Wednesday, April 25, 2012

pools of brown and seas of red, and demons in your pocket (part I)

This is so wrong...but funny.

Speaking of wrong...and unfortunately, not funny...I went to the Kawaii Fair...this was a catastrophic mistake.

First, since people seem to be getting this wrong right and left, let me explain what the term kawaii means. Obviously, large numbers of designers in this fair lost comprehension points when putting together their offerings.
Kawaii (/kəˈwʌɪ/): adorable, cute, acceptably loveable
Obviously there are nuances lost in translation, but essentially, it started out as an underground youth culture movement that pulled on historical references from plays and stories, which then became a way to imitate youth culture for adults, which--some things being very cyclical in Japan--slowly grew on the youth culture itself. At this point, kawaii characters, writing, and descriptions are used for marketing everything from food and drink products to pop bands.

Now, kawaii started as a definition of a younger female, almost pitiful, but also precious; it was a way to refer to docile young things with high voices. Then, in the 1970s, the impression of "delicately refined, frail, and docile" made way for larger term-sets, like "cute", "neat", "adorable", "non-threatening", and "charming". Sanrio arose out of the early 1970s, as a way for the Yamanashi Silk Company to make more profits by moving from kimono textile manufacture to casual rubber sandals. In 1973, the company began hiring cartoonists to invent cute little characters that would go on adventures with the product line. (No, seriously, that's what happened.)

(from the bizarre album)

Hello Kitty? She's kawaii. Do we get the concept?

(from the bizarre album. Seriously, though, I shouldn't expect much from a company
called "Sexy Bish" that sells zero menswear for bish guys.)

This is pin-up territory, not OMG-it's-so-cute-I-could-DIIIIE fashion. The hell. It even SAYS it's vintage pin-up wear!

(from the bizarre album)

All right, people. Just because it's pink doesn't make it kawaii. Are you kidding me?!?

(from the bizarre album)

Yeah, slap a cupcake on it, that makes it kawaii...

See, the problem for me with a lot of these, is that--taken on their own merits--many of these aren't terrible fashions. Many of them are skewed towards showing cleavage, as if showing that much cleavage is the only way for a female avatar on SL to gain self-worth, but they're not bad, per se.

But they're far, far, far from kawaii.

(from the bizarre album)

Same thing with the ice cream cone motif. Oh but wait, this one comes with a shoulder star! That makes it kawaii, right? Pfffffft.

(from the bizarre album)

Let me guess. The polka dots make porn star heels adorable beyond all reason? Because otherwise, I see no reason these should be at the Kawaii Fair.

These are kawaii shoes. So are these. And these. Do I need to continue?

(from the bizarre album)

No words, No, wait, I have words. No kawaii outfit should ever be cut that low. Period. Why, people? Why would that appeal to individuals who want to go for the sweet/cute, innocent/charming kawaii look? I mean, the pattern's pretty for slutwear, but hello, that is slutwear, people.
.
(from the bizarre album)

I see two groups of streetwalkers, Daddy's li'l bratling, and "I found her behind the dumpster, boss--what do I do with her?" When did "whore couture" become crossed with frills and lace and plushies??

There are kawaii tattoos. These aren't them..

(from the bizarre album)

Your guess is as good as mine as to what makes either of these pose sets fit the theme. If we're to take these images literally, one's designed for sex blogs, and the other one's designed to be used when your pants are pulled down? Am I the only one who's thinking that this drives right over the ageplay line, considering the meaning of kawaii?

(from the bizarre album)

I know "cute" is in the eye of the beholder, but these...I just don't get it. And again, let me be clear--these aren't bad hairstyles. I'm not entirely sure why the mouthful of melted rainbows was shot with the hair, but they aren't bad styles.
But they're not kawaii, and the blow-up doll face isn't helping.

(from the bizarre album)

*facepalms* Slutwear and a collar hung with razorblades. Sure you do. Because that's what every girl on the grid with a plushie wants to wear.

And splitting this into two parts due to length, so pick up the second part here.

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