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The Ambassadors of Cute

cute1.jpg

Have things gotten so bad that a country needs to promote its "cute culture" as a tourist attraction?

Or is this just a novel PR exercise exploiting a long-running, beloved craze?

Actually, it's a way for a country to gain "soft power" and stay relevant in a world where their rivals have the advantage economically and militarily.

Yes, it's true - Japan's new Ambassadors of Cute are mainly here to raise Japans profile and combat the threat of China.

These 3 ladies represent an effort to get the world to notice and love Japanese culture. By embracing Kawaii, or cute culture, we then will help Japan gain power in a world which is being increasingly dominated by their neighbors, China.

So take that mainland communists with your economic might and Jackie Chan martial arts! It's Hello Kitty to the rescue - cuteness beats bullets!
cute2.jpg
Japan's new Ambassadors of Cute are inspired by "anime" films and "manga" cartoon books.

Shizuka Fujioka dresses as a schoolgirl, Misako Aoki, a Victorian doll in voluminous frilly skirts and Yu Kimura is a singer dressed in a polka dot shirt with a bunny print, offset by bouffant back-combed hair. Her look has made her "a fashion leader in Tokyo teens' favorite haunt, Harajuku."

In a related note, the Chinese companies that make the anime figurines, DVDs and clothing are hoping this news makes for a banner sales year.

You can explore more Cuteness here.

found via Reuters

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20 Comments

If they really want these girls to be famous, they should start a pop band and have the Victorian Dress girl (Posh-u-san) marry a famous footballer.

The one in the middle could be Scary. (Well, she is scary, but you know what I mean.)

Seriously though.... Does anyone here think they're cute? Doable even?

I mean, once you get over the mental guilt of thinking you're just a closeted pedophile for even contemplating sexual liaisons with these three 19 year old girls, is there anything stirred within your loins that makes you want to tie them to a bed and put the "Guy" back into Gaijin? Would you be buying their used panties out of a machine in the hotel lobby? (And don't say that latent pedophilia isn't at the root of all of this. The "Blond" one wears a pendant that says "Lolita" on it.)

Hey Japan, news flash: We have a word for people over here who dress like cartoon characters... Losers. We send people with puppet dogs to ridicule them.

And their culture? Schoolgirl outfit (Western), Victorian Getup (Western), and Polka Dot skirt with blond buffont? Western! All they've done is repackaged our own culture. And none of these kawaii girls is exactly Jane Mansfield.

So, what you have is three flat chested loser girls who like to dress like Sailor Moon. I am not impressed. If this is the best that Japanese culture has to offer (which I know it isn't) I'll pass.


Now that's a cultural ambassador.

said LostInDaJungle on March 12, 2009 3:38 PM.

Darn it, my Image URL went away...

http://fliiby.com/images/_original/i3p640c10p.jpg

said LostInDaJungle on March 12, 2009 3:39 PM.

I was thinking the same thing, LiDJ. They look like Japanese RealDoll rejects ready for shipment to nerds everywhere directly from the Tokyo factory clearance bin.

said Tim on March 12, 2009 4:26 PM.

damn LiDJ you just said about anything and everything anyone can say about this.

/applause

said Jimbo on March 12, 2009 4:37 PM.

I think cute refers to their outfits, as well as their head shots.

Oh well, what more can we say about this other than....Cultural FAIL!

said Baierman on March 12, 2009 5:00 PM.

I know a cute Japanese girl just by looking at her shadow on the floor, and those are not...

Maybe that one in the right side, but in another set of clothes and without the "me retard... love me" look in her face. And the one in the left is "doable".

LiDJ, I couldn't say it better...

said Leonardo Carvalho on March 13, 2009 8:15 AM.

Sorry to burst your bubble boys, but these girls aren't tying to be sexy or make you want to "do" them. That's what its called cute culture, not slut culture (that would be America). Anyway, it's mainly their fashion rather than their bodies that is supposed to be cute.

That's not to say the cute culture isn't weird. Of course its weird to us. We're not Japanese or in Japan. As the article points out though, they are popular over there. It's pretty narrow-minded to criticize them as losers, since you are using completely different cultural standards than they are.

said Passersby on March 13, 2009 12:30 PM.

Let me take a guess...These are all comments posted by men. As otaku as most of you seem, none of you seem to know about young Japanese female culture such as gothic lolitas, ama lolitas or decora. "Cute" has nothing to do with making men's penises happy!

said Kampai on March 13, 2009 1:03 PM.

Passerby, I'm not mislead to the point of thinking they literally want me to do them. I know wtf is the cute culture, and I know that it's as futile and idiot as any other teenager movement or all those 'love our country' campaigns.

By Japanese standards, they are dressed cutely, but for me, the message is: "We wear like weirdos. We're from the special ed class, so love us".

Just like the trance/rave/clubber fashion, the emos, the gangstas, the overdressed punks and headbangers... it's a dresscode between them, make sense to them and they try to pass it on. Believe me, I've been there with the punks.

If you forgot wearing your sarcasm interpreter when you woke up this morning, you should better stay away from the internet... not everything said here is to be taken literally. Have you noticed that this is a humour blog? Where you may or may not find jokes about what people are doing around?

And do you really, really think that all the girls who dress cute are only thinking about look like a porcelain doll? Don't you ever thought they might be trying to pass a message like: "Hey, I look cute and innocent but there's a flame starting inside of me. I'll tease you until the breaking point and then I'll run away, leaving you with your blue balls, because I'm a bluff." Ok, not all of them will run away, but most them will.

said Leonardo Carvalho on March 13, 2009 1:13 PM.

Bullshit. Ugly in the face will always trump even the cutest of outfits.

You can't have a fugly cute girl. Ugly in the face is universal.

said Tim on March 13, 2009 1:14 PM.

Too much testosterone in here. So many otaku in one room.

said Kampai on March 13, 2009 1:25 PM.

Leonardo, sounds like you've been burned by the Kawaii girls before.

said A Nony Mouse on March 13, 2009 2:18 PM.

No A Noni Mouse... not by a kawaii girl... there was no such thing back then...

I just think it's stupid. Period.

Tim, it's a new classification: kawaii-ugly, or kugly.

said Leonardo Carvalho on March 13, 2009 2:51 PM.

Kampai... I'm not thinking with my penis... And a cute/goth/ama lolita is something that is far down in my penis happiness scale.
I prefer someone who looks more like a woman than a doll.

said Leonardo Carvalho on March 13, 2009 2:56 PM.

As far as cute goes, I like Hello Kitty.

said E on March 13, 2009 3:05 PM.

E, you sick bastard. That's some funny shit.

said Tim on March 13, 2009 8:38 PM.

Sounds like something dumb and sexist enough to come out of Japan, a country that strives to infantalize women so they'll be less threatening. Chicks without integrity, from any country, are a major turn off to me.

said gladeye on March 14, 2009 10:31 PM.

Cute stuff is awesome, no doubt. I'm a girl I like that kinda thing sometimes too. Everyone has their own very valid & relevant point of view. BUT..... BUT!!! I'm freaking tired of fan girls who advocate to the death the Eastern wave +cutesiness and all that come along with it & who talk crap on the West. Stop with your holier than thou B.S. America = sex, sluts ??? For real ? What about the Anime skankass whores with ludicrously exaggerated bodies??!! Nothing but, disgraceful little pleasure toys for socially/ testosterone challenged “men”. Yea she get's to be a heroine, too bad she also has to be a scantly clad, hormone overload- gone wrong- freak in order to be recognized. What? That’s not everyone in the East? It’s so not what the cutesy look is about? But that is the really popular , widely advertised culture we know. See how it doesn’t work for that kind of logic to be applied to either culture. Not all us Western women advocate the skanky look , so don’t lump us together . That’s so stupidly ignorant. Cute is fun, but acting “cute” to the point where you just look super fake, brainless & ditsy is so NOT. And don't EVEN front! You know that the “look” comes along with a certain “character”(cute voice, certain look on face especially eyes, mannerisms) you must play. So there is that supporting substantiation to be against “Cute Culture”. Let me tell you , there are other cultures in the West other than the “skanky” one you know. Even though you may not recognize them : Girl power Culture, Socially Conscious Women Culture , Progression of Women Culture. Last but not least in the West INDIVIDUALITY is an integral part of our culture which is more than can be said about other countries.

said UPDOWNLEFTRIGHTUDON'TKNOW on July 31, 2009 9:34 PM.

I'll have what she's having.

said Tim on July 31, 2009 9:54 PM.

Mum, I told you before not to comment on my blog.

said Scaramouch on July 31, 2009 11:38 PM.
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