Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013

2013 was quite the year for Audrey Magazine. Not only did it mark our ten year anniversary, it was also the launch of our revamped website. While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year.

Ranked by which stories were the most popular of the year, we bring you Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013!


Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 10.41.22 AM
1) Breaking The Asian Myth | Asian Hair
“If there’s one Asian stereotype we’re all very familiar with, its Asian hair. No one knows when this actually happened, but at one point people began thinking that all Asian women had the same kind of hair…”


pop-blackhead
2) Not For Weak Stomachs: Removal of a 25-Year-Old Blackhead 
“In September we showed you the results of sleeping with makeup on for an entire month and called it a horror story. Now we take that back. We take it all back. Apparently, that wasn’t a skincare horror story at all. This is…”


2013 c
3) Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery 
“It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift. Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal…”


2013 d4) World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter 
“1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,326,171 followers
2. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal) 3. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)…”


2013 e
5) Korean American K-Pop Star Embroiled in Nude Photos Scandal
“Korean American singer Ailee has been receiving enormous attention from the Korean media after nude photos of the K-pop star surfaced on the Internet. Allkpop, a popular New York-based K-pop website, published censored versions of the photos last night, igniting a firestorm of controversy…”


2013 f
6) The Ultimate Guide to EXO
“EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it? YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes…”


2013 g
7) False Rumor: Philippines Disqualified From Pageants For The Next Two Years 
“In the midst of all this good news for the Philippines, a strange rumor has begun to spread. According to The Adobo Chronicles, the  Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has disqualified the Philippines from international beauty pageants for the next two years claiming that Filipina candidates had an “enormous advantage” this year…”


2013 h
8) Asians in Fashion | EXO-K for Ivy Club Autumn 2013
“With the rise of EXO’s popularity, we can confidently say that  Ivy Club made quite a good decision to have the boys model and endorse their Autumn 2013 look…”


2013 i
9) Extremely Racist Responses to Olympus Has Fallen
“Its no secret that we still face racism today. Every time I start to believe that I live in my ideal/equal world, acts like this bring me back to the reality that we still have a long way to go…”


2013 j
10) Where I Went and What I Bought: Seoul
“I took a dream vacation last month. Not to some tropical hideaway surrounded by crystal clear waters. Not to a romantic European capital overflowing with crumbling palaces and fine wine. No, I went on a shopping vacation. To Korea…”

 

Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery

It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift.

Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal. Photographer Ji Yeo tried to call attention to the amount of plastic surgery occurring in South Korea, by showing the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”

Additionally, more women seem to be willing to go to extreme measures to live up to the high expectation of Asian beauty. As a result, some have faced the horrifying repercussions of a surgery gone wrong.

Regardless of all this, many remain undaunted by the possible negative side effects. Plastic surgery remains more popular than ever. There’s Miss Korea who completed in the Miss Universe Pageant 2013. Kim Yumi had absolutely no problem admitting her multiple procedures. Then there’s the woman who was so obsessed with Miranda Kerr‘s looks that she decided to go under the knife in an effort to look like the Australian Victoria’s Secret model.

Now, apparently, there’s a Korean television show called “Let’s Beauty.” Asiantown.net claims that the purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.

A pair of twin sisters caught much attention after participating in the show. After their surgery, both twins look completely unrecognizable from their original self. Check it out for yourself:

doc 1 doc 2 doc 3 doc 4 doc 5 doc 6

doc 7 doc 8 doc 9 doc 10


doc 11 doc 12 doc 13

So tell us. Is this television show going too far or is it simply an entertaining topic? Watch an episode for below.

(source)

Horrible Reaction to “Man Sues Wife For Ugly Children” Hoax

For about a decade now, a story has been making its way around a number of media sources. The story claims that a man sued his wife after she gave birth to an ugly daughter.

According to multiple sources, a Chinese man named Jian Feng was “horrified” when his beautiful wife gave birth to an ugly child. He suspected his wife of an affair because he could not see how the two of them could create the child. After tests proved that it was in fact their child, the husband discovered that his wife had undergone surgery before they met.

The man divorced his wife and allegedly sued her for $120,000 for tricking him into the marriage. The crazy part of this story? He won.

Thankfully, a number of media sources have stated that this story was probably a hoax and has been making its way around since 2004. Pictures have begun to pop up in an effort to make the story appear real (see below), but the following picture has been identified as a Taiwanese ad for plastic surgery. The caption reads, “The only thing you have to worry about after plastic surgery is the explaining you’ll have to do to your children.”

surgery ad 1

 

While we are relieved to discover that this tale may just be a hoax, we’ve discovered something even more shocking.

What could be worse than a man suing his wife over ugly children? What about men who whole-heartedly agree with and defend this act.

The blog Couples & Co describes itself as “a guide to a more blissful union & everything else… in between…” Though such a description doesn’t sound bad at all, their take on this story is quite unbelievable.

 It has always bugged me the way women commoditise their bodies: slathering on cosmetics, changing their hair colour, getting boob jobs, injecting botox into their faces and the list goes on and on.  Apart from the fact we’re told we men should not objectify women when women clearly are the biggest sexual objectifiers of their bodies, I found myself worried that such women have no honour.  A big part about honour is honesty and a woman with a fake body is not being honest about herself.  For me as a man, I look at a woman’s body and her features to guage how healthy she is physically and if she would produce good children for me because frankly I’m shopping for a good mother for my children.

 

The author then posts up the following picture of the wife before and after plastic surgery.

surgery ad 2

He then writes this inappropriate comment:

This woman frankly should not have been able to reproduce because she’s the carrier of genetic refuse.  Think about it, would you want to have children with a haemophiliac, a person with Huntington’s victim or Down’s syndrome?  Of course you wouldn’t, and not because you hate the person with the disease, but because you love your future children too much to put them through such torment.

 

We couldn’t believe our eyes. Surely this author must have been writing sarcasm, right? Surely he can’t actually believe that ugly individuals should not be allowed to reproduce, right? Unfortunately, the post showed no signs of sarcasm.

Since its publication, the story has received a storm of angered comments from readers. Check it out for yourself. 

Plastic Surgery Horror Story: A 28-Year-Old Turned 60

Plastic surgery is no stranger to the Asian community. In the past two months alone, a woman went under the knife in an effort to look like Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, television personality Julie Chen received heat for having surgery to progress her career and a Korean photographer felt the need to shed light on Korea’s “beauty-obsessed culture” normalizing surgery.

As plastic surgery becomes more and more common within the Asian community, beauty standards rise accordingly. Under the heavy pressure to look beautiful and with easier access to procedures, many women turn to surgery without hesitation.

The debate over this issue continues among the members of our community. While we all don’t have the same opinion on plastic surgery, we can all acknowledge that undergoing any sort of surgery holds potentially dangerous results.

Unfortunately,  Xiao Lian from Gansu Province had to learn the hard way. At the young age of 17, Xiao Lian made the decision to get work done to improve her facial features. She admits that she disliked her thin face and even her own boss would comment on its unappealing thinness. Pressured to have round and cute cheeks,  Xiao Lian turned to plastic surgery.

Xiao Lian looked into various plastic surgery clinics, but always found the price for her procedure too steep for her budget. Finally, through a friend’s recommendation, she found a small clinic who had not yet obtained it operating license, but offered the procedure at a cost that she could afford. She was injected with a substance over 10 times within the span of one month to achieve the plump face she wanted.

Some years later, in 2009, Xiao Lian began to notice her face swelling. Soon, her eyes and nose seemed to change shape. By 2013, her swollen face and droopy eyes had become unrecognizable. She began losing hair and took on the appearance of an elderly woman instead of her 28-year-old self.

Traumatized by her altered-looks and unable to discover why, Xiao Lian allegedly considered suicide. After numerous trips to the doctor, it was finally revealed that her deteriorating face was a result of the procedure she did as a 17-year-old. Tests revealed that the substance injected into her face was hydrophilic polyacrylamide gel — a substance banned from cosmetic surgery due to its harmful effects on the human body.

Xiao Lian is currently going through corrective surgery in Guangzhou, but doctors have revealed that it will be difficult to reverse the deterioration with the substance in her body for so long.

“Even for a minor surgery you need to choose a clinic you can trust,” says one very wise Guangzhou doctor. Clearly, this is advice we must all take seriously.

xl 1

xl 2 xl 3

(source 1, 2, 3)

 

Korean Woman Gets Plastic Surgery to Look Like Miranda Kerr

Story by James S. Kim

Complete makeovers aren’t uncommon. Some of us at some point might need a change in how we do things or in how we look. The question is, then, how far are you willing to change, and what type of person are you willing to become?

For one South Korean woman, it was a question of whom. On a recent episode of Martian X-Files, a Korean reality TV show that spotlights eccentric and unique non-celebrities, one of the guests was a woman who underwent plastic surgery to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr.

The wannabe emphasized that she only had work done on her eyes and nose, according to Soompi. Even from a young age, she said, people would tell her mother that she looked like an “adorable non-Korean child” and asked if her father was from overseas. One time, the guest and her mother got into a taxi. The driver, thinking that they were foreigners, asked where they were from and was surprised when they responded in Korean.

The segment followed the guest as she goes through her makeup ritual. She begins with the universal step one, foundation. The next step is her eyebrows, to which she adds a sharp taper to imitate Kerr’s. She spends the most time on the eyes, then adds some emphasis to her lips to round out the cosmetics portion.

The final step is to add in the colored contacts, given that the hair is the proper style and color. Add in some posing sessions in front of the mirror, and she’s good to go.

So why the obsession with Miranda Kerr, who visited Seoul to great fanfare last June. Some say that Kerr’s appeal is because her looks are a perfect combination of cute and sexy, a look many East Asian young women wish to achieve. For some, by any means necessary.

For those unwilling to go under the knife, here’s an extensive but relatively painless step-by-step makeup tutorial on creating the Miranda Kerr look by YouTube makeup artist Michelle Phan.

This story was originally published by KoreAm Journal

Nina Davuluri Caught Off Guard By Julie Chen Question, But Not By Racist Haters

Since winning the title of Miss America, Nina Davuluri has become the nationwide center of attention. From racist haters to supportive members of the community, just about everyone seemed compelled to voice their opinion about the first Indian Miss America. Finally, it’s her turn to speak up.

Nina Davuluri dished it all in an interview with The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeff Yang. After discussing the various misconceptions about pageants, Davuluri explained her own reasons for partaking in the competition. Aside from using the winnings for med school, Davuluri expressed her desire to change the “girl-next-door” look of pageant winners.

audrey ad jamie

“I grew up watching Miss America for years and years, and as the daughter of immigrants, I always thought to myself that I could never be that — because I didn’t look a certain way; I didn’t fit the model of what was up there on that screen,” she says. “And it shouldn’t be about race, it shouldn’t — but it is. To be able to stand up there, and be an example for other little girls that America is now a very different place, that’s everything to me.”

Because of her platform, “Diversity Through Cultural Sensitivity,” we were surprised to learn that Davuluri was caught off guard with her pageant question pertaining to Julie Chen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxC44WsGFoE

Although there have been mixed reactions to her response, Davuluri explained herself in further detail to The Wall Street Journal. She revealed that she empathized with Julie Chen and understands that it is our society, unfortunately, that made Chen feel the need to change herself.

She may have been caught off guard by her Julie Chen question, but she certainly wasn’t caught off guard by all the racist reactions to her win. In fact, she claims she expected it.

“I’d already experienced something like it on a smaller scale when I won Miss New York,” she explains. “It’s part of the reason I was so determined to focus my platform on diversity. But you can’t just scream in the dark, you have to try to shed light and awareness.”

Read the full article here.

The Cost of Beauty: A Look Into Korea’s High Rate of Plastic Surgery

Based in Brooklyn and Seoul, photographer Ji Yeo strives to call attention to a very controversial aspect of South Korea’s modern-day culture: plastic surgery.

In her series “Beauty Recovery Room,” Ji Yeo captures the scars and bruises of women who have recently undergone plastic surgery. DailyMail explains that by showing the painful recovery, Ji Yeo aims to shine light on the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”

“Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process,” say Ji Yeo. “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.”

“Beauty Recovery Room” has garnered both positive and negative reactions. Some people believe the take-home message is that women simply go too far to meet societal expectations. Others disagree with Ji Yeo’s focus on the negative. “I think people have a right in our day and age to change whatever physical feature they deem necessary” says a Huffington Post reader.

Check out the images for yourself and tell us what you think:

ps 2 ps 3 ps 4 ps 5

Check out all the full gallery here.

Julie Chen Feels Hurt By Asian American Community

Story by James S. Kim 

After CBS talk show host Julie Chen’s admission to having plastic surgery on The Talk last week sparked a series of headlines and debates, the TV personality said the most hurtful thing about the reaction was judgmental comments from members of the Asian American community.

In 1995, When Chen was a reporter at WDTN-TV in Ohio, the news director told Chen that she couldn’t become an anchor because she wouldn’t be “relatable” to the community as an Asian, and that her eyes made her look “disinterested” and “tired.” Chen’s agent told her the same thing, and she went ahead with the procedure.

Yesterday, the hosts of The Talk offered their opinions on the reactions to their secrets. Chen admitted that she did find some of the comments hurtful to read.

“I wasn’t that there were haters judging me for what I did,” said Chen. “What was hurtful was that the hateful comments that I read were from people within my own community. It was like, ‘Way to give in to the Western standards of beauty. You’re denying your heritage.” Well guess what? I don’t look any less Chinese. I’m not fooling anyone.”

AD lucky strike

She continued, “I want people to understand that there are Asians born with the crease I had surgically done to my eyes, so the goal was never to look less Asian.”

Sifting through the debate shows that there are many multiple layers to issue. From racism to the merits of plastic surgery, the conversation has been incredibly diverse, and sometimes divisive, just as it was with Chen’s own family when she first told them about her decision.

The comments left on the KoreAm Facebook page was a prime example. One person said, “This shouldn’t have to do with looking ‘less Asian’ as much as it has to do with just looking less unattractive.”

Still, most comments disagreed on whether Chen underwent surgery for the right reasons. Some agreed that plastic surgery is fine as long as “it doesn’t falsely feed an obsessive, deep rooted insecurity and/or becomes an addiction.” One such example might be Korean culture, which, one comment said, has a standard of “idealized looks” where plastic surgery becomes the norm.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) applauded Chen’s confession, saying that it put Asian American issues in the public dialogue. Grace Hwang Lynch wrote on BlogHer.com that the discussion as it happened on The Talk was “oversimplified,” but that she was glad that Chen decided to talk about her surgery and her experiences with racial discrimination.

This story was originally published by KoreAm Journal

Top Five Reasons Miss America Nina Davuluri is AWESOME

For the second year in a row, the Miss America tiara went to New York. This year, 24-year-old Nina Davuluri took the title.

Unfortunately, this celebratory moment quickly turned sour when Twitter exploded with racist comments about the newly-crowned Miss America. So we should probably clarify a few things to these terribly mistaken individuals. For starters, they seem to be missing the biggest point of all — Nina Davuluri is awesome.

1) She is making history for Asian Americans, and she knows it.
nina dance

Born in New York to Indian parents, Davuluri is the first contestant of Indian descent to become Miss America.

“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said in her first press conference after being crowned Miss America. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”

In fact, as Davuluri and Miss California, Crystal Lee, embraced each other right before the winner was announced, Davuluri told the host, “We’re both so proud. We’re making history right here, standing here as Asian Americans.”

 

2) She proud of her roots: she performed Bollywood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NkFryC7GMA

Although she missed her cue (sound was apparently poor for those on stage), Davuluri’s performance was one not to be missed. For her talent performance, Davuluri performed a classic Bollywood fusion with “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency” as a platform. Although she has 15 years of training in Indian dance, Miss America traveled to Los Angeles to train with So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan for the performance.

This is the first time Bollywood has been performed on the Miss America stage.

 

3) She doesn’t bash other Asian Americans.
juliechen

Coincidentally, Davuluri was asked about another Asian American woman, Julie Chen. The television personality was recently criticized for undergoing surgery to boost her career.

Rather than criticize her fellow Asian American, Davuluri commented that although surgery wasn’t her personal choice, we should not criticize others for it. She commented on the importance of diversity and being confident in who you are.

 

4) She’s “going places” in the future.
nina close

Not only is this woman beautiful, she’s also quite intelligent. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science, and landed a spot on the Dean’s List, a Michigan Merit Award, and a National Honor Society Award.

With the $50,000 she earned from this pageant, Davuluri will apply to medical school and eventually hopes to be a cardiologist.

 

5) She dismisses the haters.
nina tweets

Although racist haters tried to bring her down, Davuluri decided to rise above the ignorant comments. She did not allow them to ruin a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

“I have to rise above that,” she said at a press conference. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Read more here.

(source 1, 2, 3)

 

Julie Chen Admits to Having Plastic Surgery to Look Less Asian

Julie Chen, American television personality, news anchor, producer for CBS, and co-host of the daytime show The Talk, recently turned the spotlight on herself.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the veteran journalist revealed a deep, dark secret: Nearly 20 years ago, Chen had undergone plastic surgery in order to look less Asian.

Now, it may be easy to jump to conclusions and bash Chen for disrespecting her Chinese heritage, but it’s important to hear her side of the story. According to US Weekly, Chen said:

“My secret dates back to — my heart is racing — it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio,” the 43-year-old Chinese American television personality began. “I asked my news director over the holidays, ‘If anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in?’ And he said, ‘You will never be on this anchor desk, because you’re Chinese.”

 

LuckyStrike_AudreyBanners_0713_720x90

 

“He said, ‘Let’s face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton?’” she recalled. “‘On top of that, because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes, sometimes I’ve noticed when you’re on camera and you’re interviewing someone, you look disinterested, you look bored.’”

 

Not long after, Chen started looking for another job. But she ran into the same problem when she tried to find an agent to represent her. “This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing,” she revealed. “He said, ‘I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.’”

Chen explains that with her career on the line, she couldn’t see another solution. The decision became so weighty that she opened up to her parents about whether or not this surgery would be a denial of their culture. This led to a family divide where some members believed that Chen should be disowned.

Coming to the conclusion that she did not want to lose her career, Chen followed through with the surgery and her career progressed as a result.

Although the secret has haunted her and caused her to question a lot of things, she ultimately has no regrets. “No one’s more proud of being Chinese than I am,” she told her co-hosts at The Talk. “And I have to live with the decisions I’ve made. Every decision I’ve made … it got [me] to where we are today, and I’m not going to look back.”