Japan Introduces New “Chubby Girl” Idol Group

It’s no secret that Japanese women face quite a bit of pressure when it comes to weight. There are B&Bs where the cost of rent is dependent on the tenant’s weight and apps which verbally abuse women until they lose a few pounds.

Even when Japan tries to be more accepting of heavier women with terms like “marshmallow girls,” many of these actions cause unintended harm. For instance, a morning television show claimed it was perfectly acceptable for women to be heavy, but there are “right and wrong ways to be a fat girl.”

So when the Japanese entertainment company, AVEX, revealed that they were joining forces with fashion magazine CanCam to create J-Pop’s first official “fat” idol group, we were all taken aback with the news.

As RocketNews24 points out, “In Japan, being an idol is serious business. Getting caught in anything that has the potential of crushing a fan’s dreams could easily result in the idol getting fired. Simple things that common people partake in without as much as a blink of an eye, such as dating, smoking, or even putting on weight, are huge taboos for many members of Japanese idol groups.”

Clearly, Japan is trying to break away from their conventional image of a J-Pop idol. Asian Junkie believes that with the recent fad of “marshmallow girls,” it was only a matter of time that the pop industry would get in on the trend.

Auditions began August of last year. Out of  3,500 applicants, ten girls have finally been chosen to be part of the new J-Pop idol group, Chubbiness.

Rather than focus on being slim, the girls are encouraged to maintain their figure. To emphasize that they are proud of their weight, each member has revealed their favorite part of their body.

The big question is whether or not these girls are actually chubby. To many of us, most of the members of Chubbiness aren’t actually very round at all. In fact, many fall under the average weight category, but apparently these girls are no where near the thin figures of typical Japanese idols.

Check out their official website here.

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ADORABLE ASIAN FOOD: Radish Art Edition

If there’s one thing Audrey readers seem to be a fan of, that would be all things cute. This can be cute babies, cute cosplayers and above all, cute food.

Coffee art has gained quite some popularity over the years, but theres another edible art that’s threatening to take the spotlight: radish art.

Instead of using foam sitting on coffee, people have recently began shaping the grated radish that sits on top of Japanese hot pots and stews. These dishes, also known as nabe, are generally served during the cold weather and are often topped with grated daikon radish.

A typical nabe dish will have the daikon radish grated on to the bowl and simply mixed in with the other ingredients to add a fresh flavor. Talented folk have decided to use the grated radish as a medium to create delightful characters, animals and shapes.

Now, people are taking the time to squeeze the radish until the excess water spills onto the bowl. When the radish becomes just the right texture, it can be molded into all the adorable radish sculptures you see below.

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Female Politician Claims Rape Occurs When Women Act & Dress Inappropriately, Outrage Ensues

It has been over a year since the infamous New Delhi gang-rape where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus in 2012.

Traumatized by the events of that night, India has spent the year putting forth efforts to create strict measures against rape. Despite this, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Just last week, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India. The most horrifying part? This was on the orders of the village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. On Christmas eve, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, early last year, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

These are only a few of the many rape cases which occur in India and have caused a number of protests.

Under all the tragedy that India has faced with rape-related cases, we certainly didn’t expect to hear a public figure put the blame on rape victims. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Asha Mirje, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission is under fire for her recent remarks. While discussing the New Delhi gang rape, Mirje commented, “Did [the victim] really have go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend?”

She then addressed another case where a photojournalist was gang raped in Mumbai. “Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6pm?” Mirje asked. “Rapes take place also because of a woman’s clothes, her behaviour and her presence at inappropriate places.”

“Due to these reasons, a woman has to think whether, mistakenly, she is not inviting or inviting (sexual assault),” she added.

As expected, Mirje’s shocking comments received instant outrage.

“Every time such a statement is made by a public figure it justifies rape,”says Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association. “It’s unconscionable that people in public posts make such remarks.”

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Many others are insisting that she be removed from her position.

“She has no moral right to continue on the post as she is biased against women,” says Rupa Kulkarni, activist and the leader of domestic workers in the state.

Another activist Seema Sakhare added, “How can a member of women’s commission make such a comment whose duty is to protect women in the state?”

Since her remarks, Mirje has defended herself.

“I just said that although men are responsible for rapes and molestation, women too need to take more precautions in order to protect themselves,” she defended. “If anyone was hurt by my statement, I am really sorry. I am not diplomatic. There was no bad intention and the motive behind my statement was pure concern for women’s safety.”

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Asians in Fashion: Kiko Mizuhara for AMBUSH’s Lookbook

Korean-American model, actress and singer Kiko Mizuhara modeled heavy jewelry in fashion design label AMBUSH’s lookbook, “Nu Order,” which they released on their website earlier this week.

The Tokyo-based design collective, Ambush Design, was founded back in 2002 by Korean rapper-MC Verbal and his graphic artist wife, Yoon. They started their second line, AMBUSH, in 2008, in an experiment in making jewelry with different kinds of metals, stones and plastics. Fans include Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kid Cudi, among others.

The digital lookbook features Kiko and another model in clunky metal pieces, including chains, cuffs and bangles.

Creative direction: AMBUSH®
Stylist: Anna Trevelyan
Photographer: Kevin Amato
Model: Kiko Mizuhara, Anthony
Hair : Tony Kelly
Make up: Michael Anthony
Nail: Naomi Yasuda

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RACISM ALERT: University of Illinois Chancellor Gets Cyberbullied For Not Giving Students A Snow Day

People are now starting to call the University of Illinois one of the world’s most racist, sexist and spoiled universities. How did something like this happen? It all began this past Sunday evening when the university chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the students saying that Monday, January 27th, would not be a snow day.

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With temperatures reaching 30-below, we can understand why some students may have felt a bit grumpy about their missed snow day, but we certainly didn’t expect students to begin cyber-attacking chancellor Phyllis Wise.

The hashtag #fuckphyllis quickly began trending as the students poured all the blame on their chancellor. Because blaming your chancellor for the cold weather is logical right?

Although mean-hearted, the tweets began rather innocently. The students simply seemed aggravated that they had to attend class in such conditions. This quickly escalated to cyber-bullying.

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Much to our annoyance, the tweets began targeting her race and gender. Here are just a few.

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A number of fake twitter accounts were made for Chancellor Wise in an effort to further her cyber-bullying attack. Luckily, as the #fuckphyllis tag got more and more intense, the amount of people sighing in disappointment increased as well. Many people pointed out that if the students were so upset about the lack of a snow day, why not just skip class? Why do they have to publicly insult an individual using racist and sexist words? Others have pointed out that the students are privileged to attend and afford a college education. The uproar simply seems childish.

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The student body president Damani R. Bolden has released an apology on behalf of his fellow students. Unfortunately, the university has not been able to avoid the public backlash towards their insensitive comments.

Racist frat parties, blackface music videos, racist youtube rants and now this? Can anyone really say racism is only something of the past?

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A Bra That Will Only Come Undone For Your “True Love”

We want to begin by saying we’re just as confused as you are.

But to the Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, a “True Love Tester Bra” makes perfect sense. Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love.

The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.

How does this peculiar, high-tech undergarment work? According to the video promo seen below, the bra contains a sensor which syncs with an app on the user’s phone. The sensor will monitor and track the user’s heartbeat and once the heart rate reaches a specific point (the heart rate of true love, of course) the bra will come undone on its own.

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Of course, we’ve come across a number of problems with this device:

1. So what if you don’t find your true love? Do you have to keep the bra on forever? We’re certain that there are other ways to make the bra pop open on its own, but the video promo seems to constantly emphasize that the bra will only come undone in the presence of true love.

2. How accurate can that heart rate chart really be? What if I’m going out for a light run? Should I expect my bra to pop open because my heart rate has picked up? A person’s heart rate can rise and fall for a number of reasons. We highly doubt that this device is so intelligent that it can pinpoint the exact moment a woman finds her true love.

3. No, this is not an anti-rape product. As Huffington Post points out, “This high-tech bra will never “save” a woman from sexual harassment. Just because one’s brassiere isn’t being ripped off by an aggressive gentleman, doesn’t mean that the wearer isn’t experiencing a barrage of other forms of unwanted sexual attention before an evening gets to that point.” And getting into technicalities, what if one’s heart rate increases out of fear?

4. We’re pretty sure this thing can’t “know” how women feel. The creators (two men) can’t actually believe that true love can be measured based on a “one-size-fits-all” heart rate chart, right? I’d like to believe we’re much more complicated beings than that.

5. What if a girl just wants to have sex? In this day and age, there are plenty of women who are sexual beings. Believe it or not, women can actually want to have sex even if their partner isn’t their one true love. Shocking!

A woman should have the freedom to make these decisions for herself.

 

 

Bruno Mars Dedicates His Grammy To His Late Mother

 

Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, who is of Filipino descent, won best pop vocal album for “Unorthodox Jukebox” at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last night.

Mars, 28, was nominated for three more Grammys, including record of the year and song of the year for his hit song “Locked Out of Heaven” and best pop solo performance for “When I Was Your Man.” This is the second Grammy win for Mars, who won best male pop vocal performance for “Just the Way You Are” in 2011.

The most memorable part of Bruno’s acceptance speech? His heartfelt dedication to his mother.

“Ma, I know you’re watching,” Mars said in his acceptance speech, dedicating his win to his mother, who died unexpectedly back in June 2013. “I hope you’re smiling. I love you very much.”

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“It’s been five months and we’re still grieving — we’re still dealing with it and time hasn’t really healed much,” said Bruno’s sister Tiara in a November 2013 interview with ET. “We all have each other, which makes it easier,” Tahiti added.

Bruno’s four sisters, otherwise known as the singing group The Lylas, began documenting their rise to stardom in a new non-scripted series that premiered on WEtv in early November, simply titled The Lylas. In the midst of taping, the tragedy of their mother’s death occurred and the show focused on the girls dealing with their loss. After having initial concerns with a reality show, the girls found comfort in watching the footage of their mother.

“We’re so grateful to have documented our last few special moments with our mother,” says Jaime in an interview with Audrey Magazine, “that all of [the concerns of doing a reality show] are out the window.”

 

 

Asians in Fashion: Ming Xi for Zac Posen’s Pre-Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

Chinese fashion model Xi Meng Yao, more commonly known as Ming Xi, was featured in a series of breathtaking shots for fashion designer Zac Posen’s Pre-Fall-Winter 2014 lookbook in French Vogue. 

The lookbook, shot in both color and black-and-white, offers 26 dramatic photos of Ming in sweeping gowns and sharp silhouettes. Posen, known for his sophisticated style and penchant for deep and metallic hues, doesn’t let his fans down with this pre-collection. Ming poses in a variety of navy blue, gray and (of course) black dresses.

“I had no preconceptions about this career, I tend to just go with the flow,” Ming has said in an interview with CNN on her success in the fashion world. The model has walked in shows for countless high fashion brands, including Christian Dior, Alexander Wang and Givenchy. “I never really gave [being a professional model] too much thought before. That said, I absolutely love what I’m doing now.”

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A KARATE KID TRIBUTE for Tamlyn Tomita’s Birthday

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Japanese-American actress Tamlyn Tomita turns 48 today. Tomita has had numerous Hollywood TV and movie roles such as Waverly Jong in The Joy Luck Club, Lieutenant Commander Tracy Manetti in JAG and guest roles on popular TV shows like Glee and Teen Wolf.

But let’s not forget about the iconic movie that first introduced us to Tomita in 1986, when she was just 20 years old. The Karate Kid, Part II had Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their roles as student and mentor in this martial arts sequel. Tomita played Kumiko, the young Daniel’s love interest.

To commemorate Tomita’s birthday and give you a blast from the past, we present to you photos and video clips from everyone’s favorite coming-of-age karate blockbuster. Wax on, wax off.

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VIDEO OF THE DAY: “ONE” By Wong Fu Productions

Wong Fu Productions, the three-member Asian American filmmaking group considered to be one of YouTube’s elite, released another short film last week titled “ONE,” featuring Chinese American singer-songwriter Wang Leehom.

The six-and-a-half minute short, nearing the one million view count, opens on a young street musician (Leehom) performing on a cold winter’s day in New York City. Though he has raw talent, the musician is convinced that singing on the sidewalk is where he belongs; he might have been famous at one point, but in another life. Then he meets a stranger with dreams of her own, and his perspective changes for the better.

It’s a simple, sweet story that encourages others to see life as full of infinite possibilities; it’s up to you to choose what kind of life you want.

It’s also like most of Wong Fu’s other films: romantic, starring attractive twenty-somethings and geared towards Asian American youth. During Wong Fu’s college tour this year, more than a few students and campus organizations have voiced their criticism of the group, calling for less love stories and more videos that are representative of the country’s Asian American population and that cover social issues.

The men behind Wong Fu –– Philip Wang, Wesley Chan and Ted Fu haven’t addressed this critique formally.

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