Kawaii diversity is often steeped in Japanese Street Fashion Culture. The concept of Kawaii has its roots in Japan. We respect that, honour it and are grateful for it. It’s part of the Cloud99.9 experience. It’s the pure bliss that this fashion culture has created. What we bring to the table is an inclusive outlook to that mindset and hope that others will do the same. We’re always out and about looking to celebrate the awesomeness of creative people.
In conversation at a recent event, one young man noted that he didn’t feel like many events in various communities were diverse enough. He mentioned that you go and you see the same types of people with just a few differences in the audience. This would be like going to a Japanese Street Fashion Lolita Tea and seeing only sweet Lolitas vs the other styles of Lolita such as classic, goth or sailor per se. Be it a particular fashion one is trying to promote or a wish to provide fun for all, you have to encourage others to be a part of what you’re doing by providing non-stereotypical offerings.
Panels for conventions, leadership boards and other places that are existing to represent “the people” must accept and embrace the fact that “the people” don’t always look and act the same. These are assumptions and we all know that making those about anything can go down hill pretty quick. As we and Kawaii Leaders began to branch out and put together our committees and event planners; we must look at that roster, look around the room; does everyone look and think the same? There’s one thing about looking out for the greater good but when looking to be successful in an inclusive way, we want to make sure we get all walks of life and not just a few.
This is very important in Japanese Street Fashion and is also a very touchy and slightly controversial topic. There have been discussions on who exactly is allowed to wear Lolita. People want to know why non-Japanese are wearing it and if that’s okay. Many Kawaii Leaders and even the government have been eager to spread Kawaii culture with Kawaii Ambassadors. They are reaching out so that leads us to believe all are welcome to take part in this fashion and it doesn’t represent a select group of people who fit one aesthetic. Just looking at the diverse faces of Harajuku and the great features on Kawaii International you can see the diversity and see that Tokyo is thriving with people from everywhere, be they Japanese or non-natives who are learning the language and enjoying all that the city has to offer.
So many large cities have inclusive events. To be well-rounded we have to step out of our cirlces and invest in diversity travel then bring the things we learn back to our hometowns. Places like Toronto, Marrakech, London and areas like Harajuku. If you can’t get to Tokyo consider conferences or coming to Georgia for Anime Weekend Atlanta! Check out their video. It’s filled with diverse panels! We definitely plan to be there again! We felt very welcomed!
We want to continue this discussion within our kawaii community and look forward to meeting with others who are looking for diverse places that are embracing kawaii life. If there are places, spaces and faces you know that represent a truly diverse community and joy of all things cute, let us know! We’re also eager to hear about LGBTQIA spaces, music oriented places and community representatives or faces of diverse kawaii culture. Email us, post to our Facebook page, tag us on Twitter, comment on Instagram. Let’s keep the rainbow full of bright, sparkling people and ideas.