Monday, October 14, 2013

Are You Objective?

With a lot of people paying attention to my words, I have to ask this: can you be objective when it comes to mass opinions? Can you honestly say you are not a Hello Kitty hardcore fan, who hates what I am stating about what others think as well? If it really offends what the mass think, why do you care? Don't blame me for what a lot of the population think about the preferred "style." 

Here's an example of a comment:

"I think everyone who talks about internalized misogyny needs to take more care in not making assumptions and giving so much agency to those who don't respect certain individuals for their style choices and stuff, especially if you are not in dialogue with the specific individual we happen to be analyzing."    Aw, someone reads my blog!  >.<

Plain and simple, get over it. Everyone has different taste preferences and are always going to not "respect" a set of group's style preferences. This isn't just about the designs on Sanrio merchandise. It's on all aspects of genres like for an example: the type of music that you like to listen to. If you think about it logically, it's human to dismiss something that you don't like. We have the right to feel that way. Let's face it, everyone "disrespects" a dislike in one way or another. These groups can argue till their faces turn blue, but reality is reality. Learn to adapt to the real world or be trampled. Too harsh? I am the type that is not going to pull my punches or my words. Or maybe the author below has a point... maybe because I'm too outspoken and female? Is that why the hate is supposedly justified towards me? Like it or not, I am the type that likes to discuss topics that don't have a black and white answer. My blog articles reflect what I want to be: A voice to those who are silenced.

I am not sure I fully agree with the author, but to have an objective mind, you have to hear all sides of the argument before choosing what you believe-- whether it's your own safe bubble world or reality of the masses.

For me personally, I don't believe Kawaii was started to intentionally silence a woman's strong opinions, but "kawaii" is ingrained into Asia's culture of "women can be seen, but cannot be heard" kind of thinking that sometimes it might be difficult to separate the two issues at hand. The author brings up an interesting point as how in the Eastern culture, most of "them" would like girls to stay young and innocent for life. I can't fully dismiss that perspective, because I feel it resonates the truth to a degree.

You can read the full article below or here.

East Asian Kawaii Culture Is Insidiously Anti-Woman

By Ashley Yang

A few days ago, a friend sent me a text message of a picture of a “stereotypical Asian girl,” one with long bangs and big glasses, wearing a fuzzy brown hat with bear ears on top and holding a pink phone with a giant plastic Hello Kitty figurine on the back. The caption to the photo was a simple, “why do they all look like this?”
Initially, I was taken aback. I felt uncomfortable with the fact that my friend believed that all East Asians could be tossed together under a single category of “they.” I also didn’t think that the tacky getup of the girl from the photo was at all an accurate depiction of the way “all Asian girls” dressed, and I was offended by my friend’s insinuation that I should be associated with this particular kind of style (or lack of). I immediately moved to create a mental barrier with this idea and wrote off her message as an inanely insensitive comment.
As I rifled through my pencil case in my next class, its contents suddenly reminded me of the photo and more specifically, of her Hello Kitty phone case. Although I’ve never had an affinity for wearing animal-inspired hats or Hello Kitty paraphernalia, through my high school years I was known to frequent Sanrio and walk out with a small stash of pens and notepads that showed designs of similarly adorable characters, such as Chococat or Cinamonroll, the white dog with bunny-like flapping ears. I loved everything in that store, because it was like an Asian Disneyland. The entire atmosphere was cute and fanciful, the outrageous looking animal characters with exaggerated, personified features looked down at me with unfiltered joy from every wall. But little by little, I began to view that entire theme as juvenile and left it behind for more “age-appropriate” interests.
But evidently, there are Asian girls who stuck with Hello Kitty, girls to whom kawaii culture resonated, even as they went off to college and entered adulthood. When I asked myself why many Asian girls, especially those in Asia, choose to be kawaii indefinitely, I realized that maybe it wasn’t as much a choice as it was socialization - kawaii might just be one of the many creatively veiled stooges of patriarchal propaganda. This one was wrapped in shiny pink paper, topped off with a really, really big bow. 
In Japanese, “kawaii” means “cute” or “adorable.” This may seem innocuous upon a cursory view, until you realize that kawaii is centered around an idea of style that is innocent, adorable, and strikingly child-like. Actual children possess those qualities by nature, but the exaggerated features that kawaii girls assume in order to appear artificially “cute” are highly theatrical and when taken up on a daily basis, silly. Silly girls can’t be taken seriously in a world of adults, and especially not by adult men. Being kawaii only gives a world already riddled with misogyny more justification to condescend to women, to tell us that we aren’t capable, rational, and powerful people because we don’t take ourselves seriously enough to look like adults. Although the girl herself might not be thinking this far when she carries a Hello Kitty iPhone or puts in her circle lenses, she is actually infantalizing and disenfranchising herself from her right to be an independent, respected individual. 
Kawaii also implies that it is a superior model of beauty because it is mutually exclusive with “sexy” and “glamorous.” This might initially seem like a positive shift for gender politics because of objectification of young women is such a pervasive issue, but kawaii attempts to separate “cute” from sexy by demanding that young women conceal the sexual dimension of their persona that undeniably emerges as part of adulthood in the costume of a child. However, a woman dressed like a child still has the physiological features of an adult - namely breasts and wider hips - that when combined with their appearance can directly contribute to the sexualization of children. The kawaii look wasn’t intended to be sexy, but it’s definitely fetishized, the most flagrant scenario being the “sexy schoolgirl” pornographic motif. At worst, it looks like role play, with men in a paternalistic position of dominator and women submitting to his desires. 
The very core of being kawaii is an air of everlasting youth and innocence. In promoting the superficial markers of both, the kawaii movement fails to acknowledge its role in perpetuating a culture that exalts youth above all the other qualities a woman can have, namely maturity and experience (for evidence, look at the “leftover woman” phobia sweeping China). This depreciates women’s value in an irredeemable way as a form of social control - youth is something that you can never get back, but society can watch as women continue to try, poring (pun intended) over skincare regimens and mutilating themselves with facelifts while losing their money and self-worth along the way. As a whole picture, kawaii isn’t really about being a sweet, nice girl. It’s about doing everything you can to stunt your growth to make sure that you always remain a girl.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hello Kitty World Game Introduction

To Visit Original Site where I blogged this journal entry, go here.
Published Date: 1/16/13

Before you read my blog, I have a wild active imagination, so proceed with caution. You've been warned once ;p
In the past 40 days since I begun the game, I just realized how real the Sanrio characters have become to me. It's like I've actually traveled to a whole different world. The virtual world is where these Kawaii creatures exist and live their days in a beautiful heaven of cuteness. Think of star shape lamp posts and kawaii trees that is made of candy! What a wonder it would be if you could walk down the path into this kawaii world. 

My Sanrio World is a place full of mystery. I've seen the strangest things in my virtual world that has made me laugh because the Sanrio world residents would act like large crowds of entourage, obsessively following their adored Sanrio mascot idol. If I didn't know any better, I would think a lot of them are just plain stalkers! Just look at them. They would giggle non-stop while pointing and staring at a Sanrio mascot, while having this creepy love-lorn expression on their faces. I swear I've seen a few of them stammer out love confessions, trembling from head to toe, while managing to kick other rival competitors down. These are not just ordinary stalkers that send jealous love notes, these are outta control obsessed Sanrio fans! This type of obsession makes me scared. They are like a trained self-disciplined secret social network.
Their goal? Why, naturally of course, to gain the love of their Sanrio mascot character. Not anyone can join this secret group. There is a hierarchy order to things that are required before you are given permission to enter their domain. Once granted access, a resident is given all access pass to the secrets of their Mascot character and the map of their icon's home. Not even kidding. Yes, a freaking map to everything inside a Sanrio Mascot's home, from the smallest detail of what colored designed teacups to a locked vault in their bedroom wall. Clinched the deal, huh?
To join, just find an obsessed stalker. You definitely can't miss them in the crowds of entourage trailing closely to a Sanrio mascot. They are dressed to the core of their favorite Mascot. From Mascot hats to carrying around Mascot dolls to show off their loyalty and representing their character fanbase.
A Sanrio mascot job in the Sanrio land is to greet and entertain the visitors. The more larger the entourage, the more likely you'll find a Sanrio Mascot Character nearby trying to steal their attention by putting on their powerful performances. Residents are often entertained with Mascots trying to compete with one another to show off their best power skill greeting.