Exploitation of Little Girls

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    Mrs.Takagi
    #1 Takagi Princess

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    Women in Asian Media. . .WTF?

    Post by Mrs.Takagi on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:05 am

    Yo!

    I decided to give the "Twins Appreciation" thread a little break and post my own topic. It's really just a last minute choice. . .I was bored and suddenly had the urge to start this rant I've been meaning to post online, but I couldn't figure out where I should put it. . .

    So I figured the "Off Topic" page on this forum was as good as any place Razz

    Buckle up kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride! (Please ignore any typos or grammar mistakes, I tend to make errors when I'm typing fast.)

    Okay, so. . .

    Over the past 2-3 years, I've totally been throwing myself into Japanese and Korean dramas and comedies, mostly because American TV just (pardon my French) sucks big time.


    I like Asian dramas because 1) I'm teaching myself Japanese and Korean right now for personal reasons, so listening to the language being spoken along with having the subtitles is really helpful, 2) Asian guys are goregous and 3) humor is done slightly differently in Asian culture (for example, I noticed that puns and wordplay are used more often than sarcasm in a lot of comedies).


    But the one major thing that I've noticed with Asian dramas that I DON'T like is the portrayal of female characters. Similar to my frustration with women in Western media always being used as sex symbols, I've noticed that in very many of the Korean and Japanese dramas I've watched, girls and young women are often depicted as being:


    -weak and helpless

    -very naive and simple-minded

    -super cutesy and girly (even if they're supposed to be over the age of 25)

    -having unnecessarly high pitched, squeaky voices

    -unable to speak up or think for themselves

    -overly emotional

    -no real edge to them whatsoever


    Basically all the stereotypes that many Westerners associate with Asian women. Now out of the 20 some Asian dramas I've watched over the years, I'd say only 3-4 of them contained women who didn't fall into this category in some way.


    And something else that I just thought about today that is way too common in Asian dramas. . .no diversity or variations in body types when it comes to the female actresses.

    Now maybe I just haven't done enough research in this area, but compared to places like Japan and Korea, Western countries seem to do a better job of recognizing the various shapes of the female form (definitely not a perfect job, but still better).

    At first I just assumed that it was because of the fact that most East Asian women already have slim and petite figures. But then while surfing the net one day, I came upon "gravure idols", which are basically women over the age of 13 who do maybe a little bit of acting and singing here and there but make most of their money off of posing half naked in swimsuits and their underwear.


    What I immediately picked up on was obvious fact that most of these gravure idols were more "curvy" and "endowed" than the typical Japanese actress (wide hips, round bottom, thicker thighs, fuller chest, etc) It may just all be in my head, but what I picked up from the pictures and comments people left was the idea that smaller and petite women had a better chance of becoming a real actress. and as for any girl/woman who had anything larger than a B-cup and couldn't fit into a size 6 or lower. . .her only option was to be "idol eyecandy" because being a real actress was out of the question. . .


    If it is in fact true, I find that TOTALLY unfair!! Mad

    Now let's just say for the sake of argument that a particular woman in this field doesn't mind that her only job is showing off her body. . .fine, whatever, as long as she's happy. But what if there was another young lady who really wanted to be an actress, singer/dancer, and had the talent but had a fuller figure compared to the other girls she was auditioning with. . .does that mean that she will automatically be excluded from getting a real acting job, solely because of her "unique" figure?

    It's the same with music groups as well; lately most of the female pop artists and idols groups in Japan and Korea do 10% actually advertising their ability to sing and dance (if they actually CAN sing and dance) and 90% of the time, they're promoting their image. I don't want to name any specific artists just in case they have some fans on this site). But for proof, all you need to do is look up their videos on youtube and look at the comment section; fans spend more time talking about how "sexy", "pretty" or "hot" the performers are, you'll hardly ever see a comment on their singing and dancing.

    Spoiler:
    Perfect example, Korean group "Big Mama" who got their name because they are considered to be heavier than the ideal body type of Korean women (although I think here in America, they'd be considered average at best).

    They're probably the best female singers out of Korea I've ever heard, but because they don't fit the ideal physically, they don't get as much attention or as large of a fanbase as the other idol groups, as this video shows.



    Now that I think about it, this trend has also come apparent in the American music market as well. Again, I'm not naming names but there are a lot of popular artists here right now who I wouldn't pay one cent to see live in concert.

    I dunno. . .I guess that's all I have to say on the matter. Like I said, I could be wrong, but this is just how I feel.

    I'll shut up now LOL

    I'd like to hear what you guys have to say on the subject.

    Peace! Cool


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    Laila007
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Laila007 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:27 pm

    wow i like this post alot! i couldn't agree with you more about how women are portrayed in japanese and in korean dramas. and the amount of products and things they are in japan and korea for beauty and things is sad. and i know that there are some asian ppl who like women were are meatier like one of my korean singer's rain (guy in my siggy) and i know there are soo many girls who do drastic dieting to loose weight especially in korea. as for music videos it's the same idea like you said and i read it too.

    but you have to think that countries like these don't want to or are not able to be exposed to different things so they can get a more well rounded idea on how ppl can be and stuff but i think it's slowly start to change. i just read an article about some korean singers supposedly saying she gained weight and alot ppl said she looked good anyway and that the ppl who wrote the article should get a life. so i think slowly there may be a change but i also know that in japan women are becoming much smarter and want to be more independent so even if dramas are portraying them one way i think in reality it's much different.
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    Mrs.Takagi
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Mrs.Takagi on Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:45 pm

    Laila007 wrote:wow i like this post alot! i couldn't agree with you more about how women are portrayed in japanese and in korean dramas. and the amount of products and things they are in japan and korea for beauty and things is sad. and i know that there are some asian ppl who like women were are meatier like one of my korean singer's rain (guy in my siggy) and i know there are soo many girls who do drastic dieting to loose weight especially in korea. as for music videos it's the same idea like you said and i read it too.

    but you have to think that countries like these don't want to or are not able to be exposed to different things so they can get a more well rounded idea on how ppl can be and stuff but i think it's slowly start to change. i just read an article about some korean singers supposedly saying she gained weight and alot ppl said she looked good anyway and that the ppl who wrote the article should get a life. so i think slowly there may be a change but i also know that in japan women are becoming much smarter and want to be more independent so even if dramas are portraying them one way i think in reality it's much different.

    Thanks for the feedback, Laila! Very Happy

    I remember seeing a couple of interviews with Rain, and he talked about how he liked "chubbier" girls.

    I think in one of them he even looked at the camera and told his female fans that they shouldn't try to lose weight so much. . .I think I officially fell in love with Rain after that comment Onion Love Eyes

    But likewise, I agree with your comments as well. The type of dieting and cosmetic products they market to women in Japan and Korea is just ridiculous. Everything from unrealistic dieting methods and bleaching their skin to crazy stuff like some sticky-tape thing that's supposed to give you "double eyelids" to (no lie) some cream that's supposed to turn brown nipples pink. . . Onion Outrage

    And I thought that American women were totally nuts. . . Rolling Eyes

    I wish marketing towards women in East Asian countries spent about half as much time promoting positive self-esteem as they do promoting self-beauty tips. . .

    But like you said, I've also seen some evidence that more Asian women are being smarter and independent when it comes to health and beauty and the way women are portrayed in the media isn't exactly a reflection on reality. . .

    But that's exactly what bugs me!!! Onion Tantrum

    I know better than to think that ALL Asian women are small, quiet, naive, helpless,submissive etc, etc. . .so why exactly does the media go through so much trouble to make it seem like that's true??
    Even here in the States, I'll sometimes hear or read the comments of men explaining why they like Asian women, and a lot of the time they're answers are something like:

    "Because they do what they're told and don't cause trouble. They're nice and quiet and petite and their only concern is pleasing their man."

    I'm not even Asian and I take offense to that!!

    I know the reality of Asian women isn't always reflected in the media, but unfortunately for foreigners, a lot of their perceptions about Japanese and Korean cultures come from the media, similar to how lots of Asians get messed up ideas about how Americans are based on TV shows and movies (again, especially the women).

    I'm sure there are women in Japan and Korea (and other countries too) who are just as pissed about this subject as I am lol I just hope that things change with time. . .


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    Laila007
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Laila007 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:15 am

    lol i saw that interview of rain too and that's why i love him! Onion Blush yea i think that's why there is an increase of white men or just american men marrying a asian woman. well i do know that there is an increase of foreigners coming into countries in japan and korea.. i just hope there is a why for them to get inside these companies that are advertising and try to break away from all this craziness. or hopefully the future generations can break away from all this nonsense
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    Mrs.Takagi
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    Asian Men vs Asian Women: The Double Standard

    Post by Mrs.Takagi on Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:25 am

    Laila007 wrote:lol i saw that interview of rain too and that's why i love him! Onion Blush yea i think that's why there is an increase of white men or just american men marrying a asian woman. well i do know that there is an increase of foreigners coming into countries in japan and korea.. i just hope there is a why for them to get inside these companies that are advertising and try to break away from all this craziness. or hopefully the future generations can break away from all this nonsense

    Well said, once again Laila!

    And yes, I've noticed that white or American men in general have been marrying Asian women.
    From just reading up articles and watching videos on youtube, it seems like you're WAY more likely in Japan to see a foreign man with a Japanese women than a foreign woman with a Japanese man,which quite frankly just tears me up inside T_T

    Actually Laila, you just gave me the perfect topic for my next rant (I'm sorry, I can't help myself Embarassed )

    It's something I'm sure we can all relate to though Smile


    Lately I've been noticing that there's this double-standard when it comes to foreingers who are attracted to Asians.
    If a Western man says he likes Asian women, the reaction seems to be that that's cool and totally expected.Because Asian women are these delicate and exotic creatures that any man would love to be with, right?

    But if a Western woman admits to being attracted to Asian men, suddenly that's the most ridiculous thing in the world. Because (thanks to bad stereotypes from the media) Asian men are considered to be short, dominating, unattractive men who couldn't possibly have anything to offer a woman, romantically or otherwise.

    Like, I was sitting with some friends (both male and female) at school a few months ago, and we were just chatting about people who we'd like to date/marry, a very casual conversation. . .and I just casually said something like "Oh, I think Asian men are so beautiful, it's my dream to marry an Asian man."

    And the reaction I got was something like. . . . Neutral

    Like, they seriously couldn't figure it out.

    Especially taking into account that I'm African-American. . .I guess for them it was like trying to add 2+2 and getting -4,562 as the answer. . .LOL

    They were like "What, why?" [/i[i]],"Aren't they all short?"[/i[i]],"Don't they all have 'small manhoods'?", "They aren't attracted to non-Asian women anyway", and blah, blah, blah. . .and yeah, that really upset me. . .

    Luckily, my parents don't seem to care that I'm attracted to Asian men. My mom actually probably cares more about IF I get married at all as opposed to WHO I marry, but that's another story. . .

    Anyway, I'd still like to hear what anyone else has to say on the matter.

    Do you think this double-standard really exists? Have any of you been criticized for being attracted to Asian men?

    TELL ME!!


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    Laila007
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Laila007 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:20 pm

    THIS IS AWESOME! yes i have been looked at weirdly for being attracted to asian men. BUT i think the problem is when different races come to the u.s. or a western country, many times they put the impression on themselves. so for example if you see an asian couple bargaining for prices, many ppl will assume that all asians are trying to be cheap. and many asians don't dress up like they do if they were in their own country. so in one way, it's up to the ppl themselves to stop being the ridicule and try to remove that stereotypical idea about their race. ALSO i must say there isn't alot of exposure to asian idols especially the japanese. the koreans they are increasing in popularity cause of kpop but the japanese not so much. I feel like if they are able to be exposed like k-pop then maybe they can get some international recognition. There is a couple that live in korea who taught english for a while and now they are bloggers and they review kpop vids and talk about their experiences living in korea. because of their popularity they are now able to talk and interview kpop idols and expose them to a international audience. if there were ppl who did that in japan then maybe it would help..

    the couple's blog is called eatyourkimchi.com and plus they have a youtube channel which is simonandmartina. THEY ARE HILARIOUS! so i hope there are ppl that can do taht stuff in japan so the actors can get more recognition. but then again it depends on the individual as well. if an asian wants to break the stereotype amongst their race, they can do so. **sigh**
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    Thepinkbookworm
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Thepinkbookworm on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:56 pm

    And...Mrs. Takagi is off! Laughing So now we have an 'official' place to discuss Asian culture, very good Cool

    Okay, first, I agree that media in general(all over the world) portrays women in completely unrealistic ways. That was what initially bugged me about Japanese/Korean shows: the fact that the main girl always had a high-pitched, whiny voice. Eventually I found shows that moved past that, but it still annoys me like crazy Mad

    One thing I want to point out as an interesting fact is that, well in Korean dramas at least, the main girl's friends or the secondary females are normally portrayed as smart, calm people(I am mostly focused on Goong/Princess Hours). So, that don't always make the girls stupid. Just the main ones Rolling Eyes

    As for the double standard with attraction, I do agree. I think it would be cool to marry an Asian man. Although, since my community has NO Asian culture/people, it is highly unlikely to happen, but I still think it would be cool. However, when I say it to people outside my best friend, I always get weird looks. Even from other friends. Of course, they think I am weird for liking Japanese shows, Korean music, etc., so for me to WANT to marry an Asian seems, well, foreign to them. But, I don't really care what they think afro

    Oh, and I think the reason it is not 'normal' for a foreign woman to marry an Asian man is because, well, it's not normal over there. I think Asian men prefer Asian women, while foreign men are more open. So, its not just on our side, it is more of tradition on Asian men's side as well.

    So, that's my opinion. I won't get into longer rants until I hear if we have any more interesting questions to discuss.
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    Mrs.Takagi
    #1 Takagi Princess

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    The Trials of Overseas Fangirls

    Post by Mrs.Takagi on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:01 am



    Yo! Cool

    Sorry I've been taking my sweet time regularly updating my own discussion page. . .over the past week everytime I thought of something interesting to say or a point I wanted to make, I'd forget what I wanted to say by time I got to my laptop. . .

    Damn short attention span. . . Mad

    Well anyway, thank you Laila and Bookworm for all of your feedback, I really like reading other opinions on my rants, whether they agree, disagree or are indifferent.

    Bookworm, I agree with what you said about how rare it is to see foreign women with Asian men, although I've been reading the blogs of foreign women (mostly black women) who are currently living/teaching in places like Korea and Japan, and apparently Asian mens' interest in foreign women is more common than is mentioned. . . Cunnin Onion Idea

    Apparently, along with the whole "tradition" of Asian men marrying other Asian women, from what I read it just seems like Asian men are already shy, so when it comes to foreign women, they really have no idea how to approach them, so they don't even bother.

    I watched a couple of interviews on youtube from Japanese men and most of them admitted that they would rather have the woman approach THEM instead. (Japanese men, how you drive me crazy!!!) Anyway, that's just food for thought. . .onto my next little rant. . .

    So I was laying in bed because I couldn't fall asleep (as usual) and I was thinking about how a lot of Ouran fangirls online have constantly been asking when the Ouran movie will be available for viewing online. Despite the fact that the Ouran DVD hasn't even been released yet, these questions received a lot of backlash from certain "hardcore fangirls", who would leave comments like:

    "You know, you really should support the actors and the staff of Ouran and just pay for the DVD instead of waiting to download it online."

    Which on the surface, is a good point and I have nothing against it, HOWEVER. . .!!

    One thing that is clear (as this very fan forum proves) is that obviously many fans of Asian multimedia do NOT live in Asia. Which means that we don't always have easy access to the products that are released overseas (especially in Japan for some reason). As much as I would not mind paying my own money to buy DVD's, CD's, magazines, etc from overseas, the truth is; it's expensive.

    Like right now, the moment I found out about the straight to DVD movie that the Takagi twins are starring in Onion Love I immediately decided that I would save up money so that I would be able to purchase the DVD in sometime in November. But as I was calculating how much it was going to cost me. . .I'm looking at spending $70+ at least Shocked .
    I could buy like 6 DVD's at my nearby video store for $70, if not less!!

    Not to mention I just looked at what extra features come with the DVD set, apparently there won't be any English subtitles available, which means that if I did go through with it and buy the DVD set, I'd end up having to watch a movie in which I can only understand less than 5% of the dialouge Rolling Eyes Needless to say, I started to re-think my original plan. So at this point I'm looking at the following options:

    1) Suck it up, save up my money and buy the DVD anyway

    2)Not buy the DVD, cross my fingers and hope that a fellow Takagi fangirl who does buy the DVD generously decides to upload it online with no gurantee of subtitles being provided; also taking into consideration that if it DOES get uploaded at all, it can take anywhere from a few months, to a few weeks, to a year if not more.

    Anyway my original point is this, being an overseas fangirl ain't easy. Waiting for videos to become available online, waiting for subtitles to become available, paying large amounts of money for products to be shipped to our home countries. . .it's really frustrating sometimes. Personally, as much as I hate having to "piggyback" off of others, sometimes I don't think I really have any other choice. . . Corner of Woe

    It's either that, or forcing myself to deal with crappy American music, television and movies. . .which would be the worse punishment of all Onion Anger

    What do you guys feel about this? Agree? Disagree? Think there's an easy solution?

    Tell me!!


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    Cinnamonipples
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Cinnamonipples on Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:30 am

    TOTAllY AGREE.

    I'm a big fan of Japanese music. One of the rules I follow for myself is that I will never download a full album; I will download singles or maybe a couple songs off of the album, but if I'm interested in the whole thing, I'll buy it. That was I can still feel like I'm supporting my favourite bands.

    Problem is, that means dropping anywhere upwards of 30$ on average for an album. I like CDJapan because they're usually relatively cheap, but it's still pretty pricey. CDs are more expensive in Japan, and then I have to pay for shipping and handling to Canada (which isn't TOO bad if we choose the cheapest option, probably around 5-10 bucks, but it means waiting around 3 weeks).

    And live show DVDs are worse...I paid 80$ once for one of those...mind you, it was a really cool one but still. XD

    Nowadays since I'm usually low on cash, I almost always ask for CDs for my birthday and Christmas from my sister and parents. >w<

    I've also got some magazines from Japan for J-rock bands. They're pretty thick and good quality, but still, since things are more expensive over there, it's probably around 15$ for a magazine, plus shipping.

    I can tell you that it's pretty worth it because the magazines and the boys in them are gorgeous and the CDs are awesome and amazing, but like you said, access to this kind of stuff is pretty hard.

    AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON BOOTLEGS.
    There's this bootlegging company, Miya Records, who does anime soundtracks and DVDs and Japanese music albums and DVDs. The problem is that aside from their logo in the corner of the CDs, the CDs almost identical to the original, and sold much cheaper at things like anime conventions and Chinatown anime stores. So your first thought is "OH MAN IT'S SO CHEAP, GOTTA GET IT!" Finally I realised that these were bootlegs and it made me really sad, because I thought I was supporting the artists but I wasn't.

    With shows, I really feel like it's not worth it to spend so much money for something I won't understand. I really would like to support them, but it's hard with the language barrier. I would start buying them if they came with English subs, honestly. >.< It's actually one of the reasons I hope they dub the Ouran live action like they did with the Death Note live action movies. I mean, it'd sound bad but there's always an option for English subs on those DVDs.

    Personally I enjoy some American and European shows and music, but I definitely love my Japanese stuff too. >.<



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    Thepinkbookworm
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    Re: Exploitation of Little Girls

    Post by Thepinkbookworm on Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:11 pm

    I have to say: I am a total cheapskate.

    If I'm going to spend money on something, it will normally be books and more books. And music, but not Asian. I hoard my money until I find something that I really, really, really want to get, then I will spend the money, but only on super good stuff.

    When it comes to Asian stuff, I just can't imagine spending $80 for something like a movie Shocked I want to support the actors, but I also need gas money. Plus, without the guarantee of English subs, I am really not going to do it. I would rather wait for the stuff online WITH subs than to risk buying the dvd.

    As for the music, I have found BIGBANG(my favorite Asian music group), on iTunes for like $10 or $15, so it can be legally downloaded for an okay amount of money, but I still don't want to spend the money.

    I, personally, would love to own the Ouran live action on dvd with subs, but it's not possible. So, until I get enough money to spend on that sort of thing, I am just super grateful for the chance to watch it online with subs.

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