Asian, and more specifically Japanese culture, is not an aesthetic. Being Asian or Japanese isn’t a phase, it’s a not a costume we can take on and and off, it’s our life, and being Asian and Asian American changes how we see the world. It’s important to note that Japanese culture is primarily used by western artists because Japan seems to be the catch all for what non Asian people know about Asia. Anime is pervasive in everyone’s lives whether they like it or not. Japan is also seen as “mysterious” and "weird" because western media likes to sensationalize Geisha culture, maid cafes, etc. However, instead of artists taking the time to educate themselves and appreciate Japan and its people on their own terms, they look at Japan through a romanticized and western lens. They see the country as cute and fun, and ignore the real lives of the people there. They bring all the "outlandish" aspects into their music videos like the hair styles, the food, the clothing, and disregard the history of the things they’re stealing and the real people who created the art they love so much. This is what cultural misappropriation is, and it happens a lot.
23 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.