59-Year-Old Casted For 16-Year-Old Role: A New Extreme For Asian Youth

Many Asian women have been told time and time again that they look much younger than their actual age. After all, there are now grandmothers who look as young as their daughters. While we generally get irritated about this youthful look in our twenties, we’re constantly reminded that this will be a blessing for us when we get older. “When you’re in your forties, you’ll be thankful,” strangers preach. As it turns out, some of us may be thanking our genetics even beyond our forties.

Chinese actress Liu Xiaoqing is testing the limits of her youthful face. Taking Asian youth to a new extreme, the 59-year-old actress is playing a 16-year-old girl.

Xiaoqing has had quite a number achievements under her belt. Before turning 30, Xiaoqing acted in a number of films including her breakthrough role in The Burning of the Imperial Palace (1983) which earned her a number of awards at the Chinese film festivals. In fact, with three Best Actress awards and one Best Supporting Role award, she holds a record for having won the most number of awards in the actress categories of the Hundred Flowers Awards.

Additionally, Xiaoqing is a business woman and a published author. In 1999, she appeared on Forbes’ list of the 50 richest Chinese businessmen and businesswomen.

Now Xiaoqing will focus on a new impressive achievement by playing a character who is more than four decades younger than her actual age. The drama, Lotus Lantern, has already stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

DramaFever claims, “Some Chinese netizens are sneering at her for acting with ‘a face full of Botox.’ Liu, however, feels that a woman should never give up on feeling beautiful at any age. The director of her new drama, Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties, also praises her as one of the best actors in China and says that young age does not equate to excellence in acting.”

Tell us what you think.

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You Won’t Believe This Youthful Woman is a Grandmother

There is a saying about Asian women that I’m sure we’ve all heard before: Asian women look so young.  Many of us walk into an R-rated movie in our mid-20′s and are prepared to get our IDs checked and we can’t even think about going to a bar without the bartender giving an us an “are you sure you’re old enough?” look. There was even a hilarious comic created to show the average Asian aging process.

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Despite all this, there are still some Asian woman who can impress us with their unbelievable youth. One example is this Japanese woman shown with her two daughters AND grandchildren. The 42-year-old grandmother is circled in the following picture because many people are unable to identify which woman is the oldest.

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Kazuko Inoue, who was crowned winner of the Kansai Bimajo beauty pageant last year, was married at 19 and had her first daughter the same year. Additionally, both of her daughters also married young which accounted for Inoue’s young age. Despite this, there is no denying that Inoue has maintained her youth magnificently.

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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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