one eyed one horned flying purple choir singer (peaceofpie) wrote in honky_navel,
one eyed one horned flying purple choir singer

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i don't think we've talked about harajuku dancers yet. O.O

(cross-posted from my own journal, edited a bit for non-personal-journal consumption. some added context: I'm Jewish, and "Fiddler on the Roof" is culturally important to me as a Jew. :-/)

This "Rich Girl" song that Gwen Stefani performs has garnered quite a bit of attention on my friends list in the last week, so I decided to see what the fuss was all about.

Immediate reactions:
3. It's "IF I WERE A RICH WHATEVER", not "if i WAS". The conditional tense is "WERE". Not only that, but the mnemonic I learned for that rule was THIS SONG.

Now that I've got that out of the way, though, I feel like some dialogue needs to happen about the Harajuku dancers. On the one hand, the opinion I've been seeing a lot of is that it's a gross example of cultural appropriation, and that using Japanese women to make herself look cool (which, as far as I can see, IS exactly what she's doing) is bad and wrong and evil, especially in the context of this song. If you haven't heard it...she goes on and on about how she wishes she...WERE (*cough*), and then busts into this:

I'd get me four Harajuku girls to (uh huh)
Inspire me and they'd come to my rescue
I'd dress them wicked, I'd give them names (yeah)
Love, Angel, Music, Baby
Hurry up and come and save me

Then Eve shows up and starts singing about the Harajuku girls "from the hoods of Japan" and how "Stefani and her L.A.M.B rock the fetish people".

So, you can see where there might be some issues here, I think. :-/

On the other hand, it also objectifying of the Japanese women for me to say that this is offensive? They're probably getting a lot of money and having a great time, and what makes me think they don't feel awesome about themselves and totally empowered? I mean, I don't like Gwen Stefani, but if I were a fan of hers and she adopted me and gave me a lot of money and made me her backup singer, I would think that was the greatest thing that ever happened. But then, I probably be offended if someone I was a huge fan of wanted me to be their backup singer, but she really just wanted me because having a short queer kid with purple hair would improve her image and make her feel better about herself. But I really don't have something to compare that experience to, because I'm NOT Japanese and I'm NOT a Harajuku dancer and I DON'T like Gwen Stefani, and maybe if all those things WERE (*cough*) true, I'd feel differently. I just have no idea.
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