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Migrational Implants

media influence

Migration is a pair of large breasts.  I opened the page of a right-bounded PlayBoy and was stared back by a fully nude, tastefully posed, blue-eyed double D - blonde hair flowing over tanned skin.  Was this a Playboy commonly found under the bed of an American adolescent?  Absolutely not.  Rather, it was displayed on a popular magazine rack amongst beauty magazines, mangas, and real estate brochures on the corner of a busy Japanese street in Kobe.  There were Asian models, but only those that had wide eyes, wore light-colored contacts, and were masked with dark shades of make-up, comparable to their fellow Westerners paraded amongst Japanese articles.  Does the Japanese population of Playboy aficionados desire this voluptuous image?  And does this desire affect the prerequisites for compatibility within a relationship, or is it simply for visual pleasure?

Media influencesFlipping through the pages of this audacious literature left me with multiple questions.  I don’t have any answers to these questions, not yet; the atmosphere did not prove welcoming for a Playboy opinion poll.  But it opened my eyes to the wider picture, framing the city of Kobe.  Advertisements commonly portrayed Western, blue-eyed bombshells in Western influenced styles.  Can the migration of images and products affect the Japanese sex appeal?  In history, the mystical demure of the geisha with her porcelain skin drove men wild.  It is most evident in the whitening agents used to maintain that classic ideal that Mikiko Ashikari thoroughly discusses in her article, Urban Middle-Class Japanese Women and their White Faces: Gender, Ideology, and Representation.  Is the pale geisha’s allure now an aspect of history that is slipping through Japanese fingers, perhaps stomped out by a pair of large breasts and blue eyes?

words of mediaIt is just a Playboy, right?  Just a magazine?  It is a form of media, media that gets swallowed up and regurgitated by the masses, subtly imbricated into the subconscious, shaping desire iteself.  What will this do to the Japanese woman?  Will she be left struggling to chase after a far-fetched ideal that flowed into her culture by way of the migration of images and products?  Japan generally opens arms to new ideas and further development, but has it unknowingly assimilated an impossible portrayal of beauty that sets unviable standards for even our own Western women?  Migration of mediated images carried on the stealthy wings of globalization is developing an “eye of the beholder” that wears the same foggy, tight waisted, large breasted, curvaceous lens evident in all aspects of media along the streets of Kobe.   

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