Video of The Day: Are You A Real Friend?

What does it mean to be there for a friend? How far would you go to help him or her out? Are there boundary lines you shouldn’t cross? These are just a few of the questions that Wong Fu Productions tries to answer in “Real Friends 2,” their hilarious new short.

According to About.com, the true qualities of friendship include honesty, attentiveness, trust, and care.

“In friendship, being accepting goes hand in hand with being loyal. A true friend rolls with the punches as you grow and change and know how to deal with your quirks and faults.They are also patient with you when you make mistakes — even big ones — and learn how to forgive you when you hurt them. In other words, they treat you as you’d like to be treated, even when you aren’t at your best.”

Are these the sort of things that Wong Fu thinks a friendship is made of? Not exactly.

 

The creators of Wong Fu Productions have been making shorts for about a decade now. Clearly, they know a thing or two about friendship. In this short, written and directed by Viet Nguyen, Phillip Wang acts alongside Chris Dinh and Wendy to show what happens when a heartbroken friend needs some comfort.

 

 

Be sure to check out the first of this series. “Real Friends” was published nearly a year ago. Although it has the same name, this short takes quite a different approach to define what a real friend is.

Plastic Surgery Horror Story: A 28-Year-Old Turned 60

Plastic surgery is no stranger to the Asian community. In the past two months alone, a woman went under the knife in an effort to look like Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, television personality Julie Chen received heat for having surgery to progress her career and a Korean photographer felt the need to shed light on Korea’s “beauty-obsessed culture” normalizing surgery.

As plastic surgery becomes more and more common within the Asian community, beauty standards rise accordingly. Under the heavy pressure to look beautiful and with easier access to procedures, many women turn to surgery without hesitation.

The debate over this issue continues among the members of our community. While we all don’t have the same opinion on plastic surgery, we can all acknowledge that undergoing any sort of surgery holds potentially dangerous results.

Unfortunately,  Xiao Lian from Gansu Province had to learn the hard way. At the young age of 17, Xiao Lian made the decision to get work done to improve her facial features. She admits that she disliked her thin face and even her own boss would comment on its unappealing thinness. Pressured to have round and cute cheeks,  Xiao Lian turned to plastic surgery.

Xiao Lian looked into various plastic surgery clinics, but always found the price for her procedure too steep for her budget. Finally, through a friend’s recommendation, she found a small clinic who had not yet obtained it operating license, but offered the procedure at a cost that she could afford. She was injected with a substance over 10 times within the span of one month to achieve the plump face she wanted.

Some years later, in 2009, Xiao Lian began to notice her face swelling. Soon, her eyes and nose seemed to change shape. By 2013, her swollen face and droopy eyes had become unrecognizable. She began losing hair and took on the appearance of an elderly woman instead of her 28-year-old self.

Traumatized by her altered-looks and unable to discover why, Xiao Lian allegedly considered suicide. After numerous trips to the doctor, it was finally revealed that her deteriorating face was a result of the procedure she did as a 17-year-old. Tests revealed that the substance injected into her face was hydrophilic polyacrylamide gel — a substance banned from cosmetic surgery due to its harmful effects on the human body.

Xiao Lian is currently going through corrective surgery in Guangzhou, but doctors have revealed that it will be difficult to reverse the deterioration with the substance in her body for so long.

“Even for a minor surgery you need to choose a clinic you can trust,” says one very wise Guangzhou doctor. Clearly, this is advice we must all take seriously.

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(source 1, 2, 3)

 

Salary Gap Between Asian Men and Asian Women

Back in 1963, The Equal Pay Act became U.S. federal law which required that men and women receive equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The law aimed to finally end the disparity in wages between men and women.

Fifty years have passed and where are we now? Apparently, not as far along as we had hoped.

TriNet, an HR services provider, recently looked into SMB hiring trends, firing trends, salary data, employee demographics and employee benefits for September. Unfortunately, the results are not exactly what we were aiming for.

Although women between the ages of 23-27 have similar salaries to their male counterparts, this salary gap sharply increases after the age of 27. Even worse? In the Information Technology sector, women make much less than men at all ages.

According to a study by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the salary gap between genders is now larger than 20 years ago and has been consistently increasing.

“It’s very interesting because when you actually talk to employers, they often don’t see it as a problem,” says Council of Small Business Chair Amanda Lynch. “They will say that they actually aren’t treating their employees differently and there is no gender bias. But often the statistics tell a different story. So we believe there is this unconscious gender pay gap that is happening where employers aren’t even aware of it.”

Lynch adds that it is difficult for women to get graduate jobs, often dominated by males, and so they end up settling for whatever salary is offered.

In the midst of all these unpleasant findings, there is some rather interesting results when the salary gap is analyzed based on race, especially for Asians.

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Interestingly enough, the salary gap between Asian men and Asian women total to about 10 percent, making it the smallest gender gap out of all the ethnicities. American Indian/Alaska Natives have the highest salary gap with more than 50 percent.

Although we understand that this is not a complete win because ultimately, Asian men still make more money than Asian women in the same jobs, it gives us a glimmer of hope for — someday — true equality in pay.

 

 

 

 

(image source)

5 Reasons We Love Glenn from “The Walking Dead”

1) He’s a proud Asian
When we took a look at the statistics of people of color who actually win Emmy awards, the results were shocking. Needless to say, an Asian popping up on our television screen is rather rare. This is where The Walking Dead‘s Glenn breaks the mold. Not only is Glenn a popular Asian character, he has proudly pointed out that he’s Korean American. By simply distinguishing this fact, he has stepped away from the token Asian character.

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2) He’s the risktaker  

Whether he’s risking his life to be zombie-bait..
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..offering to be the distraction so others can get away safely…
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..getting Plan B pills for Lorrie (because she couldn’t get them herself, right?)..
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Or covering himself up in bloop and guts.
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Glenn has continuously risked his life for the safety of his group.

3) He’s loyal to the group.
Although the members of the group are clearly not his blood relatives, Glenn has taken on the mentality that they are. He takes care of them, protects them, and shows undying loyalty. [Spoiler] His anger towards the Governor for what he did to Maggie makes this clear. These are the people he loves and will do anything for.
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4) He gets the girl. 
No, he is not  the sidekick who’s there purely for humorous reasons. He’s one of the few characters who actually provide love and romance amidst the horrifying setting.

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5) In the middle of death, blood, and human’s being eaten, he bring us THIS.
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Be sure to check out the Season 4 premiere of  AMC’s The Walking Dead this Sunday.

 

 

 

 

The Sudarso Brothers Top 5 Fall Looks

Yoshi and Peter Adrian Sudarso are no strangers to Audrey. The brothers have already earned their spot as a pair of our favorite SHAGs (Smoking Hot Asian Guys) and consistently give us looks to swoon over.

The brothers, who have both dipped their feet in the modeling industry, have proven time and time again that clothes are their best friend. In honor of October, falling leaves, and pumpkin-flavored everything, we bring you our Top 5 Sudarso Brothers Fall Looks.

1) The Leather Look
Its like Christmas came early! The boys give us just a hint of the “bad boy” leather look.
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2) The Jean Look
In case the jean jacket craze hasn’t won you over yet, we’re sure this will.
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3) The Layered Look
Because layers are now officially our favorite part of Fall.
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4) The I-Didn’t-Know-Sweaters-and-Jackets-Could-Look-So-Good Look
Its pretty self-explanatory.

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5) The Weather-Is-Confusing-Today Look
For the Fall days when mornings are cold, afternoons are hot, and nights are cold again.
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To see more of the Sudarso Brothers (you know you want to) click here.

Image of The Day: The World’s Cutest Kitty Goes Viral

I’m sure all you kitty-owners will protest and claim that you have the cutest kitty in the world, but you have to trust us. This cat is will have you squealing no matter how much you protest.

Snoopybabe, who is allegedly from China, has become an internet sensation. His instagram has gained over 190,000 followers. His facebook has over 1500 and he is no stranger to the tumblr world as well. All this fame is clearly well-deserved!

 

With a squished face and huge eyes, this cat doesn’t even look real. With all the cute qualities of a stuffed animal, this little guy is sure to win your heart over.

 

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MUST SEE: Most Epic Guns N’ Roses Cover (Using Ancient Chinese Instrument)

On the list of instruments that you would associate with amazing rock music, the guzheng probably doesn’t come to mind. In fact, many of you may not even know what the guzheng is.

The guzheng is an ancient Chinese instrument with 18 or more strings and movable bridges and is arguably the most played instrument in China. It is related to the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh.


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Vancouver musician Michelle Kwan decided to show us just how versatile and just how amazing this instrument truly is. Kwan decided to cover one of the most unlikely songs for the regal instrument: the Guns N’ Roses’ hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

Although this doesn’t sound like the greatest of combinations, Kwan proves us all wrong by delivering one of the most epic Guns N’ Roses covers we’ve seen yet. Check it out for yourself:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the song, be sure to check out the original so you can fully appreciate how amazing Kwan’s cover is.

 

The Ultimate Duo: Judith Hill and Josh Groban

When we interviewed Judith HIll for our Fall 2013 issue, we knew right then and there that she was a force to be reckoned with.

“The first song I [ever] wrote was a gospel song called ‘God Has Made,’” remembers Judith Hill. The singer/songwriter was only 4 at the time, but she still has a recording of it. “It goes, ‘God has made / the birds and the bees,’” she sings, laughing. “It’s pretty bad singing, but I guess for a 4-year-old, it’s not that bad.”

Already discovering her passion at the age of four, the 29-year-old went on to do amazing things. She was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his duet partner for his “This Is It” comeback tour and quickly became a fan favorite during her time on The Voice. Now, she has another achievement to add onto her list.

We weren’t the only ones to notice the amazing skills of this half-Japanese singer. The multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban decided to join forces with Hill who has been praised by Rolling Stone for having “stellar powerhouse vocals.” 

Hill has been opening for Groban’s “In The Round” tour. Additionally, Hill joins Groban for two songs: “The Prayer” and “Remember When It Rains.”

Already, audiences can’t get enough of the duo. One youtube viewer commented, “This is beautiful. Both of you have very powerful voices. Josh you get better every time you sing this. Good luck on the next tour tomorrow.”

 

 

The tour has only gone on for a few days, but the duo has already been showered with praise and compliments. Make sure you don’t miss this breath-taking tour!

 

 

Judith Hill – Fall 2013 Tour Dates

 All dates are supporting Josh Groban unless otherwise noted. Additional headline dates to be announced.

October

2 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena 
3 – Portland, OR @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (headline show)
4 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
6 - Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Arena
7 - San Jose, CA @HP Pavilion at San Jose
9 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ EnergySolutions Arena
13 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
15 – Denver, CO @ The Soiled Dove Underground (headline show)
16 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
17 – St. Louis, MO @ Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel (headline show)
19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
20 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
22 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
23 - Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
25 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
27 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
28 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
30 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center

November

1 – State College, PA @ State Theater (headline show)
2 - Pittsburgh, PA @ CONSOL Energy Center
3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center   
4 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage (headline show)
6 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
8 - Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Times Forum
9 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
12 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
13 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

December

4 – San Francisco, CA @ San Francisco War Memorial Opera – Glide Holiday Celebration

Drastic Changes in Asian American SAT Scores

The results are in and you are warned– they’re not pretty.

American highschools, as a whole, are entering a downward spiral with their SAT scores. Since 2006, SAT scores have fallen by 20 points,  dropping from 1518 to 1498 in 2012. The decrease is hitting all three portions of the test: reading, mathematics, and writing.

What could make matters worse? These changes in both the SAT test and the resulting scores are hitting minority groups the hardest. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing reports that the average score for white students has fallen by 4 points. How have the minority groups fended over the years? The average score has fallen by up to a staggering 22 points.

There is, however, one very large exception to this trend. Asian Americans have not been affected in the same manner over the years. In fact, they’ve had the opposite outcome. Since 2006, the SAT scores of Asian Americans have risen by an astounding 41 points.

Researches, such as those from collegenews.com, have tried to look at the various factors that may have contributed to this strange phenomenon. They pointed out that Asian Americans excelled particularly well in mathematics, but they believe this is due to the fact that 47% of Asian American SAT candidates took advance mathematics courses while only 31% of Latino students and 25% of Black students took similar courses. So the explanation is that study prep is the reason behind the staggering disparity?

Asianweek‘s Andrew Lam also took a look at these results and argued that a much greater factor to look at is the mentality of Asian Americans. Lam recalls a friend of his who explained to him why success was necessary. “There was no question of failure,” Lam writes. “Back home, an army of hungry, ambitious and capable young men and women were dying to take his place, and for [his friend], a boat person who barely survived his perilous journey across the South China Sea, “dying to” was no mere idiomatic expression.”

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Simply put, our circumstances have often been drastically different. Asianweek points out that it is not uncommon to find Asian parents who focus their entire life on the upward mobility of their children. They sacrifice their own well-being, work three jobs and even live in separate countries to ensure that their children get the necessary prep and education to advance in society. All of this sacrifice is done with the single goal that their children will go on to succeed and have a better life than they did.

Knowing that many of our parents struggled to benefit our education and many individuals in our homeland would ache for the opportunity, how can we not feel the often overwhelming pressure to achieve? How can we not take the extra prep classes? How can we not spend our nights studying for fear that all the sacrifice was for nothing? This pressure, which can drain us mentally and emotionally, is often what pushes us.

Yes, educational prep courses play a factor. But no, that simple explanation does not accurately show the circumstances and pressures placed upon our community. It’s much more complicated than that.

 

 

Adorable Asian Babies (Halloween Costume Edition)

October is in the air. Shops are packed with pumpkin-flavored everything, the cold weather is creeping its way into our nights and stores are stocking up to prepare for the long-awaited holiday. So what does this mean for us? Fun-sized candy bars, fake spiderwebs and (much to our delight) halloween costumes galore.

Back in July, we brought you the Adorable Asian Baby Overload. Now that the season has changed, we found it only appropriate to bring you the Halloween Costume Edition of Adorable Asian Babies. What can possibly be cuter than an adorable Asian baby? Throw a costume on it and you have your answer! Here are some of our favorites.

Feel free to show us any cuties that deserve to be on this list.

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The baby from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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The happiest baby monkey you’ll ever find.

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The baby who just realized it’s a panda.

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The baby who’s clearly a strong hammer-wielding god.

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The lost baby penguin.

 

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The cutest ewok ever. EVER.

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The baby who can probably beat you up.

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The very-serious-about-his-cosplay Naruto baby.

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The tiny Totoro.

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The GIANT Totoro.

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Baby Kiki and her Delivery Service

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Baby Chun Li..

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..And her twin sister.

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What could be cuter than this little Mario?



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A Mario and Luigi!

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A baby Cheeseburger that doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.

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A baby lobster that knows exactly what’s going on.

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And lots..

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.. of adorable..

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.. BABY SUHSI.

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And last, but certainly not least is the baby who doesn’t care what holiday you think it is.

(Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)