Monday, June 1, 2009
Reclamation of Youth
As a child, every minute of every day seems incredibly long. All you want to do is what the older kids get to do. You look at adults and see their privilege and begin to wish that you had a job, that you could cross the street to see your friends, and that you didn’t have homework all the time. As you get older, time just goes by faster. But once you realize that you want time to slow down, it only goes by faster.
With the end of another school year looming ahead, all of these realizations come rushing to my head as I try to figure out where the past three years have gone. Every year of college goes by so quickly. It's no wonder that people try so hard to reclaim their youth. This is especially apparent in Japan and the rise of “cute fashion” (Kinsella 225). Sanrio, which began in 1971, started becoming extremely popular with girls and women in Japan. It primarily produced “fancy goods”, which sold “stationary, cuddly toys and gimmicks, toiletries, lunch boxes, and cutlery, bags, towels, and other personal paraphernalia” (Kinsella 226). This trend has carried over into American fashion, as celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, have popularized Sanrio, particularly Hello Kitty.
Sanrio is a way for aging youth to reclaim their younger days. I am one of these aging youth, trying to hold on to every bit of my childhood, even though I took it for granted when I was younger. Buying Sanrio makes me feel like I can reconnect with my younger years … all part of the consumerist culture. I can’t fully reclaim my youth by spending money, but I can pretend!
However, it’s time to slowly move on. Thanks to remembering the compact challenge, I have yet to give in to Sanrio’s ploy to make me believe that I can reclaim my youth. :P But I won’t say that it hasn’t been difficult.
1. Kinsella, Sharon. "Cuties in Japan".