Dept The Market
Issue Fall 2012
Hed: Here Goes Nothing
Ever wonder what you’d find on an online dating site? Pervs, fetishists … the boy next door? One Asian American woman does the (dirty) work for us in our inaugural O.D.D. (Online Dating Diary) column.
Online dating can be a daunting experience for both men and women, and even more specifically for an Asian American woman. Some may argue that Asian American women have it easy because they tend to
receive the most number of messages on online dating sites, but having X number of suitors does not necessarily make the experience any easier or better.
I’ve tried online dating before — for a whole week — before permanently deleting my account after receiving little more than creepy (and sometimes downright revolting) messages from various men on the site. At one point, a guy I had grown to trust a bit made a complete 180 — from a seemingly nice guy to one who confessed how much he liked to masturbate to my picture.
DEPT The Market
ISSUE Fall 2012
AUTHOR Paul Nakayama
HED: THE DYNAMIC DUO
He’s one way when he’s sober, completely different when he’s drunk. Columnist Paul Nakayama uncovers the truth behind your masked man.
I just returned from Comic Con with a pile of Batman books, and it’s a few days before The Dark Knight Rises premieres. I’m almost fanatically on the Batman bandwagon this week, and if I could look good in black leather and spandex, I would be running around dressed in it. Now, this is probably not a good way to portray myself considering I’m the magazine’s resident dating columnist, but I’m more of an “unintentional-abstinence-sucks-so-don’t-do-what-I-do” sort of advisor anyway. So, in sheer geek revelry, I’m going to use Batman as my device for talking through this month’s Awful Truth topic: “dual identities,” or why men are flirtier when drunk.
DEPT Mind and Body
Issue Fall 2012
Author Hilal Nakiboglu
HED: Blast Off
When we saw Ani Phyo’s latest book, Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast, we knew we had to try it. But first, Hilal Nakiboglu grills the Korean American organic chef and self-proclaimed “eco-stylist” about her incredible 15-day claim.
Audrey Magazine: What was your relationship with food like growing up?
Ani Phyo: Well, my dad had a terminal illness. He was raised in North Korea and there was tuberculosis in the water supply. The antibiotics they distributed were too strong and Dad had kidney failure as a result. He ended up having to get a kidney transplant and then he extended his life 10 or 12 years beyond what was expected because we moved out of the city and into the Catskills, to this mountain town literally in the middle of nowhere. There was one main street, one block of stores and that’s it. We had five acres of land and my parents grew their own food.
DEPT Mind and Body
Issue Fall 2013
Author Anna M. Park
HED: Fight the Blight
Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans; nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives. And while acne medications abound to treat this most common skin disorder in the U.S., more and more experts are recommending lifestyle and diet changes to fight adult acne.
The best explanation I have ever found on adult acne is in celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu’s book, Feed Your Face (feedyourface.com). Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Wu espouses that what you eat does affect your complexion. According to Dr. Wu, “women with adult acne also tend to have higher levels of insulin in their blood, elevated androgens (the male sex hormone), and higher rates of insulin resistance than those without.” Androgens naturally spike around ovulation, which can lead to hormonal acne, usually showing up on the chin, neck and jawline. While there’s not much you can do about PMS, there hormone associated with increased oil production and clogged pores. are things you can do to minimize the hormonal effects on your complexion.
ISSUE WINTER ’12-’13
AUTHOR KAREN DATANGEL
Think what you will of Filipina American underground hip-hop artist Hopie – she embraces the “weird,” law degree and all.
Raised on rock music, classically trained in her elementary school years, and influenced by the eccentricity of musicians like Björk and Gwen Stefani, the artist known as Hopie is one-of-a-kind in the independent hip-hop world. The Manila-born, San Francisco-raised musician (real name: Kae Hope Ranoa) is creating her mark with
her funky style, edgy beats, profound lyrics and confident stage presence — she even has a law degree to boot.
Describing her sound as “underground hip-hop from the ’90s mixed in with pop music and hyphy music,” Hopie acknowledges that her difficult childhood, her experience as an Asian American woman, and the underrepresentation of her demographic in hip-hop music are driving forces behind her lyrics. “In real life, I’m really shy to talk about stuff like that — my childhood, my socioeconomic status, my frustrations
as a human being — but in my music, I like to explore that,” she says.
Though she has been dedicated to her craft for a while now, releasing her debut album The Diamond Dane in 2008, Hopie recognizes the ongoing challenges and is motivated to meet them and grow in her artistry. Along with Björk and Stefani, she also mentions Jim Morisson, André 3000, and Del the Funky Homosapien. “People might consider them weird or off-the-wall, but I really admire how little they seem to care,” says Hopie. “When I think of myself as an artist and I compare myself to those people, I always feel like I’m not doing
enough. I can always go explore something and challenge myself more creatively.” But Hopie knows that there will always be people who do care about the weird, and not in a good way. “As an artist, you really put yourself out there for a lot of criticism and you have to develop a thick skin,” she says. “Sometimes I’m scared of the stuff I make because I have to prepare myself for criticism and people might not really understand [my music], but that’s the beauty of being an artist. It’s a challenge that I accept.”
Then again, there are the people who genuinely enjoy the music. Hopie recently landed a spot in the Bay Area Freshmen 10 Class of 2012, a yearly top 10 by 106.1 FM KMEL and Thizzler.com recognizing up-and-coming local artists and chosen by a panel of regional professionals and tastemakers. Though such acknowledgements
are exciting, to Hopie, the more personal impact of her music is what means the most.
“No accolades could compare to how it feels when someone tells you that your song makes them want to do music, or your song helped them through a tough time, or they understood you when you were trying to say something through song,” says Hopie. “I started writing music as a kid because nobody really understood me — I felt weird or alone. So when I put music out and someone responds to it, like ‘I totally understand what you’re saying’ or ‘I’ve felt this way before’ or ‘I just appreciate your point of view’ or ‘I appreciate that you wrote this,’ it feels really good. Your experience is validated.”
Hopie plans to put out a couple of new releases in the near future as follow-ups to her 2011 albums Dulce Vita and Raw Gems. Oh, and she’s going to take the Bar Exam next February — just further proof that this unique performer is motivated to do it all.
AUTHOR Kanara Ty
ISSUE Winter ’12-13
Associate Editor Kanara Ty wonders, are K-pop stars performing to break through — or just to be accepted?
While the global phenomenon that is Psy and his latest hit single continues to amaze me to no end, I find that the media masturbation of “Gangnam Style” and, more broadly, K-pop has parallels to the Latin Pop craze back in 1999, which was singlehandedly led by one man and his gyrating hips: Ricky Martin. While Americans quickly bought into the media craze behind the specially packaged (read: super-diluted) Latin music of that time, the fad died out by the early 2000s, not maintaining any true staying power. K-pop, as a musical genre trying to break into the American music industry, is following the same sort of trajectory. Two months following the release of “Gangnam Style” (at press time, the second most viewed video on YouTube following Justin Bieber), Psy singlehandedly helped K-pop crossover to American shores after he signed with talent manager Scooter Braun (who represents Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Wanted). But just like the Latin pop craze, Psy has given Americans a product that they can buy into — and can also easily dispose of.
There is a long history of Asian pop stars who have tried to crossover into the American music industry (Utada Hikaru, BoA and Jin Akanishi come to mind) and have failed miserably. Why is that? Because rather than just giving American audiences what has made them popular in their respective home countries, they presented themselves as pop stars who conformed to what they thought American audiences would appreciate. Basically, performing to be accepted by Americans. I realize that Psy may have taken a different path from his predecessors, since he probably wasn’t envisioning that his catchy little tune would go viral worldwide. However, given all the promoting he did in the States, taking “Gangnam Style” and the horsey dance on a circus tour of numerous television and stage appearances — something that left a huge impression on Americans — I fear this is what they will continue to expect from him in the future: an Asian man who will serve as the court jester on the American stage. I firmly believe that K-pop will have some sort of future in America — not as the Korean K-pop we all know and love, but an American K-pop. Since the U.S. has the largest music market in the world, the fact that the music industry is paying attention to acts like Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1 means it believes K-pop will have some sort of success in the States in the future. But they’re still going to want to package K-pop in a way that Americans will understand (singing in English, working with familiar American talent). Contrary to belief, we don’t live in a completely post-racial society.
I’m not arguing that K-pop shouldn’t make its way over here; but as a fan, I don’t want K-pop being ripped apart by American producers either. I’m sure the sentiments as to why I love K-pop and Asian pop music in general are shared by other Asian American fans: the music resonates with me more because people who look like me are performing on stage. Even if I self-identify as an Asian American, I can’t find even a shade of myself in American pop culture. I feel more connected with what is going on in Asian pop culture (even if I don’t understand the language) because I see myself within these individuals performing on stage. So while K-pop may seem cool for now (and maybe even make Asians seem cool in the short term), I’d rather not have the crossover happen if that means putting forth a product that does not represent K-pop in the least bit.
DEPT : Pop-Arazzi
AUTHOR: Honestine Fraser
ISSUE: Spring 2013
PHOTO: Keith Munyan
The teen stare tackles fashion, tv and film. Next up: Her debut album, Passion.
“Former Nickelodeon star Cymphonique Miller is making a name for herself as one of the hardest working teen stars out there. After starring in her own television show, How to Rock, which ended in December, she’s now shooting a movie, has an upcoming album, and continues to work on her T-shirt line BYOU. Did we mention she’s the daughter of Master P and the little sister of Lil’ Romeo? We caught up with the Filipino-African American actress in between her many projects.”
DEPT : Pop-Arazzi
ISSUE: Winter ’12-13
AUTHOR: Honestine Fraser
“Many know him for his stunt work, but there’s more to Osric Chau than just an amazing jump kick. With two movies out this past fall — Fun Size with Victoria Justice and The Man With the Iron Fists — and a pivotal role on The CW hit Supernatural, it’s safe to say that the Chinese Canadian actor has talent beyond martial arts. The up-and coming actor takes a break to chat with Audrey.”
ISSUE SPRING 2013
Recent shocking headlines make Associate editor Kanara Ty realize we are NOT living in a post-sexist society.
Some time ago, I was talking to one of my good guy friends about the challenges women have in dating. I said, “Women have it worse than men — we have a lot more to lose when it comes to dating.”
He was taken aback by my statement and said, “You know, you sound incredibly sexist right now.” An argument ensued, and inevitably, I was upset.
As much as people like to believe that we live in a post- racial society, they also like to believe we live in a post-sexist world, where women have equal standing and equal opportuni- ties as men. In actuality, we don’t. The shocking case of the New Delhi gang rape of a physiotherapy intern last December was a brutal reminder. And it wasn’t just the rape. When female protesters emerged demanding the safety and respect for women, they were met with cries of misogynistic Indian males who went so far as to say that the protesters should be raped for even daring to speak out.
Why would these men take to the streets to speak out against these women? I believe it was because they do not believe rape is a crime. And they don’t believe sexual violence (and on a larger scale, violence in general) against women is a crime if she was deserving of it. And it’s not just men in poorer parts of the world; it happens here too, like in the Steubenville rape case, where a gang of football players raped a high school student and then posted the photos on various social media. They didn’t think the rape was a crime because she deserved it.
It’s the same sort of sexist mindset that affects how women are often treated in the Asian entertainment industry. One of the more recent cases was Minami Minegishi, a member of the Japanese girl group AKB48, who was caught by a Japanese tabloid magazine spending the night at her boyfriend’s house. In addition to posting a tearful apology and being demoted to a research student within AKB48, the 20-year-old also shaved off her hair (supposedly of her own accord). Minegishi was punished because of AKB48’s chastity clause — no member is allowed to have a relationship — and there are grounds for punishment (including dismissal) if the rule is broken. It’s baffling that a multi-million-dollar pop group is aggressively marketed as sex symbols, and yet the members themselves are not allowed to have sex.
Cases like this make it clear: We still have a long way to go in the fight for women’s rights — and more specifically, the rights of women of color. Even while we find more women taking on increasingly powerful positions, the fact of the matter is that men are still in control of the message that are being projected on women, especially in the entertainment industry.
ISSUE SPRING 2013
One to Watch: Tim Jo
The Neighbors stars embraces his inner boy band heartthrob.
story Ada Tseng
photos Yann Bean
hair & makeup Sydney Zibrak, The Wall Group
stylist Sarah Kinsumba
“For me, acting is putting a mask on and being less like myself,” explains Tim Jo, the Korean American actor best known for his role on ABC’s sci-fi sitcom The Neighbors. “So when Audrey Magazine suggested doing a K-pop look [for the photo shoot], I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I feel more comfortable goofing off and putting that mask on.”