Asian Woman Turns To Photoshop To Change Appearance

Yesterday, we pointed out that the pressure to be thin is only one of the many issues that Asian women face. The need to be beautiful seems to increase daily and Asian women are taking extreme measures to get there.

One such measure is surgery. Last month, the public couldn’t stop talking about television personality Julie Chen and her decision to go under the knife to progress her career. Of course, this is nothing compared to the startling amount of surgeries happening in Asia.

Korean photographer Ji Yeo claims, “Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process. It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women on their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the idea woman. As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character.”

In fact, a Korean woman recently went through a number of surgical procedures to look like Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr. Of course, all this comes with a price. Aside from the rather large sum of money women are coughing up to be more beautiful, surgery runs the risk of long-term complications. Take Xiao Lian for example. The already pretty woman decided to get surgery on her face and is now struggling with the deterioration of her face years later.

So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t want the risks of surgery, but can’t deal with the overwhelming pressure to be beautiful? Apparently, some Asian women are turning to photoshop.

The rise of social media and online dating has its share of ups and downs. A notable downside to online dating is the misleading profile pictures. Who hasn’t heard of proper “myspace angles” when taking pictures or the infamous guy who posts up a pictures of himself ten years younger. Social media users have all been warned time and time again– what you see is not necessarily what you get.

A Chinese news and gossip site recently posted up pictures of a woman before and after photoshop. The images quickly went viral and left many Chinese readers in disbelief. World News Views reports, “Reactions ranged from impressed to shocked to downright disturbed that such a ‘plain’ person could become a radiant beauty when equipped with the right tools. Some people needed to be convinced that it was even the same girl.”

To many of us, the altering of pictures is nothing new. In fact, this has become so common that there are even mobile apps which “beautify” pictures as well. For example, the app Beauty Plus smoothens pores, slims down your face, and brightens your eyes with just one tap.

The pressure to be beautiful will surely increase with the rise in photoshop and beauty apps. So tell us what you think– Is it too much? Did this girl even need photoshop to begin with?

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Asian American Indie Band Swears Their Name Isn’t Racist

Story by Young Rae Kim.

The Asian American band, The Slants, have been unsuccessful in trying to trademark their name. For four years, the six-member rock band hailing from Portland, Ore., has been fighting with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which has denied approval, saying the name is disparaging for people of Asian descent.

Simon Tam, the founder and bassist of The Slants, responded by saying that the PTO has rejected their request on the basis of their ethnicity, while a Caucasian band would not be denied this name, NPR reported.

The group, which describes its sound as “Chinatown dance rock,” have already had several attempts shot down by the PTO.

In 2009, the group attempted to “reclaim” the racist term and applied for a trademark with the patent office. However, they were denied approval, to which the band responded by saying that the term holds multiple meanings. For instance, they argued that in their case The Slants referred to musical chords.

However, the PTO ruled that the “The intent of an applicant to disparage the referenced group is not necessary to find that the mark does, in fact, disparage that group.”

The band tried again in 2011, but with a different approach. This time they claimed the name has nothing to with anything Asian.  However, it was refused for the second time.

 

Yet again, the band a now trying another tactic and are now preparing to take the case to federal circuit court, where they are claiming that their right to free speech has been violated. It will be another tough battle because the PTO does not forbid the band to call themselves The Slants, it just does not allow them to trademark the name.

The band is hoping the courts see it differently, and if not, the national attention from the legal battle won’t hurt them.

 

This story was originally published in KoreAm Journal

Why Nicolas Cage Hopes To See More Asian Male Actors in Hollywood

When we think of the people who advocate for the advancement of the Asian community in American cinema, we admit that Nicolas Cage is not one of the first names that come to mind. Nonetheless, an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows that his name should be on that list.

Cage, an award-winning actor, producer and director, was in China to shoot an upcoming period drama Outcast. The film, which is directed by Nick Powell, is set in China and allowed Cage to work with a Chinese crew as well as Chinese co-stars such as  Liu Yifei.

Cage notes that this is his first time filming a movie in China, but hopes to continue working with China after enjoying this experience. After praising his co-star’s performance as well as the Chinese film industry, Cage turned the conversation to focus on Chinese actors in American Cinema.

“I hope that we will see more Chinese actors in American cinema too,” Cage says. “We do see Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat, but it’s very rare to see the Chinese male actor in Hollywood movies, which is something I take great umbrage with. You know, my son is Asian. He may want to direct one day; he may want to be an actor like his father — and I want that to be open to him. So I want to make some kind of effort to see more of that happen in Hollywood.”

For those who are unaware, Cage’s wife Alice Kim is Korean American. Because their 8-year-old son Kal-El (Yes, he’s named after named after Superman’s birth name on planet Krypton) is part Asian American, this is an issue which hits home for Cage.

We agree with you, Nicolas Cage. We certainly hope for that too.

Watch the entire interview here.

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Image of The Day: Disney Princesses Dress Up For Halloween

Recently, Disney Princesses have been getting quite a bit of attention. Just the other day Mulan was revealed to be bisexual on Once Upon A Time and last month, we got a look at Disney princesses portrayed by Asian Americans.

With Halloween around the corner, we can only expect the hype around these Disney Princesses to get larger. Year after year, more young girls wish to put on a costume of their favorite princess and act out a Disney fairytale.

But what if the tables were turned? Artist  Isaiah K Stephens decided to show how some of our favorite princesses would look like if they dressed up as their favorite superhero or heroine for Halloween.

Some of our favorites include Rapunzel as Japanese manga heroine Sailor Moon, Tianna as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jasmine and Chun-Li from Street Fighter.

Check out more Disney Princesses dressed up and stay tuned for a second set which will include Alice, Kida, Megara, Jane Porter, Tinkerbell, Charlotte La boff,  Esmeralda, and Sally.

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Breaking The Asian Myth | “Asians Don’t Get Fat”

We’ve heard a lot of stereotypes about Asians.

There’s the very incorrect myth that all Asians have the same kind of hair. Apparently, being Asian automatically means straight, sleek, black hair. Then there’s the dangerous myth about Asians and breast cancer. Some believe that Asians don’t need to worry since we have the lowest breast cancer rate. The reality is that Japanese American women have the highest rate of breast cancer among Asian Americans and this type of cancer is the leading cause of death for Filipino women. Obviously, there are important differences between the various ethnicities which categorize under the umbrella term “Asian.”

And now, we’ve come to a myth that many of us have heard since childhood:
You’re lucky you’re Asian. Asians don’t get fat.”

This is the part where we all let out a collective sigh. Obviously, that phrase is extremely problematic. Asians are human and fully capable of putting on weight. Sure, this stereotype holds some ground. Many Asians are indeed fairly thin or petite, but by no means is this the case for all Asians. Setting the boundary that Asians don’t get overweight can create quite a few problems for our community.
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Take Maria Kang (above) for example. Controversial photo aside, it is clear that this mother of three had to work hard to get the impressively fit body that she has now. Among the negative comments shot at her, there were a number of people saying that her achievements are nothing to boast about because she’s Asian and “Asians are naturally thin.” Suddenly, hard work of any sort is simply waved off as nothing.

Make no mistake– there are certainly Asians on the heavier side. Now imagine how a heavy-set Asian feels in the midst of such high expectations? What does a woman do when society makes her believe that her culture is genetically engineered to be thin, but she is not? Now more than ever, Asian women are turning to surgery to fit these high beauty standards. With the ideal weight for Asian women getting smaller and smaller everyday, we began to wonder just how true this stereotype is. Lucky for us, we weren’t the only ones who saw flaws in the idea that “Asians don’t get fat.”

NBC recently took a closer look at where Asian Americans rank on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and noted two very big problems which would lead to incorrect results.

It is true that according to the survey, obesity does not appear to be an issue with the Asian American community, but it is important to take note of their definition of obese. In order to judge obesity, the NHANES looks at body mass index (BMI). A BMI above 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. By these standard, only 10.8 % of Asians are obese compared to the 33% of white, 42% of Hispanics, and 48% of blacks.

The problem? The BMI of an Asian is not an accurate indicator of whether or not that person suffers from the health risks related to obesity. For instance, Asian Americans are at risk for diabetes with a BMI of just 24 and at risk for cardiovascular disease with a BMI of 19. By the NHANES standards, these BMI’s are not even considered overweight and yet it is enough to bring the complications of obesity to Asian Americans.

The second major problem is the giant umbrella term “Asian.”  NBC notes that this term “is defined the same way the 2010 U.S. Census defined the term: Americans with descendants from the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent — that includes Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.” By categorizing so many types of Asians into the same field, it is easy to overlook the results of the individual ethnicities.

According to a CDC report in 2008, Filipinos are 70% more likely to be obese compared to the other Asian Americans while a number of Vietnamese and Korean adults are underweight. Clearly, obesity issues vary amongst the different types of Asians. Scott Chan, the program director for the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, points out, “Combined together, it looks like we don’t have a problem. It kind of propagates that ‘model minority’ myth — that Asians are healthier, we’re skinny, we’re fine.”

So as much as we buy into the idea that Asians are naturally thin, it is quite a danger to our community. Do some Asians get fat? Yes. Should we worry about the health risks associated with obesity? Absolutely.


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Get a K-pop Complexion: Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme

Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme Complete Coverage Makeup

**An Editor Favorite!

Coverage: Full

Shades: 5 (Snow Glow, Vanilla Glow, Cream Glow, Linen Glow, Nude Glow)

Price: $39

Benefits: SPF 20, cream-to-powder formulation with built-in Air-Buff brush. Primes, mattifies and moisturizes with buildable coverage. Vegan-friendly, paraben-free, cruelty-free.

Review: We tried the Linen Glow shade, which is a medium beige with golden undertones. First off, the design of the packaging is pretty genius. The cap comes with its own pop-off “Teddy Bear” hair brush, a dense flat top brush that buffs on the BB cream perfectly. It’s a cream in the tub, which turns into a powder on the face, leaving a very matte, very Photoshopped finish. Just swirl with the brush onto your face, pressing or stippling on areas that may need more coverage. This really does give a flawless, full coverage finish, without feeling heavy. I didn’t need any makeup, or any powder for that matter, after I was done. Just apply and go. For my light to medium Asian skin tone, the Linen Glow was perfect. If you’re very pale, go with Cream Glow. For deeper skin tones, Nude Glow would work.

Wanna know more about BB creams? Check out our entire list of BB cream reviews here!

Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac” Premieres in The U.S.

Story by Taylor Weik.

Audrey Magazine got up close and personal with the legendary Jackie Chan and actress Yao Xingtong to discuss the U.S. premiere of Chan’s award-winning film, Chinese Zodiac

After almost 10 months since its Hong Kong release, CZ12, also known as Chinese Zodiac, international superstar Jackie Chan’s newest –– and last –– big action movie as a director, was released in select AMC American and Canadian theaters October 18.

Filmed on location across five continents and seven countries, CZ12 takes audiences on a global adventure as Chan’s “JC,” a modern day treasure hunter, is hired by a group of antique dealers to track down six bronze sculptures that are missing from the original set of 12 representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. With the help of his team of explorers, a Chinese artifact student and a French heiress, JC races through French vineyards and braves the jungles of the South Seas in search of forgotten relics.

With a diverse number of locations comes a diverse cast, a casting decision that Chan owes to his many years of observation in the entertainment industry.

“I wanted to show the whole world that good guys and bad guys can be of any race,” Chan explains. He specifically mentions a band of pirates that shows up to sabotage one of JC’s missions. “If you notice, I cast a black guy, a Filipino guy, a Japanese guy, and so on. In Hollywood movies, the bad guys are always black. I always thought to myself, ‘Why are they always black?’ They’re not.”

The action-packed film is one of Chan’s most ambitious to date. Not only did Chan spend a hefty amount of money producing the film –– one of the major fight scenes cost more than $10 million to shoot –– but he also broke two Guinness World Records during the process for “Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor” and “Most Credits in One Movie,” the latter of which includes 15 credits, among them Actor, Director, Producer, Co-Writer and Fight Choreographer.

Chan owes his ever-expanding list of credits to his developing urge for creative license. As Chan began to make more movies over the span of his 50-year career, directors began to allow him to choreograph fight scenes and even add comedy to the scripts. Eventually, he wanted to do it all.

“I spent six years writing the script [for CZ12] while I was in America,” Chan says. “During Rush Hour 3, during The Forbidden Kingdom, any time I had a break, I’d be sitting there writing my script. Fighting is always good, but I wanted to make people laugh.”

CZ12’s cast brings in numerous actors, from American actor Oliver Platt to a cameo appearance by Chan’s own wife, Joan Lin. Yao Xingtong, the 2009 nominee for Best Actress in China’s Golden Rooster Awards for her role in Blossom, plays Coco, a bright Chinese student and passionate activist who fights to return stolen cultural treasures to their countries of origin.

“It’s been very fun,” Xingtong says of the time she spent filming with the cast and crew. “Jackie worked hard and took care of all of us. In China, we all like to call him ‘Big Brother.’”

Since its release, CZ12 has earned over $160 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing action film and second highest grossing Chinese film of all time in China. It has also won Best Action Choreography at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards.

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The Ultimate Travel Guide to New York’s Meatpacking District

Story by Kanara Ty.

Before I went to New York City this past summer, I asked a colleague for some tips on her
favorite spots in Manhattan — best cheap eats? Favorite rooftop bar? She told me to completely immerse myself in the Meatpacking District, perhaps Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhood right now. While the name doesn’t exactly scream glitz and glamour, I assure you that you can’t just make one visit to the Meatpacking District during a vacation in the Big Apple — it packs a whole lot of punch with high-end boutiques (Alexander McQueen, thank you very much!), critically acclaimed dining destinations (Buddakan and Morimoto), and swanky nightclubs with the toughest doormen in the world (Wass Stevens of Avenue — we’re talking about you!).

Before it became one of NYC’s hottest social spots, the Meatpacking District was known for its various industries throughout the years. In the mid-1800s, you would have found carpentry and woodworking manufacturers. After the beginning of the 20th century, the neighborhood became a huge meat market, literally: approximately 200 slaughterhouses and packing houses abounded (hence the name), in addition to cosmetics, printing and automobile companies.

During the ’70s and ’80s, the area went into decline, transforming itself into an entertainment and nightlife mecca for the gay and bondage/S&M crowd. Interestingly enough, it’s alleged that the Mafia and some members of the NYPD protected some of these after-hours establishments, which allowed them to flourish. This included The Mineshaft, which was shut down by the Department of Health in 1985 at the height of the AIDS epidemic (20 years later, the space was reopened as a Chinese restaurant).

Despite, or perhaps because of, its lurid history, the Meatpacking District, is one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in Manhattan today. Here are some highlights.

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S T A Y

-Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
It’s known as the Meatpacking’s first luxury hotel and remains an iconic location since it opened in 2004. The Gansevoort added a different kind of character to the grittiness of the neighborhood, helping to transform the area into a hip entertainment district. If you’re easily star-struck, beware — the hotel’s been featured on MTV and Vh1, and you’re sure to run into a celebrity or two (we spotted Will.i.Am in the lobby).
If you’re looking to go all out, consider booking the Gansevoort’s Duplex Presidential Suite. It’s the ultimate experience: the 1,700-square-foot duplex features 30-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, a state-of-the-art sound system, dining area, pool table, cardio machines, full bar and custom furniture. Our favorite part? The step-out balcony with extraordinary views of the Hudson River. Not convinced? Check out our Summer 2013 10th anniversary issue’s cover editorial with Rinko Kikuchi — trust us, it’s quite a treat. Details Gansevoorthotelgroup.com.

 

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E A T
The Meatpacking District is a foodie heaven for those looking to experience something out of the ordinary. We’ve got two Stephen Starr restaurants on this list — enough said.

-Num Pang Sandwich Shop
Long after I’ve left New York, this Cambodian sandwich shop still lingers in my mind. I can’t forget the Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly sandwich, topped off with some Ithaca Ginger Beer or Ginger Pineapple Ginger Tea. Also try their delicious Grilled Coconut Corn with Chili Mayo. Note that some of their sandwiches are seasonal, so be sure to check what’s available. For you non-meat eaters, the Roasted Cauliflower sandwich is flavorful as well. Details Numpangnyc.com.

-Buddakan
When you enter Buddakan, it doesn’t exactly feel like a restaurant. In fact, you think you might have walked into a large nightclub. The interior is just remarkable, with oversized chandeliers, high ceilings, golden bookshelves, and yes, even a banquet table enough to seat 34. The eats to check out? Duck and Foie Gras Dumplings, Dungeness Crab Sticky Rice, and Singapore Chili King Crab. Don’t forget the dessert — get the Sichuan Peanut Semifreddo. Details Buddakannyc.com.

-Morimoto
You know the name — Masaharu Morimoto is quite synonymous in celebrity circles with anything Japanese. Honestly? He lives up to the hype. All you need to do is get the Morimoto Omakase ($125 per person), and you let them take care of the rest. Details Morimotonyc.me.

-The Lobster Place
Fresh seafood right at your fingertips — and it’s prepared in front of you! I can only imagine my facial expression when I saw the fresh uni before me. But if you’re not sure what to get, go for the popular Lobster Roll. Details Lobsterplace.com.

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P L A Y 

 

-Avenue
It’s got a reputation for being one of the toughest nightclubs to get into in the world — primarily because the doorman, Wass Stevens, is one tough cookie to break. If you can make it past the velvet ropes, you’re in for quite an experience. Basketball phenom Jeremy Lin was recently sighted here at a Knicks aftergame party. Details Avenue-newyork.com.

-PH-D
Located at the Dream Downtown hotel, people say this is quickly becoming one of the hottest new spots in NYC. The short moniker actually stands for Penthouse at Dream Downtown, which is the rooftop lounge at the hotel. If you can get in, you’ll feel like you’re in a secret garden with beautiful people, good music and a majestic view. Details Phdlounge.com.

-Provocateur Café + Nightclub
There’s something for everyone here: the nightclub for those who are looking for an evening of debauchery (drinking and dancing all night long) or the café for those who want something more chill (drinking and talking all night long). Be sure to check out their calendar for the most updated list of upcoming DJs if you’re into the EDM scene. Details Provocateurny.com.

 

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E X P L O R E 

-High Line
Despite all the clubs and eateries in the Meatpacking District, this was at the top of my list to check out. A cool public park, The High Line was transformed by some community residents from an elevated freight rail line facing demolition. The park was recently used for a top-secret Alexander Wang event (he gave away free clothes and caused all sorts of pandemonium). Check it out after dinner or for your pre-party — it’s a nice spot to walk off those calories and catch some good scenery.

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Must-See Video | Martial Arts Has NEVER Been This Cute

We’ve definitely shown you quite a number of cute children on this site. In July, we brought you the Adorable Asian Baby Overload. More recently, we threw some Halloween costumes on these babies and came up with the Halloween Costume Edition. Needless to say, these adorable children pull at our heartstrings and apparently we’re not the only ones.

This video has an incredible 1,430,000+ views and over 3,000 likes. Clearly, many people were just as taken with the cuteness. Although this video was put up in 2011, it appears to be going through yet another round of viral attention. This is probably thanks to Buzzfeed  and Reddit who have called this “The Cutest Taekwondo Match Ever.”

Don’t believe us? See it for yourself below and don’t worry. Check out those smiles- they’re far from hurting each other. In fact, they might just end up hurting us after smiling so much.

 

 

Flashback Friday | Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door

 

High school: such a pivotal time in young women’s lives for college/career decisions, familial tension, first loves, first rejections, no-holds-barred attitude and unexpected self-discoveries.

And when high school years are depicted on American film and television, extracurricular activities may involve solving murder mysteries (Pretty Little Liars), and unrequited love is sometimes best told through song (T.V. Carpio’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Across the Universe).

One could argue that Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko was the ultimate Asian American high school “girl-next-door” crush, even if, back in 1986, the Karate Kid had to travel all the way to Japan to be in the right neighborhood. But in the past 25 years, there have many memorable Asian American girls  – as well as British Asians, Asian-Scots and Asian Canadians that we snuck onto the list — that we can look up to (or reminisce with) in these classic tales of high school.

 

Below are our Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door:

 

10.  Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz); Glee

Jenna Ushkowitz has been playing Tina on Glee since the first season debuted in 2009. After dating Artie, she connected with “the other Asian,” Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), making them arguably the most prominent Asian American couple on television. As part of the glee club, Jenna has had many notable performances, covering songs such as “True Colors,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Gangnam Style.”

 

9. Cho Chang (Katie Leung); Harry Potter

3,000 girls auditioned for the role of Cho Chang, and the Scottish Katie Leung made her debut in 2005′s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As Harry Potter’s first love interest, she also gives him his first kiss. Though Harry and Cho’s romance is short-lived, bookended by Cedric’s death and Cho’s jealousy of Hermione, Leung continued to reprise her role until the final installment.


8. Margaret Yang (Sarah Tanaka); Rushmore

Rushmore fans remember Margaret Yang as the sweet, bespectacled student at Grover Cleveland High School who has a crush on Jason Schwartzman’s Max Fischer. Unfortunately, the 10th grade extracurricular activities junkie is too busy chasing after the new teacher (Olivia Williams) to pay any attention to her. Yet, Margaret Yang is the one that ultimately gets to call Max out on his bullshit — “You’re a real jerk to me, you know that?” — eliciting a well-earned apology that made Noise to Signal‘s 10 Most Affecting Wes Anderson Moments.

7. Annabelle Manalo (Joy Bisco); The Debut

In 2000′s The Debut, Joy Bisco plays Annabelle Manalo, the best friend of Rose Mercado (Bernadette Balagtas), who is having her 18th birthday party (aka her “debut”). Rose’s brother Ben, played by Dante Basco, is the high school senior who clashes with his father and struggles to reconcile his Filipino American identity. Annabelle, a beautiful dancer with a dangerous thug boyfriend, easily charms Ben by putting him at ease on the dance floor (“If you’re Filipino, you can cha cha. It is in the blood.”), and, as an unexpected confidante, she makes a lasting impression on Ben and viewers alike.

6. Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell); Pretty Little Liars

The sporty Emily Fields, played by half Filipina, half Irish/Scottish actress Shay Mitchell, is one of the four leads in the murder mystery ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, which debuted in 2010 and is currently in its third season. In the first season of the show, Emily comes out of the closet to both her friends and later to her parents (played by Hapa actors Eric Steinberg and Nia Peeples). Since then, the series has explored her difficult relationship with her mother and subsequent tragedies in the girls’ mysterious lives.

Click here to watch the Pretty Little Liars coming out scene.

 

5. Knives Chau (Ellen Wong); Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scorned by her first love Scott Pilgrim, Knives Chau is a 17-year-old girl learning about heartbreak (and boys who aren’t the best at communication) for the first time. Played by Ellen Wong, Knives is not just an ex determined to win her boyfriend back, but a fireball of passionate energy that bursts out of the screen even we discover she has all these hidden ninja moves up her sleeve.

4. Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens): High School Musical

In the popular High School Musical franchise, Gabriella Montez — played by the Chinese-Filipino-Spanish-Irish-Native American actress-singer-dancer Vanessa Hudgens – was ultimate high school dream girl to the ultimate high school dream boy, Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron. The dream only intensified when the fictional relationship spilled over into reality: the High School Musical movies were released from 2006-2008, while the two lead actors were real-life lovebirds until 2010. While the first two movies were made-for-television, the stakes were upped when High School Musical 3: Senior Year was brought to the big screen.

 

 

3.  Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra (Parminder Nagra); Bend it Like Beckham

The 2002 film that picked up Golden Globe and British Academy Award nominations features Parminder Nagra as Jess, a tomboy in London who idolizes David Beckham and wants to play football (soccer), even though her Indian immigrant parents will not allow it. This ultimate underdog story, directed by Gurinder Chadha, not only kickstarted Nagra’s career (as she would later play Dr. Neela Rasgotra on the hit show ER for six years), but it also showcased early performances by Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Archie Panjabi.

 

 

2. Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk): Smallville

Though Smallville ran for 10 seasons, during which the relationship between Clark Kent and Lana Lang would reach greater highs and lows, involving a time travel crystal and eventual break-up, we will focus on the high school years — Seasons 1-4 — for the purposes of this list. The half Dutch, half Chinese Kristen Kreuk played Lana Lang, Clark Kent’s literal girl next door. Clark Kent (as Superman) saves her again and again, without her knowledge, but as their feelings for each other deepen, his secretive behavior continues to be a source of distrust. Smallville‘s ultimate high school moment has to be when Lifehouse comes to sing at their prom, and Clark asks Lana to dance. In that pure, fleeting moment, all other potential love interests understand that there’s no coming in between them.

1. Lane Kim (Keiko Agena): Gilmore Girls

And my personal favorite has got to be Lane Kim, Rory Gilmore’s best friend in Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000-2007. The character of Lane was loosely based on Helen Pai, a Korean American producer on the show who was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist. Because Lane’s super strict mother (played by Emily Kuroda) disapproves of everything loud, and non-Christian, and non-mother-approved (which is most things), the aspiring drummer has secrecy perfected to a tee — hiding her rock CD collection under the floor boards of her room and concocting elaborate stories so she can date without her mother finding out. And, as an actress, Keiko Agena perfected delivering Amy Sherman-Palladino’s cleverly complex lines at super speed, a fun requisite for being on Gilmore Girls in the first place.

Click here to watch the scene where Lane reveals her scheme to get her mom to like her new secret boyfriend, Dave.

 

Tell us who your favorite Asian American high school girl next doors are!