I typed, deleted… typed some more… then deleted that… Tried to be PC, but then thought to myself, “Wait a minute! Is THIS video even PC?” What have our lifestyles been translated into again? I’m sorry…what? Come again?
Upon first viewing this video, I was confused. I mean, you’d have to be confused to think you could live a “Black Lifestyle” when we are such a broad range of people. Not even two of us are totally alike. We all have different experiences, different hues, and most importantly, different LIFESTYLES!
I’m not sure if this news story was lost in translation or people really view us to be one thing. Did they mean hip hop lifestyle? Are Black people hip hoppers? Are Black people living this same lifestyle in the UK, in Austrailia, or even in Japan? Heck, are we all living this same lifestyle from California to New York?
One thing is for sure, people HAVE to know that what you see is NOT all there is. I’ve never traveled outside the United States and I’m very frustrated because I am a traveler at heart. Luckily, I was raised in New Jersey, so I was always aware of other ethnicities and cultures. I knew that the stereotypes portrayed on shows and even in childhood songs were not necessarily IT. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m naturally investigative or because my favorite word is “why?” Whatever the case, I wouldn’t readily accept something to be true, even if I was flooded with it.
In this particular case, I genuinely believe these Japanese women don’t mean to be offensive. They want to be part of something they deem great. They want to be, as Brandy frequently said in her songs in the 90s, down. They just want to be down. They don’t fit the Japanese standard of beauty, so they’ve adopted what they believe to be an ENTIRE culture in which they could be accepted. I DO believe that it is narrow-minded to believe that ALL Black people fit into this “Black Lifestyle” concept and don’t believe that it is a correct interpretation of Black people as a whole.
I think the language is a tell-all of their misinterpretation of “Black Lifestyle.” B-Girls and B-Boys are hip hop references. I know they mean “Black,” but what I SEE is hip hop. I totally get the sense of admiration. They constantly smile and compliment the Black people they look at on their iPad in this video.
“Black people look so great and stylish.”
We are then introduced to the main subject, Hina. Hina works at a clothing department store in the “Black Lifestyle” section. Then from her job, they take us to meet her mother, who believes her daughter’s “Black Lifestyle” fascination is a phase.
“Hina had pale skin as a child… but then something mysterious happened.”
You would think something REALLY mysterious happened, but she just got darker. In the next scene, she explains how she transitioned into the “Black Lifestyle.”
“In the second year of primary school, I got frizzy hair.”
Ohhhhhh I get it! That frizzy hair FORCED her to be Black! As the video continues, we continuously hear 50 Cent, see hip hop magazines, Hina and her friend going to the club, and her mother explain her detest for Hina’s tattoos and piercings. Then, we say farewell to Hina and her friend, as they go to a club.
“Hina and her friend are going out for an adventurous Black night.”
Then the clip ends with the reporter cheering “Black lifestyle!”
Welp, there you have it! Apparently I haven’t been living this “Black Lifestyle” all my Black years of living. I took notes on what I’ll need, though: colorful braids, piecing and tattoos, colorful and skanky clothes, let’s not forget frizzy hair, colored contacts, and I’ll have to be out at the club to have a “Black night!” I think I’m prepared! I’ll report on my “Black Lifestyle” experience later!
What do you think of this “Black Lifestyle” in Japan? Do they have it right?
Check out the video for yourself below and tell us what you think!