Chinese Commercial Pressures Young Women Into Marriage

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, dating companies are seeing an influx of people who wouldn’t mind meeting “the one” before the romance-filled holiday gets here. Using Valentine’s Day to their advantage, many of these dating companies are doing whatever it takes to get more clients.

The Chinese dating company Baihe.com is no exception. They seem to have taken this determination to the extreme with a very personal commercial targeting young women.

In the commercial, an elderly grandmother keeps asking her granddaughter whether she is married yet. The young lady, who just graduated from college, is left to reply with a face of guilt and sadness.

As the grandmother gets closer and closer to death, the young woman decides that she shouldn’t be so picky and ought to make her grandmother happy. With grandma lying in a hospital bed, the young woman shows up in her wedding gown and with a groom. She has finally made her grandmother happy.

Cue the cheesy music and tear-filled smiles.

But wait. Is this commercial actually suggesting that one shouldn’t be picky with the person they will spend the rest of their life with?

Unfortunately, this commercial will probably make many young Asian women feel guilty. Even in America, Asian women feel this pressure. Often times, strict parents will warn their daughters not to date until they are done with school. The second graduation comes along, everything shifts and suddenly they are pressured to find a husband as soon as possible.

Confusing? You bet.

I don’t know about you, but we’re not really comfortable with a commercial using an aging grandma to guilt-trip young women into finding a man to marry.

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Watch the full commercial here. 

More Reasons to Love Bruno Mars: Hidden-Camera Prank and Inspirational Speech

There are many reasons to love singer-songwriter and record producer Bruno Mars. Within these past few months alone, Mars has shown us a number of impressive achievements. He recently won best pop vocal album for “Unorthodox Jukebox” at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. While accepting this award, Mars won our hearts over with a heart-felt dedication to this late mother.

Additionally, Mars was nominated for three more Grammys including record of the year, song of the year and best pop solo performance.

He then kicked off 2014 with an amazing Super Bowl Halftime Show alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers. The performance attracted 115.3 million viewers — the largest audience in Super Bowl history.

If his talent isn’t enough to win you over, maybe his humor will. Mars recently joined Ellen Degeneres to take part in one of her famous hidden-camera pranks. Mars had to say and do everything Ellen directed him to do through an earpiece.

The victim of this prank? A nurse who had to deal with the fussy singer’s sore throat. Aside from dealing with Mars’ ramblings about potato chips, the nurse also had to deal with a patient who refused to be touched. Mars, of course, was adorable as he hid his face to hide his laughter.  Watch the full prank below.

 

 

After the prank, Mars joined Ellen for an interview and addressed criticism he had received from the New York Times. Apparently they did not think of him as a top star because of his lack of presence in tabloids and the fact that he doesn’t have a fragrance. Rather than let these comments get to him, Mars gave an inspirational response which made us all love him more.

That was by far the most disgusting thing I think I’ve heard. Not because it was taking a shot at me … but I was just thinking about aspiring young musicians who wanna do this … Any young aspiring musician out there if music is what you want to do, music is what you love, your passion, it doesn’t take a fragrance, it’s not about the tabloids, its about you putting in the work, practicing everyday… and hopefully one day you write a song the whole world wants to get down to.

 

And I promise you, one day you will have your moment to shine and you’re going to have a lot of people who are going to tell you can’t do it,” Bruno continued. “I promise you, if you sing and put your heart and soul into it, one day you will be sitting next to Ellen DeGeneres and talk about how you broke records and rocked the Super Bowl!

 

 

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High Expectations for Women in Media: News Anchor Susan Kim Told She Looks Pregnant

There’s no denying the pressure put on women to be thin. A simple flip through a mainstream fashion magazine is enough to get the message across: society has a set ideal image for beauty. Just today, we discovered an intense weight loss app in Japan and many more seem to be hitting the market.

And what about women on television? Are they expected to look a certain way just because they are seen by the public? Apparently so. Milwaukee anchor Susan Kim constantly faces those expectations.

Recently, Kim revealed that a viewer sent her a message on facebook to tell her that she looked pregnant in a certain dress.

“Here’s the thing. At first I laughed, no big deal, I wasn’t offended and thanked her for her feedback,” Kim responded on her facebook. “But the more I think about it, the more those comments make me feel bad for women… in general.”

Kim’s response makes it clear that the different expectations between men and women in media is unreasonably different. Read the entire post here:

A viewer messaged me on Facebook during the show this morning to tell me I look pregnant in this dress, especially when I hold my scripts below my belly. She said she was just trying to be honest and then… apologized that maybe she shouldn’t have said anything. Here’s the thing. At first I laughed, no big deal, I wasn’t offended and thanked her for her feedback. After all, we share our mornings on television… together… and I do appreciate that! But the more I think about it, the more those comments make me feel bad for women… in general. I’ve had three kids and gained 50-60 pounds with each. I was considered high risk…so much so that with my second… I had to take a lot of steroids and will forever have a big flap of skin because of the weight gain. And now, I’m in my late 40′s. Is it not OK for women with that kind of history to still have a ‘tummy?’ Do we have to be so perfect… even if we’re on TV… that we have to have a flat stomach… and if we don’t… the observation is made that we look pregnant? I’m not looking for compliments. I’m just wondering if that’s really how women are viewed. If yes, that makes me sad. She also told me to tell Vince, “great tie.” I passed the message on.

 

 

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Yet Another Japanese Weight Loss App: Get Slim & Your Virtual Girlfriend Will Too

In Japan, the pressure to be slim continues to grow. In fact, a body figure which is considered average in America may be considered chubby in Japan. For instance, a new idol group was introduced in Japan called Chubbiness. As you may have guessed from their name, their angle is their “chubby figures.” The thought of an idol group who embraces their heavy figure sounds nice, but many people are bothered by the fact that the women in Chubbiness are hardly considered overweight at all.

Unfortunately, it seems as if many of Japan’s efforts to be accepting of heaviness have backfired. They have tried to introduce the term “marshmallow girls” to describe chubby women in hopes of associating chubbiness with cuteness. Instead, many have found the term insulting. Even worse, one television show said it was alright to be fat, but there are “right and wrong ways to be a fat woman.

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As expected, these efforts to be accepting of larger body figures cannot compare to the overwhelming pressure to be thin. Japan has just about everyone and everything encouraging weight loss. One B&B has rent price dependent on how much weight the tenant loses or gains. Then there’s a weight-loss app which has virtual men insult you until you lose weight.

But now a new app has decided to take this concept one step further.

The “Diet with Your Girlfriend” app is just what it sounds like. You are given a virtual girlfriend (which has gotten quite popular in Japan these days) and the more you diet, the more she does. The virtual girlfriend gets noticeably more attractive as she loses weight.

The problems with this sort of weight-loss app seems endless. Is this app suggesting that only slim women are attractive? What if a man prefers heavier women?

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CHINEASY: New Book Makes Learning Chinese Easy

Taipei-born entrepreneur, investor and author ShaoLan Hsueh has written a language book called Chineasy to simplify learning basic Chinese words and phrases.

The book, which will be released next month, aims to help people read Chinese easily by recognizing specific characters through illustrations. After taking a sabbatical from capital investment in London, Hsueh began teaching her British-born children how to read and write in Chinese and realized how difficult it was for them. She created a visual method to help them understand, and has since adopted it into a social project.

“Call me optimistic, but I see the melding of these two cultures, East and West, as being instrumental in creating a more culturally literate world,” Hsueh wrote on her website, describing her goal for the creation of Chineasy. “I also think that the East and West must understand each other in order for global economic growth to be a sustainable future.”

Learning Chinese through Chineasy starts on a building block principle: learning the basic key characters allows the reader to begin combining them to form more complex words. Incorporating the illustrations does more than just serve as a visual kind of mnemonic device –– it allows the reader to become familiar with Chinese culture and art.

Chineasy is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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McDonald’s Opens First Restaurant in Vietnam

Fast food corporate king McDonald’s, which has locations in over 100 countries so far, opened its first Vietnam restaurant in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday.

Hundreds of locals gathered outside the velvet ropes Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to await the grand opening of the American fast-food restaurant. Free balloons, face-painting, live performances and picture-taking with Ronald McDonald himself were some of the events held to commemorate the opening.

The Vietnam McDonald’s carries all the menu items as its other restaurants, save for one special item exclusive to the country: the McPork sandwich.

Free markets have viewed Vietnam has one of the last Asian countries with potential for consumerism following the end of the Vietnam war in 1975 and a steadily growing middle class.

McDonald’s follows other American corporations like KFC, which opened in Vietnam in 1997 and Baskin-Robbins, which opened in 2012. Starbucks opened its first three stores in Vietnam last year.

Alexander Wang Uses Heat Technology to Wow Audiences at New York Fashion Week 2014

New York Fashion Week kicked off last week as designers and big brand names held runway shows for their fall/winter 2014 collections. While New York City’s Lincoln Center is considered the central location for designer shows, this year Alexander Wang opted for an off-site location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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On Saturday night, the 30 year-old Taiwanese-American fashion designer dragged his fashion crowd from the inner city out to an abandoned greenhouse on the water in Brooklyn. Fans, editors, photographers and celebrities braved hours in traffic to get to the remote site.

Wang debuted his collection with models sporting slick, parted do’s and utilitarian looks. Show-goers took to their blogs and Twitters, noting the show’s most exciting moment when a group of models stood in all-black clothing onstage, only to have the clothing magically turn into bright and vivid colors as a result of heat technology.

Sculpted dresses and coats, baggy trousers and backless boots added to the futuristic line.

Watch a first look of the show here:

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Maggie Q to Star in New Series About a Famous Chinese Pirate

Maggie Q, the Vietnamese-American actress known for her role alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III and her leading role in the CW action series Nikita, is confirmed to star in a historical miniseries titled Red Flag.

Set in 1800’s China, Red Flag follows the true story of the famous Ching Shih, a Chinese prostitute who eventually became one of history’s most powerful pirates. Ching gained control of the South China Sea with her crew of 100,000 sailors and over 1500 vessels, and went on to conquer the Imperial Chinese, Portuguese and British navy vessels during her reign of the seas. Ching is reported as having led the most successful crime syndicate in Chinese history.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to share Ching Shih’s real-life story with audiences that are both familiar and unfamiliar with her prominent history,” Maggie Q said on the latest project, which has yet to be picked up by a television network.

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Be sure to check out Maggie Q’s amazing cover story in our Winter 2012-13 issue. 
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Steven Yeun’s Awkward Kissing Will Make You Love Him Even More

Just a few weeks ago, we came up with a list of top 10 reasons Glenn from The Walking Dead would make an amazing boyfriend. This included everything from his bravery, his romance and even his honesty. Our readers seem to agree whole-heartedly. Who doesn’t love Steven Yeun?

Well when the cast of The Walking Dead appeared on Conan to discuss the long-anticipated midseason premiere, Conan tried to shed some light on Yeun’s true, awkward self.

Conan shows us a shot of Yeun caught with his eyes open during his first kiss with Lauren Cohan’s character, Maggie. Admittedly, this wasn’t a very sexy move. But do you know what is sexy? The way that Yeun explains himself. Allowing his quirkiness to take over, he makes us love him even more with a hilarious response to his open-eyed kiss.

When Conan talks about Yeun taking part in People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, Yeun completely denies his sexy qualities and shows us his “true self” with a picture from his childhood years. Yeun is even more lovable as he defends his dorky self.

“Oh yeah,” Yeun exclaims while describing his picture. “Why wouldn’t I be wearing a fanny pack?”

This just goes to show that any efforts to prove to us that Steven Yeun isn’t sexy will probably just make us love him even more.

 

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Russia Wins The First Team Figure Skating Gold Medal, U.S. In Third

Story by Olivia Ouyang.

The first ever team figure skating event concluded yesterday with the men’s and ladies’ long program and free dance. Veteran Yevgeny Plushenko sealed Russia’s fate as the gold medalist after winning the men’s free skate. However, there were plenty of other highlights over the course of the three-day event that began on Thursday, the day before the opening ceremonies.

Unique to this competition is that skaters who would not normally be in the spotlight are able to compete alongside the world’s best. For example, Japan has some of the strongest singles skaters in the world. However, they have much weaker pairs and ice dancing teams. Because of the team structure of this competition, these Japanese skaters shared the ice with the best in the field. In addition, the five countries that qualified for the finals were allowed up to two substitutions for the long programs and free dance. Most countries took advantage of this rule and let some less experienced skaters compete.

While this was a nice way to kick off the Olympics, the real action starts on Tuesday when the individual events get underway.  However, the team event gave audiences a nice preview of who to watch.

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Men’s: Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) won the men’s short program, edging out Plushenko by a little over six points. Patrick Chan of Canada also proved he is a medal contender by placing third in the short. Although Plushenko won the long program, Kevin Reynolds of Canada and Tatsuki Machida were right on his heels.

Ladies’: Yulia Lipnitskaya, the 15-year-old from Russia, proved that she is the girl to beat, dominating both the short and long programs. Veteran Carolina Kostner pulled together one of her best programs ever and placed second in the short. If she skates like that in the individual competition, she is definitely a medal contender. Mao Asada, one of the few women with a triple axel, fell on the element in the short program but still managed to cling to third. Ashley Wagner partially redeemed herself after a devastating performance at U.S. Nationals that sparked quite the controversy when she was selected for the Olympic team over bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu (for more on this story, click here). Lastly but certainly not least, Gracie Gold, the current U.S. National champion, came the closest to challenging Lipnitskaya, placing second in the free skate.

Pairs: As it has been for the past decade, the top three pair teams in the world are still the Russians, Canadians, and Chinese. All three countries have such a deep team that it will be interesting to see who ends up on top.

Ice Dancing: Meryl Davis and Charlie White demonstrated why they are the favorites to win the Olympics, scoring a season’s best during the free dance and winning both portions of the competition. Their closest rivals (both literally and figuratively) are Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who represent Canada but happen to be their training mates. Marina Zoueva coaches both teams.