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.

DISCRIMINATION ALERT: Muslim Teen Fired From Abercrombie & Fitch for Religious Head Scarf

Abercrombie & Fitch has done it yet again.

Employee Hani Khan, 18, was fired from her job at the popular retail store after refusing to remove her hijab while working. The hijab is a head scarf worn by Muslim women to show modesty, but to Abercrombie & Fitch, the hijab simply does not fit their look.

After four months of working with the company, Khan was approached about her head scarf. Naturally she felt uncomfortable having to explain the cultural background behind the tradition. When she refused to take it off, she was terminated from her job. Abercrombie & Fitch offered to re-hire her 11 days later, but with a catch — she could only return if she no longer wore her hijab. Khan turned down the offer.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on Khan’s behalf in 2011. Although the company claims that it does not discriminate based on religion, Abercrombie & Fitch commented that they believed the hijab would negatively affect sales.

Of course, the company was not able to provide any proof of a decline in sales while Khan wore the head scarf while working.

It is important to note that this is not the first time Abercrombie & Fitch has been publicly scorned for discrimination. The company received quite the amount of backlash when chief executive Mark Jeffries openly commented that Abercrombie and Fitch is made for the “cool kids” and plus-sized women were not part of that group.

Many believe that the company’s reputation has been tarnished since those statements and unfortunately, Abercrombie & Fitch seems to continue digging its own grave.

 

Funny Art Piece of The Day: Awkward Kisses With Strangers

For his series “Return to Sender”, photographer Tommy Kha has put together photos where he kisses strangers, lovers and friends. The best part? He looks awkwardly stoic in every picture.

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It’s easy to react to this photo series with laughter. This is clearly just a ploy to practice his kissing skills, right? As it turns out, there’s a much deeper meaning behind these pictures. Although he admits that humor plays a large part in these photos, he also informs us that these photos are a commentary on the perception of Asians in the media.

Rather than playing the supporting role often given to Asian characters, Kha has decided to take the steering wheel and be his own protagonist. And his bored expression? Not only does he put a humorous and unique twist to the photos, he is also able to very clearly show his dissatisfaction with the representation of Asians in the media.

Throughout the series, Kha takes on the roles of actor and director. As the character, Kha is playing off the stereotype of Asians seen in mainstream media, though it isn’t the defining idea behind the series.

 

“My work has to do with our roles that, in varied ways, are defined by cultural indifference along with the experience of being ‘othered’,” he wrote via email. “Much of these notions are informed by the little representation I see in the media, and part of these notions exist stereotypically. Almost always, Asians are regulated to a supporting role, shown incapable or not on the same playing field as the protagonist.”

 

Kha said is he playing up that stereotype by appearing almost disinterested in the kiss, but his motivation for the work is really more about his own views of intimacy. “I think [the motivation] was wanting to belong, of wanting ‘to be seen,’ to be an object of desire (as the receiver of the kiss) but at the same time, to appear reserved and contradictory by denying the kiss.”

 

A main influence for “Return to Sender” is Lilly McElroy’s “I Throw Myself at Men,” which Kha said made him rethink the idea of self-portraiture. “To do self-portraitures, the artist is automatically the protagonist. I don’t find myself completely interesting, but things like family, race, sexuality, societal ideals, etc., are part of forming one’s identity, which changes over time and [is] not bound to formulaic boundaries. Much of what I like to explore is questioning my role as the protagonist, usually through being a supporting character, in the background, or behind the camera,” Kha said.

 

Scroll down for more seriously awkward photos, and read the full story here.

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Move Over, Barbie: Lego Debuts Its First Female Scientist

We can all let out a collective cheer for one of the newest additions to the Lego family. Professor C. Bodin, according to her name tag, is Lego’s first female scientist. The best part? The model is simply labeled “Scientist” as opposed to “Female Scientist” or “Girl Scientist,” and does not pander to gender stereotypes by, say, making her pink.

This is certainly a step forward for Lego, which has been criticized for focusing too much on their male customers. The sex-ratio for the minifigure models is 4:1 in favor of males, and female minifigures tend to cater to gender stereotypes. (Their “Friends” minifigures are more shapely and have stereotypical “feminine colors and storylines.”)

Though Professor C. Bodin may be the first female scientist in the Lego universe, according to Scientific American, she is not the first female minifigure with a career in science, technology, engineering or math. Lego released a doctor (complete with pigtails) in the 1970s, as well as a female astronaut in the 1990s as a part of its Ice Planet 2002 series.

With Professor C. Bodin, Lego seems to be taking a small step in the right direction. In the meantime, we can look to others who are fighting to ensure equality in children’s toys.

(source)

 

 

Adult Film Actress Says Porn is Less Taboo in Japan

HuffPost Live recently hosted a roundtable discussion on whether a woman’s relationship with her parents can be a driving factor in her decision to work in the adult film industry.

During this discussion, plus-sized adult film actress Kelly Shibari agreed that her relationship with her mother played a role in her decision, but disagreed with the idea that this relationship made her turn to pornography.

Shibari explained that sex is much less taboo in Japan and, according to Shibari, people pick up strange fetishes simply because they’ve run out of things to do. At the same time, people are encouraged to embrace adulthood and make decisions for themselves. In this way, Shibari argued that her decision to become a porn star was not similar to the others in the discussion who turned to pornography out of rebellion or to prove a point to their parents. To her mother (whom Shibari asked permission before entering the porn industry), Shibari was simply taking control of her life as an adult, not because of some emotional or psychological void:

I was raised to behave like an adult, so even my current tenure in porn is full of me still making decisions. I don’t do every scene that is asked of me. I don’t do every sex act that’s asked of me. In my case, because I do a lot of plus-size porn, I don’t do things that perpetuate a negative stereotype with large women. I’ve turned down scenes where I’ve been asked to eat while having sex.”

 

And these strange fetishes Shibari’s talking about? We’re not completely sure what she’s referring to, but given the recent outbreak of eyeball licking amongst Japanese youth, we’re not sure we want to know.

To watch the entire HuffPost Live discussion, click here.

Asians in Fashion | Jeon Ji Hyun for Vogue Korea, September 2013

South Korean actress, Jeon Ji Hyun, is best known for her role as “The Girl” in My Sassy Girl. Since the release of the romantic comedy in 2001, My Sassy Girl has maintained its rank as one of the highest grossing Korean comedies of all time.

While Jeon Ji Hyun is definitely worthy of her popularity as “The Girl”, she should clearly be known for her fashion sense as well. Posing for Vogue Korea,  Jeon Ji Hyun is captivating with her classy looks and just the right pop of color.

Check out more of her looks below:

 

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Asian American Woman Critically Injured After Falling Out Of Moving Cop Car

Kim Nguyen, a 28-year-old accounting and marketing graduate student at Loyola Marymount University, is suing LAPD after falling out of a moving cop car and sustaining critical injuries from the event.

On March 17th, Nguyen was out with friends in Koreatown. While waiting with two others on a sidewalk for their designated driver, Nguyen was detained by LAPD officers David Shin and Jin Oh for suspicion of public intoxication.

Nguyen was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of the cop car. At one point, Nguyen was ejected from the moving vehicle and sustained serious injuries including a broken jaw and brain injuries. Nguyen had to be put in a medically induced coma to heal and may still need to have brain surgery.

Her lawsuit argues, “officers failed to secure her with a seatbelt or lock her door properly, which led to her being ejected from the car.”

Surveillance footage captures some of the incident. The officers had stated that they were accelerating from a stop, however, the footage shows the car driving through a green light just moments before the incident.

“The video shows that the statement that the police officers gave the paramedics is an unabashed, unequivocal lie,” said Casillas during the press conference. The graphic footage shows Nguyen, still in handcuffs, laying on the street with her clothing bunched around her waist. Officers stand over her as her legs move back and forth on the ground.

 

The surveillance video can be viewed below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrzE6Et-5lc#t=108

(source)