Monday, March 10, 2014

Blog #3

Michelle Tin

After the third week of the Be Green Challenge, I am still going strong. As expected, this challenge is no challenge at all when I am at school. The biggest expenditures have been on food and chinchilla supplies. I may long for clothes on Instagram and fashion blogs, but I shall save my shopping until after finals.

In "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion," Kawamura studies the social organization of Japanese street fashion and the influence of Japanese teens. Japanese fashion has inspired Western fashion designers for years, but who or what inspires Japanese fashion? Japanese street fashion is not trickling down from famous designers, but rather trickling up from high school girls. These young girls not only set the new trends, but also spread them to everyone else. Japanese fashion is heavily female-dominated and strives to appear as youthful as possible.

Known for wearing short plaid skirts and knee-high socks that resemble their school uniforms, they sometimes wear lots of makeup and fake tan. This led to the Ganguro subculture where girls have long light hair, tanned skin, and dress in bright clothing. Ganguro led to Amazonness, which was short and extreme. These looks later evolved into the modern trends like CosPlay, Gothic Lolita, and Lolita subcultures. These looks are far less outrageous, the last of these more cutesy. Rather than "black face," girls dress up as their favorite characters from manga or anime. Gothic Lolita is like the opposite of Ganguro, striving to be like Victorian dolls. Femininity is exaggerated, featuring pale skin, Victorian dresses, stockings, and neat hair. Different variations focus on monochromatic palette, pastel colors, leather and zippers, or almost all white. All of these Japanese fashion trends seem costume-like and can seem over-the-top to those not in the Japan fashion districts.

One example of Lolita fashion in America is Kalel Cullen from YouTube,, and Instagram. A young girl who is constantly inspired by Japanese fashion, she has integrated everything from CosPlay to Lolita trends into her style. This look is not as common in the United States, so Kalel receives thousands of messages of judgment and criticism online. In fact, so much hate that she posted a blog titled, "You are a canvas," where she tells her readers to dress how they please and do what they like that makes them happy rather than to please anyone else. While there may be backlash, Kalel does what she wants, and that's what all girls and guys should do.


Kawamura, Yuniya. "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion." Current Sociology 54.5 (2006): 784-801. Print.

Cullen, Kalel. Frilly and Fancy. 2014. . Web.

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