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Thursday, January 24, 2008


"Everybody wants to be a nigga, but no one wants to be a nigger."
-- Paul Mooney

Just when you thought you'd seen it all...

Japanese girls have always been on the cutting edge of fashion, but this is kinda nutty. The latest style...or, at least, the latest thing that we've seen (this has probably been around for a while) is known as Gyaru, which is translated to "gal" in English. Basically, it's young Japanese girls in black-face.

Now I'm sure most (Americans) people will see this and their heads will explode. Race, once again, is always a tricky subject in this country. Blackface does not have the same impact to us that it does in other countries. Ethnic face painting is done all over the world as "yellowface", "brownface", "redface", and "whiteface"/"paleface". Young Japanese people are seemingly fascinated with Black American culture, even going so far as to adopt nail and hair extensions, type of dress, language, etc. Just think, if you wanted to go as Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or (obscurity alert) Takeshi "Beat" Kitano for Halloween or any costumed event, would you do something to alter your hair or your eyes? Or your skin color?

Check out:
The Legacy of Blackface, from NPR.
White Students in Blackface Jena 6 Reenactment, from Smoking Gun.
Youtube compilation of black stereotypes in movies and cartoons.

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