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I know, I know. It’s just a clothing line! Lighten up! And it’s so kawaii as the ads keep telling me, forcing the word on me like a pacifier to the lips of a crying, reluctant babe. (Wouldn’t be surprised if Gwen Stefani had tried to trademark the Japanese word for “cute” some time in the last 5 years or so. She’s already pretty much got “Harajuku”–the name of a Tokyo neighborhood–locked down legally.) And look, the Harajuku Mini for Target children’s clothes collection, which launches Sunday online and in stores, is “kawaii,” in a “What if a little panda cub who was part skater-punk threw up and it looked like lollipops and rainbows?” sorta way.
But, you know, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. Wait, who am I kidding? I can’t forgive either! Because when I see this ad plugging Gwen Stefani’s latest business venture…
…all I see is this:
Filed under: Bizarre Misappropriation of Asian Culture by Talentless White Girls, Children's Clothing, Clothing, Free the Harajuku Girls, Gwen Stefani, Harajuku Haters, Harajuku Lovers, Harajuku Mini for Target, Kawaii, Panda Vomit, Target, This is Bullshit
Hey, did ya hear the good news? One of the Harajuku Slaves is free. She can be seen Thursday nights on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew with her fly b-girl group, Beat Freaks. As Lil’ Mama would say, they dance harrrd. As Shane Sparks would say, they rip it. As vest-wearing blowhard JC Chasez would say…oh, who cares what vest-wearing blowhard JC Chasez would say?!
You may know this Harajuku Slave as “Music.” Or that tall Harajuku Girl. Maybe you, like most people, never bothered to distinguish among the four of them and really look at their individual faces, bodies, dance styles, or personalities, because the Harajuku Slaves have always been dolled up in matching outfits and geisha makeup and forced to trail their blonde big-boned owner in silence and that was the point, really, that they were all supposed to look alike and be stripped of their individual identities and be referred to en masse as “The Harajuku Girls,” riiiiiiight?
Anyhoo, true to freed slave tradition, “Music” now has a real full name: Rino Nakasone-Razalan. And homegirl is hawt, even without geisha makeup, if you can imagine. And she’s got really dope moves. And she’s part of a female hip-hop dance group who’s inspiring girls all over the country that they can do anything boys can do, backwards and in heels.
Never mind that Rino was part of a hideous cultural phenomenon on par with “Love You Long Time” that will have Asian chicks for the next generasian fighting to be seen as real people with real names and real voices and distinct personalities and not just “Harajuku Girls.” Oh well, whatever, nevermind. Why nitpick on such a historic occasion? The point is, she’s free! Free at last, free at last, God Almighty, Rino Nakasone-Razalan is free at last!!!
For those of you as worried as I was about the financial stability and respective career futures of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls during the No Doubt-revival-world-tour/vomitous-Gwen Stefani-solo-career-interim, have no fear!
Jen just informed me that the Girls are booked solid with future events–Gwen would never leave them high and dry!
They’ll be busy peddling Gwen’s Harajuku Lovers perfume. Handing out samples and stuff.
Like, while riding a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Happy birthday to our favorite
Harajuku slave owner people-as-accessories designer style biter pop songstress Gwen Stefani, who turns 39 tomorrow. Because Gwen is no longer “just a girl,” it’s probably time for her to say goodbye to the folly of her bygone youth–and by that we mean, STOP KEEPING HUMANS AS PETS AND INVEST IN A SHITLOAD OF EYE CREAM, YOU’RE GONNA NEED IT.
Filed under: 40's, Everything About Gwen Stefani Sucks Ass, Eye Cream, Free the Harajuku Girls, Harajuku Lovers, Humans as Pets, People as Accessories, White Unlike Black Do Crack, Wicked Style Biters
Our feelings of disgust toward Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Slaves ebb and flow like the tide at Zuma Beach (Gwen’s second spawn’s namesake). Sometimes–between concert tours when the Harajuku Girls are on furlough–we get snookered into thinking that Gwen’s just a big-boned girl trying to balance fame, motherhood, crap songwriting, and exercise anorexia. Then we see promotional stunts like the one that went down in the windows of Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street this morning…
Do you remember how it is in sixth grade, when your class divides up for the first time of the year to play red rover? And for the first time, you realize that picking teams isn’t actually about picking red rover teams, but choosing your alliances for the rest of the year, or maybe even all of junior high, or maybe even forever?
So there you are, with the choice between the team full of cool, nice, smart, free-thinking kids, and the team with THE DEVIL. Maybe yours was named Vanessa. Or Ashley. Or GWEN. She was blonde and bright, with a perky skirt and red lipstick, and she was the most popular and awful girl in sixth grade. Holding on to her arms on both side were mute, motionless, voiceless lackeys, her pawns. Popular and useless, and willing to defile themselves to remain on her fucking red rover team.
What did you decide, Mark? I’m going to venture a guess. You tucked your scrotum neatly in between your legs and chose GWEN. She told you to jump, you didn’t ask how high, you pursed your lips and leapt. If you had an opinion, she mandated that you stay silent. And when you danced? You danced like she wanted you to dance, how she told you to dance, because you were her bitch.
Why would I make such assumptions? Well, considering that you impersonated one of the enslaved, ill-fated Harajuku Girls so recently on So You Think You Can Dance, it seems only natural that you’d not only be willing to become a bitch’s bitch, you’d LOVE it.
Perhaps that’s why the cool, smart, free-thinking kids voted you off. Buh-bye.
Hmm…perhaps Miley Cyrus really is a Harajuku Lover. Compare the photo of Miley taken yesterday on the Malibu set of her Hannah Montana movie with the photo of one of the Harajuku Girls winding it up at the 2006 American Music Awards:
Filed under: Disney, Free the Harajuku Girls, Gwen Stefani, Hannah Montana, Harajuku Haters, Harajuku Lovers, Malibu, Miley Cyrus, Racial Drag, Transformasian, Turning Japanese, White Girl's Overbite, Wind It Up
The online dance battle to end all online dance battles (in the long, venerable history of online dance battles) between the Miley & Mandy Cru and the ACDC (Adam/Chu-Dance Crew) is going LIVE.
I don’t really know what that means, but the latest installment from the ACDC should give you an idea of what’s to come:
To see the M&M video that preceded this, featuring cameos by Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly (doing a wicked Running Man), magician David Blaine, and the Harajuku Girls (sans their big-boned, blonde owner), click here.
See, Gwen, now you know what it’s like for your Harajuku slaves to be bound and unable to speak! It’s heartbreaking, right?
Oh wait, you don’t care.
Back in May, when Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani, Long Island millionaires (by way of India and Indonesia, respectively) in the perfume biz, were arrested for enslaving their two Indonesian housekeepers, Diana suggested that the ghoulish-looking Varsha and Gwen Stefani go bowling together. But at least Gwen lets her Harajuku Slaves out of the house once and a while and dolls them up in expensive, albeit matching, outfits.
The Sabhnanis were convicted this week on 12 counts that included forced labor, involuntary servitude, and harboring illegal aliens, and their crimes against their slaves, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, were far more grave:
Prosecutors likened the conditions of the two maids to a “house of horrors”. They presented evidence that over five years of virtual slavery the women were paid $US100 ($116) a month, made to take cold showers and insufficiently fed. When she was caught trying to steal extra food, Samirah said, she was punished by being made to eat chilli and then, when she became nauseous, forced to eat her own vomit.
We’re not talkin’ Hormel chili either, we’re talking hot chili peppers.
We wish Enung and Samirah, the enslaved housekeepers who had come to the U.S. to support their families back in Indonesia, all the best in their newfound freedom, including tons of therapy, meds, and cash money for their trauma.
As for Varsha, I don’t think I’ll be able to get her scary visage out of my brain for a while. Especially given that she bears a passing resemblance to another famous bogeyman…
Not too long ago, Diana wrote about an HP ad featuring Gwen Stefani that is interactive and offers consumers the chance to make their own Harajuku Girl “entourage.”
[sounds of vomiting in my mouth]
[more sounds of vomiting in my mouth]
Anyhoo, we’ve become so bored with Gwen that we couldn’t muster the energy to try this thing out until we started noticing the friggin’ ad everywhere. Like today, when I was fiddle-faddling around on MySpace and it was right there next to all of their pornish videos. Then our friend Liz wrote us and reminded us of how gross the concept is, so I decided WTF, I’ll go make some Ornamentals just to show y’all how yuckers it is.
Much to my surprise, however, I created something awesome. Allow me to introduce to you…MY Harapuku Girls!
Now if only they were real, they could follow me around everywhere in matching outfits without saying a word and be, like, my cool exotic posse. Maybe I would start a clothing line “celebrating” them and their culture by putting their images on t-shirts and keychains. And then everyone would be all, “Who are those blonde chicks with Jen? They are faaaaaaaaaabulous. What are their names? Oh, who cares, I can’t tell them apart anyway. But those bitches are fierce. They make Jen seem so edgy. I want me some!”
I know, I know…it’s a completely batshit and implausible fantasy, right? Right?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a bottle of Listerine.
I like to think that one of the Harajuku Girls, perhaps Music or Baby, made a back-alley deal in which they calmly placed $10,000 and a ticket to that night’s Gwen Stefani show in the palm of an Asian-Scot–while whispering in their ear, “Just take her down, halfway through that god-awful song ‘Cool,’ when she runs into the crowd.”
See what I mean at 1:10 of the video.