During one of the talks at the Loli-POP! event, I realized one of the presenters was a man also dressed as a Lolita! ちょっとびっくりした… When I asked my friend about this, she explained that in Japan there are men who like to dress up in women’s clothing, which they call 女装 (じょそう) josou. Check out this video I found on YouTube.
And here’s another one with Nino ( for all you Arashi fans 😉 )
Otokonoko, as they are sometimes referred to (or 女装子 josouko), are not always necessarily gay. Their orientation and sexual hobbies are a completely separate matter. The reason they dress in women’s clothing is more an expression of femininity. It seems most of these men admire women’s sexual power and beauty. I found an interesting article here where they state that otokonoko “simply want to be part of the ideal female community they perceive”. Or as the young boy said in the video earlier 「女の子になった気分です」meaning “I just felt like becoming a girl”.
Most of the time, otokonoko are very fashion concious, and let’s say…おしゃれ:) Their aim is not to look like men who look like women(if that makes sense?), but to actually look like a woman, and enjoy all the things us women would (like fashion)! Quite flattering if you ask me.
Interestingly enough though, is that in Japanese feudal times, the emperor often dictated what clothes men and women were allowed to wear. This was a way of marking gender. So could it be that otokonoko are now trying to break down those gender boundaries? Is it another form of escapism? Street fashion in Tokyo is much deeper than I thought.
Another fashion that has taken Japanese men, and may be breaking down gender boundaries as well, is スカート男子, literally “skirt for men”. This is not a look worn by josoukos, but is targeted at all men. And it has slowly been gaining popularity over the years.
Japanese men seem to be trying to find more and more creative ways to stand out in terms of fashion. Personally I love their confidence and think it suits them.
Oh and if you’re really interested in Tokyo street fashion, check out this website my friend recommended: