Flashback Friday: Sleep Deprivation Links to Higher Risk of Breast Cancer?

Story by Kanara Ty.

I was always considered the night owl in my family. Ever since college, my sleeping patterns consisted of multiple nights burning the midnight oil (in addition to a couple of all nighters). Simply put, my body was pretty programmed to function better at night because it was the time of the day where I was least distracted and I could be very productive. However, a couple of months ago, I decided that I needed to improve my quality (and quantity) of sleep by adopting a normal sleeping schedule (aka, sleeping earlier and waking up earlier). It’s definitely helped with my mood and skin (well, I think it appears better).

However, I’m sure you all know there’s health benefits to getting more hours of sleep daily, but apparently, according to this NYT article, six or seven hours of sleep is still not enough. The article states that poor sleep does quite a number to your mood, productivity, and physical health (including your metabolism and weight control — this could add up to 10 pounds in a year!), among some factors.

However, one of the more alarming things that I came across in the article for women? A higher risk for breast cancer:

The risk of cancer may also be elevated in people who fail to get enough sleep. A Japanese study of nearly 24,000 women ages 40 to 79 found that those who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who slept longer. The increased risk may result from diminished secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. Among participants in the Nurses Health Study, Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School found a link between low melatonin levels and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Hear that ladies? Keep the hours of sleep you collect daily in check – and your boobies will love you!

 

This story was re-published in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Click here to find out more about the “Asian Women Don’t Get Breast Cancer” Campaign.

(Source)

Heartwarming Friendship Between Grandmother And Cat

Story by Taylor Weik.

It doesn’t get much cuter than this. After graduating from the Nippon Photography Institute in Japan in 2002, Miyoko Ihara began taking daily photographs of her grandmother, Misao, to document her life.

One day, Misao walked into her shed to discover a small white kitten with heterochromia –– one eye a warm amber, the other an ice blue. She named the kitten Fukumaru, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

Ihara captures the growing friendship on camera as the duo work in the fields, munch on watermelon and take naps together. Although both Misao and Fukumaru are hard of hearing, Ihara is able to clearly portray their strong connection to one another. She has since compiled her photography into a book titled “Miyoko Ihara: Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat.”

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(photo source)

The Daily SHAG: Sam Milby

Though he may have gotten his showbiz start on reality TV, Filipino actor-singer Sam Milby has proven that he’s much more than just a pretty face.  The 29-year old, Ohio-raised Milby first caught eyes on the first season the Philippine’s edition of Big Brother back in 2005.  Though he didn’t win the competition, he certainly grabbed the nation’s attention with his charming looks and personality and has kept it ever since.

After signing with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic talent agency, he’s since released a string of hit records (with his stripped-down, guitar-laden sound earning him the nickname “Prince of Romance” and “Rockoustic Heartthrob”) and starred in numerous Philippine blockbuster films and hit dramas, including the recently ended Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.  His next project is another film entitled The Gifted, where he’ll be reunited with former girlfriend (and Philippine superstar) Anne Curtis — a definite must-see for fans of the Sam-Anne tandem.

While he may be in a real-life love battle to win the heart of it-girl Jessy Mendiola, he certainly has earned his place in our eyes as one of the hottest guys in the industry today and the title of today’s SHAG.  Find out why below!

Check out any of his editorials — he’s mastered the brooding model pose and looks amazing while doing so.

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He knows how to rock a suit…

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…and glasses…

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…and suits while wearing glasses.

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He’s business-savvy, having invested in music an concert ventures and most recently becoming a co-owner of a German restaurant and pub called Prost, located at the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City.

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He’s a proud pinoy, doing his part to promote tourism outside of his acting and singing gigs (see left).  But humor aside, he even walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in a barong, a traditional, embroidered shirt from the Philippines (see right).

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Need we say more?  If so, just take a peek at the pictures below.  Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words — so we’ll give you two thousand, just because we can.

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(Photo Sources: 1, 2)

Bribery Scandal in Miss Korea Contest?

Story by Steve Han.

Miss Korea, South Korea’s national beauty pageant, was hit with a bribery scandal after a participant’s mother allegedly paid off a judge to put her daughter at an advantage, according to TV network MBC’s investigate journalism program, Sisa Magazine 2580.

The program claimed that the mother offered money to an employee at the Korea Times, one of Korea’s oldest daily newspapers that also hosts the event, and that other contestants gave luxury goods to judges, such as pearl rings and other bribes.

The scandal is fueling fire to the already controversial event, as many Koreans have criticized the event for awarding contestants based on superficial values.


“One of the senior staff of the contest told me to buy off two judges,” an anonymous contestant from last year told the TV program. “He gave me a bank account and told me to wire money to that.”

The TV program also suggested that it has been an unwritten rule for a contestant to pay 500 million won ($470,000) for first place, 300 million won for second and 100 million won for third.

The Korea Times issued an apology and promised transparency in its future events.

“We feel moral responsibility for failing to prevent that,” the spokesperson said. “Our company will make all-out efforts to make the judging process more transparent and cleaner in the wake of this case.”

Yoo Ye-bin, this year’s Miss Korea winner, denied the accusations that her parents had paid off the judges.

“I was just an average student and my parents don’t have that kind of money,” she said. “One contestant bribing a judge shouldn’t be rationalized. I hope people understand that the judging process of the event is indeed transparent.”

 

This story was originally published on KoreAm Journal.

 

Michelle Phan Doesn’t Wash Her Face In The Morning?

Last month, we showed you the rather horrifying results of sleeping with makeup on. Even more stomach-churning, we showed you what happens when you don’t handle blackheads.. for twenty-five years.

Needless to say, skincare is (or should be) important to all of us. The task is to find the right methods to make sure you keep your skin as healthy as possible. All over the web, you can find people who swear by their methods of skincare and provide secret tips for a clear face. Should all of this advice be listened to?

Certainly not.

Realbeauty.com, for instance, noted that toilet seat covers can be used as blotting sheets. While we don’t doubt this, we’re go ahead and pass on this beauty tip.

So who do we turn to? How about someone who has over 5 million YouTube subscribers and nearly one billion video views?

For years, viewers have trusted Michelle Phan with makeup tutorials, skincare advice, and now fans have been going crazy over her new makeup line, EM Michelle Phan.


So when Michelle Phan advises us to not wash our face in the morning, people were a bit caught off guard. But don’t worry, the makeup guru has a perfectly fine explanation for this. Huffington Post reports:

I don’t wash my face in the morning. I know that might sound gross to some people but essentially when you’re sleeping and your pillows are clean, all you need to do in the morning is wipe down [your face] with a wet cloth. A lot of the times when you’re constantly washing your face over and over again, it dries the skin and your skin will produce more oil which causes breakouts. So it’s all about keeping balance on your skin and applying a light moisturizer in the day time.

 

Be sure to check out more of her advice here.

These Naptime Adventures Are A Must-See

According to Parenting.com, babies are incapable of nightmares because they haven’t yet grasped the concept of fear. Instead, their dreams are filled with silent, vivid images. So what exactly do babies dream about during these sleep-fests? Researchers are still in the dark when it comes to knowing what babies actually dream about, but Queenie Liao certainly has an adorable way of showing what she thinks these dreams consist of.

Liao, mother of three, decided to utilize her baby’s naptime for some creative art. Using household materials such as blankets and stuffed animals, Liao makes every naptime photo an adventure.

Her photo art album, Wengenn in Wonderland, consists of over a hundred naptime adventures with Liao’s son, Wengenn. Trust us, it’s quite a delight.

If baby dreams are anything like the ones Queenie Liao imagines, then we certainly have something to be envious about.

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(photo source)

Throwback Thursday | How (NOT) To Pick Up An Asian Girl

Lets just make one thing clear: If you’re going to include race when trying to flirt with a girl (which we don’t suggest you do), you’d better choose your words wisely. Apparently, some people have an awfully strange approach to flirting with Asian women and (trust us) a lot of the time this won’t end in their favor. We’ve come across quite a few no-no’s ourselves and we’re here to share them. Continue reading for a list of things NOT to do to pick up an Asian Girl.


1. Do NOT make her part of your collection.

Stamp Collection

“I’ve always wanted to date an Asian girl”
“Asian is the only type I haven’t dated before”

The last thing we want is to have someone date us just so that we complete their collection of ethnicities. We understand that you may be intrigued by something new, but this is definitely not the way to show it.


 


2. Do NOT come up to an Asian girl saying “NiHao”, “Ahnyoung”, or “Konnichiwa”.

One Direction (even though I love them)

“I was at a bar with my language partner from Korea, mind you she’s fluent in English and German, and this guy approaches us and drunkenly says “Ahnyoung” in a really bad accent. She looks him dead in the eye and says in flawless English, “You’re not even saying it correctly…” and we walk away laughing. Wongfu Productions was incorrect in their “Yellow Fever” video, it is NOT true that Caucasian guys can get an Asian girl by saying hi in a foreign language with a bad accent.”

This is especially true if you’re not even sure of a girl’s race. We’ve already had to deal with a lifetime of people assuming Asians are all the same.

 

 


3. Do NOT compare her to “typical” Asian girls.

Angry Asian Girls by Lela Lee

“There was a guy who tried to compliment me by saying the way I speak and even my major in college (English) is not like all the other Asian girls. He went on talking about how Asian accents are unattractive and how it was such a good thing I was so “Americanized”. He thought he was complimenting me by elevating me above other Asians, but he really just ended up insulting my culture. No go.”

If you think that we take this as a compliment then you’re mistaken- especially if it’s clear that your definition of a “typical Asian girl” is distorted.

 

 


4. Do NOT think you’re gonna win her over by saying you like her food.

“Oh you’re Chinese? I love Chinese food!”

You’d be surprised how often we get this. We appreciate that you like our food, but that has absolutely nothing to do with you dating us. This may be an effort to try and connect with us, but really- that’s a stretch.

 

 


5. Do NOT think that racial comments are attractive.

See our post on “The New Alexandra Wallace” here.

“In high school, a boy said, “If i came to your house to pick you up on a date and met your dad, would he come at me with a samurai sword?” “

This tactic is neither cute, nor intelligent, nor charming. Quite frankly it’s just not very nice.

 

 


6. Do NOT point out that you have Asian friends to try to charm us.

21 And Over

“Once I had a guy try and connect with me by saying “I like Asian people. I have an Asian friend actually.” Did he really think that just because he got along with his one Asian friend, I would automatically think he’d be a good boyfriend?”

That’s splendid that you have Asian friends, but just like the food comment- it has nothing to do with us dating you.

 

 


7. Do NOT say you have “yellow fever” or only date Asian girls.

Watch Wong Fu’s Yellow Fever here.

“I once went on a date with a guy who complained and said his options were limited since his parents only approved of Asian girls. I don’t need a guy who thinks he’s settling for me”
“He thought it was cute to tell me he had Yellow fever.”

We don’t want someone who is dating us merely for the color of our skin. Its perfectly fine for you to have a preference to Asian girls (you can’t help what you’re attracted to). We don’t even have a problem if you only date Asian girls, but we don’t want to hear that our race is the only/main reason you’re dating us.

 

 


8. Do NOT overgeneralize Asian girls .

Alexandra Wallace

“I don’t usually date Asian girls, they always get too jealous”
“I don’t normally date Asian girls, I can’t deal with the accent”

Being like Alexandra Wallace when you talk about Asian girls would be counter-productive for you. You are simultaneously assuming that all Asian women are the same and insulting us. Heads up, this won’t work on us.

Why Japanese Youth Have Stopped Having Sex

Currently, Japan has one of the world’s lowest birth rates in the world. Although its population is 126 million, that number is dropping every year and it pales in comparison to the U.S. population of 314 million and China’s 1.35 billion. In fact, fewer Japanese babies were born in 2012 than any other year in history.

According to sex and relationship counselor Ai Aoyama, this number could drop dangerously low with the current views of the Japanese youth. Aoyama is hoping to cure Japan’s wave of “celibacy syndrome” which has young adults losing interest in both physical and romantic relationships. In fact, many do not see marriage in their future at all. In 2011, a study showed that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship and a third of people under 30 had never dated at all.

There are many speculations as to why Japanese young adults feel no need for human affection. The Guardian argues that Japan is “battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011’s earthquake.” This scared mentality leaves Japanese citizens with the feeling that there is simply no point to relationships and no point to love.

Some of Aoyama’s patients are in their 30’s and have shut themselves off from the world. In fact, some of these individuals can’t even touch a member of the opposite sex and prefer other forms of intimacy. For instance, Aoyama describes one of her clients who “can’t get sexually aroused unless he watches female robots on a game similar to Power Rangers.” Aside from talks and tutorials with her patients, Aoyama uses therapy, yoga and hypnosis to try and help her patients.

The Guardian also argues another reason for this loss of interest. With Japan’s current lifestyle desire, marriage and relationships simply do not make sense. In today’s modern Japan, marriage is seen as a “grave” for career-focused women.The World Economic Forum ranks Japan as one of the world’s worst nations for gender equality at work. Promotions for women in the workplace is difficult as it is. Once a woman is married, it is seen as nearly impossible because of the assumption that the woman will have children. 70% of Japanese women leave their job after their first child since it is socially expected for mothers to stay home and raise their children.  Japan’s Institute of Population and Social Security reports 90% of young women believe that single life is “preferable to what they imagine marriage to be like”.

Men also seem to have no problem in the apathy wagon. The Guardian claims that men have become less career-driven and as such, do not want the responsibility of the traditional household role as the provider.

Despite the overwhelming lack of enthusiasm, Aoyama is determined to put human intimacy back on the map. Hopefully this task can be achieved soon. According to Kunio Kitamura, head of the JFPA, the issue is so serious that he fears Japan “might eventually perish into extinction.”

 

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Image of The Day: Unbelievably Cute Food Art

Move over adorable rice pandas, we’ve found something even more squeal-worthy. Samantha Lee, a Malaysian mother-of-two, claims that she is not a professional chef and has not been to culinary school. Despite this, she has been able to produce some of the most impressive works of food art.

Lee began Bento making in 2008 while still pregnant with her second daughter. With a new baby on the way, she needed a method to encourage her eldest daughter to start eating independently. This is when her creativity and skilled hands took over.

Using ordinary household tools such as knives and scissors, Lee began turning her daughter’s food into adorable works of art that featured popular characters from mangas, movies, cartoons and more.

“I’m just an ordinary, regular and average mom, crazy about making mess in the kitchen.” Lee says. But thanks to this “mess,” Lee has become an international media sensation. Lee has grabbed the attention of people worldwide and is now a kids party planner.

Check out her must-see collection of food art. Trust us. After seeing these images, you’ll be positively envious of her daughters.

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Jee Kim Designs Bags for Men on the Go

Story by James S. Kim. 

Men and Their Baggage
Designer Jee Kim, founder of Peasants & Travelers, creates stylish and functional bags for men, who were actually quite the bag innovators a few centuries ago.

 

It doesn’t take a fashionista to understand the relationship between women and bags. Synonymous, symbiotic, or both—it just takes a quick walk down the street of any downtown urban center to spot these two going hand in hand, or perhaps, on the shoulder or across the chest. Purses, totes, carryalls and clutch bags and more make up the diverse world of women’s bags.

It’s hard to imagine now that men once dominated the bag scene. But that’s where Jee Kim, designer and founder of the San Francisco-based men’s bag company Peasants & Travelers finds inspiration for her work.

Jee Kim. Photo by Narith Ta.

Jee Kim. Photo by Narith Ta.

“Back in the 18th century, it was the peasants who carried their owners’ belongings in makeshift satchels during travel. It was also the men who traveled long distances alone before women could, thus making them the first true carriers of ‘bags,’” she said.

Her company, as well as its name, pays homage to these early bag innovators.

Peasants & Travelers looks to bring together the oft-mutually exclusive qualities of fashionable and functional in men’s bags. Pay no heed to the jeers of “man purse” and the like. There’s something else for men besides the standard backpack or briefcase. Despite what many may think, there is a growing market for men’s bags, and Kim has built a solid footing for herself as a designer and businesswoman.

Kim, who grew up in Maryland, said she had high dreams of being in fashion and running her own business.  After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a merchandising degree, she secured a job with Gucci, the first of several brands that she would eventually add to her resume.

For over 10 years, Kim worked at brands that included Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic and William Sonoma. Her work took her all over the world, but it was her travels in Asia, specifically Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, that kindled her artist’s spark.

“I’ve always had a fascination with bags [and] their function,” she said. “A good shoulder bag [for example] frees your hands for multitasking. I noticed that men [in Asia] utilized bags as a fashion statement. The bag was a prominent part of the outfit. They didn’t seem to peg the bag with a gender, but embraced it.

“It was only a matter of time before American men would follow and expect more stylish bag options.”

Kim acquired valuable operation and production experience during her years in the fashion industry. The concept of Peasants & Travelers came to fruition and felt conceivable, she said, with the experience she had gained.

The company officially launched in August 2008, and Kim found herself initially running nearly all aspects of the company. Tapping her former colleagues in China, she was able to find partners in product development and design, and she would travel there for two to three weeks at a time to pick out fabrics, trims, zippers and whatever materials she would need. After finalizing the products, she would take the samples back to the U.S. herself, then haul them along to trade shows to showcase them to retailers.

The first collection shipped in March 2009. The 12-piece collection, which featured various bags, totes and carryalls in three different color waves (olive, brown and navy with black accents), began garnering attention in fashion media, including Urban Daddy, Thrillist and the New York Times. Notable retailers such as Urban Outfitters began carrying Peasants & Travelers products.

None of them, however, gained as much acclaim and popularity as Kim’s reimagining of the classic doctor’s bag.

“It put us on the map,” she said.  “It was versatile enough for work and/or for the gym. I [still] get emails requesting them.”

The bag takes after the classic doctor bag with the split-handle design on the top. However, Kim’s modernized interpretations are sure to draw glances with its unusual fabrics like cork, as well as the fine leather trim and the addition of shoulder straps.

“I think in the fabrics and the trim we use, it definitely updates the bag,” she said. “The strategy is modernizing a classic bag and making it comfortable for a guy who wouldn’t normally consider carrying a doctor’s bag, making them consider it and easing them into a style that is a bit more out there.”

Kim in her workshop. Photo courtesy of Jee Kim.

Kim in her workshop. Photo courtesy of Jee Kim.

She noted that cork is a material often used for shoes, and people don’t expect to see it in a bag. “That’s an element of surprise,” she said.

Unfortunately for potential buyers, the doctor’s bag has been sold out for quite a while, but they can look forward to a revamped, sturdier version in the spring 2014 collection.

The collection continues Kim’s vision of “fashionable and functional,” led by the weekend/gym bag, which features a separate shoe compartment and enough space for a weekend trip.

“As a creative person, you always have a storage of things that you like in the back of your head,” Kim said. “You always kind of are looking at things in a visual way. I think one of the strategies going in was, when a guy is carrying a bag into work and he’s also travelling, what are some styles that are classic but haven’t yet been interpreted in a modern way?”

Men who may be hesitant about checking out bags because of any “man purse” label shouldn’t have to worry. Men have long used bags, and now, thanks to Kim, they have some stylishly functional options from which to choose.

This story was originally published in the October 2013 issue of KoreAm Journal.