Top Stories of The Week: The World’s Most Popular Twitter Accounts, A Must-See Child Prodigy & A $30 Wedding Dress

 

1)  World’s 10 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter (September 2014) (CLICK HERE TO READ

 

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2) 7-Year-Old Cellist Justin Yu Meets Ellen, Charms His Way Into Our Hearts (CLICK HERE TO READ)

 


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3) Talented DIY Bride Makes Her Own Wedding Dress For Only $30 (CLICK HERE TO READ)

 

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4) Words Can Be Weapons: Powerful Chinese Campaign Links Teenage Crime to Emotional Abuse (CLICK HERE TO READ

 


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5)
 Get To Know Korean Model Jang Yoon-Ju (CLICK HERE TO READ

 

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Jessica’s Withdrawal from Girls’ Generation … Who’s Telling the Truth?

 

There has been some major controversy in the past few days concerning SM Entertainment. More specifically, about Jessica’s withdrawal from popular K-pop girl group, Girls’ Generation.

Recently, Jessica posted on her Weibo (the Chinese microblogging service) that she was unjustifiably released from the Girls’ Generation and she was devastated that she can no longer serve as a member of the girl group.

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And why was the popular member released from the group? Well SM Entertainment released an official statement saying her release was caused by disagreements with Jessica’s new fashion business, Blanc Group, which  launched earlier in August.

The agency claims they discovered Jessica was embarking on her new fashion business without full approval and no agreement, but Jessica is disagreeing with these allegations.

Jessica argues that she had multiple discussions with both her agency and her group members over her new business. Jessica claims that there was a clear understanding about her new career and it was agreed that she would remain a member of Girls’ Generation.

On September 16, she met with her agency representatives and received permission to continue her business, but later on September 29, she was notified that she was no longer part of Girls’ Generation.

Meanwhile, there have also been rumors that Jessica’s withdrawal was related to her engagement with her Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon, CEO of Cordiel Group. However, Kwon made clear on his Weibo that he was not planning to get married any time soon and further encouraged Jessica to remain patient for a little longer as “the truth about what really happened will be known.”

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Girls’ Generation is an internationally recognized K-pop girl group that has been active since 2007. Although Jessica is no longer a member of Girls’ Generation, she had recently renewed her contract with SM Entertainment for an additional 3 years. SM has stated that they will continue to support Jessica with her solo activities.

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 

 


(Source 1, 2, 3)

Audrey’s Millennial Column: How to Avoid Bad Text Flirting

 

Back in the ’90s, the indie comedy Swingers popularized the “three day rule,” which said you had to wait three days to call someone once she’d given you her number. Supposedly, it was the perfect amount of time to let her know you were interested but not desperate. Because, you know, calling a girl any earlier obviously makes her think you want her babies. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? (Can you feel my eye roll?)

Flash forward to 2014, where this rule is basically nonexistent. Because let’s be honest here — who starts off with a call these days? Instead, our go-to method of breaking the ice is texting, and with this new avenue of flirting comes a whole new set of rules.

Now fellas, if you’re under the impression that you can’t ruin your chances with improper text flirting (and it is clear that many of you are under that impression), then this will be a rude awakening. You would think that texting generally results in fewer faux pas since people have time to think about what to say, but as it turns out, many still need a lesson or two on proper text flirting. Trust me, it’s pretty easy to come off as a creeper in a world where we all overanalyze smiley faces and ellipses …

But have no fear! We’re here to help you navigate through this complicated world of text flirting. If you’re doing any of the following, then I urge you to immediately stop. You’re not flirting; you just may be creeping someone out.


 

ONE WORD RESPONSES
If you were in a bar flirting with someone, you probably wouldn’t stick to one-word responses, right? So why on earth would you think that one-word responses would work out for you via text? No, these short responses sound just as uninteresting in text as they do in person. And if “sup” is actually the most charming and intriguing conversation starter you can think of, then even I don’t have the skills to help you.

 

BOREDOM
You: Hi :)
Me: Hi you, what’s up?
You: Nothing, just bored.
Me: ……………….

Please tell me why some people actually think this is flirting? Last I checked, this doesn’t make me feel like you legitimately want to talk to me. Honestly, it just feels like you couldn’t decide between texting or playing a game of solitaire. Go ahead and text your friends out of boredom, but don’t use this move in the text flirting world. You’re basically trying hard to seem uninterested when in fact you’re interested. See how that’s counterproductive?

 

PERSONALITY SWITCH
If I ever enter the online dating world, my biggest fear would be that I’d finally meet up with someone only to discover that they’re nothing like their profile description and chats. With my luck, the 6-foot, 25-year-old would turn out to actually be a 40-year-old with a bad habit of staring at cleavage. Am I maybe scaring myself by thinking the worst? Probably, but I digress.

The point is, you don’t want to have someone believe you’re one way via text, only to discover you’re a completely different person in real life. Texting can already feel rather impersonal. Don’t take it one step further by faking it.

 

ABRUPT AND INAPPROPRIATE
I will never understand this, but some guys like to abruptly stop your nice, innocent text conversation with inappropriate comments. I’m not talking about guys who try to make you laugh with a joke. I’m talking about boys who legitimately think a random outburst of lewd sexual requests will work. (Excuse me while I go throw up real quick.) If you don’t believe me on this one, go and check out straightwhiteboystexting.tumblr.com. Go on, I’ll wait.

Don’t be gross. It’s that simple. If I hardly know you and you decide to take the conversation there, you’re not being flirtatious. You’re just turning me off.

 

DRUNK TEXTING
Flirting is a rather tricky business in itself, and if you really like someone, I seriously doubt you’d want to ruin it with drunk texting. You could get emotional or inappropriate or end up regretting the words your intoxicated little fingers spelled out — legible or not. Worst of all, don’t send your ex flirtatious drunk texts. You’re basically asking for regret with that one. Friends don’t let friends drink and text. Remember that.

 

TEXT ON TEXT ON TEXT
Maybe you’ve just started to date someone and you can’t stop thinking about them. Ah, the honeymoon stage. As romantic as that is, I’m going to go ahead and guess that you both still have lives to live outside of each other. So try to make sure you give them some room to breathe. If they haven’t responded to your text from five minutes ago, it’s probably not the best idea to send them three more texts until they respond.

 

STAYING IN TEXTING PHASE
Yes, we certainly live in a world where texting is the initial platform for flirting, but don’t forget to move forward. You cannot get to know someone fully through text alone, so make sure you transition to phone calls, video chats and best of all, in-person dates. I know texting feels safe, but it’s never quite as good as in-person flirting.


 

I know it sounds like there’s a lot that can go wrong with text flirting, but as long as you stay away from these improper moves, you may just successfully avoid being a creeper after all. If you get nervous, remember that this is the easy part — there will be much more ways for you to mess up in person.

Just kidding. Kinda.

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here
Photo courtesy of www.alleywatch.com

 

 

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Asia Street Style: Korea’s Fall Trends

 

Fall is settling into Korea and what’s currently trending in Seoul is becoming more evident on street style blogs. Holding on to summer a little more, skirts and dresses continue to pop up in the mix, but now paired with long sleeves and thicker fabrics. Even though it tends to stay decently warm year-round here in Southern California, shorter lengths and warmer tops are perfect for the approaching winter months. Still enamored with sporty, urban styles, you’ll see lots of sneakers and American streetwear brands being worn by South Koreans. They always show a significant amount of diversity within a single trend, which is great for all the individual personalities that exist when it comes to wardrobe preferences.

Check out the more sportier take on this fall’s early trend. Take a cue from these young women and amp up your skirts and dresses with graphic prints, a cool bomber jacket or a great pair of sneakers. The best part? You’ll still look effortlessly stylish, but remain comfortable the entire day.

Photos Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com and Imtedlike.com

Images Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com and Imtedlike.com

Image Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com

Image Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com

Image Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

Image Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

 

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Not into the sporty trend? We’ve got you covered with a splash of feminine floral prints and a clean, minimalist option to inspire those that prefer more simple styling.

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Image Courtesy of Instagram.com/streetper

Instagram.com/Imtedlike

Instagram.com/Imtedlike

 

–STORY BY MIN A. LEE

 

 


 

Audrey Magazine Is Looking For A Part-Time Staff Writer!

 

Audrey Magazine is looking to hire a part-time staff writer for its online magazine! Here’s your chance to gain experience at an award-winning, national publication that covers Asian Fashion, Beauty, Trends and Entertainment. We’re looking for creative writers who have a strong interest in the Asian/Asian American community. This job is based in our Los Angeles office.

 

Responsibilities:
-Time commitment of 25 – 30 hours a week
-Must be able to come into our Los Angeles office at least three times per week. No telecommuting.
-Write, edit and produce 9 – 12 stories per week
-Help spread Audrey content through social media (Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.)
-Help maintain Audrey website as well as Audrey social media platforms
-Weekly brainstorm meetings
-Manage weekly newsletter
-Keep track of website numbers and trends
-Create banners and visual content using Photoshop

 

Ideal candidates:
-Have a strong passion for the Asian/Asian American community
-Are detail-oriented and able to multitask
-Have strong writing and editing skills
-Must be self-motivated and willing to take initiative
-Have a strong social media presence and understanding of social media platforms
-Must have experience with WordPress, Photoshop and Google Analytics
-Prior experience in a similar environment preferred
-Related college degree preferred

 

 

To apply send an email cover letter, resume and three writing samples (blog posts OK) to anna@audreymagazine.com.



The Newest Asian-Inspired Skin Care Products You Can’t Live Without

 

The good thing about all that competition out there for the latest and greatest in skin care and makeup is that companies are coming up with some pretty amazing advances to help us look our best. Here, the newest innovations in skin care that I can’t live without:

 

 

 

THE DAY MASK

 

la mer day mask

 

Just out this month, the latest innovation in La Mer’s collection of covet-worthy products is an Asian-inspired day mask. Called the eight-minute miracle, the creamy formula contains the line’s signature algae-based Miracle Broth, as well as a plumping ferment featuring elastic kelp and a purifying ferment with glacial kelp. Just apply a generous amount on the face after your serum, and wipe off the excess after eight minutes. Follow with moisturizer and sunscreen. Call me crazy, but from day one, that niggling line by my mouth all but disappeared. Actually, just call me hooked. La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask.

 

 

 


THE FINISHER

 

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The premier Korean brand Sulwhasoo is leading the way for skin care around the world. Their newest product fits in the soon-to-be mandatory “finisher” category, first introduced in Korea last year. Their Luminature Essential Finisher, launching in the U.S. this month, is the last skin care product you use before makeup to seal in the benefits and effectiveness of all previous treatments. Like a primer, it allows your skin to “eat” (as they say in Korea) your makeup well, so that foundation sinks in for a flawless finish (as opposed to sitting on top and settling into lines and pores). Unlike most primers, its unique green tea-ginseng complex (one bottle contains the equivalent of five ginseng roots and 110 cups of green tea) increases collagen, slows melanin production and enhances radiance, hydration and clarity with consistent use. Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher.

 


THE V-LINE SERUM

 

clarins v line

 

Clarins’ Shaping Facial Lift products, the French line’s top-selling collection in Asia, was created to accommodate the Asian preference for a V-line face shape (a narrow jawline, a pointed chin). Luckily for us in the States, Clarins now has a new V Contouring Serum that not only contours but also relieves the puffiness that comes with a diet rich in fat, salt and sugar. Incorporate the Asian-inspired massage technique (the insert shows you how) for proper lymphatic drainage essential in a tighter, firmer visage. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum.

 

This story was originally published in Audrey’s Fall 2014 issue. Get it here.

 

 

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Thailand Creates Art Exhibit For The Blind and Visually Impaired

 

The Thai Ministry of Tourism joined forces with Thai universities such as Chulalongkorn University and Silpakorn University to fulfill a single goal: To create a space where the visually impaired could experience art the same way others do.

Admittedly, many of us take our vision for granted when it comes to art. We forget that much of the beauty found in art exhibits — paintings, photographs and sculptures with giant “do not touch” signs in front– are only available to those of us with sight.

Well not anymore. In fact, you can kiss that “do not touch sign” goodbye.

Found in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a pilot project called “‘Feel the Happiness: Art for the Blind” aims to promote equality in the country by creating a space in which the blind and visually impaired can experience the country’s famous landmarks through feeling. For instance, there are bells in the shape of Buddha which can appeal to the sense of touch and the sense of hearing.

They hope to have artists create more sculptured and interactive artwork to be placed at Thailand’s tourist sites that allow the blind and visually impaired to experience the art.

Read more about this inspiring project here.

 

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Exploring The Chinese Postnatal Tradition of Zuoyuezi: No Hair Washing, No Television, No Crying

 

For new Asian American mothers, the Chinese postnatal practice of zuoyuezi, or “sitting the month” — where bed rest is mandated, only certain foods can be eaten and you can’t even wash your hair — can be a confusing clash between Eastern traditions and Western conventions during those first critical 30 days after childbirth. But as Contributing Editor Ada Tseng learns, there is nothing wrong with a postpartum helping hand — whether it’s family or a zuoyuezi nanny for a month. In fact, when done in moderation, the ancient practice can serve as a more graceful transition into the daunting world of parenthood.

 

When I first told my husband about the postpartum tradition of zuoyuezi, he thought I was making it up. Literally translated to “sitting the month,” but sometimes referred to as “postpartum confinement,” zuoyuezi is a Chinese practice that encourages a new mother to rest in her home for one month after giving birth. During this time, there are many instructions on diet and recovery that range from drinking herbal soups and eating pork liver, to not washing your hair for 30 days and being confined to the house, room or even your bed, depending on how strictly one adheres to the tradition. In the meantime, family members, friends or hired help collectively pitch in to assist the new mother with cooking, cleaning and taking care of the baby so she can fully restore the balance to her body before attacking motherhood at 100 percent in month two.

“You just don’t want to do anything for a month,” my husband joked. He assumed that I, never one to be called maternal, was apprehensive about the drastic life change that motherhood would inevitably bring and was therefore excited about the idea of inviting anyone and everyone to come help us raise this baby. At least for 30 days.

This was only half true. Both my husband and I are Taiwanese Americans born and raised in California, and our links to our heritage can be traced more through our love of food (shaved ice and beef noodle soup), culture (Taiwanese films and karaoke songs) or general philosophy (respecting our parents!) than formal customs. Never in our years of knowing each other have either of us insisted on adhering to any tradition, so when I waxed poetic about this ancient zuoyuezi practice that dates back to the 1st century B.C., he wasn’t buying it.

That is, until he asked my OB/GYN, who happened to be Taiwanese American, about it, and she admitted that while the practice of zuoyuezi, which takes heavy influence from traditional Chinese medicine, was definitely not something that’s taught in medical school (most Western experts would argue that many of the benefits are unproven), her mother had made her do it when she gave birth to her own children.

I was surprised when my mother first mentioned that I should look into zuoyuezi resources partway through my pregnancy. At the time, my only knowledge of zuoyuezi came from the more extreme and divisive practices that get reported in the news — of the “look at the crazy things Chinese people do” variety. On one hand, it’s known as an antiquated tradition (some would say superstition) that’s more akin to torture than relaxation. The herbal soups you’re forced to eat are disgusting, you can’t wash yourself properly because you can’t risk any cold air touching any part of your body, you’re trapped in your own house, not allowed to watch TV or engage in any activities that will strain your eyes, and mothers or mothers-in-law are on your backs like drill sergeants to make sure you follow the often excessive and old-fashioned rules to a tee.

Alternately, several years ago, reports surfaced about a growing trend of luxury zuoyuezi postpartum confinement centers booming in places like mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which paints zuoyuezi as, for lack of a better description, something that rich people do. Taiwanese celebrities went on talk shows to rave about these facilities that are basically boutique hotels with first-rate nannies and doulas on hand to take care of your baby while you and your husband rest, take classes about parenthood or even enjoy their spa and salon services. And Taiwanese talk show viewers, like my mother, in turn, raved about how these celebrities were able to stay beautiful, skinny and youthful, even after having multiple kids, because they took care of themselves properly after giving birth.

The first scenario seemed unappealing and the second unrealistic, but my mother assured me that there was a middle ground. She explained it to me like this: Western culture likes to glamorize the act of bearing children with phrases like “the miracle of birth,” whereas the Chinese see labor as one of the worst traumas that can happen to the body. Special care is required to help us recalibrate. My mother didn’t feel the need to follow every single rule — for example, many people nowadays who practice zuoyuezi believe that rules like not washing your hair for a month are outdated, harkening back to the olden days when you would wash your hair in the bacteria-laden river, putting your baby’s health at risk. It was more about practicing the “spirit” of zuoyuezi: resting so you can gain your strength back as quickly as possible, maintaining a healthy diet and relaxed state of mind so you can properly feed and take care of your baby.

Later, when I told my mother my husband thought I was trying to get out of work, she laughed. “You’re going to be responsible for and worried about this child for the rest of your life,” she said. “Us helping you out for one month doesn’t get you out of that much work.”

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Many immigrants from my parents’ generation who grew up in Asia but gave birth in the United States believe in zuoyuezi, not necessarily because they had done it themselves, but precisely because they didn’t do it. The Chinese believe that postnatal recovery is critical to maintaining long-term health, so as a result, many women of my mothers’ generation, now seniors, blame their current health issues — whether it be migraines, backaches or arthritis — on the fact that they didn’t properly rest during the month after childbirth. Perhaps it was because their parents and extended family were abroad and unable to pitch in, maybe their in-laws didn’t believe in it, or perhaps they just didn’t have the resources at the time to find a support network in the United States, where postpartum care is still, for the most part, glossed over in the mainstream. (Even now, babies are coddled and scheduled for multiple check-ups right away, but new mothers, even if they are recovering poorly, often don’t return to their doctors until six weeks later.) Because of such regrets, these experienced mothers often vow not to let their daughters suffer the same consequences.

There are many ways to practice zuoyuezi, and while the details vary, the general principles are consistent (see below). Many opt for the do-it-your- self version, where the grandmothers take it upon themselves to carry out the tradition for their daughters or daughters-in-law. While this is the cheapest option, it’s a lot of work to ask of someone, especially in this day and age where many of us wait until we are older to have children. And by the time we do, our mothers are also older and less capable (or willing) to do the hours of shopping, preparation and cooking in order to prepare specific meals meant to heal the body, restore blood loss, prevent swelling, promote production of breast milk, speed up uterus contractions, restore hormone levels and help the new mother get her pre-pregnancy physique back.

Another option is the postpartum center mentioned previously. While it’s more common in Asia, these “mommy hotels” do exist in the U.S., though they’re more underground, often only advertised in Chinese-language newspapers and television programs. Though they carry a stigma in the Western world — as the sites of the “birthing tourism” controversy, where foreign mothers give birth in the States to secure their children the American citizenship that they can’t get themselves — more and more Asian American citizens take advantage of these centers where the mother and husband can stay for a month, while their babies sleep in a separate room, looked after by a team of nannies, nurses or doulas.

Somewhere in the middle lies the option of using food-delivery services — nowadays, there are even tastings for expectant mothers — or hiring a live-in nanny (ah yi or “auntie”) who will cook all your meals and take care of the mother and baby, especially at night, so the new parents can get their rest.

After considering our own specific needs and preferences, we opted for the live-in nanny, who would stay in our house to help out for the first month.

While I can only speak from my own experience, the process of hiring a live-in nanny in the United States remains strangely shrouded in mystery, and looking back, required more last-minute improvisation and luck of the draw than most people may prefer. Because these services are not widely advertised online or in English, we could only depend on word of mouth. Friends, and friend of friends, directed us to a woman who ran a nanny referral service from the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. (Later, we would learn that there are many different nanny referral services, but at the time, it seemed like all our inquiries led to the same woman and cell phone number.)

Without a website or even a contract that outlined how this would work, the woman told us that we couldn’t meet or interview the nannies in advance, because they were all currently working for clients 24/7 (many of these nannies are literally booked for back-to-back months with no break), but we would be assigned a caregiver based on my projected due date. We were assured that all the nannies were extremely experienced and had proper certification. That said, because zuoyuezi traditions vary from region to region (not only China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but many Southeast Asian countries have adopted their own versions of the postpartum traditions as well), it’s hard to believe there’s any sort of consistency.

The only instructions we got were that we needed to prepare a bed for the nanny in the baby room and to call back a month before my due date to work out other logistics. During that phone call, I was told that I was in luck: she had two nannies that would be available during the week of my delivery date. “What if I go into labor earlier than that?” I asked. “Don’t worry so much,” she said. “Then I’ll find someone else.”

Under normal circumstances, trusting a faceless voice on the other end of the line — and, sending her a check for the referral fee to reserve my spot, no less — seemed to defy all logic. There were even rumors that nannies were often sent back by unsatisfied clients, and as an American not used to taking leaps of faith to uphold Chinese traditions, there seemed to be no guarantee that this wasn’t all a scam. But my mother trusted in the process, and I, valuing the promise of postpartum help above all else, had committed to the ride. As it got closer and closer to my delivery date, I had become comfortable with the notion that this could go a myriad of ways, taking solace in the fact that, worst case, we’d send the nanny back.


Sure enough, I went into labor eight days early, and the nannies she had been reserving for me were still out of state, finishing up their previous jobs. But sure enough, she was able to go through her contacts to find another nanny, who had just finished up a job the day prior and could be picked up at a location 20 miles away from us the next day.

Looking back, there were many ways things could have gone wrong with the prospect of allowing an unvetted stranger to live with you for a month — not to mention, trusting that stranger with the high-stakes task of taking care of your baby. One of the most complex and frustrating aspects of having kids — from pregnancy, labor, post-labor recovery, to parenthood — is that everyone from family members to professionals give often-conflicting advice, and adding in a zuoyuezi nanny with her own convictions just adds an extra variable to the madness.

Especially for Asian Americans, clashes of East versus West beliefs abound, from macro levels (in a sense, the entire philosophy of confinement clashes with Western medical science that does encourage rest but not extreme bed rest, which may cause your muscles to atrophy and, in turn, cause you to recover slower) to the micro-minutiae (Westerners tell you to drink lots of water to generate breast milk, whereas Chinese believe that water makes you bloated and less able to shed your baby weight, opting instead for herbal drinks and teas).

However, the zuoyuezi ah yi can also serve as a neutral third party who is able to dispense advice and reach compromises with a new mother, without the emotional baggage of a nagging parent or the unintended consequences of disobeying the wishes of a well-meaning in-law. As a result, the experience can be an exercise in trust and communication, with much less at stake.

In my particular case, our nanny — a middle-aged woman who, as is typical, didn’t speak much English — had certain principles about how to properly sit the month, but was flexible about other aspects, turning a blind eye when I slipped out of the house every so often to get some fresh air, when I spent the better part of the day watching videos on my smartphone when I was supposed to be resting, when my hair was clearly washed every other day, or even when my mother, who was responsible for grocery shopping, took it upon herself to not even buy ingredients (like the infamous pork liver) that she assumed I wouldn’t like or certain Chinese herbs that she thought would stink up the entire house.

In the end, it was like my mother said: We didn’t follow all the rules, but we captured the “spirit” of zuoyuezi. Not only am I grateful for the recovery time where my sole responsibility was to rest and bond with my baby, but I was given the gift of one month to observe someone who’s been taking care of babies for decades; to practice regular acts of breastfeeding, burping and changing under professional guidance until I was comfortable; and to soak up her advice that was catered to my individual baby.

Two months later, I can say that I feel fully recovered, but perhaps more importantly, now that nannies and grandparents have left the nest, I’ve learned to trust myself a little bit more and be confident that, if nothing else, my month of zuoyuezi sent me off into the abyss of parenthood in the right direction.

As for the long-term effects, will the fact that I was able to practice zuoyuezi keep my body strong and slow down the aging effects associated with childbirth? Will I regret bending the rules and wish that I had resisted washing my hair for 30 days? Find me in 30 years, and I’ll let you know.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.53.41 PM

 

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

Controversy Over Miranda Kerr’s Vogue Japan Photoshoot: Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation

 

Miranda Kerr is certainly no stranger to Japan. This time last year, the 31-year-old Australian model attracted quite a bit of attention for her odd, Japanese detergent commercials. Well it looks like she’s back and this time, she’s on the cover of the special 15th anniversary November issue of Vogue Japan.

While this excited many Kerr fans, much of that excitement was replaced with confusion when shots from the photo shoot were released. It was immediately clear that the actress was dressed to look like a geisha, a samurai and even an anime character. Of course, this begs the question: Where is the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, and what does this categorize as?

Most seem to be leaning towards cultural appropriation. Angry netizens question why a Japanese model wasn’t used for the 15th anniversary issue of  Vogue Japan. After all, the magazine is a Japanese-language magazine. Despite Kerr’s undeniable popularity in Japan, Japanese readers have been shaking their heads in disapproval of the choice to have a foreigner in “Japanese-inspired” outfits.

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However, others have come to Kerr’s defense including the photographer of the photo shoot, Mario Testino. In response to the controversy he explained, “I wanted to represent ancient and modern Japan with these three characters. Japan has geisha and samurai, as well as manga, and I hoped to express these themes through Miranda to the Japanese people.”

Some Kerr fans have even used cosplay as an example of cultural appreciation and note that race does not matter when avid fans dress up as their favorite anime or comicbook character. They argue that this photo shoot does the same. To others, the rebuttal for this argument is simple: this is not cosplay. This is a magazine which creates influence and for some, shapes beauty standards.

Kerr has not released her opinion on the matter, but she has been putting up photos on her Instagram since earlier this month.

Check them out below and give us your verdict. Is this cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?

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Get This Look For Less: Chinese Model Liu Wen At Paris Fashion Week

 

Chinese model Liu Wen is only 26-years-old, but has already successfully made it into prestigious magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar– a feat she achieved during the early stages of her successful career. Throughout her career, Wen has appeared at various catwalks all over the world, including Victoria’s Secret. Liu Wen now ranks as no.3 among 50 Chinese models. Of course, this is a well-deserved title. Not only is Wen incredible in photo shoots and on the runway, she has also gained fame for her simple and stylish street style.

Today, we check out how Wen dressed to impress during the Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015. Want this look, but don’t have the cash to get a wardrobe as luxurious? Don’t worry! Here’s how you can get this look for much, much less.

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Photo courtesy of vogue.com

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Photo courtesy of vogue.com

 

1. Women Idlf Denim Long Sleeve Shirt, UNIQLO – $40
2. Dark Authentic Rip Knee Jean, Miss Selfridge — $68 
3. Women Washed Narrow Belt, UNIQLO – $20
4. Sam Edelman Becker Slip On Sneakers, SHOPBOP – $88

 

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Photo courtesy of Polyvore

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 

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