Season 4 of The Voice is here! Christina and Ceelo are sitting out this season – and I’ll say that I’m pretty pleased with Shakira and Usher filling in their shoes. Monday night’s premiere episode opened up with a big bang (complete with a lovely rendition of The Beatles’ “Come Together” by the four judges). However, what REALLY caught my eye was seeing two Asian women appear as contestants on the show (and both from Los Angeles!): Leah Lewis and Judith Hill. Fifteen year old Lewis is an adoptee from Shanghai, while singer-songwriter Hill has made a name for herself when she caught the attention of the world as she sang the lead on “Heal the World” at Michael Jackson’s funeral. Lewis didn’t get selected to a team, but Hill got all four judges to turn around for her (she eventually went with Adam Levine).
Leah Lewis performing “Blown Away”
Meet Judith Hill!
Judith Hill singing “What a Girl Wants”
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:
I never have been nor ever will be a tiny Asian girl. I’ve always been a chubby kid — it’s evident in my baby pictures which bear remarkable resemblance to Notorious B.I.G as I sit there big-cheeked, big-thighed, staring into the camera with a scowl (I was probably hungry). It was evident from my pants split at the butt-cracks because I was so booty-licious, no amount of fabric or denim could hold it in.
Happy International Women’s Day! Though the United States is among a handful of countries that don’t officially recognize the nearly 100-year-old day for women, Americans still use the occasion to bring women’s issues to light. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle celebrated with a reception at the White House. The guests were a varied group, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even actress Kerry Washington. Obama even gave kudos to current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for adding, as she said on the 2008 Presidential campaign trail, a million more cracks in the glass ceiling. Nonprofit organization Women for Women International drew millions of women at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and London’s Millennium Bridge in its “Join Me on the Bridge,” a symbolic event with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn to show the world that women are the bridge to resolving many of the world’s problems. And the International Museum of Women is celebrating with a new online global campaign called Women on the Map.
But the day also had its critics, namely in the voice of Somali nomad-turned-supermodel Waris Dirie who said the day was meaningless because there’s still inequality and injustice in the world against women, according to a Reuters report. And of course, she’s right. Poverty, illiteracy and violence are just a few of the issues that unequally afflict women around the world, especially in Asian countries. But there are glimmers of light. Women in Haiti are rolling up their sleeves to start anew in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Meanwhile, in Cambodia women like parliamentary member Mu Sochua are single-handedly bringing women’s rights into the national vernacular, earning one vote at a time to regain her seat in a male-dominated society. Here in the States, American women for the first time in history make up half of all the workers in the U.S. In nearly 4 in 10 families, mothers bring home as much as or even more of the bacon than their spouse, all on their own. And, the 82nd Academy Awards crowned its first female “best” director in the figure of Kathryn Bigelow, a fitting bookend as ex-wife to Avatar director James Cameron, who, when he won best director for Titanic, cried out: “I’m king of the world!”
Well, it looks like it’s the queen’s turn.