#9: Modern Fashion

Well, I only own about six pairs of pants, and most of those aren’t even in regular circulation, so I don’t guess I’m the authority to go to on fashion. But come on. If you hurl a big bucket of puke at a guy walking down the street, he doesn’t have to be some world class food critic to know it’s foul.

Japan often prides itself on its flourishing fashion industry, which the outside world also thoroughly acknowledges, and indeed it is this pride that has managed to trickle down to even the most blockheaded, teenaged lump of apathy living in a dilapidated village near you (or me, rather), causing him to do elaborate things to his hair that American men had both started and stopped doing in that neon, cocaine-sprinkled string of terrible decisions known as the Eighties.

Now, I don’t live in Tokyo, or any big city for that matter, so I know I’m missing out on all sorts of horrific grotesqueries, but let me paint you a picture. Imagine the most metrosexual and/or emophilic man you’ve ever seen. Does he go to tanning salons? If the answer is “no”, pretend he does. Now imagine he has a sex change. Now, although it’s not exactly a fashion statement, imagine he treats both his mother and his girlfriend like shit, just as a bonus. What you’ve just produced is an image of the typical confident, (allegedly) attractive, young Japanese man. Again, if you dare, Exhibits A and B. Did I mention mullets are all the rage here? Yes, these photographs are an accurate representation of what I see in real life reality, for some reason.

The natural female counterpart to these female imitators is the “gyaru”, which is how the Japanese say “gal”, which in Japanese means a Japanese girl who is also a shallow, Californian white girl. Think Paris Hilton, except that instead of being born rich, they just leech off their male counterparts in exchange for sex or through devious mental manipulation. Before I proceed with a tirade on how I hate that they call themselves “gals”, and the word “gals” in general, let me jerk myself back on track and just complain that they’ve latched onto the most hated type of American there is and made a highly salable fashion statement out of it.

And therein lies the problem. The most “in” people over here are those who imitate two of the most arbitrary, hideous things you could think of–Valley girls and Rod Stewart.

Young people see me at the train station, with my lack of a perm or any loud accessories and my straight teeth, and they scoff at me. They laugh in my face. And you know something? It’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.