skinny

Skinny, long hair, and tattoos on the beach, with power plant in background

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Is that a power plant in the distance? Despite being at the edge of an enormous working harbor, Miura Kaigan has relatively clean water and plenty of room for all types of beach goers.

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Hipster Cop at Occupy Wall Street


“I Will Reveal That I Wear Skinny Jeans Off-Duty,” say the suspiciously well-dressed police office seen frequently at Occupy Wall Street.

According to NPR, “He stands out from the uniformed crowd because he wears skinny ties and skinny trousers and he hangs with Tom Morello and wears ironically retro grandpa sweaters.”

More info also at Gothamist. (via the husband).

Boots in

A new male youth fashion is called “boots in.” It involves super skinny pants, often jeans but not always, tucked inside mid-calf boots. This guy’s shoes are not as impressive as his overall pose. But it gives you the idea.

Shouldn’t it be called “pants in” instead of “boots in”? Oh well, Japanese English is always unpredictable.

Matsui is a champ

Matsui Hideki is champ

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not like baseball or most spectator sports. However, I do like good-looking athletes. I am crushing a bit on Matsui Hideki whose Yankees team just won the World Series.

Somehow I never liked Suzuki Ichiro, another famous Japanese baseball player in the US. Not because of his talents, or lack thereof. He’s just too skinny and, well, ugly looking. Yes, I am shallow.

松井様、おめでとう!Which athletes do you think are hot?!

(ps: Major yucks. I think in the background on the left is the rich dude who just bought himself a 3rd term as mayor. Stay away from the good-looking athletes, ok?).

Soshokukei: Men are now “Herbivores”

Soshokukei, herbivores & girly men in Japan

“Many of the boys I’ve met told me they cannot go out of their house if their hair doesn’t look perfect,” she said. “They have also told me that their self-esteem goes up when their nails look nice.” -Quoting Ushikubo Megumi who invented this new term”soshokukei” (草食男子) or “herbivores” to describe the new generation of men, 20-34.

What a happy day to read a Japan Times article that 60% of young men today can be classifed as “herbivores.” Also called “ojo-man” (lady-like men), this term seems to share many characteristics with the term “otomen” introduced by my online moe sensei Bangin.

Bangin does a great job contrasting the two terms in this recent post, and attributing soshokukei to the recently disgraced SMAP member  Kusanagi Tsuyoshi who got drunk and then arrested for public nudity last month.

What makes the Japan Times article so delicious is how they trace this new attitude to the post-bubble gloom generation and highlight extremely unmanly, dare I say “gay” behaviors. The article, of course, goes on to quote a sociologist who claims these girly men are “not gay”:  herbivores are “searching for heterosexual love while turning unisex.” Haha.

So here goes the definitions:

  • They are not as competitively minded about their jobs as men in older generations.
  • They are fashion conscious and eat sparingly so they can stay thin and fit into skintight clothes.
  • They are chummy with their moms and often go shopping together.
  • They are not interested in dating girls, having relationships, or even having sex (choosing from a plethora of “self-help” toys instead).

I love how this new trend is also tied to the internet: Apparently these herbivores do not want to reproduce because they are “too physically tired to have sex, let alone start a family.” Supposedly, they are substituting sex with women with internet porn and “do-it-yourself” gadgets! A supporting quant stat is that condom shipments have been falling since 1999, the start of the internet revolution.

I am surprised that this focus on men’s hair and nails overlooks their incredibly tortured eye-brows. Ah, Japan and your girly men, WE LOVE YOU!