The Cost of Beauty: A Look Into Korea’s High Rate of Plastic Surgery

Based in Brooklyn and Seoul, photographer Ji Yeo strives to call attention to a very controversial aspect of South Korea’s modern-day culture: plastic surgery.

In her series “Beauty Recovery Room,” Ji Yeo captures the scars and bruises of women who have recently undergone plastic surgery. DailyMail explains that by showing the painful recovery, Ji Yeo aims to shine light on the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”

“Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process,” say Ji Yeo. “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.”

“Beauty Recovery Room” has garnered both positive and negative reactions. Some people believe the take-home message is that women simply go too far to meet societal expectations. Others disagree with Ji Yeo’s focus on the negative. “I think people have a right in our day and age to change whatever physical feature they deem necessary” says a Huffington Post reader.

Check out the images for yourself and tell us what you think:

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Check out all the full gallery here.

Asians in Fashion | Miss A’s Suzy for Elle Korea September 2013

This 18-year-old Korean singer and actress gives us a taste of her modeling skills.

Bae Su Ji, more commonly known by her stagename Suzy, is most recognized for her role as Go Hye-mi in the popular drama series Dream High alongside Taecyeon, Eunjung, Wooyoung, IU and Kim Soo-Hyun.

Suzy is also known for her roles as Jang Ma Ri in Big, Yang Seo Yeon in  Architecture 101, and Dam Yeo Wool in Gu Family Book.

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In 2010, Suzy debuted with Korean girl group miss A. Adding on to her already impressive resume, Suzy has done her time as a tv host and is nicknamed “CF Queen” due to her success with endorsements.

Clearly, this is one talented young lady and quite a beauty as well. In this Elle Korea September 2013 photoshoot, Suzy shows a mastery of her poses and an amazing ability to make color pop. Check out the photos below:

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“Ladies, It’s Your Fault”: Satirical Anti-Rape Video by Bollywood Actress Kalki Koechlin

Known for her films Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin has joined forces with TV presenter Juhi Pandey for the video AIB365: It’s Your Fault.

The video has gained more than a million views since its release last week and for good reason. Created by All India Bak (AIB), a group of stand-up comedians including Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba and Ashish Shakya, this short is a brilliantly done satire on rape and the blame that is often placed on women. The video was made in response to the high levels of violence against women in India and the misconceptions over who is at fault.

The video begins with Koechlin saying, “Ladies, do you think rape is something men do out of a desire for control, empowered by years of patriarchy? You’ve clearly been misled by the notion that women are people too. Because let’s face it, rape is your fault.”

If the satiric tone is not yet obvious, Koechlin goes on to say, “Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes.”

The video continues by showing various articles of clothing which are unacceptable for women to wear, from skirts to a fully-covered astronaut suit. The video points out that women are to blame for rape regardless of what they wear simply because they are women.

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The video then takes a more serious turn. The women appear with visible injuries that we are to assume come from male rapists. Viewers are now haunted as a bruised Pandey points out that if a man is your husband, forcing sex is on you is not considered rape. All this is said while a man’s hand aggressively smears lipstick off her face. Chilling? You bet.

Largely because some of the viewers have misunderstood the satiric element, the video has gained some mixed reviews. Understood correctly or not, it has done its job. The video has facilitated conversation and has pulled attention to an issue that deserves to be continuously addressed.

“Yes, this video will only reach the English-speaking, ‘sarcasm-understanding’ young person,” Pandey tells reporters, “but at least it’s out there. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it is still a drop and I am glad to be have been a part of it.”

 

The Secret To Happiness Discovered (And Why Asians Need To Know It)

The search for happiness is no easy one. It’s a particularly hard task because many of us don’t exactly know what makes us happy in the first place.

It seems like we’re not the only ones trying to figure this one out: studies have been done to answer that very question. The results? Rather than some of the expected triggers of happiness (i.e. friends, money, food), it has been scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributors to happiness is how much gratitude you show. This is not to say that the aforementioned things do not bring happiness. Let’s not kid ourselves — food has made us all happy at one point. This study simply concludes that one’s happiness can be drastically shifted depending on the amount of gratitude shown. In other words, they may have found a way in which we can find happiness despite rough days.

Soul Pancake decided to take this theory for a test-drive. They measured the happiness level of people before and after showing gratitude. Check it out for yourself:

If such a small act impacts the emotional health of individuals, then it is especially important that the Asian American community start incorporating this into our daily lives.

In our Fall 2013 issue, we delved deep into the topic of depression and mental health among Asian American women:

Asians are arguably the most wired people in the world, and we also bear the ignoble distinction of having the highest rates of depression. According to a 2011 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group. In fact, Asian American girls and women aged 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, and suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall (only ninth for white Americans). It’s not just young women either; Asian American women over 65 have the highest suicide rate in that demographic. And while some studies find depressive symptoms in 35 percent of Chinese immigrants, among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet the criteria for major affective disorders such as depression.

What causes such a high incidence of depression within our community? Is it the pressure we often face from family and society? Is it, as mentioned above, a matter of comparing ourselves to others and setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves?

Apparently, it may have a thing or two to do with race itself. Medical Daily recently released a story that studied the long term effects of racism. According to the study, there is a strong relationship between racial discrimination and depression. More importantly, Blacks, Hispanics and Asians were at the highest risk.

By enduring racism earlier on, various health issues such as “low self-esteem, reduced resilience, increased behavior problems and lower levels of wellbeing” can result.

“Children are still developing their sense of worth and belonging,” Medical Daily explains. “They internalize hateful comments more often as truths.”

Clearly, we are fighting various battles at once. With so many factors working against us, it is especially important that Asian American women look after their emotional and mental wellbeing. So why not try these methods: even the small steps — limiting time on social media and taking the time to show gratitude — may make a difference. After all, what’s there to lose?

Image of The Day: No, That’s Not A Cloud

Is it a cat? An oversized cotton ball? A stuffed animal?

No, it’s a bunny.

To be exact, this is an Angora rabbit and it’s one of the oldest types of domestic rabbits. In fact, it was a popular pet with French royalty in the mid-18th century particularly because of its docile and well-mannered nature. They are often bred for, you guessed it, their wool. With wool said to be more soft and fine than cashmere, this rabbit takes quite a bit of grooming and maintenance.

The  American Rabbit Breeders’ Association (ARBA) recognizes various types of Angora rabbits from English, French, Giant, and Satin. Other breeds include German, Chinese, Swiss, Finnish, Korean, and St. Lucian. Each breed produces a different quality and quantity of fiber, but Angora fiber is generally $10-$16 per ounce.

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This little guy (or girl) has been making its way around social media. Just about everyone seems amused with the peculiar, over-sized puffball. Clearly the owner has nothing but pride for it.

 

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Hasan Minhaj’s Hilarious Comeback to Miss America Haters

After spending a week talking about the controversy surrounding Miss America Nina Davuluri, we said NO MORE. As much as we support her, continuously talking about her haters will only draw more attention to them. As Kunal Nayyar pointed out, there’s no need to “empower them by giving them importance.”

But then we came across this jewel and we couldn’t pass it up. How could we not post something this funny?

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Featured in our Fall 2013 issue, comedian Hasan Minhaj is a favorite here at Audrey Magazine. Clearly, he is maintaining his spot there. Minhaj sends comeback after comeback to the various racist tweets. And unlike the racists out there, he actually uses logic. The inner kid in us can’t help but use the phrase “burnnnn.” Trust us, you don’t wanna miss this.

Oh and Hasan, we agree with your mom — you should totally talk to her.

 

Video of The Week: Japanese Dancer Kenichi Ebina Wins “America’s Got Talent”

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.

Not only did the 39-year-old dancer’s video trend social media sites, he also gained a standing ovation from the judges and and continued on in the competition.

As the competition went on, Ebina continues to earn his spot at the top. His performances ranged from high-energy and fast-paced dances to slow and emotional routines. He easily kept the judges’ attention and became a fan favorite.

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Last night, after one of the longest, heart-pounding pauses, Ebina was announced the winner of America’s Got Talent. Although Ebina was engulfed in lights, sparks, and confetti, he was unable to hide his surprise with the results and happily gave out his thank you’s to his family, friends, and fans.

Kenichi Ebina will be rewarded $1 million along with his very own Las Vegas show.

In honor of this very talented dancer winning, our Video of The Week is his mesmerizing audition piece.  Check it out below as well as his winning moment. You can see all of this other performances here.

 

Men Do Makeup With Michelle Phan … and Fail Miserably

With over 4 million YouTube subscribers, Michelle Phan has become one of the most known YouTube makeup artists to date. For years, she has taught us all about contouring, the perfect way to put on liquid eyeliner, and even how to take selfies.

Aside from being one of our personal favorites, the 26-year-old makeup artist has already packed in a number of achievements under her belt.

In conjunction with L’oreal, Phan recently released her own makeup line called EM Michelle Phan.  After purchase, customers of EM Michelle Phan products are encouraged to upload videos of their own “looks” and share them with one another.

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In 2012, Phan became a YouTube advertising partner and launched FAWN (For All Women Network) – a women’s lifestyle network in which guest hosts produce videos about makeup, cooking, fitness, fashion and careers.

But Phan’s fanbase certainly extends beyond women and the following men have decided to show that off to the world. Three brave souls decided to take on one of Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials with no previous makeup experience.

The results? The boys were left with black eyes, smeared makeup, and a new-found appreciation for girls who have mastered the art of makeup. Check it out for yourself:

Kick-Ass Asian Leading Ladies: Audrey Cover Girls Edition

Recently, Buzzfeed released the story 27 Asian Leading Ladies Who Kick Ass. They described these actresses as women who defied the various stereotypes often imposed on Asians. Among this list of very talented actresses were some of Audrey Magazine‘s past cover girls:

 

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MINDY KALING
Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
You know her fromThe Office, and her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Current project: Her self-produced star vehicle The Mindy Project is going into its second season.

From Audrey Magazine: “As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me.”

 

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MAGGIE Q

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
You know her fromMission: Impossible IIILive Free or Die HardBalls of Fury
Current project: Since 2010, Maggie has starred in The CW’s Nikita, which is now going into its fourth season.

From Audrey Magazine: “When I first started acting, there were times where I absolutely didn’t know who I was, and because of that, the confidence didn’t follow. You feel lost and you’re always trying to find something that matters to you. But the older I get, the more I understand what my values are, who I am, what I believe in. And because of that, I’m able to have confidence.”

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JAMIE CHUNG

Hometown: San Francisco, California
You know her fromThe Real World: San DiegoSucker Punch
Current project: Jamie plays the recurring role of Mulan on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

From Audrey Magazine: “I just want to do the things I love and spend time with the people I care about and cut out the bullsh-t. Life is too short. … And that goes for food, too. If I want a burger, I’m going to eat a burger.”

 

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RINKO KIKUCHI

Hometown: Hadano, Japan
You know her from: Her Oscar nominated-role in Babel, this summer’s Pacific Rim
Current project: Rinko is in the upcoming movie 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.

From Audrey Magazine: “Since Babel, I’ve had few roles in international films since there are so few roles for Japanese, [but] I want to continue working in the United States.”

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ELODIE YUNG

Hometown: Paris, France
You know her fromThe Girl with the Dragon TattooG.I. Joe: Retaliation
Current project: Elodie’s latest project, 10 Things I Hate About My Life, is slated for release in late 2013 and stars Evan Rachel Wood.

From Audrey Magazine:  “If I’m hired for an action film, there’s no point in me not trying everything, or at least as much as I can. This is not Shakespeare. It’s not about what I’m going to say. I’m not going to have a beautiful monologue. It’s about the action. As an actor, you should invest yourself as much as you can. I want to give 100 percent. It’s more fun that way.”
To read the full stories, purchase issues of Audrey Magazine and subscribe HERE

New York Fashion Week: Less Than 10% Asian Models

With New York Fashion Week behind us, Jezebel decided to conduct a study on the diversity of the models, or lack thereof, who walked down the runway at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014.

In previous years, people have commented on the lack of representation of models of color. In fact, the Fall/Winter 2013 collections were subject to heavy criticism due to an alarming number of companies — Araks, Assembly, Belstaff, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth & James, Gregory Parkinson, J Brand, Jenni Kayne, Juicy Couture, Louise Goldin, Lyn Devon, Threeasfour, and Whit — 13 in all, that featured only white models.

So naturally, we were eager to see what would happen this past Fashion Week. Companies had to try and remedy this diversity gap, right? And there were nearly 5,000 looks. That’s plenty of opportunity for models of color to take on the runway.

The results? Almost 80 percent of those 5,000 looks were modeled by white women, a number that has pretty much remained static since 2008.

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This is not to say that all designers completely ignored the criticism of previous years. Anna Sui, Pamella Roland, Jeremy Scott, Dennis Basso, Vivienne Tam, KaufmanFranco, Rachel Comey, Alice + Olivia, Ohne Titel, Tracy Reese, Thom Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Zac Posen are on the list of designers who featured at least 30 percent models of color. While this number may still seem rather low, it is unfortunately the best we’ve got.

Many of the designers who were critiqued for having no models of color tried to remedy this by adding three to five non-white models. (We know. We’re rolling our eyes, too.)

Some designers tried to trick the crowd and give the illusion of a more diverse set of models. While this season seemed to be more diverse, the same models of color were being booked and were simply walking the runway multiple times.

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From left: Liu Wen at Jason Wu; Ji Hye Park at Nicole Miller; Tian Yi at Monique Lhuillier; Yumi Lambert at Y-3.

The Asian models above prove this. Tian Yi walked 15, Yumi Lambert was seen in at least 13 and Ji Hye Park and Liu Wen walked 12 shows. Rather than book a variety of models of color, companies relied on the same faces.

Somali supermodel Iman Abdulmajid was part of the crowd watching this season’s New York Fashion Week and noticed the lack of diversity on the runway.

“I’ve always said runways and photos are important to shape our young girls,” Abdulmajid said in an interview last week. “To see models of color on the runway is important to the self-esteem of our young girls. To see otherwise makes them feel like they can be in or out.”

We can only cross our fingers that those in power in the fashion industry also begin to understand the importance of diversity on the runways.

(source 1, 2)