Top Five Reasons Miss America Nina Davuluri is AWESOME

For the second year in a row, the Miss America tiara went to New York. This year, 24-year-old Nina Davuluri took the title.

Unfortunately, this celebratory moment quickly turned sour when Twitter exploded with racist comments about the newly-crowned Miss America. So we should probably clarify a few things to these terribly mistaken individuals. For starters, they seem to be missing the biggest point of all — Nina Davuluri is awesome.

1) She is making history for Asian Americans, and she knows it.
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Born in New York to Indian parents, Davuluri is the first contestant of Indian descent to become Miss America.

“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said in her first press conference after being crowned Miss America. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”

In fact, as Davuluri and Miss California, Crystal Lee, embraced each other right before the winner was announced, Davuluri told the host, “We’re both so proud. We’re making history right here, standing here as Asian Americans.”

 

2) She proud of her roots: she performed Bollywood.

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Although she missed her cue (sound was apparently poor for those on stage), Davuluri’s performance was one not to be missed. For her talent performance, Davuluri performed a classic Bollywood fusion with “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency” as a platform. Although she has 15 years of training in Indian dance, Miss America traveled to Los Angeles to train with So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan for the performance.

This is the first time Bollywood has been performed on the Miss America stage.

 

3) She doesn’t bash other Asian Americans.
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Coincidentally, Davuluri was asked about another Asian American woman, Julie Chen. The television personality was recently criticized for undergoing surgery to boost her career.

Rather than criticize her fellow Asian American, Davuluri commented that although surgery wasn’t her personal choice, we should not criticize others for it. She commented on the importance of diversity and being confident in who you are.

 

4) She’s “going places” in the future.
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Not only is this woman beautiful, she’s also quite intelligent. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science, and landed a spot on the Dean’s List, a Michigan Merit Award, and a National Honor Society Award.

With the $50,000 she earned from this pageant, Davuluri will apply to medical school and eventually hopes to be a cardiologist.

 

5) She dismisses the haters.
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Although racist haters tried to bring her down, Davuluri decided to rise above the ignorant comments. She did not allow them to ruin a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

“I have to rise above that,” she said at a press conference. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Read more here.

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MUST WATCH: Talented Filipino YouTube Sensations on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Months ago, a video of a pair of young and talented musicians went viral. The only problem? No one could identify them. For a while, different YouTube sources were placing various labels on the mysterious duo. One source titled the video “Asian kid,” while others took a stab at guessing their race. Finally, it was confirmed that the pair are from the Philippines, but all other information about them remained a mystery.

That’s when Ellen Degeneres set her sights on finding the talented boys and sent out a public invitation.

Months later, the teenagers were identified as Aldrich Lloyd Talonding and James Walter Bucong. The two musicians accepted Ellen’s invitation and found themselves in Burbank, Calif., to perform in front of an excited audience.

During the interview, it was revealed that Talonding’s father passed away in June due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of this, their cover of Luther Vandross’ song, “Dance with My Father,” became even more meaningful.

The boys talked about handling YouTube stardom and girls, and even went home with a handful of goodies (a guitar and a piano!) and a check for $10,000. Watch their breathtaking performance below:

Image of the Day: “The Walking Dead”‘s Steven Yeun Fanboys Over Daryl Dixon

We certainly love all the fanboying going on on The Walking Dead. Steven Yeun is apparently a big fan of TWD character, Daryl Dixon (played by co-star Norman Reedus), posing with his figurine in this photo. Yeun has been quoted as saying his character, Glenn Rhee, is everyone’s second favorite character on the hit show, right after Dixon. And how does he feel about that? “I’ll take second place if it’s next to Norman Reedus,” he says. No worries, Steven — you’re number one in our book!

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Sex Ed … For 30-Year-Olds in China

It may be an understatement to say that China’s views on sex are on the conservative side. But according to the Huffington Post, 30-year-old Chinese lawyer Sophia Hu believed that adult male bodies looked exactly like the bodies of baby boys. She, of course, admits that she had no sex education.

Then there’s the married couple in the city of Wuhan who made headlines in 2011 for spending three years believing that lying next to each other would result in pregnancy. Although both individuals were college graduates, it’s safe to assume that neither had any form of sex education.

“In China, schools are focused on grades, so non-examinable subjects are often changed to ones that will raise grades,” said Maggie Hu, who works for the Guangzhou-based sex education provider SexualityZone.

“In Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities, women are very influenced by Western, Taiwanese and Korean culture so they have very modern attitudes to sex,” said Jay Zheng, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan. “But in rural areas, some women know nothing.”

In fact, many Chinese parents encourage abstinence and use sex as a scare tactic. One woman claimed her mother told her sex was like being shot with a gun. It’s no wonder the subject became taboo and many Chinese young adults learned to either fear the act or consider sex shameful.

Now, teachers like Ma Li are trying to get rid of the taboo. Ma, who is certified by the U.S.-based World Association of Sex Coaches, offers two-day tutorials on everything from anatomy and psychology to techniques of intimacy. Her lessons include explicit videos showing various types of sexual acts and even (gulp) specifically shaped fruit to practice with.

The tutorials cost more than $400, but women have been lining up to learn and lessons are booked weeks in advance. Many of these students are 30- to 40-year-olds seeking to decrease the anxiety before their first sexual encounter. Sex ed for adults? Clearly necessary in China.

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One Direction’s Zayn Malik May Have A Muslim Wedding

Last month, hearts were heard breaking worldwide when popular One Direction member, Zayn Malik, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Perrie Edwards.

Although it has only been about a month since the engagement, the 20-year-old Pakistani Brit heartthrob and his bride-to-be have apparently already begun to plan their wedding.

Rumors have been spreading left and right. Some insist that the pair have decided on a summer wedding. It is also said that Malik plans to spend more than £1 million, and the wedding will be held in either Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin or in Skibo Castle in Scotland.

Heat reports that Edwards has been in discussion with Chinese American designer, Vera Wang, for her wedding dress.

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To add to the excitement, the couple are looking to incorporate both religions (Christian and Muslim) into their wedding.

“Zayn’s mom Patricia converted to Islam when she married Yaser [Zayn's dad], so Perrie’s been asking about what this involves. She’s hoping to talk over her plans with a priest and a Muslim officiant,” a source told Look. “She loves the idea of coming down the aisle to traditional Muslim music. Flowers blessed with rosewater play a big part in Islamic weddings and Perrie thinks she could work this into their day, too.”

 

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Julie Chen Admits to Having Plastic Surgery to Look Less Asian

Julie Chen, American television personality, news anchor, producer for CBS, and co-host of the daytime show The Talk, recently turned the spotlight on herself.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the veteran journalist revealed a deep, dark secret: Nearly 20 years ago, Chen had undergone plastic surgery in order to look less Asian.

Now, it may be easy to jump to conclusions and bash Chen for disrespecting her Chinese heritage, but it’s important to hear her side of the story. According to US Weekly, Chen said:

“My secret dates back to — my heart is racing — it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio,” the 43-year-old Chinese American television personality began. “I asked my news director over the holidays, ‘If anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in?’ And he said, ‘You will never be on this anchor desk, because you’re Chinese.”

 

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“He said, ‘Let’s face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton?’” she recalled. “‘On top of that, because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes, sometimes I’ve noticed when you’re on camera and you’re interviewing someone, you look disinterested, you look bored.’”

 

Not long after, Chen started looking for another job. But she ran into the same problem when she tried to find an agent to represent her. “This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing,” she revealed. “He said, ‘I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.’”

Chen explains that with her career on the line, she couldn’t see another solution. The decision became so weighty that she opened up to her parents about whether or not this surgery would be a denial of their culture. This led to a family divide where some members believed that Chen should be disowned.

Coming to the conclusion that she did not want to lose her career, Chen followed through with the surgery and her career progressed as a result.

Although the secret has haunted her and caused her to question a lot of things, she ultimately has no regrets. “No one’s more proud of being Chinese than I am,” she told her co-hosts at The Talk. “And I have to live with the decisions I’ve made. Every decision I’ve made … it got [me] to where we are today, and I’m not going to look back.”

Cute, Tasty and Refreshing: Hello Kitty Fruit-Flavored Beer

Being a big Hello Kitty fan myself, I can say Sanrio has been quite generous to its fans. For instance, if I wanted, I could cover nearly every inch of my house in Hello Kitty merchandise. While I don’t necessarily advise anyone to have an entire Sanrio house, the availability of Hello Kitty products is quite amusing. There are beds, pillows, laundry baskets, hair dryers, soaps, toasters and even Hello Kitty toilet paper.

So what can possibly be next? How about Hello Kitty Fruit-flavored Beer.

Apparently, Hello Kitty doesn’t need a mouth to successfully sell beverages. The beer, which was first introduced in Taiwan, will soon be available in China and comes in various flavors including Passion Fruit, Peach, Banana and Lemon Lime.

The sweet, fruit-flavored beers are the second Hello Kitty alcoholic beverages released. Before this, Hello Kitty wine was licensed in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

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Despite Hello Kitty entering the alcohol market with cute cans and colors, they have stated that they are against under-aged drinking. The product is still marketed towards adults who grew up with Hello Kitty in their childhood.

ABC News reports , “While Hello Kitty beer may seem unusual to some American consumers, in Asia many adults embrace products that are cute or ‘kawaii.’ From Hanky Panky underwear to jewelry at Neiman Marcus, Hello Kitty-wrapped Smart cars to credit cards, the brand has expanded far beyond plush dolls and playthings in recent years to appeal to an aging audience.”

Unfortunately for us, there are no reports of the beer being available outside of Taiwan and China anytime soon.

People Magazine Can’t Tell Asians Apart

A billion-dollar love triangle is big news right? So it would have probably been a good idea for People magazine to publish a picture of the right Asian girl, but I suppose that’s asking for too much. Apparently you put Google Glass on two Asian women and it will make them indistinguishable.

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Angry Asian Man caught wind of the mistake and wrote:

This is downright silly. Last month, news broke that Google founder Sergey Brin is splitting with his wife Anne Wojcicki, amid reports that he is dating a 27-year-old employee, Amanda Rosenberg. Honestly, none of this is news I give a crap about … except when People has a hard time getting two Asian faces straight.

 

In its coverage of Brin’s breakup, instead of posting an image of Rosenberg, People used a photo of completely different Asian woman, albeit also wearing the awkward Google eyewear. The photo is actually a cropped stock image of an unidentified non-Rosenberg woman taken on the streets of New York.

 

And as Angry Asian Man points out, this inability to tell Asians apart isn’t new to People magazine. Back in 2008, they published an article Rain making his Hollywood debut. The only problem? They didn’t include a picture of Rain. Instead, they put in a picture of Karl Yune who played a smaller role in the featured film.

People, you may want to think about hiring staff to do some basic fact checking. Or who don’t think all Asians look alike.

Watch a Young Asian Girl Age into an Old Woman in Five Minutes

You read that correctly. Danielle, a five-minute video from filmmaker Anthony Cerniello, is nothing short of amazing. Cerniello wanted to emulate the aging process by creating a person, Danielle.

Clearly, this is no ordinary time-lapse video. Far more extreme than a “selfie a day”, Danielle shows the aging process of a young girl to an elderly woman.

Danielle was not shot over the course of a girl’s lifetime. Instead, Cerniello combined the faces of multi-generational family members. According to Colossal:

Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair.

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The final product is visually stunning. Make sure you don’t blink for even a second — you’ll miss out on years of aging.