Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hot (Pants) in Japan

Japanese girls have been noted in recent times of falling for all kinds of fashion fads. Some of these included the body-conscious (ボディコン) girls of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the "T-back" craze of the mid-1990s and the '70s retread craze of the early 2000s. It appears that Japanese girls now love to wear hot pants, or very short shorts. And this has apparently irritated the fashion police in Japan.

As reported by the Sunday Mainichi newspaper (毎日新聞), fashion critic Ichida Hiromi is unhappy with this turn of events. Ichida complained to the Sunday Mainichi that,
Ichida says Japanese aren't suited for skimpy hot pants.
"If Japanese women were built like their Western counterparts, it wouldn't be so bad, but hot pants just don't suit Japanese," she says. "It's the same as ultra-mini skirts. They were first brought here from Europe and Japanese adopted the fashion, but it's not so easy to adopt body shapes. I really want the women decked out in revealing clothes to take an objective look at their bodies. It's going to take another three or four generations before Japanese have similar proportions to Westerners. It's still premature for Japanese to go around talking about beautiful legs," Ichida tells Sunday Mainichi. "I can understand if the women were wearing hot pants over a swimsuit when they went to the beach, or something. In fact, in those cases, they're quite cute. But these girls are wearing the short shorts everywhere. And I can't stand it!"

I suspect that Ichida may be jealous of the women who can wear such attire, or perhaps she genuinely yearns for the days of the kimono. While I confess to a secret appreciation for a lovely Japanese girl properly dressed in the traditional kimono (I consider kimono one of the most lovely forms of clothing ever developed), I also appreciate the difficulty most modern Japanese women have in actually wearing said attire. Not only is kimono exceedingly difficult to wear, it is an increasingly rare Japanese woman who actually knows how to put one on, and often requires the assistance of others to get properly worn. I can remember my own wife, on our wedding, required her mother's assistance in order to get her kimono properly draped and tied.

Ultimately however, Ichida's complaints ring false. If the Japanese women are not suited for hot pants, then their friendswill surely let them know. In the meantime, I am certain that the male population is enjoying the fad while it lasts. And the media, as always, is milking it for all it is worth. After all, an excuse to run pictures of gorgeous women in skimpy clothing justifies any minimal "journalism" such as this piece by the Sunday Mainichi.

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