was growing. As it turns out, the rest of the world wanted to watch as well.
With the rise in popularity of gifs, one simply could not scroll through tumblr without seeing a laughing Yerin. Now, there are multiple facebooks, blogs, and channels dedicated to Yerin Park.
Now, Yerin is joined by an adorable younger sister named Yeseo. Although Yerin is no longer a baby, she is still a captivating young toddler.
Earlier today, a video was uploaded of Yerin eating a meal. As many of us know, Yerin is a rather picky eater so her parents encourage her by pretending her food is her friend and wants to meet her. Sure, it makes no sense to us, but we must admit that we couldn’t take our eyes off the two cuties. Check it out for yourself.
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.