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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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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 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: 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.

September 08, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (elliegoulding)

Instagram (elliegoulding)

 

Ellie Goulding has been wowing audiences across the globe with her voice ever since she sparked the scene in 2010, and I must say, she’s perhaps the only UK artist whose music I will always gravitate towards. Not only does the “Lights” singer’s music resonate well with the ears of many, she also makes darn good covers. more…

September 08, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (50Shades)

Twitter (50Shades)

 

When news that Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam would play the BDSM power couple of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, book fans took their whips and chains out and started lashing.

Johnson was cast to play the character of Anastasia, the young budding journalist who is intrigued by the character of Christian Grey. Grey will be played by Hunnam who is rich, mysterious, and really kinky. According to the book-to-movie’s fans, Johnson and Hunnam aren’t as hot as their choice actors, the most favored being Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer. In fact, they are so not as hot that there’s even an online petition that’s demanding that both Johnson and Hunnam are replaced by Bledel and Bomer. Bledel and Bomer even signed it!

Last time I checked, the petition has garnered the support of 28,761 Greysessed fans with a possibility of hitting more as time rolls by and as the movie starts to release more production news. However the creative team of E.L James (the author) and producers Dana Brunetti and Michael de Luca, say their casting decision is final.

Twitter (Lillian_S)Charlie Hunnam (left) will play Christian Grey while Dakota Johnson (right) will play Anastasia Steele.

Twitter (Lillian_S)
Charlie Hunnam (left) will play Christian Grey while Dakota Johnson (right) will play Anastasia Steele.

“There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks. Talent, availability, the actors desire to play the role, chemistry with one another, etc,” Brunetti explained on Twitter on Monday. “So if your favorite wasn’t cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.”

Fans aren’t exactly listening just yet.

This type of backlash isn’t unfamiliar territory for social media. Remember when Ben Affleck, despite his good track record of movies including the Oscar award-winning movie Argo, was cast as Batman? That didn’t necessarily go down well with the cape crusader’s diehard fans; but nonetheless this is the same example that’s happening with Fifty Shades.

This is another episode of, “We’re the fans, we know best.” The arguments are far devoid of actual logic, opting to jab more at the leading actors’ appearance rather than attacking the history of their work. It’s a shallow argument, no doubt, and the tweets and comments from haters are eye-roll inducing.

Fans of the book should stick to what they know… and that’s knowing what’s in the book.  Hunnam has been nominated multiple times in the Best Actor category for his role in Sons of Anarchy while Johnson has been signed to do four movies that will be released in 2014, including 50 Shades of Grey. They are both sought-over actors with no history of pop culture breaking characters (i.e. Miley Cyrus being Hannah Montana, Daniel Radcliffe being Harry Potter). It’s a clean slate for the producers and actors of the movie who can bring something fresh and new to the role.

If you really want to get technical about it, I personally think Johnson looks better in a gimp suit than Bledel.

September 08, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (justinbieber)

Instagram (justinbieber)

 

As much as it pains me to admit it, Justin Bieber’s gotten hot over the years. Almost too hot. Whether we like it or not, it’s safe to say we’ve all pretty much been afflicted with Bieber Fever. Following suit, I’m ready and willing to join the tweenaged girls in their lovefest, as long as he drops that ‘stache.

While my animalistic instincts can’t ignore his rippled abs and luscious (and extremely touch-tempting) hair, I cannot deal with Bieber’s peach fuzz.

more…