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We love fashion, culture, music, and everything in between. From politics to the runway, we're unbashful in our views, constructive in our thoughts, and glamorous in our style. Welcome!

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    Mashal Zaman
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    Lakin Starling
September 27, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (@Rihanna)

Twitter (@Rihanna)

 

Uh oh! Looks like bad girl Riri’s breaking dishes, except it seems like her opponent on the other side of the ring isn’t backing down.

Other than Beyoncé, Rihanna has her foot in mainstream royalty. However, unlike Beyoncé, Rihanna doesn’t seem to have a problem flaunting her popularity at those who aren’t raking in the amount of cash she is. more…

September 24, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
BUnOzxVCcAAT_kn

Twitter (MissAmerica)

America, where is your hospitality?

Miss New York Nina Davuluri has, for the most part, been accused of being Muslim, a terrorist, and looking like she works at 7-11. This comes as a result of her winning the Miss America competition, consequently making her the first Indian-American to achieve such an honor.

The claims against her are malicious, baffling, far devoid of any knowledge about what it truly means to be an “American.” And while America has, for years, seen different people of different ethnicities come and make U.S. soil their home, the ignorance still seeps within our skin.

What does it mean to be truly American? The modern image that seems to stick out in our heads would be that of Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas. She broke past the norms of elegance and grace, having served her country and donning tattoos. In addition, if it weren’t for a projectile clause in the Miss America rulebook, she would’ve performed archery on stage.

But instead, we got Davuluri.

Twitter (MissAmerica)

Twitter (MissAmerica)

“It’s a difficult situation, and that was something I experienced even as Miss New York,” she told National Public Radio about her experiences of looking through the negative tweets. “That being said, for every one negative tweet or comment that I have seen or received, I have received dozens of positive words of encouragement, support, and love.”

With eyebrows raised, one can only hope that America can learn to be more tolerant of its citizens. It feels almost surreal that the media has to scold its own readers on why it’s not OK to judge others by the color of their skin. Racism has donned its ugly head at the tail end of this pageant, but to brush it off, treat it like any other case, and ignore it would be irresponsible.

What America needs to understand is that it’s wrong to base your opinions based on looks, and while I feel spiteful for having to say this, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: not all Indians are Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists. To clump the community of one religion with a whole ethnicity just comes to show how stupid Americans can be. And you wonder why the French hate us?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to come up with a remedy for prejudices. We can only hope that the next generation will become more open-minded when a non-White delegate is selected to represent America.

September 24, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (NOH8Campaign)

Twitter (NOH8Campaign)

 

Most recently, Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned as the nation’s first transgender homecoming queen, which opened more discussion than what she bargained for when she was up for candidacy.

According to Campbell, there was backlash when it was announced that she would be in the top 10 contenders. The negative commentary would continue even after she won.

In a YouTube video, she sobbed: “I am just as a human being as they are,” she said. “The fact that these other people can say the things they say, and act the way they act, and think the way they think is just inhumane.”

Originally known as Lance Campbell, the 16-year-old said that he had always felt like a girl.

“It’s not a choice,” she said. “This is something I’ve wanted for so long.”

(via YouTube)

(via YouTube)

It’s odd that high school students, the new generation millennials, find the transgender community as alien or weird. This is supposed to be an era of open-minds. With the Internet, if anything seems weird or foreign, you can google it, but despite all the advances in technology and plethora of available sources, ignorance, yet again, will come to play.

According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, there were nearly 700,000 transgender Americans as of 2011. They make up a small fraction of the bigger LGBT community which is made up of approximately 9 million Americans. When it comes to transgenders, many are accused of being “mentally disturbed” or just “unhappy with their gender”, and there is never an accurate portrayal of the transgender community in mainstream media or politics. The only time a light seems to shine on them is through some legislation like the newly installed California law, which will allow transgender students to use any bathroom they want. Other than that, the transgender community is shown in the most negative light.

Plainly put, a transgender person simply does not feel as though they were the gender that was assigned to them at birth. Now that America is slowly coming to terms with the LGBT community, we need to begin acting with the same normalcy towards the transgender community.

As for all you bigots? Pick up a book.

September 24, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Flickr (nar.sins)

Flickr (nar.sins)

 

2013 has donned a new era in photography: the selfie era. While we have all practiced and rehearsed different camera angles and body postures (I, for one, have to be careful how I position my neck… otherwise the double chin comes out full force), sometimes you’re just going to need a filter. more…

September 14, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (bravoandy)

Instagram (bravoandy)

 

Rumor has it that Andy Cohen and his alleged boyfriend Sean Avery are to hear wedding bells in the near future. While the juicy bits have yet to be verified, the very idea of Cohen getting engaged leaves a sort of bittersweet jealousy in my heart.

more…

September 14, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (JulieChen)

Twitter (JulieChen)

 

Yesterday, television personality Julie Chen raised some eyes (God, I love puns) when she revealed her dark secret on The Talk: in order to get the news jobs she wanted, she got double eyelid surgery.

It’s a dilemma that a lot of Asian Americans face when it comes to hooking television jobs. How can one relate to their community when they look nothing like their white counterparts? It was something her boss at the time had brought up to her.

“On top of that because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes,” Julie recalls her boss saying, “I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera, when you’re interviewing someone, you look disinterested and bored because your eyes are so heavy, they are so small.”

Of course, this was way back when television clarity wasn’t all that great and double eyelid tape wasn’t invented yet. Despite this, it’s the “grown-up racism” that Chen spoke of. My Asian friends, we’re no strangers to the racisms we faced during childhood – especially when we’re in a community with a majority of other minorities. We’ve sat in the bus, staring at other people, stretching their eyes out as they humiliate us. We’re not strangers to the “ching chong, ling long, ting tongs” calls from across the street. I remember the shock I felt when people were bashing on me for not being good at math. Here I thought I was breaking the stereotype.

The Talk / CBS

The Talk / CBS

 

But in the journalism world where news impact takes a backseat to relativity, how shocked was America to hear that the most sought-after agent told Chen to go to a renowned plastic surgeon for double eyelid surgery? “You’re good at what you do,” the agent told her. “But if you get this plastic surgery done, you’re going to sky rocket to the top.”

And his tarot cards read true. The ball was rolling for Chen’s career.

What is striking is what followed after her surgery. Chen talked about how she felt like she was “giving in to the man,” or easily assimilating to ‘white America.’ But while she altered a part of what makes her generally an Asian, that doesn’t mean she’s dropped her Chinese culture all together.

I find that in pursuit of one’s dreams, sometimes it’s within one’s capacity to have to break a few deep-seeded morals. Television is littered with actors sleeping with top execs, and tabloids are filled with all the new plastic surgery rumors.  From a distance, it’s easy to bash these people for selling out, but when it all comes down to a decision, put yourself in their shoes. If you had to change something about yourself – even as little as changing the color of your hair – would you do it? Would you do it to save your career?

Some people call it selling out, but I call it cashing in.

It seems horribly wrong, but who are we to judge? We can’t micro-observe the few who undergo some type of surgery in order to fit in with the mold. But what we can do is observe the industry itself and find out why agents think it’s important that Asians – or just about any other minority – look a certain way.

We’ve all seen the backlash against Americans getting roles for typically Asian characters. We’ve also noticed that when Asians are cast, they need to play into stereotypes. They’re smart, have an accent, know some sort of karate, and in Steven Yeun’s Walking Dead case, in which his character’s ethnicity is guessed and thrown all over the place by his white American friends.

Let’s not pin-point the few and let’s step back and take a look at the whole picture. America is diverse… does ethnic image really matter, especially in the journalism world?

Nonetheless, we should applaud Julie Chen for coming out with her secret. It just pieces together another part of the business industry and show how it this industry treats minorities.

What do you think of Julie Chen’s double eyelid story?

September 13, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (SonsOfAnarchy)

Twitter (SonsOfAnarchy)

Spoiler alert!

Honestly, the only reason why I tuned in to watch the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy was because I wanted to see who was playing Christian Grey in the up and coming book-to-movie rendition of 50 Shades of Grey. What I did not expect was a school shooting… which you can watch here. more…

September 13, 2013  | by: Paris Close
(Instagram mileycyrus)

(Instagram mileycyrus)

 

Everyone saw this coming, didn’t they? Miley Cyrus, whether we like it or not, has become Hollywood’s trending name all year long. If her antics couldn’t get any more predictable, the music video release to her latest single “Wrecking Ball” demonstrates Cyrus’ sexually vulnerable side, a side that shows her fetish for licking hard objects.

more…

September 10, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (hooligansofmars)

Instagram (hooligansofmars)

 

Bruno Mars has definitely left a rosy blush on R&B enthusiasts: Having some of the year’s most charming hits like “When I Was Your Man” and “Treasure,” all while touring alongside fellow opening acts, and summer-jammers Ellie Goulding and Miguel.

With all the success under his belt, the singer can gratefully add “Halftime Act at Super Bowl 2014” to his resume. Though, one question emerges: We know Mars will certainly rack in the views, but what about the entertainment?

more…

September 10, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Flickr (NIAIDS)Four adult performers are said to have been infected by HIV.

Flickr (NIAIDS)
Four adult performers are said to have been infected by HIV.

 

The Los Angeles Times just broke the news of a domino effect happening in the porn industry: four adult performers have contracted the human immunodefieciency virus, known gravely as HIV. This comes at the heels of a huge legal battle that stems from a similar measure enacted by Los Angeles voters last year that required performers to use condoms.

“That’s not hot and it’ll affect our business,” argued no-condom advocates. And last year, when I had the opportunity to vote this measure in, I thought so too.

But the risks obviously outweigh the benefits.

Twitter (cams_funboxxx)The adult performer who goes by the screen name of Cameron Bay was the first of four performers who contracted HIV recently.

Twitter (cams_funboxxx)
The adult performer who goes by the screen name of Cameron Bay was the first of four performers who contracted HIV recently.

The billion dollar industry has seen its fair share of HIV and honestly, it shouldn’t be seeing any at all. One would think the companies could band together and iron out the kinks, but this doesn’t appear to be the case. As of 2009, the Los Angeles Times has reported that there have been 22 adult performers who have tested positive for HIV within five years. Who knows what the number is now? The industry seems to be operating in full swing at the expense of their most important component: their performers.

Currently, there is a moratorium on all adult production; however, something needs to be done once production resumes. Stricter testing policies should be in place and dare I say it, yes, condoms should be used. While employing stricter procedures may seem invasive to business, it’ll, at the very least, stint the disease from reaching other actors and actresses. Let’s not forget: porn stars, especially freelancers, have a whole lot of sex, and if they’re not having sex for money, they’re probably having sex with their boyfriends or girlfriends (or both). It’s human, but there are repercussions. It shouldn’t have to end with a life threatening disease.

In that same light, let the porn industry teach our millennial generation a lesson in casual sex: use protection and get tested frequently. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people ages 13-64 should test regularly for HIV, even more so for those who are sexually active or who engage in high risk activities. Rapid testing is available for those who need their results immediately.

If there’s anything we can take away from this whole fiasco, it’s that playing sexual Russian Roulette is not the way to go.