I thought I’d go ahead and write about a few things I’ve picked up since being here on one is deemed the most ‘attractive’ for women in Japan. Obviously, there are exceptions to what men (and women) find attractive and this is generally speaking, but on the whole, Japan still suffers from similar unattainable beauty ideal issues that we have in the West.
The first thing: body hair. I’ve mentioned before that the majority of girls here tend not to shave their junk (to do so is considered kind of weird, as I’ve understood it) and many don’t shave their legs either depending on how noticeable their hair is. However, arm hair is a huge turn off. A lot of girls actually shave their arms, apparently, and Japanese men that some of us have talked to about this kind of thing have expressed that they’re actually very put off by the arm hair of us gaijin women, even if it’s barely noticeable.
Secondly: skin colour. The sad truth is that skin products with bleaching chemicals in them are all over the place here because pale is what’s consider the most attractive when it comes to skin tone. Some of the folks in my dorm have apparently had a hard time finding moisturisers and face creams etc. that don’t whiten your skin. The paler you are, the prettier you are. When we were talking about it in class, my sensei pointed out that my skin is probably the ideal sort of colour, keeping in mind that I am actually a very pale white girl who gets what little colour she has from the oh so warm glow of her laptop screen. Dark skin, tans etc. are, generally speaking, not popular.
Size almost goes without saying. The most ‘attractive’ women tend to be very, very slim, small and dainty. I’m not sure what the verdict on big boobs and nice bums is, but I’ll post about it when I find out!
Oh, and fun fact, but I’ve been told that part of the reason that most girls keep their shoulders covered even during hot days is apparently because, historically, the back of the neck and shoulders was the most sensual part of a woman (hence why women traditionally wear their hair up in kimonos and have a make-upless arrow on the backs of their necks to accentuate them).
[Something about an event where they were giving out one copy per person…] I wrote my theme “成" for this year on a sheet of cardboard [the kind used for autographs and such] and gave it as a present, but I felt like it would be nice in a frame (^_^;) and I wanted it even though I wrote it!!
Writing with a loaded brush [??] gives a unique charm to it (^^)
That was kind of bad. :\ I like his little signature.
In class today, we were discussing how sometimes a song’s music gives you a completely different feeling from the lyrics. We listened to The Rainbow Connection (by Kermit the Frog!), a song in which the music and lyrics match in mood. Then we listened to a Beatles song and a Barenaked Ladies song, both of which were pretty upbeat but really disturbing when we actually read the lyrics. My classmate brought up that Pumped Up Kicks is another example, so we YouTubed it. Omg, I had no idea what that song was about! :o (I never really liked the song though, so this doesn’t change much.)
It’s okay to create a counter-hegemony. Stimulate other people’s minds by taking a stance for what you believe in, not what society tells you to believe. I know it’s sometimes easier to just go along with everyone else so you don’t have to explain how you really feel, but the only thing you’ll get out of it is regret.
I woke up late today because I had no idea what time it was. My mom flew in from Singapore today. Spent the whole afternoon watching movies (Battle: Los Angeles and Tron: Legacy). Kind of early dinner with the family. Bread was the best part, ngl. Not that the rest of it was bad or anything. :] Pumpkin pieee~
I haven’t done any work these past 2 days. >.< Never sure whether or not to be thankful for period.
Last night, I was excited for today because I kind of just excluded class in my mind.. Kanji quiz was fine, but getting my paper back and talking about speeches was kind of depressing. Especially when the professor had us listen to this high school girl who won a national and international Japanese speech contest. She was very enthusiastic, and she spoke very fast, and it was like she was telling a story rather than doing a speech.
Some times I actually do get inspired rather than discouraged by things so amazing. But I think more of the time I get discouraged. I realize it’s not a good mindset to have, but it’s hard to change. :\
I went up to the professor and asked her how I should fix my paper for the speech, and she went further than I expected, which was really nice. I felt bad though, because Haine also wanted to talk to her about her paper/speech, and there was a class right after ours. >.>; I have a better idea of how to do this now though. I can do this!
Just one more class to get through and then break~! Kanji quiz and talk about speeches. -_-
Discussion leader for HumCore didn’t come to class today. Instead we had a substitute. He was a really cool guy who doesn’t wear shoes. At the end of class, we finally asked him why. I thought it’d be some spiritual reason, but he said it’s just because he doesn’t like shoes and decided he didn’t really need them (except for sports and stuff like that). If I walked around everywhere without shoes, I know I’d suffer from arch pain and probably warts.
Went to Albertsons after class to buy something for the potluck tonight. I was very very tempted to buy a pumpkin pie, but I felt like someone would bring one (or at least I hope so!) so I chose apple strudel bites instead. There are only 18 though. I think I should’ve bought another box. :\
On the way back, I stopped at Cha for a hot green milk tea. I was actually trying to order a honey green milk tea, but I think the cashier didn’t hear the “honey” part. Oh well. Drinking it helped my sore throat anyway.
I bought Ping Pong. :p According to Amazon, it arrived at 11:33 this morning, which means the housing office is still sorting through the mail. I’ll check again on my way to the potluck tonight.
My discussion leader still hasn’t told us when our essays are due. Last week she just said that she’s going to have us email them to her on Monday night. @.@ I hope she doesn’t send out an email while I’m gone and then set the deadline really early. I won’t have time to finish..!
It seemed easier to fill up my character count last time. In general it was a lot easier to write the paper last time because I knew what I wanted to talk about, and it was just comparing & contrasting. This time it’s an opinion paper, and I guess I don’t know how I feel. Or, my opinion is too limited for even the minimum 1000 characters. I just need about 200 more. How to modify opinion/claim?! -__-
So stuck! I haven’t written anything in at least half an hour.
100 characters! ><
I finished around 8:20 and posted it on Lang-8. No corrections yet. This is probably because it’s Monday over there, and everyone’s either at work or at school. oTL