A roundup of magazines by, for and about Asian-Pacific American women

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Asian-American Village Contributing Editor


March 3, 2006 – My sixth grader daughter is in the school play this month, and the teacher told all the parents that instead of stage makeup we should buy regular foundation for the kids’ makeup. Since I never wear foundation, having time for only a smear of red lipstick, this is new for me. Never mind that I was the Makeup Director of my own middle school’s plays — that was a long time ago.

I went to the cosmetics section of Target and was baffled by all the different shades of “Nude.”  I held up bottle after bottle to my daughter’s face and nothing matched the golden undertones in our skin. Where is an Asian-American woman’s magazine with makeup recommendations for Asian Americans when you need it?

So, in the spirit of Women’s History Month at IMDiversity.com Asian-American Village, I thought to share a quick profile of Asian-Pacific American (APA) women’s magazines from my recent review. Just as all of us have our different interests, strengths and quirks, so do these very different APA sistahs.


Audrey: The Asian American Women’s Lifestyle Magazine


Audrey magazine is a general APA women’s lifestyle magazine that came out after the fall of A Magazine. Based in Southern California, it is brightly colored and hip and well-informed, with departments in fashion, living, mind and body, the arts, “In the Kitchen” with Ming Tsai, relationships, book and product reviews, and politics, too. “Ask Audrey” is a great column of various relationships and beauty advice from a variety of professional APA women. This magazine is approachable and informative, with style. Audrey is available at selected bookstores and by subscription.

The editors write: “Audrey is the premier bimonthly English-language magazine highlighting the stories that interest Asian American women nationwide. Each issue is packed with glossy photos, as well as entertaining and informative articles on the latest fashion and beauty trends, celebrity news, health, dining, home décor, relationships and more. Audrey launched in March 2003 in response to the growing demand for a high-quality publication that serves Asian American women. The publisher opted to name the new venture in honor of his daughter and to recognize that many Asian American women have English names.”


Jade Magazine: A fresh perspective for Asian women


Jade Magazine is a fresh, intelligent magazine with substantive content. Based in New York, it is an online magazine aimed at professional Asian and APA women in their twenties and thirties. It is smart and strong and a lot more than just makeup and fashion. Topics include career, fitness, family, legal issues, personal finance, relationships, beauty, fashion and health. They have a great advice column not to be missed called, “He Said, She Said, but Mama Said.” Jade is available online only.

From the editors:  “JADE Magazine strives to be the voice of English-speaking Asian women around the world by creating a forum to shatter the myths that exist about us, as well as providing a needed medium for the open discussion of our views, ideas and concerns. We highlight and showcase the talents and successes of Asian and Asian American women in all arenas. JADE Magazine is a celebration of our unique experiences; it will empower our identity and style. We know that our readers are smart, opinionated, strong, independent and ambitious women who want more than just fluff.”


Woman International—Where Culture Meets Mind Body and Soul


Woman International is a new APA women’s magazine out Northern California. Mature and general interest, it seeks to connect Asian and Asian American women through culture, mind, body, and soul. Departments include inspiring Asian divas, health and beauty, relationships, fashion, horoscope, food, travel, and reviews of books, movies, and music by Asian women. Woman International is available at selected bookstores and by subscription.

From the editors: “How is Woman International different? It’s not just a magazine… but an experience… Culture. We celebrate diversity and culture. We know it’s a part of what makes each Asian woman unique. From the dusty roads of Kabul, to the bustling energy of Thailand, our editorial is just for you. Mind. There are very few magazines we read that directly address our unique cultural needs and questions as Asian women. We help you realize your own hidden potentials, whether that be through your career, relationship or personal life. Woman International editorials are fresh and exciting bringing you in-depth information and resources that affect you lives. Body. From fitness to independently researched information on the latest diets, we help you navigate through marketing spins and advertising statement toward the truth about your health. We cover diet, exercise, stress relief, cosmetics, fashion and more to help you look and feel your best. Soul. Our editorial and How-To sections engage and rejuvenate your spirit. We provide expert opinion and guidance on relationship advice, goal setting techniques, ways to help other women, and tools you need to be successful in both your personal and professional life.”


13 Minutes


13 Minutes is a gorgeous new magazine just out of Orange County, California. Printed on glossy paper with incredible photographic spreads, it has the look and feel of a high-fashion magazine like Vogue. It has departments in fashion, entertainment, health and beauty, travel, cuisine (featuring Martin Yan and Ming Tsai), and culture. It is young and glamorous—without being trashy—a perfect coffee table book. Content is very light and always upbeat. 13 Minutes is available at selected bookstores and by subscription.

The editors write: “13 Minutes is a fresh and provocative new magazine for and about bicultural Asians and those interested in Asian culture. As the community continues to grow, Asian culture is becoming increasingly influential in every aspect of our lives – from movies to cuisine to fashion to health to dating. 13 Minutes captures these elements and expresses them in a unique, artistic and vibrant magazine. Our goal is best expressed in our mission statement: To bring simplicity, elegance and fun to our readers and provide a forum where they can recognize and appreciate their own sense of identity and style. The design of the magazine mirrors the fusion of Eastern and Western culture that is at the heart of our mission.”


Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Michigan and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is currently an acting editor for IMDiversity.com’sAsian-American Village, where she writes most frequently on culture, family, arts, and lifestyles topics. Her articles have appeared in Pacific Citizen, Asian Reader, Nikkei West, Sampan, Mavin, Eurasian Nation, and various Families with Children from China publications. She has also worked in anthropology and international development in Nepal, and in nonprofits and small business start-ups in the US. She is also the Outreach Coordinator of the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan and a much sought public speaker. She has four children. She can be reached atfkwang@aol.com.

IMDiversity.com is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.