This May Be “The Best Anti-Smoking Ad” Ever

Avid smokers and anti-smokers disagree on quite a lot when it comes to cigarettes, but they can all agree on one thing: no matter how much people enjoy it, there is no doubt that smoking cigarettes can cause great deal of damage to your body. Regardless of the fine print on each package stating “Surgeon General’s Warning: Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy,” most continue to smoke and disregard the warning or cannot yet kick the habit. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes we all just need a little reminder as to how deadly cigarettes can be.

Just see for yourself below.

The campaign titled Smoking Kid was created for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation by Ogilvy & Mather. Although it was created over a year ago, it seems to have recently gone viral once again.

In the video, which won the Bronze Award at the 2012 Bronze Cannes Award, various adults are followed and are approached by a child with a cigarette asking for a light. Even more interesting than children asking for a light are the responses that the adults give to the children. Smoker after smoker, many with a cigarette still in hand, remind the children of how bad smoking is and tell the kids that they are too young.

A few moments later, the child responds with “If smoking is bad, why do you smoke?” They then give the adult a note which reads, “You worry about me. But why not about yourself? Reminding yourself is the most effective warning to help you quit.”

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The message that this video sends is definitely one that will not be forgotten. The filmmakers use of everyday life scenarios for this campaign contributes to the effectiveness of the video. It has opened up the eyes of many, including my own.

(Source: 1)

“Being Born As A Girl Is Worthless”

Among the number of privileges we often take for granted is a skill you’re using this very moment: literacy.

For those of us who are lucky enough to have an education, we often overlook how much we utilize reading and writing on a daily basis. To us, it is simply basic knowledge that one naturally picks up way back in elementary school. We foolishly forget that there is an overwhelming amount of women who dream of having the opportunity just to learn how to read and write.

The truth is, for many women, education is not something that is attainable. In certain areas of the world, girls grow up to believe that because they are a girl, they don’t deserve an education. They don’t serve a purpose outside of procreation and taking care of their husbands. These girls grow up believing that being born a girl is worthless.

This is exactly what Chuna Devi grew up believing. As a child in Nepal, she was not sent to school because her parents saw no need in a female having an education. Instead, she was left to look after the animals and was married off by the age of 16.

As a result, when her mother needed medical attention, Chuna Devi could not find the necessary doctor because she could not read the words and numbers on the hospital signs.

This is not uncommon for many women in South Asia. According to Le Globaliste, “of the world’s 493 million illiterate women, half live in South Asia. The region will see 130 million young girls married as children by 2030, and almost four in 10 South Asian women experience sexual violence in their lifetimes. As girls are forced to abandon their education, they become increasingly isolated.”

Now, at the age of 47 and with daughters of her own, what does Chuna Devi decide to do? Change her life.

As a mother of three raising her kids in Nepal, Chuna finally learned how to read at a READ center. With this knowledge, Chuna educates her own daughters and aims to spread the message that it is never too late to learn.

The official website for READ Global describes their centers and organization:

READ Centers offer educational trainings and resources in literacy, livelihood skills, health, leadership, women’s rights, the environment, and more. READ Global is nonprofit organization working in rural South Asia to build community library and resource centers (READ Centers) that offer training programs in education, economic empowerment, technology, and women’s empowerment. With each Center we seed a small business called a ‘sustaining enterprise’ that generates revenue to maintain the Center in the long run. Our Centers are owned and operated by our local partner communities.

 

Slowly, but surely, READ informs more and more women that being born as a girl is priceless. Watch the inspiring story below.

 

Do You Prefer An Older Or Younger Lover? Japan Responds

They say that age is just a number, but apparently people still have their preferences. For many of us, there has been a long-standing belief that older men prefer younger women and younger women prefer older men.

Recently, this trend seems to have shifted.The rise of terms such as “cougar” and “MILF” have increased in popularity. This has become so evolved in mainstream media that even “Hot Mom” photo competitions exist. The idea of “the attractive older woman” has been embraced.

In the past, if you were a woman who dated a younger man, you were laughed at, called a “cradle-robber” and even called desperate. Women were led to believe in finding an older man to ensure that they were nurtured and cared for. Times have changes and more and more women are leaning away from this path.

Sandra L. Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, told The New York Times, “For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money. That might be fine and dandy if you’re in high school and have this fairy tale Prince Charming. But when you look at adult women, most are self-sufficient and they don’t have to look for that.”

When NBC News looked into this trend, they noted that women may be more interested in younger men because,

-Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.

-Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.

-Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and fun are coming to the forefront.

-Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could follow her or take care of children, if that is a factor.

-For their part, younger men often find older women more interesting, experimental, fun to talk to, financially settled, and more adept sexually.

 

While the U.S. has begun embracing the idea of older women with younger men, Japan has kept true to their traditional views on relationships.

Earlier this month, a Japanese dating app called Match Alarm asked nearly 3,000 singles if they preferred dating someone the same age, younger, or older. The response was unanimous for women- 81.3% responded that they would prefer an older lover. This percentage is not as large for men, but a majority (46.9%) still prefer dating younger women.

Despite this preference towards traditional ways, Japan was still surprised that one in three men want an older lover. In fact, once the numbers were separated by age group, more than 50% of men between the ages of 20 and 24 preferred older women.

Japanese women generally seemed to agree on older men. Even the oldest age group, 35-39 most preferred dating older men. Check out the results below.

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So tell us- do you prefer an older or a younger lover?

(Source)

Men Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine In This Powerful Indian Ad

Many women have experienced the uncomfortable leer of a male stranger. Many of us have had to endure as a stranger inspects our body from top to bottom and we force ourselves not to think about what he’s imagining. We’ve scowled, we’ve yelled, we’ve rolled our eyes, we’ve ignored, we’ve been sarcastic, and we’ve been scared and yet the leering continues. The worst part about all this is just how common this is.

It is no secret that the mistreatment of women is a large and serious issue faced by India. A little over a year ago, the infamous New Delhi Gang Rape horrified the world. A 23-year-old woman was on a private bus when six men, including the driver, beat and raped her.  The woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault.

According to Huffington Post, a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital where the woman was being treated claimed, “It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines… That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”

Though she survived the attack, the woman died thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment. The horrifying case shook the country and widespread protests ensued.

Now, a year later, this ad is released as a reminder the world to not forget that these acts still happen. The video’s description says,

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT” is the need of the hour. On 16th December 2012, the horrific incident of Nirbhaya’s Rape Case not only shattered Nirbhaya’s family but every single Indian. This incident did trigger a sense of solidarity to stand up, fight against and do our best to eradicate such atrocities & gender inequality. At Cinema100, 2013, a WWI Initiative to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Indian Cinema, we commissioned our Alumni Ketan Rana to make an ad on Woman Empowerment. Watch the video & Spread the awareness to Think, Reflect & Act!

 

According to Jezebel, the lyrics of the song say, “Look how you look when you’re looking at me,” in Hindi. The video shows men getting a taste of their own medicine. Sure enough, they are all equally uncomfortable with being leering at. They are physically forced to look at themselves and reflect on their actions. Watch the powerful ad below.

Frances Chung: Living The Cinderella Dream, Literally

Story by Taylor Weik. Photos by Erik Tomasson. 

To anyone else, a 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. workday at the office might be a full load. But Frances Chung, a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, didn’t spend the day in an office. This morning she came into the studio early to change, then spent an hour and a half warming up and working on her technique. The rest of the day was spent in grueling rehearsals with her company in preparation for their tour to New York next week. Any other person would be passed out in bed by now. But Chung’s cheerful voice gives away nothing over the phone.

“It’s been a long day,” she says casually.

A rigorous schedule is nothing new to Chung. Born in Vancouver to Chinese parents, Chung and her older sister were enrolled in piano and ballet classes at their local community center at the age of 5 “because, you know, our parents are the typical Asian parents,” she says. While her sister preferred the piano, Chung excelled in ballet. At 16, while competing in Switzerland, she won a scholarship that would allow her to spend the summer dancing in Boston. There, her talent was undeniable. She was immediately offered a full-time position as a ballerina with the Boston Ballet, but she turned it down so that she could finish high school.

During her senior year, Chung auditioned for 10 different ballet companies across the United States before she got the acceptance call from the San Francisco Ballet. She graduated high school and, at 17, left home for the first time. She’s been with the company for the last 12 years.

“I’m now going into my 13th season,” she says slowly, as if digesting the news. She knows it’s been a long time. “I’m definitely a West Coast girl. I don’t plan on going anywhere, anytime soon.”

And how could she? After joining in 2001, Chung danced for four years before being promoted to soloist in 2005, then another four years until she achieved her dream of becoming a principal dancer in 2009. She’s danced a variety of roles over the years, including the Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, the Enchanted Princess in The Sleeping Beauty and the Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, the latter of which she had wanted to play since she was a young girl. She also recently played the title role of Cinderella, something she describes as being “every girl’s dream.”

 

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“I’m at the peak of my career now; I just turned 30,” says Chung. “I don’t know when I will stop. I’m just going to go until my body can’t handle it anymore.”

Chung’s job isn’t one for the weak of heart, mind or body. San Francisco Ballet dancers work 42 weeks of the year, and then many, like Chung, use the little time they have off to dance in side projects. One of her favorite “vacations” has been traveling to Germany with some of her fellow dancers, which has inspired her to one day form her own project and bring dancers to perform in her hometown of Vancouver.

Another inevitable side effect of dancing? Injuries both physical and mental. Chung has sprained both of her ankles many times and has suffered from knee, hip and back pains. Sometimes she struggles with self-esteem, and has to remind herself that her identity is not based on who she is as a dancer. She has her bad days.

But every bad day is worth the many more good days she has performing with the San Francisco Ballet. She enjoys the freedom dancing brings her, and because the same ballets have been danced many times by hundreds of other dancers, Chung also enjoys the challenge of adding her own style to make the role her own.

But more than anything, she values the opportunities she’s had to meet people. “When I think back — wait, that makes me sound old,” she laughs. “All of my favorite memories are the ones I’ve shared with people. I love working with other dancers, and dancing with different choreographers is a new experience every time.”

Chung knows she’s not going to be dancing forever. She will age, and eventually she’ll be too tired to perform the same movements with ease. Where will she be in 10, 15, 20 years from now?

“Hopefully I will have graduated college, at least,” she jokes.

But for now, Chung is exactly where she wants to be. She’s not a planner. She takes her life day by day, waking up early and perfecting her pointe work and pirouettes until the sun sets. When she’s not dancing, she likes to cook and read up on home design and may even catch up on some movies. And what does she watch to unwind? “Flashdance,” she says. “What can I say?”

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ABOUT FRANCES CHUNG
Woman’s Best Friend: She has a 5-pound Chihuahua mutt named Iggy.
Fast Food Indulgence: In-N-Out double double with grilled onions.
Multitasking Abilities: She is currently taking college courses while dancing at the San Francisco Ballet.

This story was originally published in our Winter 2013-14 issue. Get your copy here

Christmas Gift Guide For The Make Up Lover

So you have to buy a Christmas gift for someone who loves make up, but you don’t know a thing about a make up. This can get a bit tricky. What brand do you choose? What will look good on her skin? What does that cream even do?

Well have no fear! Here at Audrey, we shared our absolute favorite make up items. If we love these so much, we hope she will too. Check out Ask Audrey Staff | Whats In Our Make Up Bag below to get some Christmas gift ideas for the make up lover in your life.

 


EOS Lip Balm

“Dry lips annoy me and I usually have to choose something that tastes yummy. For the most part, EOS has a pretty decent selection of delicious flavors (not saying that I eat my lips…)” 

 


NYX (The Curve) Eyeliner

“On the days when I have a million meetings to attend and then a function at night, this eyeliner makes touching up my eyes pretty easy- especially when I want to do a dramatic tail. ” 

 

 


MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

“It hides all my blemishes and evens out my skin tone.” 

 

 


Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner (Black)

“So I don’t look like I’m sleeping. Its (Revlon ColorStay) the only one that stays” 

“This has made it onto my list of HG (Holy Grail) products for me. I’ve sworn by this eyeliner since I’ve started wearing makeup. Glides on smoothly – and yes, it really does stay put. ”

“My daily must-have. Really easy to apply and it doesn’t take much effort to get a lot of color out of it. As everyone else has said, it definitely stays on.” 

 


SENSAI Lip Treatment

“It’s way beyond a lip balm. It totally makes me feel like I have sumptuous Angelina lips.” 

 

 


Aerin The Mini Lipstick

“The chicest, most minimal lipstick tube ever. It makes me feel stylish just pulling it out of my bag.” 

 

 


MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (Porcelain Pink)

“I could swirl this on with IT Cosmetics super plush powder brush all day long. Adds the perfect hint of sheen and flush to my wan winter pallor and reflects away from my many sunspots!” 

 

 


NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Powder (in Soft Beige)

“I was introduced to this over the summer and it gives me the most flawless (and very natural) coverage, without feeling heavy. It’s cool to grind the makeup!” 

 

 


Kanebo Sensai Rouge Intense Lasting Color (in 113)

“Enough to last me the entire work day. The red is the perfect shade for me to wear on regular days – just enough color, without going too bold. The formula also feels great on my lips! ” 

 


Urban Decay Naked Palette

“When my brother gave me this for my birthday, he said all the workers in the shop wouldn’t stop talking about how perfect this gift would be. As expected, I fell in love. It has enough variety for a chill day in the office to a crazy night out.”

 

 

 

Dara Shen: Competing In A Combat Sport Where Asian American Women Are Rare

Story by Ada Tseng. Photo by Susan Hale Thomas.

Dara Shen is trying to explain what it feels like to get punched in the face. “Have you ever sneezed really hard?” she asks. “That’s what it feels like. I remember the first few times I got hit, my face was sore afterward, but your neck gets used to it. If you’re strong in your neck, you’re not going to be bobbing all over the place, and that’s what causes a knockout: when your chin turns too much in one direction and cuts off the blood to your brain.”

A Taiwanese American boxer who’s hungry for her first U.S. national championship (she already has multiple silvers and bronzes, but her only gold is from when she fought abroad in Taiwan), 27-year-old Shen is no stranger to black eyes. But she’s managed to avoid major injuries thus far, other than a concussion she got when she fought at the Olympic Trials back in 2011.

Despite her (almost) clean slate, Shen concedes that boxing is a dangerous sport and her loved ones have the right to worry when she’s in the ring. It’s no wonder that her parents can’t bear to watch her fight. They’d rather just hear about the results afterward, and they yearn for the day they can throw her a retirement party.

“Being punched in the face is part of the game,” says Shen. “For me, it’s not painful anymore. It’s more of a mental thing: how you deal with it is what makes you who you are as a fighter.”

Born in San Francisco, Shen moved to Utah when she was 11 (raised Mormon, she describes her formative years as being one of the only Asians in a sea of blond hair and blue eyes), before moving to Virginia for high school. Though Shen participated in many sports growing up, it wasn’t until she was a 20-year-old university student at Virginia Tech (going through a bad break-up that left her with much pentup frustration) that she discovered a boxing club at her school.

“I just did it for fun and to get in shape,” remembers Shen, “but I’m very competitive by nature, so once I found out there was a whole world of competition, I fell in love with the sport. I went to my first nationals in 2010.”

At 5-foot-9-inches and 165 pounds (“My coach calls me ‘Asian Amazon’”), Shen fights in the middleweight division, the highest of three weight classes that were allowed in the first-ever women’s Olympic boxing event held at the London Summer Olympics in 2012. Boxing has long been considered a male-dominated sport — it had been the last-standing all-male sport in the Games for years — and even nowadays, though she competes against other women, Shen does most of her training with her male teammates. (“It’s a treat to get to spar with another girl,” she says.)

All through 2011, Shen competed in numerous qualifying tournaments, fighting to earn a coveted spot at the Olympic Trials, but she kept missing by a hair. The U.S. National Championships qualified the top four; Shen was fifth. The National Golden Gloves took the first-place champion; she came in third. The National PAL qualified the top three; she was four. Once her U.S. opportunities wore thin, she decided to try her luck in Taiwan with her dual citizenship. There, she earned gold at the Taiwan Olympic trials, represented Taiwan in the Women’s World Championships (another qualifier for the Olympics), and there, again, she missed qualifying by one spot.

Eventually, she was able to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials after there was a last-minute dropout, and she became an alternate for the London Olympics. But looking ahead to the 2016 Games, she wants more. In 2014, she will get another chance to qualify, and her past failures only fire up her passion and hunger to win.

“I lost so much when I first started competing,” Shen remembers. “I lost my first seven fights, so as an amateur boxer, being down 0-7, you have to question, ‘Is this for me?’ But I never saw quitting as an option. This is what I want to do. I’ve seen what my sport has to offer at the most elite level, and I know what it takes to be there.”

While there are numerous respected Asian women boxers abroad, including Ana Julaton of the Philippines and Mary Kom of India, Shen says she has only seen three other Asian American women in her seven years of boxing in the United States — and this includes both athletes and officials.

“I know when I go to competitions, when people don’t know me, they think, ‘She probably can’t fight. She’s a girl. She’s pretty. She’s Asian. Asians don’t box,’” says Shen. “You get looks from people, and they don’t need to say anything, you already know what they’re thinking. But being Asian in this sport has made me stand out. If you were to go to the tournament and ask for the Asian girl, there’s only one. It’s just me!”

Though she lives for boxing, Shen acknowledges that the sport is struggling, especially with the rise of UFC and mixed martial arts, and despite all the physical risks involved, boxing doesn’t necessarily pay. There are only a couple American women with major sponsorships, and the rest of the fighters have to make a living outside of the sport. Based in Alexandria, Va., Shen herself works a regular 9-to-5 job in project management for construction and real estate development, before heading to the gym each day for
her training workouts.

“It can be depressing if you read into it too much, so I try to do what I can to stay focused on my own goals and not let that part drag me down,” she says. “And that’s what I love so much about boxing — that it teaches you so much about life. If you pay attention to what everyone else is doing, you’re not going to be able to do what you need to do, the best way you can do it. That’s boxing, and that’s life!”

This story was originally published in our Winter 2013-14 issue. Get your copy here.

Life-Size Lady Gaga Doll VS. Gaga-Inspired Hello Kitty Doll

This past weekend, the oh-so-popular Lady Gaga was in Tokyo promoting her latest album Art Pop. Although Japanese netizens can say they’re accustomed to the eccentric, Lady Gaga still turned heads with her giant hair ears and and confusing outfit (typical of the pop diva).

During one of the press conferences, Lady Gaga held on to a Hello Kitty doll that was clearly inspired by her own look. The doll was created specifically for her by Sanrio designer Yuko Yamaguchi. As you can see in the image below, The Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty doll wears a blond wig, a white pantsuit outfit with a shell bra and huge platform shoes.

After engaging in a kiss with the doll, Lady Gaga revealed that she would be auctioning the signed doll and the proceeds would go to Tomodachi, a non-profit organization. The proceeds for this particular auction would go to the Tomodachi Stella Adler Performing Arts Fellowship.

So what’s so special about this Hello Kitty doll? When we say its limited edition, we really mean limited edition. Only two of these Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty dolls exist and the owner of the other one happens to be Lady Gaga herself.

The auction will continue until December 23rd and 10pm. The bid is already around $24,000. Check it out here.

In return, Lada Gaga was presented with four life-size dolls resembling herself. The dolls had such realistic detail and skin that it was hard to tell the singer apart from her dolls. The silicone “Gagadolls” were created by Orient Industry in Tokyo which specializes in synthetic “love dolls.”

All of the Gagadolls dolls were dressed up to replicate a specific outfit and look of Lady Gaga. The pop-star tweeted a photo of herself next to the dolls saying, “Who needs barbies when you can own your own life size pop star that sings to you #gagadollz.” Hey, Santa? Is it too late to add this to my Christmas list?”

Check out the video of the making of the Gagadolls below.

 

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(Source 1, 2, 3)

The Daily SHAG: A Shirtless COLE HORIBE As Bruce Lee [Photos & Video]

Back in October, excitement was in the air when it was announced that Cole Horibe was chosen to play the legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee, in the world premiere of David Henry Hwang’s new play Kung Fu. The play, directed by Leigh Silverman, will premier in February of the upcoming year.

So who exactly is this Cole Horibe you ask? He was a contestant on the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance in the category of martial arts fusion. During Hwang’s search for the perfect Bruce Lee, Cole Horibe made quite the impression.

“Cole’s electrifying martial arts and dance performances immediately riveted me,” explains Hwang. “He shared Bruce’s charisma and even resembled him physically. Later, in his auditions for Kung Fu, he brought the same raw talent to his acting that he’d shown so brilliantly in his dance. We feel incredibly blessed to have found in Cole a star who can bring a legend to life.”

All of Horibe’s talent is perfect for the play which combines dance, martial arts, Chinese opera and drama to tell the tale of the martial arts icon.

Much to our excitement, some first look photos of (a shirtless) Horibe channeling his inner Bruce Lee have been released. Clearly, he deserves to be today’s Daily SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy).

Check out some of the photos below as well as some swoon-worthy behind-the-scenes footage of the photoshoot.

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(Source 1, 2)

Japan Introduces Term “Marshmallow Girls” To Combat Fat-Shaming

It’s no secret that the pressure to be thin is one faced by many woman. A simple flip through your average Vogue is enough to get the point across: society tells us skinny is pretty and fat is not.

Even worse, any woman in Japan will tell you that their pressure is far greater. Apparently a chubby figure (much smaller than what we consider obese here in the U.S.) is not acceptable.

As a result, some in Japan have tried to counter this perception of chubby girls. A magazine called La Farfa was created and features only plus-sized women. It is an effort to show Japan and the world that plus-sized girls are beautiful as well.

Recently, the magazine called one of its models, Goto Seina, a “marshmallow girl.” The magazine has since been advocating for the term and claims that it hopes the nickname will change the general perspective on chubby girls.

The aim of the new nickname is to associate chubbiness with cuteness instead of the negative connotations of a nickname like “fatty.”

While the new term inches its way towards viral popularity, netizens seem torn on the issue. Some claim that the term is much more user-friendly and “you’re a marshmallow girl” creates a much cuter image than harsh terms like “you’re a fatty” or “you’re a pig.”

Others claim that its association to food is problematic. One commented on JapanCrush.com, “How about just calling them “pizza girls”?”

Some netizens want nothing to do with the confusing issue and refuse to recognize the issue at all. They simply say women should just lose weight and that’s that.

Let us know what you think. Will “marshmallow girls” be a productive method of combating fat-shaming?

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