Image of The Day: The Cutest Hello Kitty Bento Boxes

September has been quite the month for Hello Kitty fans. First, Sanrio brought fruit-flavored Hello Kitty beer to China. Then the Hello Kitty jet made its first flight to the U.S.

In honor of Hello Kitty’s rather eventful month, we decided we ought to show some fan-made Hello Kitty love. So what impressed us?

Hello Kitty bento boxes!

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Common in Japanese cuisine, bento is a single-portion meal that is usually placed in a box container. Traditionally, a lot of time and effort is put into the arrangement and preparation of bento boxes. Clearly, these Hello Kitty bento boxes are no exception.

These impressive bento boxes are quickly going viral on various social media sites and for good reason. Check them out for yourself:

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MUST WATCH: Tessanne Chin Wows “The Voice” Judges

The Voice has found another amazing star. 28-year-old reggae fusion recording artist, Tessanne Chin, recently graced the stage of The Voice with her powerful vocals.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, this Half-Chinese beauty is most known for her hit singles “Hideaway” and “Messenger”. Both songs were featured in her 2010 solo album In Between Words.

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After only moments of showing off her vocals, Chin got all four judges to turn their seat in amazement. With a warm personality and a breath-taking smile, Chin quickly won over the judges, the audience, and viewers at home.

Sure to be a fan favorite, Chin has chosen to be on Adam’s team (he did give her a standing ovation afterall). Check out the performance yourself and be sure to keep an eye out. This one is definitely going places.

 

 

Revenge Done Wrong: Girl Publicly Shames Guy She Had A Few Dates With

A 26-year-old Chinese American writer who describes herself as “a connaisseuse of all things entertainment and communications” has set a perfect example of how one should not handle a break up.

Quin Woodward Pu, editor-in-chief of online blog Little Black Blog, decided to share one of her personal dating experiences with her readers. For the sake of the interested parties, many authors try to be discreet about sharing details about their personal life. Pu, on the other hand, decided to go in the opposite direction.

Dishing on all the details (of her side of the story), Pu tells readers about a guy she met at a bar and started emailing. She also adds how sloppy and drunk he was though we get the feeling this was just another jab at him. After a few dates, she invited the man to her birthday party, but ended up receiving the following text message:

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At this point, we’re on Pu’s side. One should never have to receive such ill news via text. But on the other hand, it wasn’t a very mean text at all. Honesty is best right? If he wasn’t looking for a relationship, it was best that he expressed that early on. It’s irritating, but certainly not unforgivable… right?

Apparently not for Pu.

“I was stunned into paralysis,” she dramatically explains. “I had no words–this never happens–and I just felt short of breath. There were many things that pissed me off, but I was so flustered I couldn’t even articulate them. Again, this is a serious problem for a writer and effusive communicator.”

Play it cool? Forget that. Pu sends an excruciatingly long response sprinkled with some compliments for herself and some harsh words for him:

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Now don’t get us wrong. Her anger? Totally understandable. It’s not like she can help that. Responding with the full passion of her feelings? Sure, it’s her life. But involving his boss and coworkers? Sharing their text conversations to the public? A little harsh.

Our advice: Take a step back and calm yourself down after being dumped. Often, the initial reaction is to hurt the person in the way you’ve been hurt, but this doesn’t have to be done in an extreme manner. If you weren’t ready for a relationship, your job should not be suddenly threatened because you were honest about it.

Read more about this story here.

UPDATED World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter

In our Fall 2013 issue, we published a list of the World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter.

Loyal fans were quick to point out that a lot can change in one week. Many people did not hesitate to contact us and let us know of ladies who deserved to be up on our list or let us know that their favorite moved up a spot. So here is the updated version of the World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter!*

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1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,682,282 followers

2. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)

3. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal)

4. Indonesian actress Luna Maya (@LunaMaya26)

5. Filipina Australian entertainer Anne Curtis-Smith (@annecurtissmith)

6. Japanese American artist Yoko Ono (@yokoono)

7. Bollywood entertainer Priyanka Chopra(@priyankachopra)

8. Indonesian actress Shireen Sungkar  (@shireensungkar)

9. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone)

10. Filipina American entertainer Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy)

11. Indonesian entertainer Aluna Sagita Gutawa (@gitagut)

12. Filipina actress Angel Locsin (@143redangel)

13. Filipina actress Angelica Panganiban (@iamangelicap)

14. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor)

15. Filipina actress Cristine Reyes (@mscristinereyes)

*As of September 25, 2013 

Nina Davuluri Caught Off Guard By Julie Chen Question, But Not By Racist Haters

Since winning the title of Miss America, Nina Davuluri has become the nationwide center of attention. From racist haters to supportive members of the community, just about everyone seemed compelled to voice their opinion about the first Indian Miss America. Finally, it’s her turn to speak up.

Nina Davuluri dished it all in an interview with The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeff Yang. After discussing the various misconceptions about pageants, Davuluri explained her own reasons for partaking in the competition. Aside from using the winnings for med school, Davuluri expressed her desire to change the “girl-next-door” look of pageant winners.

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“I grew up watching Miss America for years and years, and as the daughter of immigrants, I always thought to myself that I could never be that — because I didn’t look a certain way; I didn’t fit the model of what was up there on that screen,” she says. “And it shouldn’t be about race, it shouldn’t — but it is. To be able to stand up there, and be an example for other little girls that America is now a very different place, that’s everything to me.”

Because of her platform, “Diversity Through Cultural Sensitivity,” we were surprised to learn that Davuluri was caught off guard with her pageant question pertaining to Julie Chen.

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Although there have been mixed reactions to her response, Davuluri explained herself in further detail to The Wall Street Journal. She revealed that she empathized with Julie Chen and understands that it is our society, unfortunately, that made Chen feel the need to change herself.

She may have been caught off guard by her Julie Chen question, but she certainly wasn’t caught off guard by all the racist reactions to her win. In fact, she claims she expected it.

“I’d already experienced something like it on a smaller scale when I won Miss New York,” she explains. “It’s part of the reason I was so determined to focus my platform on diversity. But you can’t just scream in the dark, you have to try to shed light and awareness.”

Read the full article here.

Image of The Day: The Cutest Firefighter EVER

A few months ago, we brought you The Adorable Asian Baby Overload which featured, you guessed it, some of the cutest Asian babies trending social media.

Clearly, we didn’t catch every cutie out there. This little girl definitely earns a spot on our list of adorable Asian babies.

Spirit Magazine recently hosted a contest asking their readers to submit photos. We’re not quite sure what the criteria for this contest was, but since this photo was printed in the current issue we’re gonna go ahead and guess that it was chosen for its cuteness.

Here are some other cuties that should have made it onto our Adorable Asian Baby Overload List:

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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?