I must admit that I couldn't take Sharon Kinsella very seriously in the opening paragraphs of her article "Cuties in Japan." I mean could this lady really write a whole academic article about cuteness?! Throughout the article she discusses such things as cute handwriting and slang, cute consumer products, cute clothes, and even cute idols. It just seemed as though anyone who was considered kawaii pooped glitter and rainbows or something. However, when I reached the end of the article, I realized that this whole idea of cuteness is in fact a cultural phenomenon that affected a huge amount of Japanese youth. So many people embraced this kawaii culture, that you can even see many people in the U.S. mimicking these Japanese styles.
So how exactly can YOU be kawaii? There are million of articles on the internet which tell you how to change every aspect of your life in order to be one with kawaii culture. In fact, if you do a search on Google of the word kawaii, you get just over 7 million results. However, according to wikiHow, there are certain steps you must take in order to achieve ultimate "kawaii-ness." These steps include:
- Do not be afraid to stand out and be noticed. Don't worry about what people think of you.
- Layer well - this is important. Also, wacky patterns are super. Wear as many colors together as you want and don't care if your clothes clash.
- Wear bright colors. Smile and/or giggle lot. Wear pink a lot and wear cute characters on your clothes.
- Sport toys and/or bags with characters like Hello Kitty, Chococat, or My Melody. Anime characters can also be very kawaii.
- Style your hair like a manga character.
- Listen to J-Pop, Bubblegum Pop, and pop music.
- If you don't mind, keep a cute looking Tamagotchi with you all the time.
I totally failed this week for the Compact Challenge. It's Valentine's Day! I mean, it's not like I'm going to give used gifts, right? I don't mind thrift store shopping for myself, but I wouldn't want to receive a used shirt as a gift. Can't we get some sort of immunity for consumer holidays?
Jo Anne Lasola
"How to be Kawaii."
Sharon Kinsella. "Cuties in Japan." Class reader.