Asian Men As The Romantic Lead: Before John Cho There Was James Shigeta

 

ABC’s new show Selfie premiered last Tuesday, with Korean American actor John Cho starring as Henry (the leading male role) in the new half-hour comedy. The show portrays Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) who is obsessed with gaining more “Likes” on social media than actually being liked in real life. She seeks Henry for his help to rebrand herself.

Needless to say, Selfie has become a big deal — especially among the Asian American community — since it is one of the few times that an Asian American male is headlining a Hollywood TV series. Most important of all, it’s one of the few times that an Asian American male is cast as the romantic lead who gets the girl. You can remember our excitement when Steven Yeun achieved that in The Walking Dead.

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Though Cho also starred as a non-leading actor in several other American movies, TV shows, and key roles on several Asian-American independent films, this is his first time being a male lead on a new primetime ABC show, and Cho appears excited to bring something different the media industry.

“It’s certainly a personal revolution for me,” Cho told NBC News. “Asians narratively in shows are insignificant. They’re the cop, or the waitress, or whatever it is. You see them in the background. So to be in this position . . . is a bit of a landmark.”

We certainly can’t wait to see how Cho progresses. And with Elyes Gabel starring in CBS’s Scorpion and Steven Yeun keeping his spot as a fan favorite on The Walking Dead, we’re even more excited to see the slow, but sure progress of Asian American actors in Hollywood.

But before we look at the up-and-coming Asian artists taking over, we have to remember that before John Cho, there was James Shigeta.

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James Shigeta, a third-generation American with Japanese ancestry, is renowned for his main role in Flower Drum Song, a 1961 movie musical. At that time, Shigeta was Hollywood’s first Asian American male to played a romantic leading role.

The Hawaii-born actor later moved to New York where he attended New York University for creative writing. Later, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps to fight during the Korean War.

In 1960, Shigeta received the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer and in 2005, he received the Visionary Award from East West Players.

Just a few months ago, on July 28, Shigeta passed away in his sleep at the age of 85. Though he has passed, James Shigeta will forever be remembered as a role model and superstar of Asian American history.

 

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–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 

Latest Asian Trend: This $1300 Camera Will Give You the Perfect Selfie

There’s no denying it — Asians love taking selfies. How much do we love them? Apparently, enough to dish out $1300 for a camera designed specifically for taking selfies. Talk about obsession– uh, I mean.. devotion.

We’re not quite sure when selfies became a worldwide phenomenon, but we are sure that this trend is still going strong and Asians are at the forefront of this selfie-obsession. TIME magazine created a list of top 100 selfie-crazed cities in the world. As you may have expected, there are quite a number of Asian cities on this list. In fact, the world’s most selfie-obsessed cities are both located in the Philippines.

Well I’m sure they would all love to get their hands on a Casio EX-TR35, more commonly known as “the selfie camera.”

So how exactly is this camera catered to selfie-taking? Well for starters, the camera takes away the usual difficulties of physically taking the selfie. There are multiple buttons on the device which allows you to hold the camera in whatever angle you’d like. If reaching out to touch the button ruins the aesthetics of your picture (oh, the struggle!) there is voice control and a count down feature. Tired of physically holding the camera? Well the Casio EX-TR35 has a stand which can help you take your picture from afar.

If that horrid habit of blinking gets in the way of your perfect selfie, have no fear! The Triple Shot feature takes three continuous shots with a single press of the shutter button to prevent accident blinking.

And the quality of these selfies? Well a selfie camera wouldn’t be a selfie camera without offering special effects. Allegedly, the various “make up” options can whiten, brighten and smooth out your skin. So after a few edits, voilà! You have the perfect selfie.

Many individuals, such as Kai W who reviews this product in the video below, cannot justify spending $1300 on a selfie camera, but the woman in the video (who ends up taking 2395925 selfies) clearly gets it.

Watch the video below and let us know what you think. Would spend $1300 for the perfect selfie?

Women Are Getting “Hand Lifts” For Engagement Ring Selfies

Surgery continues to be a rising trend among Asians. In fact, this phenomenon to alter one’s physical appearance has grown so much that South Korea, who has the world’s highest rate of cosmetic plastic surgery, has created a number of popular television programs focused on surgery. Ironically, Korea recently created a show which focuses on reversing the effects of excessive plastic surgery… with more plastic surgery.

As much as we think we’ve seen it all, we seem to constantly stumble upon new and shocking trends focused on altering one’s physical appearance. For instance, the new trend among bride-to-be’s: hand lifts.

Gone are the days when we would find out about our friends’ engagements through excited telephone calls or save-the-dates in the mail. Instead, we generally get this news through Facebook statuses and Instagram photos.

As you can expect, this has gotten some women quite insecure about the state of their hands while showing off their dazzling engagement ring. Hand-lifts have been becoming quite popular among bride-to-be’s.

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According to Elle, a NYC dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad said he’s had a 40% increase in women seeking hand-lifts. He directly correlates this to social media and the rise of selfies.

“As we age, the skin on the hands can lose fat, becoming more thin and bony with prominent veins and wrinkles,” Ostad tells Elle. “Social media has certainly led people to be more concerned about their appearance and how they present themselves, so if women can receive a quick procedure to make themselves feel better and younger, it’s something that they are willing to do.”

The quick procedure, which onlt takes about 10 minutes, is done by injecting Juvéderm into the hand. This will instantly smooth out the wrinkles and give a plumper, younger-looking appearance. The results last about 10 months, but your wallet will have to cough up $1,200. 

 

(photo source)

The World’s Most Selfie-Obsessed City is in Asia

Philippines and Malaysia can pat themselves on the back. Both countries have earned two spots each on the list of top ten selfie-obsessed cities in the world.

We’re not 100% sure when the rise of selfies began. We’re positive some of the older social media sites like Friendster and MySpace have a thing or two to do about it. After all, the infamous “MySpace angles” began the obsession with utilizing angles and lighting to compliment one’s face.

But then selfies began to explode. With the rise in popularity of Facebook and Instagram, the selfie-trend started spreading. In fact, The Guardian recently tried to explain how selfies became a worldwide phenomenon. 

Many of you roll your eyes at selfies. I’m specifically pointing a finger at hipsters who say they’re too cool for selfies, the older generation who disagrees with anything millennials do and those who have become annoyed because “that one friend” has to post up a selfie every single day. Despite any negative emotions you may harbor about selfies, there is no denying that the world is still in love with them.

TIME magazine decided to find out just how much love we have for selfies and where this love was coming from. They investigated the geography of selfie-taking and created a list of top 100 selfiest cities in the world. As you may have expected, there are quite a few Asian cities on this list including the #1 selfie-crazed city.

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines
258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

2. Manhattan, N.Y.
202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

3. Miami, Fla.
155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif.
147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

6. Tel Aviv, Israel
139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

7. Manchester, England
114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

8. Milan, Italy
108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

9. Cebu City, Philippines
99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

10. George Town, Malaysia
95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Check out the full list here.