Image of The Day: Kohei Matsuno’s Must-See Coffee Art

Coffee art has recently been growing in popularity. No longer do we merely see images of a leaf or a heart on top of a latte. Artists have become more and more creative with their coffee art designs and methods.

One artist in particular has been catching quite some attention for his detailed work. Kohei Matsuno, a Japanese barista, turned his part-time job into his canvas.

Matsuno began by creating detailed images onto his coffee. Often, these images were of traditional Japanese landscapes, popular manga characters and realistic portraits. Then, he decided to take his art one step further.

Feeling limited by the flat surface of the coffee, Matsuno began creating 3D pop-up coffee art. Using large amounts of milk foam, Matsuno created cute shapes with sharp tools and toothpicks.

Of course, this is no easy task. The designs often remain simple because Matsuno has only five minutes before his medium begins to melt away. Luckily, no one seems to mind the simplicity of his work. In fact his adorable work has made him one of the most popular latte artists in Japan.

Check out his work below:

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Asian Woman Turns To Photoshop To Change Appearance

Yesterday, we pointed out that the pressure to be thin is only one of the many issues that Asian women face. The need to be beautiful seems to increase daily and Asian women are taking extreme measures to get there.

One such measure is surgery. Last month, the public couldn’t stop talking about television personality Julie Chen and her decision to go under the knife to progress her career. Of course, this is nothing compared to the startling amount of surgeries happening in Asia.

Korean photographer Ji Yeo claims, “Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women on their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the idea woman. As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character.”

In fact, a Korean woman recently went through a number of surgical procedures to look like Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr. Of course, all this comes with a price. Aside from the rather large sum of money women are coughing up to be more beautiful, surgery runs the risk of long-term complications. Take Xiao Lian for example. The already pretty woman decided to get surgery on her face and is now struggling with the deterioration of her face years later.

So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t want the risks of surgery, but can’t deal with the overwhelming pressure to be beautiful? Apparently, some Asian women are turning to photoshop.

The rise of social media and online dating has its share of ups and downs. A notable downside to online dating is the misleading profile pictures. Who hasn’t heard of proper “myspace angles” when taking pictures or the infamous guy who posts up a pictures of himself ten years younger. Social media users have all been warned time and time again– what you see is not necessarily what you get.

A Chinese news and gossip site recently posted up pictures of a woman before and after photoshop. The images quickly went viral and left many Chinese readers in disbelief. World News Views reports, “Reactions ranged from impressed to shocked to downright disturbed that such a ‘plain’ person could become a radiant beauty when equipped with the right tools. Some people needed to be convinced that it was even the same girl.”

To many of us, the altering of pictures is nothing new. In fact, this has become so common that there are even mobile apps which “beautify” pictures as well. For example, the app Beauty Plus smoothens pores, slims down your face, and brightens your eyes with just one tap.

The pressure to be beautiful will surely increase with the rise in photoshop and beauty apps. So tell us what you think– Is it too much? Did this girl even need photoshop to begin with?

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Why Nicolas Cage Hopes To See More Asian Male Actors in Hollywood

When we think of the people who advocate for the advancement of the Asian community in American cinema, we admit that Nicolas Cage is not one of the first names that come to mind. Nonetheless, an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows that his name should be on that list.

Cage, an award-winning actor, producer and director, was in China to shoot an upcoming period drama Outcast. The film, which is directed by Nick Powell, is set in China and allowed Cage to work with a Chinese crew as well as Chinese co-stars such as  Liu Yifei.

Cage notes that this is his first time filming a movie in China, but hopes to continue working with China after enjoying this experience. After praising his co-star’s performance as well as the Chinese film industry, Cage turned the conversation to focus on Chinese actors in American Cinema.

“I hope that we will see more Chinese actors in American cinema too,” Cage says. “We do see Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat, but it’s very rare to see the Chinese male actor in Hollywood movies, which is something I take great umbrage with. You know, my son is Asian. He may want to direct one day; he may want to be an actor like his father — and I want that to be open to him. So I want to make some kind of effort to see more of that happen in Hollywood.”

For those who are unaware, Cage’s wife Alice Kim is Korean American. Because their 8-year-old son Kal-El (Yes, he’s named after named after Superman’s birth name on planet Krypton) is part Asian American, this is an issue which hits home for Cage.

We agree with you, Nicolas Cage. We certainly hope for that too.

Watch the entire interview here.

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Image of The Day: Disney Princesses Dress Up For Halloween

Recently, Disney Princesses have been getting quite a bit of attention. Just the other day Mulan was revealed to be bisexual on Once Upon A Time and last month, we got a look at Disney princesses portrayed by Asian Americans.

With Halloween around the corner, we can only expect the hype around these Disney Princesses to get larger. Year after year, more young girls wish to put on a costume of their favorite princess and act out a Disney fairytale.

But what if the tables were turned? Artist  Isaiah K Stephens decided to show how some of our favorite princesses would look like if they dressed up as their favorite superhero or heroine for Halloween.

Some of our favorites include Rapunzel as Japanese manga heroine Sailor Moon, Tianna as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jasmine and Chun-Li from Street Fighter.

Check out more Disney Princesses dressed up and stay tuned for a second set which will include Alice, Kida, Megara, Jane Porter, Tinkerbell, Charlotte La boff,  Esmeralda, and Sally.

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Breaking The Asian Myth | “Asians Don’t Get Fat”

We’ve heard a lot of stereotypes about Asians.

There’s the very incorrect myth that all Asians have the same kind of hair. Apparently, being Asian automatically means straight, sleek, black hair. Then there’s the dangerous myth about Asians and breast cancer. Some believe that Asians don’t need to worry since we have the lowest breast cancer rate. The reality is that Japanese American women have the highest rate of breast cancer among Asian Americans and this type of cancer is the leading cause of death for Filipino women. Obviously, there are important differences between the various ethnicities which categorize under the umbrella term “Asian.”

And now, we’ve come to a myth that many of us have heard since childhood:
You’re lucky you’re Asian. Asians don’t get fat.”

This is the part where we all let out a collective sigh. Obviously, that phrase is extremely problematic. Asians are human and fully capable of putting on weight. Sure, this stereotype holds some ground. Many Asians are indeed fairly thin or petite, but by no means is this the case for all Asians. Setting the boundary that Asians don’t get overweight can create quite a few problems for our community.
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Take Maria Kang (above) for example. Controversial photo aside, it is clear that this mother of three had to work hard to get the impressively fit body that she has now. Among the negative comments shot at her, there were a number of people saying that her achievements are nothing to boast about because she’s Asian and “Asians are naturally thin.” Suddenly, hard work of any sort is simply waved off as nothing.

Make no mistake– there are certainly Asians on the heavier side. Now imagine how a heavy-set Asian feels in the midst of such high expectations? What does a woman do when society makes her believe that her culture is genetically engineered to be thin, but she is not? Now more than ever, Asian women are turning to surgery to fit these high beauty standards. With the ideal weight for Asian women getting smaller and smaller everyday, we began to wonder just how true this stereotype is. Lucky for us, we weren’t the only ones who saw flaws in the idea that “Asians don’t get fat.”

NBC recently took a closer look at where Asian Americans rank on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and noted two very big problems which would lead to incorrect results.

It is true that according to the survey, obesity does not appear to be an issue with the Asian American community, but it is important to take note of their definition of obese. In order to judge obesity, the NHANES looks at body mass index (BMI). A BMI above 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. By these standard, only 10.8 % of Asians are obese compared to the 33% of white, 42% of Hispanics, and 48% of blacks.

The problem? The BMI of an Asian is not an accurate indicator of whether or not that person suffers from the health risks related to obesity. For instance, Asian Americans are at risk for diabetes with a BMI of just 24 and at risk for cardiovascular disease with a BMI of 19. By the NHANES standards, these BMI’s are not even considered overweight and yet it is enough to bring the complications of obesity to Asian Americans.

The second major problem is the giant umbrella term “Asian.”  NBC notes that this term “is defined the same way the 2010 U.S. Census defined the term: Americans with descendants from the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent — that includes Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.” By categorizing so many types of Asians into the same field, it is easy to overlook the results of the individual ethnicities.

According to a CDC report in 2008, Filipinos are 70% more likely to be obese compared to the other Asian Americans while a number of Vietnamese and Korean adults are underweight. Clearly, obesity issues vary amongst the different types of Asians. Scott Chan, the program director for the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, points out, “Combined together, it looks like we don’t have a problem. It kind of propagates that ‘model minority’ myth — that Asians are healthier, we’re skinny, we’re fine.”

So as much as we buy into the idea that Asians are naturally thin, it is quite a danger to our community. Do some Asians get fat? Yes. Should we worry about the health risks associated with obesity? Absolutely.


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Must-See Video | Martial Arts Has NEVER Been This Cute

We’ve definitely shown you quite a number of cute children on this site. In July, we brought you the Adorable Asian Baby Overload. More recently, we threw some Halloween costumes on these babies and came up with the Halloween Costume Edition. Needless to say, these adorable children pull at our heartstrings and apparently we’re not the only ones.

This video has an incredible 1,430,000+ views and over 3,000 likes. Clearly, many people were just as taken with the cuteness. Although this video was put up in 2011, it appears to be going through yet another round of viral attention. This is probably thanks to Buzzfeed  and Reddit who have called this “The Cutest Taekwondo Match Ever.”

Don’t believe us? See it for yourself below and don’t worry. Check out those smiles- they’re far from hurting each other. In fact, they might just end up hurting us after smiling so much.

 

 

That Fitness Mom With The Controversial Photo? She’s Still Not Sorry

A few days ago, we showed you Maria Kang. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother of three was bombarded with reactions for a picture of herself in a sports bra and short shorts, surrounded by her three young sons. A caption reading “Whats your excuse?” sparked a fire of online debates questioning whether or not the image was insulting. The online debate exploded even more once Kang decided to repost her image with a “non-apology” as seen below:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life.”

Just about everyone felt the need to put in their two cents on the matter. In fact, even our own readers had conflicting opinions about the issue.

One reader commented, “I do think that caption is kind of aggressively presumptuous. “Excuse” has a negative connotation. I mean, I don’t feel like anyone deserves an apology for her ad, but I see where people would feel unprecedentedly challenged in the way she presents her achievement.”

Another reader saw no problem in the photo at all. He wrote, “Why are people offended by “What’s Your Excuse?” All of the negative comments revolve around how people don’t always have the same goals, or don’t WANT to look like this, etc. Well then great, why be upset if this doesn’t apply to you? Move on. People are stupid.”

Regardless of the positive or negative comments, Kang was clearly not phased. Kang made an appearance on Today and voiced her opinion that she still has nothing to be sorry about.

Kang says that she knew it would be a powerful image despite its criticism. Kang claims that the amount of people who disagree with the image is a small 20% while the rest are inspired. When asked if she would change the caption if she could go back in time, Kang replied that even another caption would spark that same debate. “It’s really, again, that dialogue that’s happening in that persons head.” she explains. While she says she’s aware of why some people were insulted by the picture, she confidently says, “I think the majority of people saw it as inspiring.”

Watch the interview below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

 

MUST SEE: The Most Elaborate Marriage Proposal in History

Back in a time long, long ago, marriage proposals were simple ordeals. You would bring your partner to some place special, get down on one knee, promise the world to them and just like that you were engaged. Simple right?

Well the rise in social media has made marriage proposals everything but simple. Now that we can all see each other’s method of proposing, expectations have shot up. As much as we hate to admit it, we now have grand daydreams of the extravagant moment when our hand will be asked in marriage. This leaves our poor suitor to shake their head at every new marriage proposal that goes viral. What is it this time? A proposal via hot air balloon? A flashmob? Fireworks? Whatever it may be, you can bet it’s elaborate.

A few months ago, we posted a video that turned heads. A woman asked her boyfriend to marry her with her own elaborate planning. But now, we’ve found a proposal that gives the phrase “over-the-top” a new meaning.

Creator of history’s most elaborate marriage proposal is Justin Baldoni. He arranged for his then-girlfriend, Emily Foxler , to meet him at the restaurant where they had their first date. There she finds a giant projected video of her soon-to-be groom explaining that he is not standing her up. He’s doing the opposite.

And this begins a 27-minute long proposal including everything from music videos, flashmobs, and movie trailers. Is it squeal-worthy or is it cringe-worthy? Some women are left in joyful tears and ask if Baldoni has a twin brother. Others have commented, “It makes those last 12 scenes of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy seem positively succinct, and it crosses the line between devoting noticeable time and effort to something and wasting half of your soon-to-be fiancee’s evening.”

Whatever your opinion may be, Baldoni succeeded with getting his love to accept his very epic proposal. Baldoni tells Inside Edition, “I am someone who I loves grand gestures. I love expressing my love in big ways.”

Even more surprising is the guest appearance of Korean American actor James Kyson. The 27-year-old, who is most known for his character Ando Masahashi on the NBC television series Heroes, is a must see in this video. Kyson dancing to Nsync, Boy II Men and Dancing Queen? Check it out for yourself:

 

Image of The Day: The Best Totoro Bus Stop Parodies

When Miyazaki announced his retirement, fans quickly reacted. Suddenly, the already large fandom grew in number and in passion. His movies were popping up all over social media, children were cosplaying his characters left and right and suddenly everyone wanted to take part in the Ghibli fandom. Just last month, we reported on his retirement:

When news broke out that Hayao Miyazaki was retiring, fans everywhere wished it was simply a false rumor. For years, Miyazaki brought us whimsical animations such as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. In 2003, the Ghibli studio co-founder won an Oscar for his breathtaking feature film, Spirited Away.

Although Miyazaki has shown a mastery of his craft, he has firmly stated that he is done with films. The 72-year-old confirmed that his film The Wind Rises is his last. The film, which focuses on a fictional biography of Japan’s Zero airplane creator Jiro Horikoshi, has already become a box-office hit in Japan since its release in July.

With a handful of awards, critical acclaim, and worldwide recognition, Miyazaki will retire knowing that he achieved what he set out to do. According to CBC News, Miyazaki commented, ”I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living. This message has not changed.”

While our hearts are saddened by the finale of a talented individual, his work continues to live on.

 

Just as we expected, the fandom continued to expand and find different ways to honor Miyazaki. Aside from cosplaying, we noticed one thing in particular that Miyazaki fans were partaking in– re-drawing his art. Specifically, we found a number of art parodies to the famous rainy bus stop scene:

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Here are just a few of our favorites:

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Save The Date: Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal Present UNFORGETTABLE 2013

It is our pleasure to present Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 12th annual gala, Unforgettable. This high-profile, celebrity-studded event is dedicated to honoring achievements within the past year and is an opportunity for talent to perform for distinguished and influential members of the community.

This year, in honor of Audrey Magazine’s 10th anniversary, Unforgettable is expanding to celebrate the achievements of the entire Pan-Asian American community.

Unforgettable promises to be one of the premiere entertainment events of the year for the Asian American community.

When: Saturday, December 7, 2013 @ 5pm
Where: The Legendary Park Plaza Hotel
607 South Park View Street
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Hosted by:  Lisa Ling

More information coming soon!