Saturday, November 19, 2011

B- Lifestyle in Japan

I just read a fascinating article on Clutch Magazine called "B-Style: Japanese Youth Reject Convention in the Pursuit of Blackness". You must watch the video below!

Here are my thoughts about the article and video:

  1. It makes me happy to know that some people think Black women are so beautiful that they want to look like us. In Japanese society (and many others) where pale skin is the epitome of beauty, some people think dark skin is more attractive and healthier looking. It was amazing watching the video and hearing the women say that Black women looked so good and cute. The B-style women use dark tanning just like light-skinned women in North America who tan and prefer their skin to be dark (just not as dark). They also like Afro-textured hair and braids (unlike some men over here). I didn't hear any of the women saying the Black women looked hard or unfeminine, they think the Black women look beautiful, cute, and pretty and that our styles look good. 
  2. I think that the Japanese women wearing the styles are still cute but it does make them look harder than the kawaii girls (I'm not a fan of the piercings). But they still look feminine don't they? Would a Black woman dressed the same way still appear cute? I did notice the women in the video were smiling a lot so maybe that's the difference. It didn't seem like they were swearing or speaking in a harsh, masculine manner either. Wearing hip hop fashion is not the same as acting ghetto and hard. Wear it, don't be it.
  3. I wish they would not use tanning beds. I just can't cosign anyone trying to look Black if it would endanger their health. Self-tanners are the best option. It would be horrible if some of these women ended up with skin cancer in 20 years because of a fashion trend they liked when they were young and innocent. Are they doing blackface? I don't think that is their intention and it's different from White American kids having those offensive hip hop costume parties. The people at those parties were making fun of Black people not appreciating them. They were putting on costumes not embracing a fashion trend. Tanning beds exist to make skin dark, the Japanese are just going extra dark. Now if they started painting their lips white and putting on Amos and Andy routines that would be another story!
  4. I wish that people around the world did not think that hip hop culture was synonymous with "Black culture". I cringed when I saw the women watching 50cent's Candy Shop video. Do they even understand his degrading lyrics? Are they pumping more money into the rap industry that actually degrades all Black people? I think they just like the beats (as do I), don't understand the lyrics, have never lived the dangerous street lifestyle (most of us haven't), and just like the fashion. I can't fault them for that because the hip hop industry likes it that way and goes to great lengths to promote it as the only   "authentic Blackness" today, even for other Black people! I hope that they don't start accepting the degradation of women, using the n-word, and thinking drug dealing and gangs are cool. I want Black people to stop liking those things and it would be better if the Japanese did not embrace those things either. Am I offended by it? No. They have been sold a commercialized music/fashion style just like everyone else. I think that fashion is fashion. I like Japanese fashion and prefer kawaii to hip hop fashion :)
  5. Someone commented that they thought that some Black men would prefer an Asian woman acting Black to an actual Black woman. I wouldn't be surprised if that was true, even if the woman had a bad attitude and was a golddigger. Anyone who excuses the same behaviour in one person or "race" over another just has a preference for that person or "race" period.
  6. It was interesting hearing the comments of the B-girl's mother. The mother said that the girl was in school and healthy so the unusual fashion was okay. She knew that when her daughter got older she would give that all up and dress in a mature manner. That's exactly what Black people have to do! You have to put that aside after a while and grow up, tone things down, speak properly, and live a respectable (non-criminal) life. For some reason, young Black people are so immersed in hip hop culture they can't act in any other way. It's just a fashion, not an inherent part of your personality or DNA as a Black person. Giving it up or never liking it in the first place does not mean you are not Black.
  7. I didn't like Dime Wars' spin on the video. They entitled their article "Dang! When Black Women are Trying so Hard to Not Look Like Themselves, Japanese Women are Trying to Look Like Them". What a backhanded compliment! Instead of just looking at it as an appreciation of Black women, the writer had to criticize Black women for wearing hair extensions. While there are some Black men who like our style there are many others who hate it. You can't please everyone nor should you bother trying. I bet if the Japanese women started wearing wigs and hair extensions (they already do actually) they would be given a pass because they have long straight hair underneath. It takes a real talent (sarcasm) to turn that video into a criticism of Black women.
NajaBarbie (MUTE your computer if you are at work :) Take a look at the photos. Do Black women look cute when the wear the same things? Is there a difference? Honestly, maybe it's because they're thin so the clothes look better on them the way high fashion is made for skinny models. Clothes just don't look as good if you are bigger. Is that it? Plus, a lot of them are smiling.)
Tokyo Ms. Kicks (Wow! You have to see this blog!!!)
Gyaru Gal Styles
BGal tumbler (photos!)
Surprisingly there are many blogs by Black women and White women who love this stuff!
B-Gyaru Love (view this on mute because music is horrible)
Tokyo Sera Toujours Tokyo
Top 15 Japanese Fashion Styles (yeah, they had a style called blackface...not sure if it had to do with Black people though)
B-Gyaru and Rasta (speechless...look at the hair!)

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