Fair Beauty – Vietnam’s Obsession with White Skin

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For most Vietnamese women, white skin is synonymous with feminine beauty, sophistication and high social status, and many of them cover themselves completely even in the middle of summer in order to protect their fair complexion from the sun’s rays.

In Vietnam, as in the majority of South East Asian countries, dark skin has always been associated with poverty and peasants working in paddy fields exposed to the mercy of the elements. So while in the Western world tanned skin is seen as healthy and beautiful, in countries like Vietnam, Japan or Indonesia, it is so frowned upon that it can sometimes be enough to drive away potential suitors in arranged marriages among middle-class families.

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Elderly Chinese Women Are Lying on Hot Rocks to Improve Their Health

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It’s quite natural for lizards and snakes to lie on hot rocks in the scorching sun, because they have to thermoregulate, but when middle-aged and elderly women in the Chinese city of Xi’an started doing it, people started raising their eyebrows in surprise.

It turns out lying on large stone boulders in the hot sun is this year’s summer health trend among the women of Xi’an. Elderly and middle-aged women can be seen hugging rocks or simply lying on them with towels on their faces all around the city, from parks to squares and pretty much wherever else large, sun-heated rocks can be found.

At first, people thought the women were engaging in some mysterious artistic performance, but local reporters approached them, they said it was a traditional medical treatment to help them cure various illnesses. One woman, identified only by her surname, Lo, said that she started lying on hot rocks to treat her synovitis and stiff muscles, after a relative suffering from similar ailments did it for an extended period of time and got cured. Apparently, the best time to practice laying on rocks is between 3 and 4 p.m., when the sun burns the hottest.

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Harmonica Vacuum – The Musical House-Cleaning Trend Taking the Internet by Storm

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If you’re looking of ways to make vacuuming the house less of a chore, this ingenious combination between a harmonica and a vacuum cleaner may be the coolest thing you’ll see today.

Vacuuming a harmonica may just become the house-cleaning trend of 2016, but it all started just a few days ago, completely by accident. Japanese Twitter user @CelloMetalGirl was the first to upload one a video of the unusual activity, with the caption “I laughed to death”. As it urns out, the girl’s father was vacuuming the house when he accidentally hit an old run-of-the-mill harmonica with the vacuum brush and… Magic happened.

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Japan’s Hardcore Minimalists Live in Virtually Empty Homes

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The minimalist lifestyle trend has been gaining popularity in the Western world for a while now, but we’re still far from the hardcore minimalism Zen-loving Japanese have adopted in their quest to achieve a stress-free life.

Space has always been an issue in crowded Japanese cities, so from that point of view it makes sense that people try to keep their homes junk free, but some are taking minimalism to such an extreme that they are virtually living in empty houses surrounded by only the barest of necessities. For them, minimalism is not just about de-cluttering their living space, but also about evaluating what material possessions truly bring to their lives and focusing on the things that they consider important. To Japan’s hardcore minimalists, less is more in every sense that actually matters.

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Dangerous Freeway Skateboarding Trend Is Picking Up Steam in California

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The latest trend among thrill-seekingCalifornia teenagers involves riding a skateboard on the freeway during rush hour and performing all sorts of stunts. The ‘Freeway Challenge’ made its online debut last week, with skater Nakel Smith posting footage of himself skating down the 110 freeway in LA. Since then, several skateboarders have tried copying the idea, giving rise to the trending social media hashtag #FreewayChallenge.

While most of the copycats are trying Smith’s original stunts, some are pulling off their own, like dropping down a shoulder ramp and riding directly out into oncoming traffic, or hanging on to the back of large trucks. California Highway Patrol officials are obviously concerned, and have tried warning these skaters about the dangers involved with the challenge. “This isn’t a joke to us,” said officer Edgar Fugeroa, speaking to KTLA 5 News. “A person puts themselves out there (on a freeway) – that is a deadly trick.”

“You don’t know what the other cars are going to do or if a motorcycle is going to come into one of your lanes. They could strike you and kill you, and that’s not what we want.”

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‘Blackout’ Tattoo Trend Has People Blacking Out Large Areas of Their Bodies

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A bizarre new tattooing trend has people covering large patches of their skin with solid black ink. These ‘blackout tattoos’ are all the rage in Singapore, with an increasing number of youngsters getting their arms, legs, and even portions of their torso, inked black.

Chester Lee, a tattoo artist at Oracle Tattoo studio in Singapore, is apparently an expert of sorts in blackout tattoos. His Instagram page features several photographs of completed works, earning him thousands of likes. Some of them are entirely black, while others consist of intricate black drawings of everyday objects or Gothic symbols on the negative space between black patches.

The arm pieces usually have a large portion of the skin blacked out, fading away at the edges. While some people have had a portion of their legs covered in black, others have gone all out with the ‘legging’ effect. A few have inked their entire bodies, with only slim lines of natural skin color showing through.

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Glow-in-the-Dark Neon Hair Takes over Instagram

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The latest beauty trend to hit Instagram involves women coloring their hair with special dyes that makes it glow in the dark. The look, also known as ‘blacklight hair’ comes in a variety of neon shades – blue, pink, green, orange, and copper red. Some women seem to prefer a single shade, while others go for a multicolored ‘rainbow’ look.

The technique isn’t exactly new but its popularity has soared in the past few weeks, with a particular brand of haircare products – Manic Panic – fuelling the trend. Their ‘High Voltage Classic Cream Formula Hair Care’ is flying off the shelves as more and more women posting photographs of their own fluorescent hairstyles on social media.

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Dishwasher Cooking is Actually a Thing

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Believe it or not, you can actually cook meals in a dishwasher. It sounds kinda gross, but it’s a surprisingly popular cooking technique and actually produces decent results!

Dishwasher cooking has apparently been around since the 1970s, but the trend ‘caught steam’ in 2013, after Italian food writer Lisa Casali, a self-proclaimed dishwasher-cooking expert published a book on the subject. Cucinare in lavastoviglie (Cooking in the Dishwasher) was a big hit, and Casali also posted a series of videos online demonstrating how the technique works.  “It’s an easy technique within everyone’s reach and you can gain great advantages from it,” she says in one of her instructional videos. “All you need is a dishwasher and the will to experiment.”

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Blogger Gains Internet Following by Smashing Her Face into Bread Products

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An anonymous blogger from Brooklyn has become an internet sensation for fearlessly documenting her bizarre fixation with bread. This woman films herself as she plunges her face into different types of bread, and posts the footage on her Instagram page, ‘Bread Face Blog’. The tagline reads: “Bread Face – giving the people something they didn’t ask for.”

Bread Face hasn’t revealed her name, but we do know that she’s 27 years old and works as a copywriter by day. With over 40,000 Instagram followers and thousands of likes on each video, her bizarre bread smashing habit has managed to catch the attention of various magazines like Buzzfeed, Vice’s Munchies, and The New York Times. Obviously, they’ve all had one common question to ask her: Why is she doing this?

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Japanese Professionals Put on Full-Body Lycra Suits to Escape Pressure of Everyday Life

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In a bid to de-stress and break free from the tensions of daily life, Japanese students and professionals are taking to a bizarre trend called ‘Zentai’. It’s a community consisting of people of all ages and walks of life, donning full-body lycra suits and meeting on internet forums, in clubs, at barbecue parties, and sometimes just on the street.

It’s ironical, but the tight suits are actually able to help stressed individuals loosen up, because such behavior is probably frowned upon in genteel circles. Many of the Zentai perceive the trend as a welcome break from the pressures of living in Japanese society that values conformity to tradition over individual desires.

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Extreme Phone Pinching – Probably the Most Nerve-Racking Internet Trend of 2015

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Move over extreme sports, ‘extreme phone pinching’ is guaranteed to deliver an adrenaline rush like never before. Warning: It’s not for the faint-hearted.

The nerve-wracking new challenge has people dangling their expensive smartphones over all sorts of dangerous places like toilets, drains, balconies and even high cliffs. There’s only one rule – they’ve got to ‘pinch’ their gadgets using only their thumb and forefinger!

The bizarre, rather pointless trend was apparently started by Twenty One Pilots, an American indie pop band. They posted a YouTube video of them performing the phone pinch stunt and it spread like wildfire across various social networks, garnering over 300,000 views. Before long, the hashtag #extremephonepinching became a thing and people began tweeting videos and pictures of their own attempts.

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Thai Collector Uses Ancient Ritual to Create Souls for Creepy ‘Child God Dolls’

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A creepy new trend in Thailand has people caring for supposedly haunted dolls, for good luck and prosperity.

The Look Thep (Child God) dolls are believed to be inhabited by children’s spirits, created through special rituals. They’re considered to be an updated version of the ancient kuman thong, the practice of worshiping human fetuses that died in the womb. Look Thep allows people to revere the spirits of children without having to actually obtain dead fetuses.

Several locals, including Thai celebrities, are vouching for the effectiveness of Look Thep dolls. Like DJ Bookkoh Thannatchayapan from 94 FM, who claims that his doll Wansai has made him successful in show biz. “The first day I got him, I took him out shopping for clothes in the baby section,” Bookkoh said. “Right after I paid for his clothes, I got a call that my canceled job was back on!”

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Bubble Fingernails – The Crazy Fashion Trend Taking Over the Internet

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Some fashion trends are so odd that they leave you wondering how they ever caught on. Take this latest ‘bubble nails’ craze – bulbous acrylic fingernails painted in a variety of colors and patterns.

The technique has apparently been around since 2009, but has only gained popularity recently, after a series of photos went viral on Instagram. Due to the growing demand, beauticians are having to teach themselves the art, through trial and error. They start by placing a ball or multiple balls of acrylic at the center of the nail, and builds it out by adding layers. Then, they paint it as per the customer’s choice.



Moss Viewing – A Strange Yet Increasingly Popular Japanese Pastime

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A lot of people walk by moss all the time, without even giving the time of day, but in Japan, they actually have this thing call moss viewing that involves going on trips to damp places and staring at moss for hours, as a means of relaxation.

According to Takeshi Ueno, a plant ecology expert at Tsuru University, the activity is particularly popular among women, because “they are rich in emotions”. “They can innocently enjoy changes in the shapes and colors of leaves, for example, so they are well-suited to moss viewing,” Ueno, who usually leads the moss viewing trips near Lake Shirakoma, added.

It all started in 2013, when Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel in Aomori Prefecture introduced a one-night program that included an observation tour of the moss colonies in a riverside forest. It was an unsuspected success, and after the Bryological Society of Japan named the area around Lake Shirakoma a ‘precious moss-covered forest’, moss-viewing became a regular affair. The event has become so popular among female travelers that it is held about eight times a year.

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Stupid ‘Sunburn Art’ Trend Puts People at Risk of Skin Cancer

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Thousands of Instagrammers around the world are risking skin cancer in a bid to follow the latest online craze – ‘sunburn art’.

One of the unhealthiest trends to hit social media in recent years, sunburn art involves using sunscreen or stencils on parts of their body to burn various designs into their skin. The sunburn patterns range from straight lines to floral themes and abstract shapes. Some designs cover a small patch of skin, while others span the entire body.



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