Friday, 30 March 2012

Real-life Barbie newspaper article?

I was reading the Daily Mail online yesterday minding my own business when this article caught me eye, as a girl who is inspired by Japanese fashion and a lover of doll-ish makeup and hair, an alarm bell rung off in my head. 

This is a bit of a heavy issue in comparison to most of the stuff I write about on my blog, but I was compelled to write this.

For any of you that aren't aware of who Dakota Rose and Venus Palermo are, the two are rising inter-net celebrities who are famed for their doll-like appearances. 

Dakota Rose, or Koti, is a girl residing in Florida whose recently came into light when her blog was discovered by the Korean media. Many people might be familiar with Dakota and her older sister, Kiki Kannibal who was one of the queens of the online "Scene" scene in around 2007. 

Regardless of what the article says, Dakota is probably around 18-19

Polyglot and lover of Japanese idol girl bands, Venus Palermo has gained attention on Youtube for her cute Asian inspired hair and makeup tutorials as well as dance covers. 
14 year old Venus
I started out wanting to write this by basically wanting to say "HERP Y DUZ EVRI1 ASSUME DAT PPL HU LIEK JAPANEZE CULCHA LIEK ANIME" but then my brain went into over-drive and I found myself questioning why the author even brought up the issue of sexualization of young girls and our attitude towards childhood. 

The article goes on to talk about the sudden popularity of these girls, which is all well and good but it goes on to talk about issues relating to sex.

" increasing amount of Japanese women were aspiring to look like dolls, embracing femininity and obliterating sexuality altogether"

OK so we've established that wanting to look like a doll has no sexual undertones. But then the article goes on to say: 

"Despite her growing success, some commentators have warned 
that she could  encourage the sexualization of children"

So suddenly in our eyes as members of Western society, wanting to look like a doll or looking young carries sexual connotations?

As a girl who has been interested in Japanese pop-culture since she was a child, I can safely say that neither of the girls draw style inspiration from places that should not be interpreted as sexual [Tumblr trends, Gal, Japanese girl groups and street fashion, anime] and all are in innocent fun. Their interests aren't mainstream and are very niche to most of us. 

Young girls can be easily influenced but in the case of these girl, they have chosen to seek influences from other sources that are not our mainstream media, and yes their interests are niche to most of us and we may not understand why they do what they do, but most girls aren't as resistant to the media as these two. 

With this in mind, this raises a questions:

Shouldn't we be more worried about the young girls in our society
who are easily influenced by our mainstream media?

We are completely aware of the amount of sexual imagery that young girls are being bombarded with every day but what's being done about it and it's damaging effects on young girls?

If our society's attitude towards a look that stresses a doll-like appearance, being cute and "obliterates sexuality"is to interpret it as being something sexual, doesn't that tell you something really twisted about our view? 

Somebody commented on the article, and basically summed up my attitude towards the issue:

"Anyone who thinks this is about sexualization of children is saying 
a lot more about themselves than they are about these girls."

So here is a little quiz I made! 

and if you do want to have sex with her, then

Myspace Text -


So what are your guys' feeling towards this issue. How do you feel about it? 

and for any of my girls out there who practice doll-like, Gyaru or Ullzang makeup how do you think this article reflects on you?

There are so many more points that I wanted to make but I would be here all day and I can't stress enough that I am kind of terrible at drawing conclusions when I write articles so if there is anything inconsistent about this entry or doesn't really make sense to you, please let me know.

Edit: Sami reminded me to point out that both of these girls photoshopped and video-edited within inches of their lives.


  1. The comments are so irritating on this article, they are both photoshopped to hell and back!!
    and Venus' voice makes me die a little inside

    Any man who is sexualising these girls is a pedo and I hope its safe to say that is a very minor selection of people who feel that way, Im pretty sure most people reading that article didnt fap over either of them lol

  2. gah, i hate this issue so much. the most unbelievable thing i've found is when people say lolita is sexualizing girls (wtf, i seriously don't even?). i think people just like to look at japan with a very surface view and assume everything is a weird fetish because they can't understand it.

  3. Seconding. Drama aside (particularly Dakota Rose's), the extreme (and obvious) photoshop annoys the living mess out of me. I can't take inspiration off of something that's so clearly fake, especially when voices and mannerisms are so forced. I can't be entertained by it.

    As far as Venus.. I personally do feel like she's sexualizing her image in some parts. e.x. her circle lens review where the video thumbnail is of her cleavage and her going "omg, they're so big!" or whatever. Even though her mom supports it, if that was my child I'd only be giving her certain freedoms. Things like her calling her fans 'lovers' and recording herself interacting with creeps would concern me if I was her parent, especially at her age. I could only imagine someone tracking down her information and snatching her on her way to school or something.

    All in all, I'll never understand this whole "cute internet idol" thing. It's not something that people should strive for, especially if they're putting up such a false personality and image and not really doing anything else professionally. The only thing that'll come to mind is Magibon, who looked so busted on Japanese TV, barely anything compared to her Youtube image. I image all these girls will turn out to be the same. Either that, or eventually they'll get old and no one will follow them anymore.

  4. Really all of this. They use so much photoshop that it's not even funny. They look NOTHING like they do in their photos, it's so easy to track their faces in videos to change their looks. (there are often threads about them on 4chan, especially Dakota)

    Also agreeing with the pedophile thought too.

  5. Ah yeah, I just noticed that video Venus had. I think Venus needs to be a bit more careful :/

    I don't understand the cute net idol thing ever, I don't think I'll ever get it's appeal.

  6. Yeah that really annoys me. My aunt found an article in a newspaper about lolita fashion and wanted me to explain it to her, which i am super glad she asked because i got to tell her it has no sexual connotations.

    Our society doesn't take note of the cultural differences of beauty standards in Japan

  7. Happened to be on the DM site and as soon as I saw the link to that article I couldn't even be bothered clicking on it cos you know exactly how them and their commenters can be. Anyway I think this was a great blog post!

  8. Bigger newspaper writes article about Asia specifically Japan. References people living in the US. Uses a quote from a Japanese woman, draws conclusions not related to quote. Acts as an authority. Warns of the dangers of innocuous things to the sexuality of young girls. Creates fear in the hearts of people overseas.

    Success in failing.

    You're doing it right.

  9. Welcome to British Journalism XD haha

  10. I was very confused as to why they mentioned "sexualising young girls" too 0.o

  11. winona.claire.d31 March 2012 at 00:55

    Daily Mail is just full of shit.
    I mean, how does this even qualify as news or a current affair?

  12. Okay as someone who has taken Women Studies let me start by saying that the concern lies in the infantilization of women which is on it's own a huge massive topic.

    It has to do with the media sexualizing what we perceive as childlike not that we specifically find those girls sexy... or that those things should be pushed as sexy.

    Infantilization pushes the idea that women are only worth their salt if they are demure, powerless, and coy... like children.

    Good article on it here:

    I completely feel that women can wear what they want and since this has nothing to do with the media selling stuff I don't think it's that big of a deal (Kota and Venus).

    Infantilization is still terrible but it's going to take time for people to recognize it since it's ingrained in us from birth. Another great read would be internalized sexism.

    Yay for applying information!

  13. This just.... Just stop. Venus' mom probably paid Daily Mail aka Shitty Mail to write an article on it or something. Dakota is just photoshopped/surged within an inch of her life. This "article" (I use that term loosely cause it's written how a 10 year old writes a paper) is just making irrelavent points, connecting unrelated topics, and is just a matter of mere speculation. Peeps need to calm down over a stupid girl and her mother and a photoshop-girl.

  14. the joys of British journalism!

  15. Those are some really interesting points you made. It's kind of scary :/

  16. Actually I do want to have sex with those cute animals Emz. I'm a furry innit.

  17. imho that's freakin bullshit... not to say that I don't really think one of them is really 'cute', even to me, who's interested in this cute-asian-whatever culture for half of her life, this looks... kinda creepy to be honest.
    I like people dressing cute, etc. but that's nothing to do with sex. (the thought actually scares me lol)
    Furthermore we should rather ask why anybody could even think of encouraging sexuality with this kind of clothes / way of dressing & acting...Never ever thought about this before and I won't do either in future.

  18. keepin it real2 April 2012 at 03:39

    to be honest, Dakota is a very pretty girl even without all the photoshop etc. and she is of legal age (20's) so the guys interested in her are only sort of pedos. Venus on the other hand... that's just sick cuz she looks like a kid. but i do think that the 'innocence' of the doll look is probably alluring to these freaks. and i think that Dakota purposefully looks and poses in certain ways in order to attract attention. While Venus is into looking like a doll, Dakota is interested in barbie beauty.

  19. Daily Mail is all kinds of ridiculous fail. That aside, I do think that the whole child-like doll thing does tap into a kind of gross view of women that some men have. A few of your other commenters have noted that it's not necessarily about sexualizing children, but making women more docile/obedient and taking away their power. Not to dismiss the icky pedophile-y stuff, but the line between the two gets very blurry. Slightly unrelated but I feel like it's in the same vein as female idol culture in Japan, especially with the younger gravure idols. Physically developed 14-year-olds with baby faces in bikinis? Creepy on so many levels.

  20. I don't really understand how a young woman or teen dressing like a doll is sexualizing children but, dressing your toddler up like a sexually charged & ready adult woman is just good entertainment

  21. Well, Venus is a twat and Dakota is the epitome of lies, but I agree with what you say.

    By saying that all men will be sexually attracted to you if you dress young, is basically saying "All men are paedophiles" in which case, the blame should be on the guy who wants to fuck children, not the person who is dressing cute.

    Especially the annoying Venus "Angelic" she is no angel.