Olaf “doing whatever snow does in summer” — MELT your heart out

Disney’s triumphant blockbuster film “Frozen” (2013) is bringing princess back. In this case, princesses. Contrary to past female roles where princesses waited for princes to come to their rescues, Anna saves Elsa from Hans. The strong bond between the two sisters ultimately thaws Elsa’s determination to freeze the entire kingdom.

Anna has more lines, scenes and even a beau, but according to Wall Street Journal, Elsa merchandises outsells Anna. Lesa Nelson, senior vice president for children’s merchandise at J.C. Penny Co., is quoted that, “You sell two Elsas for every Anna.” The article reports that parents are confused about Elsa’s popularity. For one, Anna is a much better role model than her withdrawn sister.

The Elsa-advantage is a no-brainer. Elsa is prettier, has a better wardrobe and controls ice and snow. But the true hero of the film is neither Elsa nor Anna (this girl falls in love in less than 24 hours) , but Olaf — the snowman with the heart of gold.

Forget Elsa and Anna, Olaf is the true role model of the film. (image credit: Disney)

Continue reading

Bring ‘MAN-ly’ back with this hunky… CHIN

Work out the tris, pecs and lats, none speak louder of your manhood than having a strong jaw. In an article published by Details magazine, “Is Your Jaw Man Enough?” (Sept. 2014), it reports that the number men seeking jaw augmentation — injecting cosmetic fillers into the jaw — has increased 32% in 2013, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). The ASAP observed in its 2013 statistical data:

Men had more than 1 million cosmetic procedures, 9.4% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 273% from 1997.

Read previous blog post: Youth-obsessed, Look and Feel Young

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb (image credit: the perfume expert/Viktor&Rolf)

A round of treatment, consisting of six vials ($1,500 per vial of filler), costs $9,000. The benefit? A manly jaw attracts women and men alike. Women see the trait as a sign of health, gene quality, strength and reproductive potential — a virile sex machine. As for men, strong jaw signals that submission, “This man is a leader.” The top six most desirable men, jaw-based of course. (Details magazine) Continue reading

Aging in a youth-obsessed society, the battle to look and feel young

Our society celebrates youth. Youth equates beauty, creativity, energy, fun and delicious cool. Even in the media, lists such as Forbes‘ and TIME‘s 30 Under 30 elevate those who succeeds when they are very young.

Women obsess over looking younger, whereas men obsess over feeling younger (image credit: Beautifulforever Aesthetic Laser Center)

In an article titled “Women would rather hear they look young than slim” (DailyMail), the following list was posted:

  • Two thirds of women use anti-aging products
  • One fifth worry about their age every day
  • 41% wish they look younger
  • 39.5 years old is when women are most worried about how old they look

Interestingly, while women obsess over their appearance (as evidenced by anti-aging specialist Uzzi Reiss’ book title, Natural Hormone Balance for Women: Look Younger, Feel Stronger, and Live Life with Exuberance), men strive to feel younger. Continue reading

Travel Photography: Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is known for three things: seamstress, lantern and fusion cuisine – Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, French. While the sleepy town has renounced its bustling port city image, a bowl of plain old noodles still hints its former glory.

See other travel photo: “UnPHOgettable Saigon” (HCMC, Vietnam) 

Hoi An, Vietnam (Aug. 2011)

Hoi An, Vietnam (Aug. 2011)

Continue reading

Art as Therapy: Color your way to tranquil bliss

Frankly, it is not advisable to take something as universal truth just because the très chic French women are doing it or because the press has picked up the story. But in regards to art as therapy, or as reported by The Telegraph, “French women have taken en masse to colouring book,” New York University (NYU) Art Therapy Director Ikuko Acosta is a believer.

Let’s set aside art as therapy for a moment and explain why coloring books are making news.

As reported, French women have taken up coloring, an activity that has long been associated with (and even reserved for) young children, as a mean to de-stress. Bear in mind, these women are not only vocalizing about the therapeutic benefits of coloring, they have also taken to using social media, such as forming groups on Facebook, to share their works as and even where to buy new coloring books and best crayons.

Art as Therapy was published in GenTwenty Sept. 26, 2014

The controversy is two-folds. First, is the idea — coloring for grown-ups — truly effective or a successful marketing move? After all, by adding words like “anti-stress” or “art therapy” on the cover of these coloring books, publishers have boosted sales tremendously. Second, does art therapy really work? What is art therapy?

Art therapy, can coloring bring happiness? (image credit: grantstreetartworks.com)

To answer my question, I visited Ikuko Acosta, Ph.D at her office at the NYU Department of Art and Art Professions. With over thirty years in the filed of art therapy, Acosta has witnessed the field developed. Citing the Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) by the New York State Education Department, and Board Certified and Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board as giant milestones, Acosta said these credentials have given her profession an unprecedented level of legitimacy. Continue reading