Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kawaii: An Escape from "society"

The article "Cuties in Japan" written by Sharon Kinsella really open my knowledge into a different type of popular culture and learning more about Japan. I always see these "cuties" product everywhere but I simply thought of it as just hobbies. People just like to collect cute things and follow trends.
In America, Hello Kitty and products from Sanrio are one big hit toward American popular culture. As described in Kinsella's article, this popular style in Japan called Kawaii is a form of defiance as well as escaping the complication of adulthood. Kawaii also make the image of woman more visible.(Kinsella) It is quite a complicated situation. Kawaii somewhat portraying the stereotypes of passive, innocence, naive image of Japanese women. Yet on the other hand, it also signify the breakthrough of freedom of women to be what they want to be without the oppression of the society. But why do they need to escape? Isn't life always about these challenges that make you a better person in the future? Why are we human want to crawl back to the past. Aren't we suppose to move forward?

Kawaii not only populated in Japan, it like a virus that spreading worldwide. I recently came across an article called "
Crazy for cute: why adults love to act like children" by Christian Koch. The article giving us another spectrum of Kawaii style. In the article, Koch mention several successful brand also incorporating Kawaii styles to meet the popular demand of the comsumers, which signal the serious spread of Kawaii. (Koch) Kawaii also bring out creativity of the youth as well as bringing people with the same interest and ideas together. Koch also mention how many young artist become successful for creating their own style of Kawaii as an evolve of emos.The brand called Babycakes, created by22-year-old Paul Griffiths, become very popular in UK.(Koch) Apparently, Kawaii is more safe to practice than cutting themselves as defiance to the oppressive society and is a more "chirpier option". I guess this Kawaii ideas can be a move-forward movement. It weird how popular culture just keep bringing the past back into our present.
I just think that people should not use these materialistic excuse to spend money. Apparently, Kawaii is very expensive. They spending money as an act of relaxation, escape from the difficulties in life. If they are to take no the Compact Challenge, I bet that they couldn't last one day if you take them into a Sanrio store.

For my part of the Compact Challenge, I think I am doing pretty fine on it. Though, I spend some money for a Valentine's present and it food (chocolate). I hope this qualify as the food category. Though I do not like the Compact Challenge, but it slowly taking over part of my life. Every time i spend money, it make me think twice before spending anything. I think this project will hunt me FOREVER.

Tu Le
Blog #7


Kinsella, Sharon. "Cuties in Japan." Women, Media and Consumption in Japan. Brian Moeran and Lise Scov eds. Curzon & Hawaii University Press, 1995. Print.

Online News Article:

Koch, Christian. "Crazy for cute: why adults love to act like children." London Evening Standard 18 Jan 2010: n. pag. Web. 14 Feb 2010. .

hello kitty toilet

hello kitty toaster

cuties bag:

1 comment:

be green 101 said...

my sister has that toaster haha