Kawaii means cute in Japanese. It’s a movement that relies on cuteness and girly characteristics as its main themes.
If you have been alive anywhere between now and the 1970s, you’ve been exposed to the magic of Kawaii. It spread everywhere starting out from Japan. Thanks to Kawaii, girly, cute qualities have been made so popular that they are not just a fashion theme amongst some circles; they are an acceptable addition to just about anything in Japan. Now men view cuteness as an attraction and like their women to appear girly.
If you have ever watched anime, you’re sure to have noticed girls with cute high pitched voices and child like clothing. If you don’t remember noticing the clothing, you can’t tell me you missed the excessive giggling of female characters that are portrayed as innocent and positive. Female characters that are negative have harder, stronger voices in anime, voices women would normally have here in the US, or just about anywhere but Japan, of course.
My opinion of Kawaii has changed considerably in the last couple of years. About four years ago, I thought Kawaii was creepy and that it represented what was wrong with Japanese men, it gave me a sort of pedophilia vibe. So I dismissed it, and felt strongly when I’d see Japanese women in their 20s and 30s acting much younger than they are, and honestly, somewhat unintellectual in their mannerisms.
Now, after studying and learning much more about the Kawaii cute culture, I think it may be a good thing. Let me explain how. They put Pokemon on their airplanes, and Hello Kitty is of course the queen of cuteness in Japan. Also, Totoro and Felix the Cat and Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Care Bears and so many others. Would you be able to be in a bad mood if you saw a host of cuteness around you at all times. Surrounding you, embalming your awareness and nudging you towards a happy place that we all know exists but we forget, so we need the cute brigade around us all the time for us to remember the innocence.
Designer Sebastian Masuda is an advocate of Kawaii and creates fashion that brings the culture to the Western world. He makes a point when he says Kawaii cuteness saves the world. It does. I don’t think anyone would be violent and hurtful if there was cuteness all around them. Your buses, your trains, household items, wallpaper, clothing all could be broadcasting cuteness and spreading cheer.
Now you can obviously pick the level of cuteness you desire. It doesn’t have to be overkill. I think if I incorporated a few cute things in my lifestyle, I’d be able to tune in to my soft side. Like for example, I have a few Hello Kitty and Robowan stickers on my laptop lid. You could pick your favorite stuffed toys and place them around your room, another way to add cute to your life would be placing cute rugs, painting your walls or wall papering a few walls in the house. It is possible to nurture your cute side, and on a greater level, we could promote childlike cuteness and love everywhere in the world.