artifice

Hamasaki Ayumi fan car sparks doubt about gender identity and desire

hamasaki_ayumi_car_yoyogiparkI heard that singer Hamasaki Ayumi is a gay-rights supporter, so I don’t mean to be harsh on her. But this image, plastered on a car hood outside Yoyogi Park, alternately fascinates and haunts me. I am amazed that such a pornographic look can circulate in public with no friction. Is this a day look? Should children see this?

I understand that the male gaze prizes artifice over reality, and that simple drag tactics are very effective in attracting male attention (big hair, heavy make-up, scary long nails, and a blank look). I am not shocked that these images are popular, but I am surprised to see them in the daylight and on the street.

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Winter costume, artifice, health, and hair

SONY DSC

In Tokyo, it’s always mask season. I remember how “shocked” the international media was after the Fukushima nuke disaster, to see the multitudes in Tokyo all wearing masks. Nothing special in the facial mask technology for radiation, or at least not yet.

Since the winds started blowing on March 1, everyone’s talking about the start of spring hay fever season. I wonder if the mask adds a certain mystery and allure for the wearer? Seduction through withholding? Could the facial mask be the Japanese unisex niqab? As much as I dislike winter, perhaps there’s something to be appreciated in the layers of costume, artifice, health, and hair.

Thanks to Al for lending me his camera.