Shades of Grey: Now and The Future of “No Gender” Fashion in Japan

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Shades of Grey: Now and The Future of “No Gender” Fashion in Japan

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It just seems the “no gender” fashion trend has become more common than many people have expected. The fast fashion brand, Zara, has started the new “no gender” or un-gendered line this spring, and many other fast fashion brands and shops have started to move in to some changes for the gendered lines.

Zara's no gender fashion

Zara’s no gender line

Previously, I have written about the new fashion wave of “no gender” and about some of the “no gender” icons in Japan emerging. (Check out this article: ) And it seems as though that the “no gender” wave is becoming bigger than I have expected back then as well. There seems to be more of the “no gender” icon becoming more common to the trends in Japan, so in this article, I am here to look in to why the “no gender” trend is more accepted in Japan.

Why is “no gender” trend more accepting in Japan?

It is still questionable that there is more “no gender” male models in Japan, and there are many of the newcomers of these kinds of males becoming more popular than before.

In the previous article, I have mentioned about Usuke Devil, the “no gender” instagrammer who is also popular to the younger demographics, as well as popular to the other countries. His very androgynous looking not only look the best on Instagram, but very much so on TV shows as well. When he has explained to the other casts in the show that he puts selfies as he wake up, many of the older generations were surprised by his action.

One of the upcoming newcomer Yutaro, is becoming popular amongst the female teenagers. He is also currently working as a staff at vintage clothing shop in Osaka, and now became a new type tarento. He has become popular when the late night television show interviewed him in Harajuku as one of the new trends, and from this coverage, he became the heartbreaker for many of the female viewers watching the show. Now, Yutaro is on variety shows and he explains to the casts that he likes to take care of his skin very carefully, and has many beauty products for his maintenance.

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The lifestyle of these “no gender” models seem to be more feminine, and because they put effort in to this, they have achieve to have the identity as “no gender.” Many of the female fans admire to these “no gender” icons like “So much cuter than girls,” or “I want to reincarnate to him.”

Surely, “no gender” sensations like Yutaro or Usuke Devil are still, somehow weird or strange to the older demographics, but as I analyze, it is somehow understandable in the current generation we live in.

Japan has the long history of “beautiful boy groups” from the Johnny’s Entertainment and still at it’s utmost power in Japan’s entertainment industry. Because of its long history, they also have a long line of female fans across the generations. Also, as there are more of those fans accepting the prince-like males, it could be a natural evolution for young men to be like prince-charming through that entertainment culture.



Another aspect is that this could be the counter-part of the typical “male” expectations. Recently, the popularity of the performance group, EXILE, and its sub-groups like Third Generation J Soul Brothers are rising to their popularity. The images of these groups are unlike the Johnny’s Entertainment groups, are very macho, and tanned skins. And their philosophy is more leaned to hard-work effort being the more “physical” type of male. Because of this masculine, macho image has grown to its power, it seems as though the “no gender” or the androgynous type males came up as the antithesis of that typical male stereotype. Especially when this is the time period where the choices are flooded to us, it seems that being “no gender” is one of it’s stemmed out choices that we can have as an alternative.

What about female “no gender” icons?

…There are more popular male, female-like “no gender” models than of female male-like “no gender” models in Japan. WHY?

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Grad student in Tokyo. Born in Tokyo, raised in New York, studied in London. My interests lies in Tokyo's urban street cultures and girls cultures,rock music, fashion and manga. Just livin' it up :)

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