Meenakshi Gigi Durham. “Displaced Persons: Symbols of South Asian Femininity and the Returned Gaze in U.S. Media Culture.” Reader.
Macias and Evers. “Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno.” Profile images. Reader.
I am now in the fifth week of the compact challenge and I have not purchased anything. I have a few friends that work at GAP and this week they gave me a 30% coupon applicable for all purchases at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap Outlet, and Banana Republic Factory Store in-store. Although, I was tempted to go to the store and use the coupon, I refrained myself from going to the malls and outlets. In order to entice my curiosity, I went online to look at the clothing selections and the sales. Although I had the option of using the coupon and purchasing clothes online, I do not like to pay additional money for shipping. In addition, I like to try on the clothes before I purchase them to ensure a nice fit. By shopping online, this process is prohibited. I am very confident that I will complete the compact challenge and save money even with temptations such as coupons and online shopping.
The article, “Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno,” accuses Japanese girls of being unoriginal and thieves of fashion. They do not have fashion sense and are constantly stealing and mimicking looks from biker gangs, school girl uniforms, gonguros, anime, and celebrities to dress themselves with. However, I do not think this is true, and acknowledge that fashion is created in Asian countries like Japan. It is the westerners and for lack of better words white people who steal ethnic fashion styles and propel them into the public eye and media. The article, “Displaced Persons: Symbols of South Asian Femininity and the Returned Gaze in U.S. Media Culture,” simply displays fashion as a temporary entertainment for American consumption and fads. These trends and styles are easily adopted and discarded without taking consideration of its origin and meaning. All the styles that are stolen from ethnic people are used to popularize and sexualize the American White body, and compensates the ethnically Asian or yellow body. Lady Gaga is the epitome of Japanese fashion. Her British designer, Alexander McQueen, is noticed for his dramatic, deviant, and sexualized clothing. He has won designer of the year four times and used the style of avant garde to receive widespread commercial consumerism, success, and appeal. In his latest design for Lady Gaga, her album cover, “Dance in the Dark,” relied heavily on leather, latex, and vinyl material to create clothing for her cover. The jewel incrusted dress she wears looks very similar to the Asian pop star group, The Wondergirls, except that it is on a white body. In addition, the dress that is later featured on a cover is of Lady Gaga wearing a gold and sparkle origami dress that has overlarge exaggerations of the critical points on the body such as the waist, shoulder, elbows, and ankles. This Japanese inspired dress is a replication of a traditional origami dress that fits tightly on the body and exposes the natural and voluptuous curves of the body. By concealing the body with more fabric and using dramatic exaggerations to enhance the body, McQueen achieves the same affect like the traditional origami dress that shows elegance, beauty, and sophistication. What looks like his creation is really a Japanese design. This concealing of origin is the reason why people believe that Lady Gaga’s wardrobe is authentically American inspired when it is actually Japanese and more so Asian influenced. A new and upcoming artist named Kaci Battaglia has used Lady Gaga’s stylistic pieces in her video called “Body Shot.” This spread of fashion from one white artist/celebrity to the next slowly blurs and discredits Asian fashion and their creative talents. By tracing pop culture, one can find these strong connections back to the homeland.