Los Angeles brightest, young Asian Pacific leaders were recognized for their outstanding philanthropy last night in rainy Downtown LA. APCF, the Asian Pacific Community Fund, hosted the Awards reception for the third year in a row where 200 community supporters, philanthropists and young civic leaders came out to support the young awards recipients.
From cult status as co-host of G4’s Attack of the Show, to prime-time star on NBC’s Perfect Couples and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, modern day Wonder Woman Olivia Munn has transformed from geek goddess to the new thinking man’s woman.
ISSUE: Spring 2011
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer Emily Shur
Wardrobe Monica Schweiger, monicaschweiger.com
Styling assistant Victoria Collins
Hair Jonathan Hanousek for Exclusive Artists/Kerastase
Makeup Amy Oresman
Location Pete’s Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Story Janice Jann
I never have been nor ever will be a tiny Asian girl. I’ve always been a chubby kid — it’s evident in my baby pictures which bear remarkable resemblance to Notorious B.I.G as I sit there big-cheeked, big-thighed, staring into the camera with a scowl (I was probably hungry). It was evident from my pants split at the butt-cracks because I was so booty-licious, no amount of fabric or denim could hold it in.
We all know Ms. Lisa Ling is one inspiring individual, breaking barriers and walls down left and right and paving the way for women and Asian Americans in television. When interviewing her, it was no surprise that we would get to the deep stuff. Just how deep? Take a look at the video below.
Catch Lisa Ling conversing with faith healers TONIGHT on her new show, Our America, on OWN 10/9c.
It’s been awhile since Lisa Ling has worked in an office. Though the seasoned 37-year-old journalist, who got her first television hosting gig at age 16, is one of the hardest-working women on TV, her work environment range from the set of The View from 1999-2002 to investigating gang rapes in the middle of Africa as the host of National Geographic Ultimate Explorer to even the comforts of her own home, writing the book, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home with her sister Laura Ling. It’s safe to say it’s been awhile since Ling has had a chat by the water cooler or peeked over a cubicle.
Yet, this is the very setting where we meet, in the newly occupied citrus-hued OWN (short for Oprah Winfrey Network) offices on the Miracle Mile of Los Angeles, California, where Ling is also having a photo shoot. Ling doesn’t have an office at this space but with a new show on the OWN channel, she does call Oprah boss. And she does miss working in an office. At the start of our interview, the energetic Ling muses, “I was saying to [my publicist], there’s so many cute guys here!” Ling’s new show, Our America, delves into our very own backyard and stems from Ling’s own Chinese American upbringing and not feeling like she fit into any culture.
“This series is kind of a window into who we are as Americans and what it means to be an American. We explore the ugly parts as well as the challenging parts. It really is, I hope, an all encompassing experience.”
What makes Ling’s series unique is the positive, hopeful edge ever-present throughout the series. “My hope is they will look at things differently than they may have looked at them before and they might have a little more compassion than they had before. It’s so easy to think about any topic or issue in a really black and white way and what we’re trying to do is go beneath the surface and try to provide a different perspective. No matter the topic that we’ve been covering, we feature people who ultimately came from a mother who love him or her. That’s something I keep in the back of my mind.” Ling understands the opportunity that Oprah and the OWN channel have given her in telling these stories. “It’s hard,” Ling says, “TV’s all about the lowest common denominator — what’s the most sensational. It’s so unusual to work for a woman or an organization that seeks out intention in work. Usually it’s like, okay, how’s it going to rate and while that is important, equally as important is what the intention is. I’m really grateful.”
Some issues the show will attempt to shed light to include mail-order brides, sex-offender colonies and faith healers. Faith is something Ling has also personally been exploring. I have seen a lot of things in my life and career that have made me question God and the idea of faith,” Ling explains. “Kids trafficked to other parts of the world and forced into sex slavery, women being gang raped in the middle of Africa and no one paying attention to it. A lot of these things I’ve seen and experienced made me think, if there’s a God, how could he/she allow these things to happen?” But through her exploration and with the help of her husband, Ling’s view on God and faith has been shifting. “There’s a Catholic nun here in LA, she’s kind of a guru of mine — big sister Margaret — she’s become a mother to these transgendered prostitutes and people have been kicked out of their homes. People who nobody accepts, this catholic nun accepts. To me, that’s when I see God in people like that. She never talks about God, she just acts in a God-like way — whooo we’re getting deep here!” Ling gasps. The whole room cracks up. “But you can probably see I’m fascinated by this topic. I can’t stop thinking about it. Am I completely there yet? I can’t say definitively. Faith has always been a real exploration for me but it’s one that I’m enjoying and learning a lot from.”
On the subject on beliefs, Ling is grateful for one person that has faith in her. “I have worked with Oprah more than five years now,” Ling gushes about her boss. “She’s just awesome. The only reason I have this series on this network is because she believes in me. Just the way she led her life with such integrity. It’s really rare to find people like that in this business and that’s a reason why she’s as successful as she is, because she never deviated from that.”
I don’t dread Valentine’s Day because it’s the only reason keeping Hallmark in business.
I don’t dread it because it’s another excuse for couples to parade their PDA around.
I don’t dread it because much like New Year’s Eve, this over-hyped holiday is downright boring. Spent either waiting in line for hours for a 9 o’ clock dinner reservation at an overpriced restaurant deemed “romantic” because they’ve dimmed the lights so low you can’t even see what you’re eating or exchanging the same ol’ gifts of chocolate, flowers and baubles. *Yawn.
And I am definitely not dreading it because I will be single on Valentine’s Day this year.
In fact, this is actually the first year where I cherish being single. I’ll admit, in the past, I’ve wanted to shake being single off me like it’s an angry bee but this year, I’ve learned to embrace the freedom that flying solo will entail.
Hence, I’ve concocted a bunch of great stuff for us single gals to do as we celebrate Singles Awareness Day or rather, Galentines!
Watch Obscure Foreign Films
Boys never seem to be good checking out truly great cinema- they always fall asleep or groan about it or what to make out with you through it. I’d check out these sexy South Korean films: Poetry by Lee Chang-dong or The Housemaid by Im Sang-soo by myself.
If you think about it, the person you will have the longest relationship with is…yourself. Why not make time for some self-reflection, journaling goals, ways to improve, memories?
Spend the season of love giving love to those who might not necessarily receive a lot. Volunteer at an elderly home, homeless shelter, non-profit organization. Do it by yourself because when you’re doing it alone, you’re not trying to impress anyone or prove how holy you are. You’re just doing it out of the goodness of your heart.
It’s time to bust out the pans and oven mitts and whip up some delicious sweets. You won’t have to worry about any sneaky muffin thieves who’ll creep into you kitchen while you’re not looking. I’d bake for ALL my loved ones, my mom, dad, sister and friends. Check out Sarah J. Gim’s mouthwatering site Tastespotting for more recipe ideas.
I hate jogging with other people, no offense. I either run too slow and have to overwork my body to catch up (or let down my ego and beg them to slow down) or run slower as I wait for my lagging partner. Jogging by myself gives me time to think and meditate.
Throw a Game Night
Nothing says the more the merrier like game night where people of all types, singles and non-singles, are invited to show off their board game prowess. Just don’t be lame and make it a couples’ night or anything. My favorite games to dominate at–err, I mean, play–include Cranium and Taboo.
Day spas, tea parties, salsa dancing, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate your singledom. Most of us will only be single for a limited time in our lives. Make the most of it!
It’s no secret that women are suckers for a good compliment. Sway us with your words and we swoon.
That’s why this adorable video had us all aflutter. Created by Becky’s Fund in conjunction with the Jubilee Project, the video is a tribute to the spirit of Valentine’s Day, honoring all women and their natural beauty-both inside and out. Survivor winner Yul Kwon’s, “You’re most beautiful when you wake up in the morning– especially when you have your mouthguard on.” made us giggle while the last compliment paid in the video just left us sighing. With a sweet Kina Grannis crooning “Valentine” in the background, this video definitely tugged on our heartstrings with the tender message ringing genuine and true.
We’re certainly not ashamed to admit we watched this video more than once – mainly because it’s for a good cause when we do! For each viewing, a donation is made to Becky’s Fund, a non-profit org. based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to domestic and dating violence awareness and prevention. They believe in implementing innovative and sustainable ways to educate people, focusing on pre-teens and college students, on dating violence, and the domestic violence cycle.
For more information about Becky’s Fund, please visit www.beckysfund.org.
When our sister publication, KoreAm, announced that they wanted to publish Awkward old prom photos, I dug up my old photo album to see if I could contribute to the awkwardness.
Lo and behold:
Yes, that is a lot of Asians.
So, like, this photo is not too bad, right? But I’m Janice Jann and I can’t not have an awkward moment. Hence, my awkward story. I went to prom sophomore year with my friend, Tim (who happens to have the same birthday as me, but that’s not the awkward part) and his group of friends. Unbeknownst to me, this guy (circled below)…
…would end up as my boyfriend a year later. He was also my prom date for two more years. That year, he went with a girl also named Janice. Awkward, right? Right? Right? Right?
Anyway, if you want to relive the good ol’ days, send KoreAm your awkward hs photos and it could get published in their mag! More info here.
Darren Criss’ fantastic introduction to Glee as the confident male prep school student who will eventually be Kurt’s love interest performing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” had us squealing like teenage girls. Those silky vocal cords! That smirky stare!
We just found out Criss is Filipino! (His mother, from Cebu, is of Filipino and Spanish descent)
Criss recently landed the cover of Da Man’s February/March issue and had this to say about his Asian heritage: “Any person in the position I’m in I hope would know that having a distinct heritage like being Filipino is a tremendous blessing in a global market.”
Someone who can sing like that and is proud of his Asian heritage? Love it!
Also loving him in this and this:
Too cute. Darren Criss, you make us smile with glee.
… And end gush session.
This year’s Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 3 and will be, according to the Chinese Zodiac sign, the Year of the Rabbit. This also happens to be my birthday and my Chinese Zodiac sign. I told you it’s so my year!
Many Chinese people, including my mother, are big believers in the Chinese Zodiacs, believing that according to your sign, your personalities will be a certain way and your life’s path will be a certain way.
I’m a little bit skeptical about that. Mainly because growing up, I always believed I was a Rabbit only to be informed by my mother in 8th grade that I was actually born in the Year of the Tiger, (the Chinese Lunar calendar runs differently than the calendar we’re used to so the Chinese New Year falls on a different day every year) only to find out four years later that I actually am a Rabbit. Can you say identity crisis?
Nonetheless, I’m willing to give this thousands-year old belief a chance. I decided to look up my horoscope via the internet and gauge if I actually fit the personality of the Year of the Rabbit. If so, who knows? Maybe my fortune may be all mapped out for me this year?
RABBIT CHARACTERISTICS (via the Internet)
Rabbits, like their animal counterparts, are quite calm people who do not exhibit aggressive behavior and will avoid confrontation at all costs. <<I can pack a mean punch if need be. But yea, I’m a pretty big people pleaser.
When angry about something, a Rabbit will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising his voice or becoming visibly annoyed. <<No. I’m pretty bad at controlling my emotions and am often told that I need o curb my attitude when angry.
Because of their serenity, Rabbits seem to miss things, whether they are confrontational in nature or not. <<Huh?
However, the Rabbit is quite keen and pays close attention to the situations developing around him. <<Yep. Pretty good with that.
He is intelligent and quick and can talk himself in or out of most situations with no problem.<<Lol. This strikes true. One of my bad habits is my tardiness and I used to joke that that’s why I have a pretty good personality, I have to make up for being late all the time!
The Chinese Rabbit is one of the most stylish creatures of the Chinese Animal Signs and finds interest in different cultures.<<Stylish? I work for a fashion mag so yeah, have to be pretty stylish.
He is classy and sophisticated, and can be found adorning one of the latest fashion magazine cover looks. <<Not necessarily so. I tend to favor classics and vintage finds. I love digging through my mom’s closet so all the stylishness comes from her!
Rabbits also like artistic ventures, such as painting and music and are generally quite present in these worlds. <<Yep.
They love top express themselves, which is evident when joining them at home for a function or a cup of coffee.<<Whoa. This is true. Do you know me or do you know me?
I also happen to be born in the year that’s classified as the year of the Fire Rabbit. Here are some additional characteristics.
THE FIRE RABBIT
Fire adds an unspoken magnetism and mystery to the Rabbit. <<I don’t know about mystery. I’m an open book.
These creatures have a burning desire to get out there and live life to its fullest.<<Yes I do but it is my hope that you all do as well!
They are active and adventurous and love anything that sparks their creativity or curiosity.<<Uh huh! Uh huh!
They can throw tantrums here and there, if provoked, but most of the time they work very hard to avoid conflict or unpleasant confrontations.<<Hey that’s true! But why does this contradict that other trait they had of me?
Fire Rabbits are charming and tend to push their emotions into the backs of their minds, but will speak up if necessary.<<Yes on charming, not really so on holding back emotions.
OK, so like all other types of astrologies, this one seems to have pretty general characteristics that I sometimes fit and sometimes don’t. Yes, some of the descriptions are spot-on but others, not so much.
And what’s knowing your astrological sign without knowing your fortune? Here is what is predicted for me in the year 2011 (via the Internet)
Rabbit Fortune in 2011:
This is the Tai sui year for the rabbit, there is plenty of evil star and less lucky ones. You may encounter many obstacles this year in the things you do. You may have nobility that can lend a hand in your career but you will still be prone to possible pressure. You have to stay positive and strive to forge ahead, try as much as you can to improve your social skills to make future career. You will be very much prone to emotional problems, you will encounter many mood swings, hot temper and it is sometimes difficult to control. You may encounter many argument with others. This year, you should pay attention to your health, stay alert to prevent accidents. Wealth is bad, not suitable for high-risk investments in order to avoid money disputes.
Oh goodness. Luckily (ironic, har har) for me, I don’t believe that astrological signs determine your future. Most importantly, your view on life does. I’m going to keep hopping ahead and make 2011 better than ever.
What about you? How is your year (astrological sign-wise or not) looking to be?