Monday, May 07, 2007

Evolution in Japan is Awesome.

I don't buy the "Koda Kumi cause" personally... Japanese girls, even when I lived here 7 years ago, showed a phenomenal amount of skin. Oddly enough, more during winter than summer, because during summer they all end up wearing long sleeves and pants to hide from the sun, and its feared darkening rays.

Developing Nation: Japanese Clothiers Update Their Lines -
"...Today the average Japanese woman's hips, at 35 inches, are around an inch wider than those of women a generation older. Women in their 20s wear a bra at least two sizes larger than that of their mothers, according to Wacoal. Waist size, meanwhile, has gotten slightly smaller, accentuating many young women's curves.

The average 20-year-old is also nearly three inches taller than she was in 1950, according to government statistics, and the average foot has grown by nearly a quarter of an inch.

The physical changes are largely the result of an increasingly Westernized diet, say nutritionists. Meals that used to consist of mostly fish, vegetables and tofu now lean heavily toward an American-style menu of red meat, dairy and indulgences such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.

All this extra protein and calcium has led to longer, stronger and fuller bodies. Shinichi Tashiro, an endocrinology professor at Showa Pharmaceutical University, says the intake of extra fat tends to go to either breasts or hips in adolescent girls.

Marketers say they first started noticing more women with hourglass figures a few years ago.

...Other young women are buying special items to flaunt their new physique. "It's just more fun to show some skin," says Ayami Arii, a 19-year-old vocational-school student, who recently sported a tiny denim miniskirt and an iridescent pushup bra that peeks out from below her low-cut blouse. Her bra, a big seller at boutiques in Tokyo's Shibuya 109 department store, is called a "Showy Bra." Similar to a string bikini top, the $60 bras, made to be peeking out of a low-cut blouse, started appearing last year and come in a variety of colors, from red patent leather to leopard print and orange sequins.

The cleavage craze took off in 2003, when a young pop star named Kumi Koda appeared in ads around Tokyo wearing a barely-there metallic bra and not much else. In one image, she wore coconut shells over her chest. Then, two years later, she performed at the televised Japan Record Awards wearing thin tape-like gold satin straps over her breasts that revealed nearly everything when she danced. The 24-year-old star has become the champion of a new "If you've got it, flaunt it" attitude among young Japanese women.

...Fashion has long been complicated terrain for women in Japan, a conformist society where showing some skin is a way to rebel against traditional roles. Fashion historian Akiko Fukai likens the new look to post-World War II Japanese women shedding their restrictive kimonos, which are designed to flatten the chest, in favor of Western garb.

Saki Toraiwa, a 21-year-old cashier at a bakery, says she likes the look of a tanned body and curves like Jennifer Lopez. When she's not wearing her work uniform, she likes to wear skin-tight T-shirts, jeans and high heels.

But she says she has to be careful not to dress in clothes that look too sexy when she's with her boyfriend, who prefers her in more-conservative fashions like flowing sundresses and girly skirts. Ms. Toraiwa wants to get married soon and doesn't want him to see her as a sex object.

"If I'm feeling confident, I'll show it off," says Ms. Toraiwa, "but lately a lot of it just depends on what my boyfriend likes."

In other Japan news, remember ladies, snooping leads to nothing but trouble [especially if you marry a psycho.]

Japanese man strangles wife who snooped on mobile -, Philippine News for Filipinos:
"A Japanese man strangled his newlywed wife after she snooped on his mobile phone and discovered a pornographic image, police and news reports said Monday."

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