Sunday, May 10, 2009

Be Cute for Less

It is my fourth week into the challenge. Last week, I gave into consumerism by buying a pair of fake pearl earrings to replace the ones that I had lost. Shame on me, right? Lol. I couldn’t help it though. After not swiping my Hello Kitty debit card for almost three complete weeks, my urge to spend was as high as the Eiffel Tower. I know it is a lame excuse, but I am not going to put myself down that hard. I have two more weeks until I complete the challenge. Although I have already failed, I still intend to try to live by standards of the Compact Challenge for the remaining time.

In this week’s reading “Cuties in Japan,” Sharon Kinsella describes the kawaii style in Japan. The kawaii style is defined as “cute” and “childlike” (220). After reading this article, I became interested in seeing what the actual style looked like through clothes and accessories, and so I decided to look it up. In my opinion, some of the kawaii stuff that I saw were way out of my league. A.) I wouldn’t be able to pull such outfits off. B.) There is no way I am wearing Pikachu or something like that on me. And C.) I feel that if I wore something like the picture on the left (at the age of twenty), NO ONE would take me seriously. Japanese cute fashion wants its followers to take “a sentimental journey back into idealized childhood” (241). But why would someone like me, who is already often seen as a juvenile, want to be perceived as a child more? On the other hand, I must admit that the other outfits that I saw of the kawaii fashion were cute. Seeing them sparked my interest to go shopping. I was about to shop online. But then I remembered the Compact Challenge. Buying several pieces of clothing would make me give into consumerism more, and it would definitely leave my bank account empty. As a result, I came up with different ways to get my own version of the kawaii fashion. Even though my methods won’t produce similar outfits (or anywhere close) to the kawaii fashion that I saw and liked, they will give hints of “cute” (243).

Method 1- Reuse whatever I still have.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I still have things from my youth. For i
nstance, I still have my bracelets and hairclips that I use to wear when I was about five to eight years old. Why go through the “consumption of cute goods with cute appearances” when I already have the stuff? Also, what’s even better about reusing the things that I have from my youth is that they each have a meaning. Also in the article, it mentions the emergence of Sanrio and its production of cute paraphernalia. I have a lot of Hello Kitty items such as a watch, necklaces, bags, and shirts. (And yes! I mentioned that I had a Hello Kitty debit card earlier. I really do!) To create that kawaii-ish look, I can use these items as well.

Method 2- Make my own cute things.
My sewing skills are not sufficient enough to make anything really. So making cute garments is not really an option for me unless I took “x” hours to learn and practice. That’s too risky though with midterms, finals, and research projects coming around the corner. What I can make though and know how to do (if I have time) is make “cute designs on previously plain writing paper and stationary" (225). Although clothes and paper are at different ends, for me to draw on plain paper, I can still create the same kawaii style that I am trying to achieve with my clothes and accessories. I have done this before with materials I had laying around the house. It didn’t cost me anything. Plus I had some good quiet time to myself while I drew, cut, colored, etc.

Method 3- Color Choice
In “Changing the Habits of a Lifetime: The Adaptation of Hejazi Dress to the New Social Order,” Mai Yamani talks about how “colours are significant” in Hejazi dress (61). For instance, unmarried woman didn’t wear black because it was seen as “to heavy” on them (61). According to this website that I was looking at, “Pink is a color used extensively in the cosmetics and toy industry. They promote feelings of happiness, romance, and spirited youth.” If this is the case, wouldn’t it be more convenient for me to just look for pink items (or other items with other youthful colors) that I already have?

Method 4- Hairstyle
Do pigtails ring a bell? And what about those butterfly hair clips that I have from the late 1990’s? I can use them alongside pigtails! That won’t cost me anything!

Overall, these methods will help me to achieve that “cute appearance” (245) that Kinsella mentions in her article while still following rules of the Compact Challenge.

PS: After rereading my blog to check for errors, I want to say that I am tired of the word “cute.” I have mentioned that word at least once in each paragraph. Because of that, I now have the color pink inside of my head as well as flowers, rainbows, and puffy dresses. (Random, right?) It’s really disturbing me. Lol. As a result, I don’t think I will be planning to go anywhere near the kawaii style anytime soon.

Sharon Kinsella’s “Cuties in Japan”
Mai Yamani’s “Chaig the Habits of a Lifetime: The Adaptation of Hejazi Dress to the New Social Order”

No comments: