cult of cuteness

"Three Reasons to Marry a Japanese Girl"

A few days ago the YouTube channel Stopkiddinstudio released a video entitled “Three Reasons to Marry a Japanese Girl“. In the video, a Japanese girl named Amy explains in Chinese why Japanese girls are different from (and, according to her, better than) Taiwanese girls:

1) Japanese girls wear make-up and are well-dressed; for them, this is a way of being polite (化妝和打扮對日本女生來說是一種禮貌).

2) Japanese girls are considerate, they “won’t ask their boyfriends to go and buy food in the middle of the night“.

3) Japanese girls are good at cooking, their food “will make their boyfriends happy and healthy“.
The reactions of Taiwanese viewers have been mixed. Some people agreed with Amy and wrote that Japanese girls are indeed very cute; others wrote that both Taiwanese and Japanese girls are cute. A female viewer wrote: “Taiwanese men are gentle and soft. They can forgive us for being too natural, for acting like princesses sometimes, and for not being good at managing the household.” 

Now, why am I interested at all in this video? 

In previous posts I wrote about the cult of cuteness in East Asia and the importance of social roles. This video is, in my opinion, a fascinating example of this phenomenon.

A Japanese girl (source: Wikipedia)
First of all, the way in which Amy acts and speaks is constructed in such a way as to make her appear cute, sweet, and gentle. I cannot of course be sure, since I don’t know her, but it seems to me that this is an example of standardised, ritualised, and unnatural behaviour. 

Second, she confirms a traditional view of girls as gentle, soft, and submissive. The social role of a girl consists in fulfilling men’s expectations. Therefore, appearance and the ability to cook are emphasized.   

Third, all characteristics mentioned here are external. They refer to good looks, politeness, or the ability to render a service. This, once again, presupposes that women need to act according to standardised social roles, while individuality, personality, and feelings are less important. 


2 replies »

  1. Me and my wife also saw it as a reflection of the lower position of women in Japanese society, especially compared to Taiwan. The way women act in politics is one clear example (the recent humiliation of a Japanese female MP could never happen in Taiwan imo) but also the role of women in the household in Japan is far more fixed and inflexible in Japan than Taiwan: men work outside, women work inside – in part thinking of new dishes to cook (with increasing levels of resentment as years go by…).

    Also we both thought she was fishing for a boyfriend herself 😉


  2. Hi David,

    I agree with you and your wife : ) I wonder if the girl has also made a video to explain why she wants to have a Taiwanese boyfriend, 3 reasons to marry a Taiwanese.


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