Crazy Rich Asians From A Crazy Not-So-Rich Asian Perspective

Picture this.

You’re 5 years old: Your dream job is a princess but if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be an actress/singer instead. The world is yours and you don’t see yourself different from any of your friends. You love yourself and everyone else for who they are. Your biggest problem is deciding whether to colour in crayon or texter.

At 12: Still blasting Hannah Montana and the soundtrack of a very popular Disney Channel movie with a lead who looked kind of like you… But claimed for years she was Mexican/Hispanic… but you know for sure she’s half Asian hmm. You’re obsessed with The Twilight Saga and at lunch you and your friends role play but you can’t be Bella, or Alice, or Rosalie – you can be Leah (the Native American supporting character). Btw, bringing a home cooked lunch to school, especially if it involves rice is ‘different’, and not in a good way but your mama’s cooking is delicious so you let the haters hate. But the thought does creep in – sometimes you wish you were white.

At 15: Writing and telling stories is your favourite thing and you are still so in love with performing. You’re geared with dance, singing and acting training and experience. Sushi is now very cool and trendy. Your classmates make racist jokes because they ‘forget’ you’re a person of colour or because ‘you’re not like the others’. You audition for the lead of your school musical – that Disney one that you so dearly love that meant to display diversity. You lose out on the supporting lead to a stereotype white girl. You are an advocate for the most talented and therefore appropriate person doing the job… The lead cast is 100% white. Your favourite movies/TV shows consist of a Caucasian cast, if there was an Asian – they played a minor role, you don’t remember the character let alone the actor. When people hear you want to be involved in showbiz they give you a look (oooh, acting is tough, there’s not a lot of roles for…). You take a look at available jobs and they’re looking for white girls – blonde and blue eyes, brunette and big eyes etc. You want to be so proud of your cultural identity but still can’t help occasionally but imagine how convenient it would be to be white or at the very least, a natural blonde. You think they’re right. Maybe you’re not profitable as a lead. You think back to when there was an Asian lead character and besides London Tipton and Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels #badass, nothing really stands out. All the other roles seem to be martial arts, restaurant owner related or a friend to the lead.

You’re now 20: Up until this point, you became increasingly disappointed with Hollywood and their casting choices that made Asian actors second class, casting white actresses in roles that should’ve gone to equally talented Asian actors. You first watch this movie with your best friend. The final scene plays out and by this point you have both cried from laughter (Awkwafina & Ken Jeong are gold wow) and gotten emotional (the wedding oh my), you are now crying tears of joy with the perfect ending to a wholly marvellous movie. We exit the theatre and she says “That was amazing, I forgot they were Asian.” We have become so accustomed to white people telling stories on screen, many people in the industry saw a movie such as this one high-risk but if you can imagine, on a world population scale, being Asian is the majority so it’s astounding the last American made movie with an Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club (1993) – 25 YEARS AGO?!?? You get home and begin to cry again, you cannot believe you just witnessed a beautiful love story for mainstream viewing loaded with a crazy talented fully Asian cast with an obviously incredible production crew. You watch it for a second time but now with your family. Your parents say they could watch this film over and over again.

You are so proud to be Asian, worthy of being represented as intelligent and eloquent, as beautiful and elegant, as sexy and well-dressed, as relatable and multidimensional, and just as a human with a great story. You hope everyone sees this movie. You never want a young girl who looks like you or the cast of Crazy Rich Asians to doubt her dreams are achievable because of a dry spell of representation. You are so much more than your race and to have a movie that displays that but happens to show the cultural side of being Asian is so important. You are so proud.

This is the movie you needed more than you knew.

With love and light always, M ♥️

 

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Watch: In ‘Me Before You’ Daenerys and Finnick Find Love

 

The first trailer for “Me Before You” based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes was released and fans everywhere are already crazy for the movie directed by Thea Sharrock. The film starring Emilia Clarke (Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark) and Sam Claflin (Will Traynor) is the story of a young lady who knows many things except what the future holds and a young man who knows since his accident his world will continue to be bland black and white but doesn’t know that his world’s about to pop with colour. Little do they know the impact they will have on the other.

The evolution of the couple’s relationship in this trailer is enough to well up my eyes. Forget the tissues, give me a towel!

Me Before You is set to be released June, 2016

Hottest Looks at the 2016 SAG Awards

Naomi Watts

Naomi Wow! Her bling is everything but can we please appreciate the matching lip and clutch.

Laverne Cox

Get me a glass of marsala because Laverne’s look is like a fine wine ❤

Emilia Clarke

That flawless messy bob and the hot pink Dior dress 🙂

Guiliana Rancic

Black on black with a touch of green

Rachel McAdams

All class

Helen Mirren

Silver (pale gold) screen queen

Special mention to Christina Ricci, Rooney Mara, Sarah Hyland and Ellie Kemper who wore a gorgeous patterned structured number with POCKETS.

A Feministic Take On A Classic Fairy Tale

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I can’t believe it’s nearly 2016! So, before the year ends, I want to share with you a couple of my favourite moments.  In March, I was fortunate enough to be offered to watch a special screening of Cinderella and write on how feminism fits in with the story and Disney princesses.  Anyone who knows me knows I may have a little obsession with all things Disney, so I leaped at the chance! 😀  This was originally written then published by my city newspaper in March when the movie released but as it’s definitely one of my favourite pieces this year, I wanted to share it with you.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ❤ 

The world’s favourite fairy tale classic, Cinderella, returns to the big screen once again, but with Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.

When we think of fairy tales, we think of princesses, fairy godmothers, cute animals and ‘happily ever after’s.  Did you ever think that Cinderella and some of your other beloved princesses are actually feminists?

Feminism isn’t about thinking, acting and working like a man.  It’s about having equality amoung the sexes.  The women’s movements during the 60s and 70s was not for girls and women to turn into boys and men but for females to have the choice and the chance to choose our own destinies.

Yes, Cinderella obeyed her stepmother, was mistreated by her and was basically a maid for her and her stepsisters.  She could’ve run away or stood up to her stepmother but she chose to follow her, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming and using her imagination.

If that doesn’t convince you, though she may or may not be your favourite character, the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, shows her authority around the house, ordering Cinderella what to do all the time. Set in the 50s, men would tell their wives and children what to do, but Cinderella’s father doesn’t have much say in the story.  The power stays with Lady Tremaine, her stepmother, which shows that Cinderella portrayed a woman as a strong and powerful character.

Disney’s earlier princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora) may not have been as courageous and feisty as some of the later girls (Mulan, Rapunzel, Merida and Elsa), but they were not just pretty faces.  They were always kind and hard working which are positive values, making them great role models.  The message of being true to yourself and following your dreams is written all over the story of Cinderella.  This is what feminism strives for – girls reaching for their dreams and making decisions in their own free will.  Just a reminder: It’s okay to dream, in fact, some of your greatest ideas will happen in a dream.  Use your imagination, that’s how new inventions and creations, came to be.  And always be kind, a beautiful heart is priceless and gets better with age. 

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Images: Disney

Christmas Playlist

You know it’s Christmas when carols are playing in every single store, pumping on Spotify, Guvera and iTunes Music. Covers on covers of Mariah’s best seller and the classics such as Jingle Bells and I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

Here are my favourite 17 versions of Christmas songs this year in alphabetical order:

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  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  2. Auld Lang Syne
  3. Carol of the Bells – Pentanoix man! #majestic
  4. Christmas Time Is Here – Daniela Andrade
  5. Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra
  6. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid

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7. Feliz Navidad – Michael Buble

8. Grown Up Christmas List – Amy Grant

9. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon

10. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams

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11. Jingle Bell Rock

12. Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix

13. Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) – Jessica Mauboy

14. Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan

15. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt

16. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

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17. The Christmas Song – Christina Aguilera or Nat King Cole

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Gifs via Giphy.com

 

Know Your Worth

Loving me, loving me. Loving you, loving you.

We all know what it feels like to have been treated like crap, to have been used and abused by work/school mates, friends and/or lovers. It sucks.  Confidence and self-esteem are key qualities in both personal and professional development yet seem out of reach with society driving us to embrace unrealistic expectations and the lack of respect shown for one another.  How we see ourselves is not only derived from our own beliefs but is also influenced by those around us. Self love is not something gained instantly, it is an ongoing lesson obtained with the right attitude and an open mind.

It is so important to surround yourself with good, positive people.  Invest your time with people who are going to lift you higher while staying grounded.  Invest your time with people who make you a better person but still accept and love you for who you are. Invest your time in people who support you no matter, the ones who are there for you at your best and at your worst. Invest your time wisely and with the best people because you only have one shot at each day. 🙂  Remember that not everyone is going to stick around forever but appreciate those who bring good energy and treat you like custom couture and not just off the generic sale rack.  There will always be people trying to rain on your parade but don’t let them dull your sparkle.

Darling, love yourself. ❤ Much easier said than done but you’re the only one who can make that choice.  Look in the mirror and say how dashing or sexy you look. Tell yourself that you love the way your eyes sparkle in the light or the cute way your nose wrinkles when you laugh. We have flaws and are the worst critics of ourselves, but embrace who you are and no one can use your flaws against you. #flawesome

Know that the number of likes, comments, friends or followers you have does not say anything about your character.  We are priceless and should not fear abandonment by another. Don’t settle for less than the best.  We should not be someone’s back up plan or second option.  Know that you are precious and loved.  Take the time to discover and treat yourself – binge watch Netflix, buy those new kicks or lay in bed for as long as you want, find something you love and do it as often as possible. Know your worth because what you allow is what will continue.

With love and light always, Monique x

A Day In Oz’s New World City

Spent a glorious day in Brisbane Central and Southbank with one of my best girls and here’s what went down:

#WokeUpLikeThis

#WokeUpLikeThis

8:20am  Train trip from Gold Coast to Brisbane begins. It’s an express airport train, so there weren’t too many stops #Yes!  We could not wait to wander around Brisbane! Train talk basically consisted of being grateful for no assessment to think about and being able to enjoy the beautiful day, discussing current affairs and university plans also happened. Tip: If going on a long train ride – go with a family member, a friend, or a few if you can – the trip seems to go way faster, and maybe you’ll have a break and be able to interact IRL in real life! 😀

Arrive at Central Station amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy working day and Denniscia and I maneuver ourselves towards Albert St and then Queens Plaza and Wintergarden

9:45am  We browse through stores of all sorts i.e. Longchamp, Topshop, Typo, Tommy Hilfiger, The Body Shop, Country Road, David Jones, Coach, Mecca Maxima, Shiek, and buy necessary things.

After walking around the same block a few times and asking a kind Starbucks barista directions, we finally find Jamie’s Italian – Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Brisbane and await it’s opening alongside a group of sophisticated senior citizens.

11:40am  The lady I’m assuming is either assistant manager or supervisor apologises for the restaurant’s tardiness and let’s the first group in who held a reservation for 8 followed by Denniscia and I.  By this time, the line outside was massive so we were glad we arrived early despite getting a little bit lost. We were seated by a friendly waitress at a corner table on the far side of the restaurant where we were presented with the menus and the specials of the day. Everything looked so yummy but we both settled for pasta. I’ll upload a review next week 🙂

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Rigatoni & Fettuccine

After satisfying our hunger and returning to the light, we walked through Queen Street passing through a couple stores including Forever 21 where we bumped into another one of my girls. She joined us and talked as we walked to the Queensland Art Gallery, where she made her departure. Denniscia and I basked in the intricacies of Indigenous art and admired the International and Asian pieces.

Island Currents

Island Currents

QAG

QAG

I felt all types of sad... Made from fibre glass and white bindis.

I felt all types of sad…
Made from fibre glass and white bindis.

Headed over to the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre where we went back to the land before time 😉 and walked with the dinosaurs and looked at animals that had visited the taxidermist…  The Gallery of Modern Art aka GOMA was our last stop on our day trip.  An appreciation for Queensland Contemporary Art was partaken. The exhibition features over 30 talented upcoming, mid-career and senior Queensland artists that all have their individual styles. We also browsed through The Painter’s Reach by Robert Macpherson, which is on display until October 18. This collection is one of my personal favourites, which combines various contexts: minimalism, abstraction, aesthetics and the everyday.

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#Mayfair by Macpherson

4pm  We take the train back to the GC and through other means of transportation, we have a brief afternoon tea at a little cafe before arriving back home with tired feet, but full stomachs, smiling faces, and happy hearts. Days filled with food, culture, history and fabulous company are my favourite kind of days.

No matter how many times you visit a place, you never see it the same way twice.  There are always new things to see, new cafes to eat at, and new places to go.  Also, if you have the patience, try your hand at exploring a new destination without the help of Google or Siri and just feel your way around the city or turn it into a game of 2 rights, 1 left then straight ahead – as long as it doesn’t put you in harms way.  Who knows? Your new favourite place could be just around the corner!

Images: Monique Pueblos and Denniscia Waight