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Elise Hu and Ailsa Chang Discuss Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 25, 2023
Crawford Family Forum, 474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
A pink, brown, and purple toned promotional graphic with swatches of color made to look like samples of makeup and arrows. Overlapping text reads Elise Hu & Ailsa Chang discuss FLAWLESS Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital.
LAist Design
Upcoming live event with Elise Hu and Ailsa Chang

Join us for the Los Angeles book launch of Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital, a new book by journalist and podcaster Elise Hu (she/her) examining the enduring power of standardized beauty, how that intersects with capitalist imperatives, and where we go from here, when technology is making our exteriors so vital. Using her background in geopolitical reporting and her personal experiences as an Asian American woman, Elise hopes to highlight the voices and insights from the hundreds of Korean women she interviewed and change what empowerment looks and feels like. Ailsa Chang (she/her), award-winning journalist and host of NPR’s All Things Considered, will talk with Elise about the book, K-beauty’s global rise, and how we can change appearance expectations and claim a more inclusive, intersectional, and community-centered ethic around "self-care."

Buy the book and get it signed by Elise at the event! Book bundles are available with your ticket or you can buy one at the event from our book store partner, North Figueroa Bookshop.

Check out Elise’s TED Radio Hour episode about the beauty ideal.

Elise Hu is a host at-large for NPR and the inaugural host of TED Talks Daily, the daily podcast from TED that’s downloaded a million times a day in all countries of the world. For nearly four years, she was the NPR bureau chief responsible for coverage of North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Previously, she was a television reporter and helped found the non-profit digital news organization, The Texas Tribune. Her work has earned the national DuPont Columbia, Edward R. Murrow and Gracie awards, along with a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, she lives in Los Angeles with her three daughters.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Mary Louise Kelly and Juana Summers. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years. Chang is a former Planet Money correspondent, where she got to geek out on the law. Previously, she was a congressional correspondent with NPR's Washington Desk. Chang started out as a radio reporter in 2009, and has since earned a string of national awards for her work, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio, and the National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association. Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree. She earned her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School.Chang was also a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where she received a master's degree in media law. She also has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she never got to have a dog. But now she's the proud mama of Mickey Chang, a shih tzu who enjoys slapping high-fives and mingling with senators

FLAWLESS braids international reporting, cultural commentary, and memoir to explore the global rise of K-beauty culture, the power of appearance standards worldwide, and the simultaneous pleasure and pain of having to upgrade ourselves and keep up with beauty norms. Author Elise Hu used Korea's comparatively intense appearance expectations and practices as a jumping off point to explore the way technological advancement is likely to increase the pressure on all of us to look "better," if we have the money to do it. The book hits shelves on May 23, 2023.


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