Kawaii Style –
Interview With Magarisan
Today I decided to get out of my comfort zone and write about an alternative style which is totally different than mine. This is Kawaii.
Kawaii is a style not many people know because it is a kind of alternative style which is widespread mainly in Japan, China and Korea. It is an alternative style which has been emerged into Japanese subculture. Another reason that Kawaii style isn’t so common to alternative communities is because it is not preferred by many alternative people .To be more specific, there are two general categories of alternative fashion: the dark and the light one. Styles such as Punk, Goth, Heavy Metal belong to the dark side, instead of styles like Pastel Goth and Kawaii which belong to the light ones.
Kawaii main characteristics
Kawaii style is associated with Japanese culture, Manga, pastel colors, cute motives and Kpop music. It is a style you can find mainly on woman due to the limited dressing choices. The main things that characterize Kawaii style are the colorful hair, pastel colors on make up /clothes as well as cute and almost childish themes. The word Kawaii in Japanese means “cute” something that explain perfectly what Kawaii represents. To be Kawaii doesn’t mean only to wear pastel colors and listen Kpop. Mainly people with that style try to build a whole Kawaii aesthetic around them. In Japan, Kawaii isn’t not just a cute way of dressing, but a deep part of culture that effects food, entertainment, and of course every day mannerisms. Except of the colorful hair and pastel clothes, Kawaii people try to bring their style in every aspect of their life, on their food and drinks, on their room décor ect.
Kawaii Vs Pastel Goth
A well known style similar with Kawaii but very different at the same time, is Pastel Goth. Usually people new to alternative fashion are getting confused between Kawaii and Pastel Goth style. Pastel goth is a style often associated with Japanese street styles and Nu Goth. It’s a blend of gothic with Kawaii fashion. The similarity with Kawaii is the colorful hair, the cartoon motives and of course the sweet pastel colors. The difference is that Pastel Goth style also includes the black and gothic clothes or accessories, always combined with the pastel ones. Pastel Goth style represent a “creepy cute” edition of classic Goth.
An Eccentric Alternative Style
Due to the fact that many alternative styles include the dark colors, Kawaii is an alternative style that differentiates a lot into alternative community. If you fill a room with Goths, Metal heads, Emo or Punks and you bring a Kawaii person into that room, guess who will be the different.
Kawaii is a quite misunderstood style because it stands out of alternative fashion’s standards. That’s why it’ s not so widespread and Kawaii people usually are not acceptable by alternative communities. Many alternative people usually judge Kawaii style as childish, poser or even porn.
In my opinion Kawaii style is the rebellion of the style rebellions! It’s an alternative style that dares to be different even into alternative community itself. This is the most amazing thing about that Kawaii! Even it’s a style that has been judged a lot, especially by the alternative community, it’s still rising and growing. Just think all those animation cartoons, manga as well as anime events over the last five years.
Dear Alternative people, we have to accept that style, no matter how different or weird it seems to us, as a significant part of our community. Instead of judging easily the different, try to understand and embrace it. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same and that’s how people in a community should think.We are the darkness lovers but we also need a beam of light in our life. Darkness could not be existed without the light and Kawaii is the colorful touch into our dark alternative fashion canvas.
Let’s Talk With Magarisan!
The cutest Kawaii Instagram girl and Japanese lover!
Dear Magarisan, I’m really thankful for you accept to give me this interview. To be honest, your style is much different than mine and this is something that makes it very interesting to me. There were always things I wanted ask to a Kawaii girl and I chose you because I truly like your style!
Who is Magarisan:
Hi, my name is Mareike, I’m 23 years old and I live in Cologne Germany. On my Instagram account Magarisan I blog about Korean- and Japanese pop culture as well as skincare. Currently I’m studying media design in my 6th semester. In 2016 I had the chance to study abroad in South Korea. There I immediately fell in love with the country. Since I was a child, I also have a huge interest in Japan. My biggest dream is to travel trough Japan for a few weeks to get to know the culture, the food and the people. When I have a day off, I love to spend my free time with friends, video games or my boyfriend.
First of all, I would like to start with a question about Kawaii style in a workplace. It is commonly accepted that even if alternative styles tend to be more common than few years ago, there are many people out there who remain suspicious to alternative people, especially bosses. Have you ever had a difficulty to find a job due to your style?
Unfortunately, nowadays kawaii style in a workplace is still a difficult topic. It always depends on the employer, whether you can live out your clothing style or whether you have to hold back. I personally have experience with both sides. But I think it’s more common that such an individual style of clothing is not accepted. My current employer has no problem with my style, but in the past, I always had to follow stricter dress codes when I went to work. In recent years, many new startups have grown out of the ground. Thanks to a large number of very young entrepreneurs, an alternative style is increasingly being accepted at many workplaces, because it shows that someone is (extremely) creative. However, a lot has to change for a general rethink.
As far as Kawaii is concerned ,it is an extreme alternative style. This means that a kawaii girl definitely stand out from the crowd. How people usually react every time you get into an crowded room? Have you ever heard a offensive comment about your style?
When I go to an event with many people and I have dyed my hair or I wear one of my colorful wigs, people often stare at me or make weird comments. Most of them are pick-up lines from men or uncomprehending questions from older people, for example “is carnival again?“ If something like that comes from old people, I can understand it in a certain way and it doesn’t bother me that way, but in my opinion it’s very intolerant and embarrassing, when people in my age judge it without knowing me or the alternative style in general.
Some of the things that characterize Kawaii style are the pastel color pallette, the anime motives, the colorful hair as well as the cute details. The combination of them makes that style suitable for teens or young girls. How imagine yourself few years later? Do you believe its easy to keep your Kawaii style as woman?
Kawaii is an explosion of cuteness. The concept of „kawaii“ began as a rebellion against traditional Japanese culture in the 1970’s. Girls wrote, doodled, and adopted cuter styles of dress in order to set themselves apart from the roles their society was pressuring them to take. My personal style isn’t very extreme. I really love colored hair and I always try to add cute details to my outfits. Therefore, my style is very suitable for everyday use and it’s easy for me to keep it. I always wear what I like, so I don’t think that a lot of my outfits will change within few years.
It is believed that Kawaii style has been associated with Korean or japanese music. On the other hand there are few people with Kawaii style who listen also other kinds of music too. What do you like to listen except of Japanese and Korean music?
I don’t think that a particular style of clothing is always associated with your personal taste in music, but in my case it is partly true. During my semester abroad in South Korea, I’ve heard Kpop for the fist time and by now I’ve become a big fan. Besides Kpop, I listen to trap and (melodic) dubstep.
One last question I would like to ask you is how has your life change since you’ve found you personal style? It was just your outlook what you’ve changed or you also have tried to live in a Kawaii aesthetic?
My life has changed a lot since I’ve found my personal style. During my school years, I only paid attention to what my classmates wear, or what is particularly fashionable. Now I’m much more self-confident and I wear the clothes that I really like. I don’t care about the opinion of others anymore and that’s the biggest point that has changed. I spend most of the day in my home office. To feel comfortable here, I’ve decorated everything very colorful and cute. Especially on Instagram want to spread the message that everyone should follow his/her own style and develop creatively. Every person is different and that should reflect in the style.