Girl meets world addresses Cultural appropriation.
This is actually embarassingly wrong, though. Sure, she looks tacky but this is a purely white liberal construct we’re looking at here. Generally speaking, people in contemporary Japan aren’t going to see something like that as misappropriation,and it hardly makes sense to even try to look at it that way because Harajuku is, you know, a shopping district that sells mass produced clothing. Maybe this girl is doing something else noxious in the episode, but what’s presented here just isn’t that.
There is of course a line in the sand, and in this case in specific it’s basically between Nicki Minaj and Gwen Stefani. Nicki was, and maybe still does, calling herself Harajuku barbie because she’s drawn a lot of inspiration for her looks from the bright, colourful styles of the district. A district in a wealthy industrialized nation. There’s no real difference between that and calling herself Rodeo Drive barbie or Camden Square barbie. Gwen Stefani, you know, was paying Asian women to follow her around like ornaments. That’s a problem.
I get kind of suspicious when people, especially in mainstream TV, overwhelmingly go after “weaboos” as soft targets because it seems like a smokescreen to avoid going after the actually deeply troublesome and normalized acts of commodifying and trivializing marginalized groups.
Also, a teacher dragging a teenage girl that hard in front of her entire class is fucked up.
I saw this like seven times yesterday scrolling on my phone and wasn’t about to start on it from there - but yeah pretty much what you said. People are ready to leap on those they perceive as weeaboos but people forget or ignore that Harajuku (and anime) is for sale.
Love of my life Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is the official Ambassador of Kawaii, as in it is a real part of her fashion-fused-musical-career as ordained by the government to promote Japanese kawaii culture and Harajuku fashions to the rest of the world in an effort to bump international attention, tourism, and sales. There are without a doubt social movements/ideas particular to the culture embedded in the different areas of Japanese fashion and act as a response to the culture - but frankly, overall, a lot of Japanese fashion is fashion. It exists for an aesthetic; it exists for expression; it exists for influence and ultimately consumption; and today more than ever it exists for export.
Sitting around and pointing a finger at every Japanese fashion labeling it as deeply intrinsic and important and special and exclusive to the culture is harmful; by doing so you are denying a contemporary creative base the autonomy to evolve and speak for itself. “Japan is a land of tradition” yeah, okay, but it doesn’t live in a fucking vacuum trembling from fear of the peeking gaijin.
What is happening here is a young girl is dressed in a fashion she cannot identify, which can be a case of cultural appropriation when “plagiarizing and/or thieving” is the mode of operation. For example: Someone latching on to a visual they saw while watching a Japanese film/whatever then went on to claim the style as their own creation and started selling it without ever acknowledging their influences or affirming the creatives whose work they are leeching from. Which is of course a lot to assume of a middle schooler to be intentionally doing.
And that is totally Cory laying the smack down on his own daughter in front of an entire class. Double messed up.