Because teenage girls weren’t weird enough already.
By Natasha Bird | Yahoo Lifestyle – Thu, Apr 10, 2014 15:33 BST
The life of a Japanese teenager is a strange and wonderful thing.
B-Style – a trend which involves adopting all the features of a “black lifestyle” – is the latest craze among Tokyo’s daring young women.
Where once these girls might have spent their money on skin whitening treatments, or dressed up as china dolls, now they are passing their afternoons in the tanning salon, trying to look like African-American hip-hop stars.
Hina shows off her B-Style looks in her native Tokyo. Copyright [Desire van den Berg]
From the Harajuku kids, who dress as ’90s punk icons, to the Lolita Girls, who look like twisted Barbies, Japanese teens have always been quick to adopt the most recent wacky fad.
A Harajuku girl goes all out in Japan. Photo Credit [Flickr: Rosino]
And this latest one is just as kooky.
Hina, who works at a trendy, hip-hop inspired boutique called Baby Shoop, is the poster girl for B-Style.
When she’s not at work, she’s across the road at the salon, getting her hair-braids done and topping up her tan.
In a video for YouTube, Hina attempted to explain the B-Style way of life, saying: “It is a tribute to black culture, and also to their music, fashion and dance.”
Apparently Hina used to have pale skin, but then one day, she said: “in the second year of primary school, I got frizzy hair. When I looked at black artists I found them very cool.”
In an interview which appeared on Vice Magazine yesterday, it emerged that Hina is now so famous for her B-Style that she gets recognised when she visits America.
But although Hina might be on a mission to make her skin look darker, there are still plenty of Japanese teenagers doing just the opposite.
A fresh crop of Japanese photo editing applications have become available to smartphone users, which use their skin-whitening function as the main selling point.
The Silky Skin app that lets you adjust the colour of your skin.
Apps such as Photo Wonder and Silky Skin take your original photo and apply a “brightening” filter – to give the appearance of whiter skin.
We had a go at using Photo Wonder, to see what sort of effect the app would have on Lifestyle Editor Natasha Bird’s already quite pale face.
Turns out freckles aren’t acceptable and neither is a tiny bit of fake tan.
Lifestyle Editor Natasha Bird looks more than a bit ridiculous with her newly glowing face.
The app has a slider which allows you to go from slightly whiter, to full on Casper the friendly ghost.
Neither of which gave a particularly natural looking final shot.
In an age where young girls are suffering more and more pressure to conform to strict standards of beauty – just look at yesterday’s Veet hair removal campaign scandal – these apps form part of a worrying trend.
No offence to the B-Stylers and the powdered up Lolita girls of the world, but we think it’s okay to stick with the colour you were born with.