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I’m on the cover of Women’s Health Malaysia!?

August 24, 2016

I’m on the cover of Women’s Health Malaysia!?

UMMMMM GUYS….look!!???


I’m on the cover of Women’s Health Malaysia! I’ve been keeping this a secret from you 😛 This was shot a while back in the summer when I was doing my fitness tour with Zespri Kiwifruit in Asia and Australia. What do you think of the cover?

Really like my no-makeup look! No idea how to recreate though!

This is my first international cover ever and I am so so proud to be representing Asian women in media. So BIG thank you Women’s Health Malaysia for featuring me. I rarely ever talk about my ethnicity because it really doesn’t have anything to do with fitness – I see us all the same – but when it comes to magazine covers, I have to admit, the diversity is NOT THERE. And it’s disappointing.

In the US, go into any grocery store and stare at the magazine stand. You will see that every cover model is either Caucasian or a Kardashian. Why don’t magazines celebrate people of color more? Because we aren’t doing anything? Nope. Because we look “foreign”? Maybe.

Seeing what a diverse melting pot the American population is, you can’t help but wonder why there isn’t a somewhat equal representation of that in the media. I just went on the US Census Bureau and looked up demographics in the United States for people of different ethnicities. Here’s the breakdown as of 2015:

  • White alone: 61.6%
  • Black or African American: 13.3%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 1.2%
  • Asian: 5.6%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: 0.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 17.6%

(Total is 99.5%, leaving room for people who identify as 2 or more races.)

Correct me if i’m wrong but….I don’t see 40% of magazine covers showcasing people of different color. It’s so rare. The question is …why not? It’s not like the rest of the population isn’t gorgeous and isn’t achieving amazing things. I think the answer is that magazines are afraid of “turning off” their audience (and advertisers) because they don’t want people to think that this entire issue with the “exotic” model on the cover is all about Chinese food and travel or something. (Yea, I just said that.) But it’s true. No one says it, but honestly, we still think that way whether you like it or not. We are SO used to seeing white people on covers so when it’s someone else…we feel almost shocked by it. Me included!

I think the magazine industry needs to stop being afraid and start featuring people for the good that they do, not for the color of the skin that they think “sells better”. No matter what color you are, no matter what shape you are, or how much you weigh…you should have an equal opportunity to be recognized. This is a problem in entertainment and media that needs to change.

As I write this, I wonder how many blog readers will be upset by what I say. Some of you may be thinking “huh?” Good. Because there really is no reason to get offended.

But, in January 2016 when my HEALTH Magazine cover came out, and I wrote a newsletter exclaiming how happy I was to be repping Asian women in media, and you wouldn’t believe how many emails I got back saying that I offended them and that they were now unsubscribing from my newsletter and would stop doing my workout videos.

Til this day, I still cannot understand what the offense was. I said I was proud. And you’re offended. OKAY…

Anyway, something for you to think about. As we all grow up, it’s our generation who needs to make these changes happen. The power is in our hands.

So…let’s have some fun and do a BTS tour of my cover shoot, ya?

zespri blogilates

I literally had a full day photoshoot with Women’s Health after teaching the class above in MAJOR HUMIDITY and HEAT. I was sweating SO HARD. Sorry if I sweated on you during the meet & greet! >_<

It was so fun meeting my Malaysian POPsters for the very first time. Every person was so incredibly kind and I could tell y’all had been practicing POP Pilates! Y’all were BAWSES!

cassey ho womens health bts

Here I am after my hair and makeup were done just a couple hours after the class. Cleaned up well huh?

womens health malaysia team

I absolutely loved the whole editorial, beauty, and photo team for Women’s Health. Each person was so kind and talented!

wh blogilates

Although I like the cover, I kind of wish they had chosen this black swimsuit one! I was REALLY FEELING IT in the one piece. And you can’t tell, but you see that wind-blowing action in my hair? Nope, there’s no “glam fan”. It’s a leaf blower. Literally. Hahaha!!

I only had a few days in Malaysia but I got to do some cool things like…


Go to the Batu Caves! Thanks to my friend and amazing musician Kurt Hugo Schneider for recommending this spot, and thanks to TLC travel host Jojo Struys for taking us around all day! There’s a temple tucked inside that crazy cave. And…best part…monkeys EVERYWHERE. They are smart too. They were trying to take my jacket. I also saw one drinking Coke. Oh boy…


Don’t the monkeys look like old Asian men? Hahaha. The locals were really curious why us Americans were so interested in seeing the monkeys. They were like, “Have you ever seen a dog before? It’s the same thing.” LOL.

kl towers

The famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur! These giants looked daunting and spaceship like in real life. They are currently the tallest twin towers in the world!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Felt good to get that out.

Oh and if you’re in Malaysia, please grab a copy and send me some pics through Twitter or something! I have not seen the issue and am dying to know what it looks like inside!


35 thoughts on “I’m on the cover of Women’s Health Malaysia!?”

There are 35 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Veronica Eskra says:

    Cassey.. you are amazing!! Thank you so much for your positivity, always choosing to see the better side of things, and standing up for what you believe. It is so sad that people would become offended by your accomplishments… Don’t worry, you inspire me every day!

  2. Sarah says:

    I don’t understand the offense people took when you said you were proud either. Why can’t we all be proud of who we are and where we came from? Each race is so beautiful in their own skin, in their own way, and each one of us should embrace the differences because that’s how God made us!!! I’m so glad we aren’t all one color! 🙂

  3. Maria says:

    Hey Cassey, thanks for this amazing blogpost! I wanted to share with you a podcast I’ve become obsessed over. It’s called Code Switch, and it’s through NPR. They did a whole episode on minorities in the media, specifically television, and how much pressure everyone feels to represent their culture well since they get so little opportunity to do so. I think you’d like it. =) Also, monkey’s are super smart! When I visited the Monkey Forest in Ubud, they tried to steal my passport and wallet out of my purse! So happy for you and your recent adventures! =)

  4. Elena says:

    I support you 100%, I think magazines should have different races on their covers as not all population are caucasian.
    Thank you for all you are doing, I love your workouts. Now I’m following your calendar everyday and I feel more fit and healthier.
    My ig is: elenalovescolours
    Thank you very much!

  5. Elena Bisco says:

    I really can’t think of any reason people could be offended by you saying you’re proud to represent asian women… you didn’t say the asian race is a better one, if anything you said it’s worth the same, something I hope all people agree with in 2016.
    Anyway, I’m happy that you had a great time in Malaysia, and I’m so jelly that you got to see all those monkeys! The one drinking coke must have been a really hilarious sight! No way I could think about monkeys the same way I think about dogs! XD

  6. Bronwyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Cassey. I think race relations are less tense here in Canada than in the US, but it is still so important for people to see their cultures represented. Even children need to see people who look like them in the media…let me share an example: I’m white and my husband is Hispanic. Our children have gorgeous dark curly hair. When my daughter was two, she told me she wanted straight blonde hair like Elsa because it was pretty and her dark curls were ugly. Of course I have never, ever promoted this idea, and we are very aware of focusing on our kids’ effort and abilities, not their looks, but somehow she thought she had to look different to be acceptable. Now she’s never even seen Frozen because it’s too scary for her, but Elsa is everywhere, so it’s hard to avoid. And that’s exactly why we need diversity in mainstream media, because even young children are aware when they are not represented and it sends them subtle messages of racism. Thank you Cassey for changing this one magazine cover at a time! ?

  7. Azp says:

    I have to say this is bothering me a bit. Weren’t we all just happily living in our bodies ? Why is everyone looking for validation in these magazines? Even if it’s about race, weight or other body features, you should stop worrying so much about it. The picture is a product, not a guideline for your life. You are not better if you look more like it, you are not worse if you don’t. We all know most pictures in advertising are altered. It still does not matter, as long as you buy it. And that’s where it really ends.

    1. P says:

      Why are you so bothered by representation? There’s nothing wrong with all shades,shapes, and colors being in the media. Like you’re literally the only one upset

      1. Azp says:

        i’m not upset about it. i’m upset of ppl reactions… Because u say it’s about race… but it’s not. It’s about what you buy. I also can say when I was younger i felt i couldn’t relate with all “models” in media, because the typical beauty girl was always blonde & blue eyes. And where I come from, guess what most ppl have light brown-> black hair, and brown eyes. While the same race you can still feel underrepresented. But on the other hand, I genuinely thought they were pretty too, the prettiest. So I still bought the stuff, and hyped about it. And now I’m older and i really don’t care… And I am just trying to help you by saying you shouldn’t care THIS much about it. It is just a magazine. If the person on the cover is not relateable, that does not influence your capacities in any way, nor does it make you less of a person. The fact that you feel like you don’t fit in, has to do with your insecurities as well… And I would like ppl to acknowledge that.

  8. savanah says:

    There are always going to be haters…You are a beautiful strong woman..I am proud to call you my trainer and proud of how you represent your heritage,,,I am ashamed how people wrote to you of how proud you were of of your January issue, I cant believe how close minded people are. You should be proud!!! And I am proud of being considered of multi racial! I love you Cassey for who you are inside and out. You are Beautiful don’t ever forget that!

  9. Anna says:

    First off, I don’t see how anyone was offended. Like, what??
    Second, there definitely needs to be more diversity! It needs to stop feeling like it’s weird/cool/different, when you see someone on a magazine that isn’t white and thin. It should just be the norm.
    THIRD, You are giving me major Malaysian nostalgia! I grew up there and visited this past Christmas, I wish you could’ve been there at the same time :’D. This time aorund I went with my boyfriend and we also went to the Batu Caves and took photos with the towers 🙂

  10. Polly says:

    Congrats on your success, Cassey! I think it’s so awesome to see an Asian American on magazine covers and reach great heights of success. I really don’t understand how it can come across as offensive. Asians are so underrepresented in the media and you deserve to be featured because of all of your hard work! I have been reading your blog and watching your video for years, and I have really enjoyed seeing you evolve and grow. I like how you share your experiences with us and talk about challenges you face, unlike some bloggers/youtubers that sugarcoat themselves and only show the glamorous parts of their life. (I’m sure they also have challenges of their own that they choose not to share.) Just keep being who you are because real popsters have your back!

  11. Nessa Bee says:

    Hi Cass,
    I personaly think that you are right, varity is key! I am a german graphic Designer and once my boss asked me to change some happy family pictures of an asian family to a more “European looking” family. I was totally shocked, asked why and the answer was “Cuz our customers target is that their customer can replace the family they See with themselves and buy moe.” – i was just more shocked. I really hope for a change here and i will try anything to show more diversity. And i really think that marketing has such a great influence that we should use to decrease racism!
    Habe a lovely day 🙂

  12. Elaine Fraschini says:

    Cassey you’re the best! You look so great on the WH magazine cover and u should b so proud to represent! In the 21st century what does skin colour or race matter? We’re all human beings! If people can’t see that, then you are better off without them! Keep up the good work! 🙂 peace and love Elaine 🙂

  13. Cassie says:

    Malaysia looks like SUCH a wonderful country. It looks like you had such an amazing trip!

    And I am SO SO happy for you to be on the cover of Health Malaysia. I don’t understand why people would become so offended to no longer support you in your endeavors just because of a magazine cover. Why do people feel so excluded if they see a woman of color on a public platform when there are millions of other women that look just like them on the streets? I think that race shouldn’t be a big deal for all of us anymore because of the diversity we encounter every day as of now!

  14. Madeline Caples says:

    Congratulations, Cassey! I’m so happy that you got the opportunity to represent Asian Americans! I can’t see why anyone would find it offensive that you are proud of that. I think it’s pretty awesome!

    Sometimes I think it’s weird though that, while Caucasians are sort of over-represented in the media, we break down different minorities into different racial groups, but there are actually a lot of different “white” racial groups too. I, for example am racially Italian, Irish, and German, but whenever I fill out a form where I identify my race I don’t get to check those options, I’m just “white.” Always has seemed kind of funny to me! Although I guess you have to generalize somehow, since there’s so much diversity even within one single category like “Asian.” Anyway, just something I’ve been thinking about.

  15. Kathryn St John-Shin says:

    I wonder why those people would’ve been offended. And so offended that they’d unsubscribe and stop doing your videos. I remember reading that post before. I didn’t think anything about it was offensive. I’m so happy for you getting on the cover of magazine after magazine! That’s awesome! I’m just disappointed that they chose that specific bathing suit when that black and white one was soooo cute. ah well. That top paired with your shorts was super cute too. 😀 I don’t suppose we’ll ever see that issue in the States because it’s the Malaysian edition. 🙁 Bummer.

  16. Christina M says:

    THANK YOU CASSEY! I absolutely loved this and support you 100%. People shouldn’t be offended but I’m sure you’ll get some naysayers who just aren’t ready to hear what you have to say. Never mind them. Your voice is stronger than theirs and I believe positivity and light can always outshine negativity and darkness (I mean, it’s literally impossible for darkness to “outshine” anything). I admire you as a role model in fitness and in life. Thank you for always being real and not giving in to a lot of the ridiculousness of mainstream media. Hopefully one day, what you preach will already be what mainstream media preaches. Women, and especially young girls of color, should never feel inadequate or feel the need to change a part of themselves to fit the mold of what is considered “beautiful” or “normal.”

  17. Joy Karl says:

    I am so sad that people think it is
    necessary to write mean things about you. You are the best! I sm a 68 yr old white woman but I don’t think of you as different ftom me-lol. I just think “what workout has the energizer bunny cooked up today? But to relate a little-when I was young all magazine models had blue eyes not brown. I Thought brown eyes must not be pretty enough. Keep doing what you are doing Cassey!!❤️

  18. Carrie Hirsch says:

    Congrats on the cover, and you SHOULD be proud to be representing strong, smart women of color! Diversity is important, and media representation of everyone—not just white people—is important. Really, anyone who would be upset by that is just racist.

  19. Jordania Diniz says:

    Here in Brazil I never had felt as I’m the minority cause I’m white and people don’t treat me in a different way. But in january when I was in US I felt a little strange cause I’m latin but a different kind of latin. I’m a latin who speaks portuguese and we are the minority in south America and in the whole American continent and I felt this in US, despite everybody who I met treat me very well. I felt strange between my hispanic “hermanos” . Americans sometimes speak spanish with us brazilians and this is so weird cause we can’t understand. When people in North America talk about latin americans they talk about people who speak spanish. I remember when I bought something at a Pharmacy and the saler became surprised when he saw that my passport is in portuguese. So yeah, I understand what you say about representativity is how I feel when people around the world talk about latin americans.

  20. CarrotBrocante says:

    You are great Cassey! Keep up the great work! I <3 you!

  21. Angelique says:

    Congratulations on your cover feature!! And thank you for speaking out about the lack of minorities featured in magazines and in other places. It’s great to see you representing minorities and bringing up a topic that is often overlooked. Thank you for being you! 🙂


  22. rosie Pinedo says:

    OMG! So happy for you Cassey! I love how you are so real and authentic and sweet and super inspirational! I love following you and doing your workouts because they are fun and super awesome! You make me feel like you are my friend. I love how you encourage everyone to support each other and accept each other, that we are unique and special. I have gone through some tough trauma these past 2 years so following special people like you is a blessing to this world because it helps me to see that there are more good people in the world than negative.
    So keep doing what you do and ignore any negative nellys.

  23. KayLee Kruger says:

    Absolutely love the photos and you ♥

  24. Susanne says:

    You Look so strong and happy on the Cover! I Love it! And I am so happy for you 🙂

  25. People were offended thy you said you were proud to be repping Asian women?

    Those are not the type of people who belong in your community, Cassey. What a blessing it is to have them gone! You don’t need those people. I have a throng belief that you aren’t meant to attract the right people in your life and if people leave, it means they’re not good for you.

  26. Sapphire says:

    Thank you for saying this. Some people do not understand how powerful it is for minorities to see someone who looks like them doing something positive in the mainstream media. It annoys me when POC embrace their heritage and it is immediately perceived as a threat. If the mainstream media workforce was reflective of our national population, these fears would not be as prevalent. Anyway, keep doing what you do best!

  27. Corina Hill says:

    You know what’s interesting is I never once looked at your ethnicity when I found you many years back. Maybe bc of where I live (Hawaii) I’m actually the minority while the Asian culture is the majority. But I also don’t care what color people are, as long as their hearts are good, souls are caring and energy is positive. I don’t pick up magazines or pay attention to the covers anymore bc media is so streamlined and only feed us what they want us to see and feel. I am soooo proud of you for this cover, all of your accomplishments and success, and whether you are Asian, black, white, brown, green, blue, what landed you on that cover is YOU! What you have done and what you continue to do is why you keep having the success you do!
    I do agree that there should be people of all ages, colors and shapes represented in media all around and you, my love, are the stepping stone to this future! Congrats! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. blogilates says:

      Agree 100%

  28. Al Prezzia says:

    Maybe the magazines consumer base is or is perceived to be more Caucasian than the general population. Anyways, you look great!

  29. Jero-chan says:

    Somebody has to say this. Well Done, Cassey xD. I agree 100%.

  30. Carissa says:

    All the love to you!! ❤️I 100% agree. I wanna shout AMEN. It’s not about the views are popularity it’s doing what’s right. If showing all ethnicities looses advertisers or readers/viewers then fine, those people are missing out and you sure aren’t. I was SOOO freakin proud of you when I saw you on the health magazine and I keep it with my workout stuff to inspire me. As a white person it saddens me that we still deal with this so much and I am truly sorry you and everyone has to deal with this. We are people no matter our build or height or weight or looks. All wonderful creatures of God. Makes me wanna sing a kid song, “red and yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Cassey you inspire me so much and I really hope to meet you someday.( Alaskan over here) I have not seen someone promote self love more than you. I used to hate telling people I worked out cause I didn’t “look like it” like they wouldn’t believe me or something cause I got a muffin top. but you have helped me to learn our bodies are different and to love myself where I’m at and I thank God for you. You do what’s right no matter what ? I’m not an amazing writer and I suck at putting words together but when I saw ur post on insta I had to read it and I wanted to comment my thoughts ❤️?❤️

    1. blogilates says:

      Thank you for your words! And thank you for your support!

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