I saw something on the front page thingy (I really don’t know what to call it – most of it is rarely news) of Yahoo! today and one of the headlining topics was about a Japanese visual-kei artist named Yohio.
Framing the video segment by Odd News Videos was a picture of a woman, but as one would later discover, it was actually a “boy dressed as a girl.” The video went on about how this was “odd news..” and that was about it. Nothing more could be said than “that girl you see? It’s a boy! gasp/shock/faint/whaaaat?”
First, I hate news pieces that are presented in video format. That might have framed the rest of this semi-rant but bear with me.
Second, I think something is wrong with our society today if stuff like this is still considered “news.” Yohio was definitely not the first person to do this. GACKT and Mana, who were both Japanese and from Malice Mizer (look them up if you want) all did this in the 90′s. Maybe it’s surprising because it’s news from an entirely different culture or realm of entertainment. Maybe it’s important because I suppose countless men and women felt tricked and betrayed when they realized that their boners/lady-boners were being misplaced. However, I think news should be akin to something like the fact that in 2011, Eguchi Aimi of the Japanese girl group AKB48 (which currently has 64 members – wow!) was revealed to be computer generated as a composite of 6 other members (you can look that up too).
This is after months of her being in magazine spreads and even in a commercial. Doesn’t that make you think a little more about the future of entertainment, or the scary advancements we’ve made in technology? Of course, it’s all about how you present the news. It can be either a distraction or it can change you, spark something in you.
News should create conversation and have the individual reconsider their view on life or misheld beliefs. News should give us an idea of where things are going in the future. News should dig deeper about why certain things make news, or why we are reacting the way we do. News has to be “new,” and it should change us, make us read differently – it’s stale when it starts being about things we can gossip about for a week and forget about. Nothing changes.
Odd News Videos really could have gone somewhere with that piece. They could have discussed, even briefly, why this news was surprising to us, how we are still uncomfortable with women dressing as men and men dressing as women, or how we still cling to these gender norms and expectations that dictate what is considered “normal” or how what is appropriate attire. Maybe they could have touched on what this (could have) meant for the future of entertainment if western entertainment drew from, say, visual kei.
But maybe I shouldn’t be blaming them. Maybe I should be blaming the reader/myself for not being able to draw more from these tidbits of news naturally. So all I’m saying is this: they might fail to bring you the news but if we can’t change that, we can certainly think critically and make it news. Jesus on a piece of bread can always turn into a commentary on society today and our fixation on religion and consumerism (or whatever you’d like.) And as such, Yohio can be more than just a “boy dressing up as a girl.”
P.S. Here’s that Eguchi Aimi girl. Thoughts?