South Korea’s First Black Model

I came across this article about South Korea’s first black fashion model Han Hyun-min. Despite having African features, he grew up in Itaewon and speaks Korean. By fashion industry standards, Han Hyun-min has a very distinct look at only sixteen years old. At an early age, he already made his third appearance at Seoul Fashion Week. Unfortunately, Han Hyun-min does not look like your typical Korean. South Korea is considered a homogeneous society that looks down on people that do not look like them. Even if an individual comes from another country and knows Korean fluently or understands the culture, they will never be accepted.

Here is a link to the article below:

Therefore, this makes it harder for Han Hyun-min in adapting to Korean culture because Koreans are more accustomed to communicating with people that they look like them on a daily basis. Many people would automatically assume that he is a foreigner, but they do not know that he was born to a Korean mother and Nigerian father. Han Hyun-min knows very little about Nigerian culture because he was not born there. It is similar to someone that is Korean-Canadian. Even though the individual is born in Canada, they will not know much about Korean culture. As a result, they are going to feel like an outsider.

Being a mixed-race fashion model in South Korea can be very challenging, but it can also become a great advantage. I think the younger generation of Koreans are more open-minded and embrace seeing people from other ethnicities. As time goes on, Korean society is going to encounter more mixed-race people that look different from them. In my opinion, model Han Hyun-min will continue making strides in the fashion industry through his mixed ethnicity and inspire future generations of models to follow in his footsteps one day. Blacks have always been trendsetters and will continue seeking ways in bring innovative ideas to our ever-changing universe. Being the first in anything is always going to be a challenge, but black people have shown that time and time again it can de done through hard work, persistence, and determination.

Watch this interesting video below:

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The Getdown Dropped Only After One Season

Two weeks ago, Netflix has cancelled the popular series “The Getdown” only after one season. As a fan of the series, it is unfortunate because we did not get a chance to see how great the show could have became. One thing that I enjoyed about watching “The Getdown” was their ability to capture the impact of hip-hop culture in its earliest stages of development. Even though the series added five more episodes for part two, no one really knows the potential it would have had if Netflix gave it an opportunity to grow. The series would have gotten better over time by showing how hip-hop culture evolved over the years into becoming a global billion dollar business. However, I would say that the series left an indelible mark on hip-hop culture that inspires young people to continue striving towards greatness and never give up no matter how hard life gets. The most important lesson I think people should take away from this series is that a person’s circumstances should not define their destiny.

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Chinese Actress Achieves Success in Brazil’s Film Industry

SimoneFransisco (14)

Born to Chinese parents, Lian Tai moved to Brazil in her pursuit of an acting and writing career.  She found success in the Brazilian film industry.  Modeling gave her an advantage that provided Brazil with a unique look never seen before.  As a result, Lian Tai has already worked in eight films so far, including her most recent film “The Woman and the River” playing the lead role.  She got the role because her features look indigenous to the people of Brazil.  Lian Tai’s first appearance took place in the 2012 film “Destiny,” a Chinese-Brazilian co-production.

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One thing that separates her from most actresses in the industry is her ability to stay active while waiting for the next role.  The actress has a doctorate in the communications field and writes for a travel blog.  Therefore, she has multiple skills that can help further advance her career as an actress.  It is important for people that want to become actors should learn other skills that they can utilize in their careers, such as writing.  Therefore, it will prevent them from becoming unemployed and apply these skills to create their own opportunities in the future.

For more information on the actress, please click on the link below:


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Typecasting in Hollywood

Typecasting is when the audience strongly identifies an actor with playing a certain role.  It continues to become an ongoing issue in Hollywood among actors from different ethnicities.  It is harder for black, Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern actors to receive good quality roles because the film going audience wants to see them portrayed a certain way on screen.  When an actor portrays a role that the audience can relate to, studio executives will offer them similar roles.  One breakout role can work to their advantage and open up other opportunities to expand their range as an actor.  However, at the same time, it can severely limit them to playing certain roles.  As a result, it perpetuates stereotypes among a certain group of people that continues to this very day.

Let’s start off with black people.  In the film industry, most of the roles that are offered among black actors are drug dealers, pimps, maids, butlers, slaves, and being “the angry black man” or “the angry black woman.”  Hispanic actors are typecast as gang members, drug dealers, and day laborers.  Asian actors are cast as convenience store clerks, computer geeks, or martial artists.  Finally, Middle Eastern actors tend to be typecast as terrorists and villains since the September 11th attacks.  One major similarity among these groups is that they continue to encounter racial discrimination in Hollywood.

Despite these challenges, they should unite and create their own opportunities among people that share similar struggles.  The only way to break the typecasting process is for actors of color to invest their money and form their own production companies.  Cooperative economics is the most effective way that actors of other ethnicities can overcome typecasting in Hollywood.  Instead of waiting for the film industry to offer them quality roles, these actors should learn how to write, direct, produce and distribute their own stories.  Though easier said than done, having ownership is one of the most important factors to creating longevity in Hollywood.  If more actors of color learn about other aspects of the film industry, then they will never have to worry about becoming unemployed anymore.

Watch this YouTube clip below discussing the struggles for actors of color that remains prevalent in Hollywood:

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The Value of Academic Achievement Over Fame

Lee Se Young

Korean actress Lee Se Young made a smart decision in putting her career on hold to pursue an education.  Many people assume that all celebrities are rich and should remain satisfied with their status in society.  However, we forget that celebrities have feelings and insecurities just like everyone else.  Since she has been acting from a young age, Lee Se Young can take a break and do something else with her life.

Celebrities should have the right to attend school and continue learning about their craft, especially from the business side of the entertainment industry if they choose to.  The entertainment industry is made up of 90% business and 10% talent.  In Lee Se Young’s case, understanding the business side of the film and television industry can help her negotiate a better contract and choose roles that will show off her versatility as an actress.  Getting an education can also help her take more control over her career and create more opportunities for herself.  Everyone should be provided equal access to a quality education regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic background.

Unlike the United States, South Korea highly values education among their citizens.  Academic achievement should be encouraged more among young people instead of a person’s celebrity status.  Education is the one thing that nobody can take away from you once it is obtained.  It can provide a passport to our dreams and unlock limitless potential that we never knew existed inside of us all.  Actress Lee Se Young shows us that young people can be educated and talented.

For more information about this topic, click on link to the article below:



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Japanese Pop Idol Group Me-gumi Restores Local Economy

I read an interesting article about Japanese pop idol group Me-gumi contributes to growth of the local economy in the city of Hino, located in western Tokyo.  The group was initially formed by a group of students at Meisei University’s Business Administration Department seminar idol-development project under Professor Koichi Katano.  Creating opportunities will allow more students to develop industries that produces jobs for many people in their community.

Click below and listen to one of their live performances on YouTube:

Students involved in the seminar become involved in a variety of activities such as coming up with songs that the group wants to sing, choreographing dance moves, and establishing venues for their performances.  Seminars are a great way to seek out new opportunities that people never really considered.  Also, gaining experience working with pop idols exposes them to the business side of the music industry.  Learning about business helps them to take control of their own destiny and give back to their community at the same time.

Promoting the city of Hino will increase the tourism industry specifically towards people that live outside of Japan.  Over time, Me-gumi’s performances will attract more visitors and motivate them to improve the quality of life in this region.  Tourism drives every country’s economy and people will keep coming back if they are satisfied with their experience.  Revitalizing a community takes hard work and dedication.  Healthy, strong communities require close-knit relationships among the people that live there.  This article serves as a reminder that young people can accomplish their goals while becoming leaders in their community.

For more information about the article, click on the link below:



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The Get Down Celebrates Hip Hop Origins

the get down brothers 2

In my opinion, The Get Down has become one of my most favorite series to watch online.  It really captured the origins of hip hop culture in the South Bronx during the 1970s, specifically in 1977.  Despite the social, economic, and political climate that occurred during that era, it was responsible for ushering the multi-billion dollar industry that we know today as hip hop.  The Get Down showcased archival footage during that year and it added greater depth to the storyline.  Historical events were an important factor in keeping the series in its proper perspective.  As a result, it connected the struggles of each character to our own.  I think the series connects with many people because they can relate to similar issues that these characters faced on a daily basis.

Many people would look at this series and think that the South Bronx is a roach-infested jungle with nothing but burnt-out buildings littered with graffiti.  Hip hop reflected the freedom and hope that many young people were craving in their lives at that particular time.  This series revolves around young people that have goals and ambitions in life.  Unfortunately, many people are still led to believe that their circumstances define them and should settle for mediocrity.  Overcoming challenges and remaining persistent in the face of adversity are the two major themes that resonated with me throughout the series.

The two main characters, Milene Cruz and Ezekiel Figuero, provided us proof that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to through hard work, dedication, passion, and sacrifice.  On one hand, you have Milene Cruz aspiring to become a popular singer during the disco era and willing to do whatever it takes to make her dream happen.  During the series, she started off singing in her father’s church and branched off into singing popular disco songs during that time.  One step that Milene took in making her dream a reality is  by sneaking out of her parent’s house and going to the club Les Inferno to get her music heard by DJ Malibu.  One friend even convinced Milene to make Cadillac her dance partner.  Eventually, she connects with a record producer through her uncle Papa Fuerte in promoting her music to the world.  

Herizen Guardiola as Mylene, Justice Smith as Ezekiel.

On the other hand, we have Ezekiel Figuero: a rising poet and wordsmith.  The scene that captured the most attention for me was when his teacher encouraged him to express his talent through poetry.  Ezekiel’s poetry hit a nerve with me because it expressed anger and frustration that he observed in his community.  It shaped the way he views the world and who he wants to be.  Expressing oneself without apology should be awarded, not conformity.  His attraction to Milene becomes apparent throughout the series.  Ezekiel went so far to get Misty Holloway’s record Far, Far Away played in the same club Milene was.  He teams up with Shaolin Fantastic in forming the Get Down Brothers and competes against other DJs to become the best not only in the South Bronx, but in the universe.  Both characters were able to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true.  It goes to show that all things are possible through persistence, hard work, and sacrifice.

The similarity that can be drawn among Milene and Ezekiel is that teenagers struggle to find their voice and tend to rebel as a way of gaining attention.  Everyone was a teenager at some point and it is just another phase that they have to endure.  The youth saw hip hop as a creative force motivating them to rise above their situation just like a phoenix rising above the ashes.  Their ability to create something out of nothing provided them with a greater sense of purpose in improving the quality of their lives.  Nobody expected hip hop to last this long.  However, young people had a vision and strongly believed that it will come to pass one day and it did.  I am excited to see how the series will evolve throughout season 2.

Watch this scene from the first season of The Get Down:

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