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One year I vacationed in Mexico and spent the entire time in the water, body surfing and boogie boarding. My skin got really dark, which I don’t care about one way or another, though I am afraid of sun damage and skin cancer, in that order. I made one mistake that trip though, and it wasn’t forgetting sunscreen (always, always remember sunscreen). My mistake was going to see my grandmother right after. The first thing she said, once she got over the shock, was “How did you get so dark?!” For the rest of the visit, she introduced me to her friends as “My Granddaughter-Who’s-Normally-Not-This-Dark.”
Light skin is still prized in Asia for a number of reasons that have to do with longstanding notions of race, class, and gender. Good thing then, that there’s a booming market for skin whitening creams, many of them manufactured by Western companies! And good thing the companies who make these creams also make commercials, because quite a few of them–beyond their creepy, disturbing premise–are kinda hilarious.
1. Skin Whitening For Young Girls
There’s this commercial for SkinWhite Teens, produced by Filipino company Splash Corporation, a skin whitening product designed specifically for young girls:
Filed under: Advertising, Advertising in Asia, Asia, Asian Obsession with Light Skin, Badvertising, Beauty Products, Bollywood, China, Class Issues, Dark Skin Bias, Dark Skin Prejudice, India, J, Japan, Korea, Lady Bits, Lady Parts, Oppressive Notions of Beauty, Philippines, Pond's, Skin Bleaching, Skin Color Hierarchy, Skin Lightening, skin whitening, SkinWhite, Vagina Bleaching, Vagina Lightening, Vagina Whitening, Vaginal Bleaching, Vaginal Lightening, Vaginal Whitening
Alexa Chung dishes with Refinery 29 on being a style icon and, in her words, “a cookie-cutter hipster.” [Refinery 29]
Beware, female travelers to South Korea! Studies show that lady passengers are subjected to full body scans in numbers much greater than male travelers at several South Korean airports. [Korea Times]
A recent Philippines Airlines flight to the US found itself with an extra passenger on board when a pregnant flyer gave birth. The new mother, a Philippine citizen, had her baby while the plane was over international waters. No word yet on the baby’s nationality. [Jaunted]
Before Feng Luoyu was a Brooklyn manicurist, she was the “Most Hated Woman in China.” [NYM]
The College Republican “pay-by-race” bake sale at UC Berkeley sounds unappetizing. Not to mention racist. [CNN]
Filed under: Alexa Chung, Feng Luoyu, Forever 21, Hello Kitty, Intern Jasmine's Links of the Daysian, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns, Jaunted Philippines Airlines, Korea, Mindy Kaling, pay-by-race bake sale, Refinery 29, travel
Fatty of Figgy And Fatty posted a news story about a 500-year-old Korean mummy that was recently unearthed with her purse buried beside her (Y’hear that, people? Proof right there that you will never get between a Korean girl and her very expensive bag).
The Daily Mail featured a photo:
And correct me if I’m wrong, but homegirl still looks DAMN good. We really never age, do we?
The first time I saw this picture of The Fucking Lovely Salon, which sits in Itaewon district of Seoul, and was featured on Buzzfeed today, I thought: “How sweet!”
Because every person wants to look or feel at least a little bit lovely–lovely like arranged flowers, or a spring day, or the scent of a Sarah Jessica Parker perfume. Why not step that up a bit, and feel really fucking lovely? Sounds awesome!
But then I started to think about the times I’ve used the phrase “fucking lovely”–and I can’t say it’s ever been for anything good, pretty, scented, or sweet. In fact, it usually slips out of my mouth like this: “Oh! Well isn’t that fucking lovely?!”–accompanied by a scowl and an abrupt hand motion towards the fucking lovely thing in question–when something really crappy is happening:
Like when I see a parking ticket on my car.
Or an ex at a party.
Or dog shit on the sidewalk in front of my house.
Or two really hideous teenagers dry humping in the park.
Or a girl’s ass cheeks hanging out of the back of her skirt as she’s sitting down to dinner in an otherwise civilized restaurant.
Or some small-dicked asshole blowing through a stop sign when a little old Asian lady with a shopping cart is puttering across a crosswalk.
So maybe the cuts at The Fucking Lovely Salon aren’t that great. Unless dog shit on the sidewalk has changed.
… that I’m suffering from up here in our nation’s fine capital is a HOT DOG, encased by FRIED TATERS (via Dlisted):
And yes, this invention came from the brilliant mind of an Asian (thank you, South Korea!). We freaking rule. The only downside: that I can’t get this beautiful meal right this very second.
Guess I’m still nursing the great American hangover, then. Crap. Fuckin’ D.C.!
Groups that were hurt by the making of this video:
- More specifically, Koreans
- More specifically, Korean dudes
- Singing Gaysians
- Recording Studio Engineers/Techs/Producers
- Pop Stars
- Casey Kasem
- Mariah Carey (bringing more shame to this diva is hard to do)
- Those with Rhythm
- Those without Rhythm
- Korean Superpopstar Rain
- Paris Hilton’s New BFF, ONCH
- Jen and Diana
According to the National Enquirer, Katherine Heigl wants to adopt a baby from Korea–where her sister Meg was born–because she hopes that getting an Asian baby a la Angelina will do wonders for her career and make her seem less like a spoiled, self-righteous assbag who dissed both the movie that made her a box-office viability and the show writers who got her an Emmy.
Or something like that.
It’s a bad week to be a chicken, especially in Seoul, where detection of the bird flu virus led to the slaughter of all poultry in the South Korean capital (about 15,000 birds in all).
Fortunately, the PETA chicks who protested the United Egg Producers in D.C. Wednesday are All USDA. In advance of the cage-in, the animal-rights group released a description of the event:
Wearing sexy yellow bikinis outside the legislative meeting of the United Egg Producers in Washington on Wednesday, six PETA beauties will crowd into three cramped cages to mimic conditions for laying hens on factory farms.
To our delight, one of our Washington readers sent us the transcript from the protest earlier today:
CHICK ON RIGHT: People say I’m a dead-ringer for Fairuza Balk.
CHICK ON LEFT: Who?
CHICK ON RIGHT: Or Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire.
CHICK ON LEFT: Well, people say my juicy booty’s identical to Beyonce’s. And, no, I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.
CHICK ON RIGHT: I would’ve been huge in the 90′s.
CHICK ON LEFT: You wanna see huge? Let’s talk about these chichis.
CHICK ON RIGHT: I think I have early onset of osteoporosis.
CHICK ON LEFT: Sometimes, I eat Popeye’s chicken in secret, and then I want to cut myself. All because I have the face of a man.
CHICK ON RIGHT: What I wouldn’t give for a cheeseburger right now.
CHICK ON LEFT: I mean, what’s all this about “sun damage”? I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.
CHICK ON RIGHT: Tanning is murder.
CHICK ON LEFT: You have low-blood sugar. You don’t know what you’re saying.
CHICK ON RIGHT: Your décolleté looks like crepe paper.
CHICK ON LEFT: Excuse me?
CHICK ON RIGHT: I can’t take this anymore.
Chick on Right turns her sign around to reveal a handwritten sign that reads, “WILL SUCK MEAT FOR MEAT.”
CHICK ON RIGHT: (weakly) Will suck meat for meat! Will suck meat for meat!
A crowd of people starts to gather.
CHICK ON LEFT: (to crowd) What the fuck are you all looking at? She’s just hungry! She’s not used to being in the sun! I mean, look at her! Nothing to see here, people! Move along!
Oh yeah, man… I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of drummer jokes. Don’t tell me you aren’t. A selection of my faves:
How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
Dude, aren’t there machines that do that now?
What do you call a drummer that just broke up with his girlfriend?
What do you call a guy that hangs out with musicians all day?
and of course…
What’s the last thing a drummer says in a band?
“Hey guys, why don’t we try one of my songs?
But okay guys. Let’s reel the yuks in. I also know to give drummers their due respeck, and not just friends (Hi, Ryland! Hey, Matt!) that might be reading this, or rockin’ dudes like Neil Peart or Jon Bonham or Dave Grohl or Andy Sturmer or Rick Allen (hi!).
Oh, and this guy from K-land, who–between his technique and tux–is basically now my favorite. Drummer. Ever.
My friend Chris actually said something more along the lines of, “Did you read that piece in The Korea Times about how those shrimp crackers I love have been recalled? They found a fried rat head in one. I buy that shit in bulk at Costco. Guess I’ll have to stop.”
I don’t think he’s ever found getting head to be so unpleasant.
My friend Anthony’s mom held a staged pre-death funeral last year, and all of her family and friends attended knowing full well that the event was merely a dress rehearsal. Still, the gathering didn’t feel quite like theater: Her husband delivered the eulogy, emphasizing that she had been taken from all of their lives too soon. Her friends dropped flowers on the casket and shared pleasant and ridiculous memories. Her children sobbed, feeling abandoned.
And then, about two hours later, she showed up at the post-funeral lunch, just as alive as she had been two hours before. It was joyous; in fact, she and her family and friends felt a renewed vigor just being alive. It was as if they had all gotten a second chance.
Dude, if you ask me, that shit was fucked up. Severely twisted. A cruel thing to do to one’s loved ones. And just plain awkward.
This week, CNN discussed just this thing as a growing trend in Korea: mock funerals, a branch of a concept called “well-dying.” During the funerals, perfectly healthy individuals go through the experience of their death remembrance (like, in-casket) as a quick-jolt reminder to celebrate their existing lives. The end result is for each person to realize hey, it’s pretty freakin’ good to be alive.
I am pleased that “happiness” is on the radar of our Korean brethren. And how ambitious–the ability to actually appreciate living has got to be one of the most difficult things imaginable to attain. So yeah man, I’m behind it all the way. Whatever it takes to keep “wellness” on the Asian priority list.
But isn’t there a less muthafuzzin’ creepy way to do so?
TABOO: How do you hold this? How do you hold this? I’m lost.
APL.DE.AP: Just smile and wiggle it furiously.
FERGIE: My eyebrows are so arched.
WILL.I.AM: You guys, let’s behave a little differently today. We’re in Seoul.
APLE.DE.AP: We’ve got Seoul! HEE!
WILL.I.AM: Keep fanning yourself. Quietly.
FERGIE: Oh, I get it. We’ve got Seoul.
TABOO: I’m so confused.
FERGIE: I’m so bored.
TABOO: What are these funny hats?
WILL.I.AM: I believe they are called gwanmo hats?
FERGIE: I wish my pants were more high-waisted.
APLE.DE.AP: Gwan-MO THAN ENOUGH!
FERGIE: See, I didn’t understand that one at all.
WILL.I.AM: I never realized how much you all annoy me.
TABOO: Let’s get retarded!!
WILL.I.AM: Ehrrm… too late.
FERGIE: Take the picture.