DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Mini For Target Collection

by Guest Contributor Jen Wang, originally published at Disgrasian

 

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:

 

And that is still, always, and forever whatever the Japanese word for “bullshit” is.

[The Stir: Gwen Stefani Harajuku Mini Arrives in Target Sunday!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Anonymous

    In all seriousness, the fact that she has kids and is continuing to infantilize grown  Japanese women (they’re just so kawaii ^_^!!!) is weirding me out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Song/100001582801973 Tiffany Song

    Just gross.

    I have about three interests – baseball, video games, and fashion design. 

    Somehow, all three of these have a horrible habit of reminding me of their East Asian fetish.

  • Anonymous

    Gwen Stefani has been ripping off communities of color for over twenty years, and she still has no idea why she pisses folks off. No surprise there. But why is Target getting in bed with Stefani’s racist appropriation? If the retailer wants to sell so-called “Japanese-inspired” kids’ fashions, why not hire actual Japanese designers for the job? I know they can afford better than some white celebrity who rips Japanese pop culture in order to stay relevant.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I see that, I can’t help but think of this pic of the Sailor Senshi (And I’ll give you 3 guesses who the leader is!)

    http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lo9by3IKPT1qjkedbo1_500.jpg

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I see that, I can’t help but think of this pic of the Sailor Senshi (And I’ll give you 3 guesses who the leader is!)

    http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lo9by3IKPT1qjkedbo1_500.jpg

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I see that, I can’t help but think of this pic of the Sailor Senshi (And I’ll give you 3 guesses who the leader is!)

    http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lo9by3IKPT1qjkedbo1_500.jpg

  • InJM

    I think it’s funny that they used a picture of Akihabara just because it’s the opposite of fashion.

  • jgirl

    Notice how Gwen is ALWAYS in the middle, and they all wear clothes associated with the West.  This is very sad, but of course she doesn’t think this is racist.  White privilege at work yet again!

  • Stargazingcat

    Like the article and totally agree.  but one step further-what i find offensive about gwen when she went solo and started her whole asian fetish is the fact she appears to be trying to take CREDIT FOR A WHOLE CULTURE-ONE SHE DOES NOT EVEN BELONG TOO OR WAS INVOLVED IN CREATING! its like she went there, decided she liked what she saw then decided to bring it back with her but rather than just homaging it like other artists do is trying to pass it off as her own. her fetishing of asian women is especially offensive with the history of orientialism!

  • Stargazingcat

    Like the article and totally agree.  but one step further-what i find offensive about gwen when she went solo and started her whole asian fetish is the fact she appears to be trying to take CREDIT FOR A WHOLE CULTURE-ONE SHE DOES NOT EVEN BELONG TOO OR WAS INVOLVED IN CREATING! its like she went there, decided she liked what she saw then decided to bring it back with her but rather than just homaging it like other artists do is trying to pass it off as her own. her fetishing of asian women is especially offensive with the history of orientialism!

  • laprofe63

    Ugh and yuck. Ms. Stefani deserves a DISGRASIAN “lifetime achievement” award!

  • laprofe63

    Ugh and yuck. Ms. Stefani deserves a DISGRASIAN “lifetime achievement” award!

  • Medusa

    Anyone else notice how she’s wearing monstrous heels in all those photos with “her” Harajuku girls? Above everything else she seems hell-bent on reinforcing the stereotype that all Asians are short. And you know people will look at these photos as proof, ignoring the fact that she seems to have on 12-inch heels.

  • Medusa

    Anyone else notice how she’s wearing monstrous heels in all those photos with “her” Harajuku girls? Above everything else she seems hell-bent on reinforcing the stereotype that all Asians are short. And you know people will look at these photos as proof, ignoring the fact that she seems to have on 12-inch heels.

  • Elton

    Remember when she sang “Don’t Speak”?  She was referring to her Harajuku Girls.

  • Alex

    I am wondering when Sanrio will sue her for stealing the images from the Momiji line.

    http://shop.sanrio.com/designer-collections-momiji/Designer-Collections-Momiji,default,sc.html

    I wonder what her successes are in places like Japan. Is she as profitably successful overseas as she seems to be here in the States?

  • Alex

    I am wondering when Sanrio will sue her for stealing the images from the Momiji line.

    http://shop.sanrio.com/designer-collections-momiji/Designer-Collections-Momiji,default,sc.html

    I wonder what her successes are in places like Japan. Is she as profitably successful overseas as she seems to be here in the States?

  • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

    I’m sure there’s plenty of Japanese fashion businesses who wouldn’t mind making a deal and selling their own clothes overseas.
     But in that case most money would go to them and we can’t allow that now can we? /headdesk 
     Just like with NA inspired fashion lines.  What is profitable wins over what is right, again. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

    I’m sure there’s plenty of Japanese fashion businesses who wouldn’t mind making a deal and selling their own clothes overseas.
     But in that case most money would go to them and we can’t allow that now can we? /headdesk 
     Just like with NA inspired fashion lines.  What is profitable wins over what is right, again. 

    • Anonymous

      You mean, how like Uniqlo just opened up two new stores in NYC?

  • Anonymous

    This is a reminder of the old racist photos one would encounter in the old National Geographic Magazines.  The purpose of course is to display white beauty and supremacy as the epitome of all.

  • Anonymous

    This is a reminder of the old racist photos one would encounter in the old National Geographic Magazines.  The purpose of course is to display white beauty and supremacy as the epitome of all.

  • Anonymous

    WTF? A lot of the clothes taken on their own are quite nice. But the marketing campaign is horriffic. And why is it that all girls clothes are labeled cute – those punk-inspired pants look like a kids version of Lip Service Men’s pants, which definitely doesn’t signify cute to me.

  • Anonymous

    WTF? A lot of the clothes taken on their own are quite nice. But the marketing campaign is horriffic. And why is it that all girls clothes are labeled cute – those punk-inspired pants look like a kids version of Lip Service Men’s pants, which definitely doesn’t signify cute to me.

  • Anonymous

    I keep wanting to say something profound about this, but all I can say is “Why is this still a thing?”

  • Anonymous

    I’ m less upset about her using an asian name for her line and an asian term like kawaii to market.. ( i feel like the whole fashion industry just bites off of cultures and recycles and recycles and recycles some more) and more upset that she’s using asians.. and asian-ness as props.. and there is a difference.