Bodyline and Rape Culture in Lolita Fashion

First of all, in case it’s not obvious in the title, this post will talk about sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape, though it will generally be in the abstract and non-explicit.

Most lolita are familiar with Bodyline, and many are familiar with Mr. Yan, the owner of bodyline who is on a quest to acquire more wifus.

If you google “Mr. Yan” you get memes like this:

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A selection of YouTube Videos like “Leave Mr. Yan Alone!“, a video of a lolita teaching him to Tango when he was touring the world, and multiple unboxings of his Body pillow.

And of course there is the infamous body pillow, which sold out and was recently re-released:

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And as I mentioned above, he did a world tour where young women met with him while dressed up in lolita and flirted with him and joked around about him.

Recently, at rufflecon there was a panel called “Mr. Yan’s Next Top Waifu (18+)” where someone wore a Mr. Yan costume and held a fake wife contest. I didn’t attend, but the line was quite long. 

Before I go any farther, I want to say that this is simply an explorational piece and I am not calling attention to the people who used these memes, own these body pillows, made these videos, hosted or attended these panels in an attempt to condemn or shame them. Instead, I’d like to take an abstract look at the meme of “Mr. Yan” inside the lolita community. I encourage readers to draw their own conclusions and determine on their own how they feel about these things.

That said, let’s look into the history of the Meme of Mr. Yan. For starters, the first exposure the western lolita community really had to Mr. Yan was through cheesy images and videos used by the Bodyline site to promote sales. Most people who viewed these images and videos found them funny, and thought very little of it at the time. Though there were already mentions of him being a bit of a creep.

It wasn’t until later that it came out that the Mr. Yan so furious sale, which involved him breaking a mirror on camera because he was so mad, lined up with a model contest winner refusing to marry him, and Bodyline trying to force her to pay them back for her free trip because she wouldn’t marry the owner. Looking at this in the abstract, the contest was borderline human trafficking. Had the girl not had the money to pay her way out of it, she could have been trapped in Japan. This was back in 2009. There were also some rumors of Model Contest Winner Nadia (Yes, the love Nadia print is named after her) being hit on as well, and even back then there was chatter about Mr. Yan being a creep. In 2010 a Facebook fan club was set up. In 2012, Yoshiko left bodyline and had issues getting bodyline to mail her back her things. And in 2013, there was the whole thing with Venus which may or may not be exaggerated / staged; it’s hard to tell as her mother was pushing her as a reality entertainment personality. I don’t want to make light of her situation or imply that it’s ok to question accusations of harassment, but I also am not sure how credible her accounts are, given that we know her mother is not a credible source. In 2014, there was the sexy Mr. Yan body pillow which has it’s own fan page, and was literally made because over 100 people pre-ordered it after people asked Bodyline to make it.

Ok, so now we have set the scene a bit. Mr. Yan is a middle aged man who owns bodyline, he’s a pervert who likes to try to touch young women without permission, asks them to go to love hotels and/or marry him, and it’s funny.

It’s funny.

Right?

Funny.

Except, it’s kind of not funny.

So what is Rape Culture? “Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.” [x]

It’s been a bit of a buzz word in the news lately in the US, but at it’s core, I think it’s an interesting, and valuable sociological concept to look at. In this particular case we have unwanted male attention being given to young women who are models. So they are coming into a job, where the payment is a trip to Japan, and the company owner is sexually harassing them, and if they refuse his advances, he’s violent. That’s quite a scary situation for most young women.

When we make a joke out of it, and laugh about it happening, this normalizes that behavior. It says to other people “I care more about this joke being funny, than I do about the fact that a young woman being hurt in real life was the punch line”. And that’s a dangerous slope. Because, if and when he has another contest for a model, and if we jokingly called it a wifu contest, and young women who are fairly new to lolita enter because to them it’s always been an abstract joke, and one of them gets hurt… what do we tell her then. Is it still funny? Is it still a joke? And is it respectful to those girls in the past who have been mistreated by Mr. Yan to joke about their sexual harassment?

If someone else comes into the community and flirts and jokes, and touches young women inappropriately, are we going to write it off as ok? What if they are cosplaying Mr. Yan, does it become ok?

The last batch of pillow cases were $21 each, and they made at least 100 of them. The new batch is $3.33. Let’s assume that at least $10 of the $21 was profit. That means Mr. Yan made at least $1,000 USD off of selling himself as someone who sexually harasses young women.

Is that something we as a community should laugh about, should joke about, should encourage?

Just… think about it.

…and as always feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Angelic Pretty Spring 2017 Line!

Angelic Pretty had their winter tea party last night, and snaps are already surfacing that hint at their new pieces for spring. Here is a rundown of what I’ve found so far!

Angelic Pretty Ombre Misty Sky 2017 Angelic Pretty Ombre Misty Sky 2017

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Misty Sky 

2 ombre colors of misty sky are being sold to tea party attendees on a make to order basis.

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carriages ott2

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Brilliant Night

This dress has horses pulling what looks like an royal carriage. It also has flowers or snow? And some sort of circle with a flower type motif? I’m pretty sure this is the print that they used for all the party branding.

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A very OTT OP. The main fabric has a 4-petal flower texture.

poodles cyfjs61ukaekhwn

This print features poodles in hatboxes, bows, cameos with crowns in them, hearts, crowns and chandeliers

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Something in red and black?

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An elaborate pink and lavender OP. The main fabric appears to be a rose brocade.

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Rinrin in some sort of lace OP

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Something that matches a tricolor bow? They accessorized with french bread, so I’m saying probably something similar in concept to french cafe?

[Source]

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Some sort of school look?

[Source] [Source] [Source] [source]

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This looks to be a blue based print, probably cherry themed, with cherry applique on the collar. The accessories are tartan.

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Update: this is Blue with crowns! And they look like they are the crowns from the navigation on the party page. The OP is pictured has rows of crowns that flip rightside up / upside down, long sleeves, a white collar and a red belt.

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Some sort of trump or circus print? There are trump applique on Kimura u’s blouse collar.

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green cyb-shsuaaexocx

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Imai Kira x Angelic Pretty – Daydreamer Bed

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Strawberries, bunnies, daisies and gingham, perhaps?

“This one is a border print with rabbits (realistic style drawing) and strawberries and the background is gingham.”

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Some sort of big cherry print on white?

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I’m thinking it’s probably a match to the tea set they gave attendees?

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[source]

stripe

Some sort of heavy black x white stripe?

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I don’t know what this is, but it looks pretty fabulous…

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Some sort of swirly lace print? XD

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I got nothing on this one. Bunnies, or gingham, maybe?

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We’ve got a big crown on her head, a blue blouse, a crown on her shoulder. Some sort of red sash, and a white dress?

[Source] [Source]

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Looks like there is a pink bow across the front, and it’s got a headdress that is sax or mint with pink?

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We’ve got a white  collar with a /\ sort of shape in the middle that goes into a red (textured?) stripe. The headbow is tricolor, and the blouse is navy with a stripe bow. Could be a border print or some sort of school print? Probably books or bears in there somewhere given the book bag she’s holding up?

[Source]

Lolita Wardrobe Survey

A facebook friend posted this Lolita Survey from the Lolita Amino app (which I joined, but I don’t quite understand; I really hate typing on my phone and the idea of writing a blog post on my phone sounds beyond exhausting). Anyway, I thought it would be a fun, albeit light, thing to post.

1) Do you still own the first Lolita item you bought?

The very first lolita items I bought? Yessss… It’s bodyline’s bunny pockets knock off in sax and bodyline’s sax candy print skirt.
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2) What is the oldest Lolita piece in your wardrobe?

The oldest is Angelic Pretty’s Strawberry-Chan Shirring OP from 2002. I have this in pink, and it’s surprisingly difficult to coordinate well so I haven’t worn it yet.

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The next oldest is a three way tie.I have Innocent World’s Cross Crown Embroidery OP & Cape in black from 2003. If anyone ever sees either of these in wine, let me know!

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I also have Mary Magdalene’s Fleur OP from 2003.

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3) What is the newest Lolita piece in your wardrobe?

Metamorphose’s Cornelius Swallow Tail Wool Mossa Jacket; it just came in the mail 2 days ago!

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4) What is the cheapest main piece in your wardrobe?

One of my Putumayo skirts, I’m sure. This particular one was about $25. Almost all of my pink house was super cheap too; I never spend more than $50 on pink house. It’s mostly around $15-$30 per piece for what I own.

Putumayoプトマヨ・美品!薔薇&ロゴプリント♪上下レース挟み込みスカート

5) What is the most expensive main piece in your wardrobe?

I paid the most for my Star Night Theater Bare JSK in blue. It was new with tags and I bought it in 2013 for 61,504 yen (~$630 USD at the time) before SS fees and shipping. So I probably paid around $650 for it when all was said and done.

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My most valuable piece is currently my Elizabeth Bride of the Death JSK II. The other cut of this sells on auction for around 169,000yen (~$1,500 USD), so I guess it’s worth roughly that much o__o;;

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6) Which of your Lolita items is your favorite?

I have a little book necklace that was handmade by caro-chan. Inside of it are messages from long-distance friends, so that I can keep them close to my heart even when they are far away. It’s really precious to me.

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7) Which item in your Lolita wardrobe do you wear the most?

Lately, I’ve been wearing my cross crown embroidery OP a lot. I also have a headdress from Sweet Mildred that is black x gold x red that I wear with almost everything.

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8) Which item do you wear the least?

My skirts, anything that needs a corset to look good. I’m getting old and tired.

9) Is there anything in your Lolita wardrobe that you haven’t worn yet?

Yes, some of them are things I bought but can’t find things to match, some are things I bought a bit ago when I weighed less and they don’t fit now.

10) What is missing from your Lolita wardrobe?

I could use a pair of light brown shoes, I guess? Maybe some royal blue ones.

11) When will your Lolita wardrobe be complete?

I honestly would say that it is. I buy a bit here and there when something new catches my eye, or something very old and rare comes along, but for the most part, I’m happy with what I have. I just replace things as they wear out or buy new releases these days.

12) What was the last Lolita item you sold or threw away?

Innocent World’s Luna Stripe JSK in Green. I had bought it with the intention of wearing it to work, but I never did, and it’s just so much easier to wear non-lolita dresses.

13) How many OPs do you have?

18, I think. Don’t hold me to that…

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14) How many JSKs do you have?

59? I think?

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15) How many skirts do you have?

28-ish, I think?

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16) How many petticoats do you have?

7. 2 from AP, one from classical puppets, 1 from malco modes and 3 from bodyline.

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17) What do you plan to buy next?

I might go for the AatP lucky pack print this year; not sure. I also want the butterfly print from Belladonna and their new bird print as well. And I want this silkscreened dragon print that Moss Badger made forever ago if she re-releases it.

18) When you first started wearing Lolita, what did you want your wardrobe to be like?

LOL, all sax sweet lolita. Like sax main pieces, sax bags, sax shoes. All sax. I just imagined a closet of sax dresses all in a row. I don’t actually look that great in sax… but when I imagine it, I still want that all sax closet. I have to really stop and think about it when buying stuff to keep from buying a lot of sax still. And it’s not because I think I can’t wear whatever I want even if it’s not my best color… it’s more like, when I look in the mirror after putting on something sax, I don’t like the way I look. I like the idea of a sax wardrobe more than the reality.

19) What is your Lolita wardrobe currently like?

Mostly AP and IW, and mostly red and blue. I really like crown and heraldry motifs, books, fruits/candies, circus motifs and carousels. It sounds like a lot, but when it’s spread between ~100 main pieces, there are definite taste trends!

20) What would you like your wardrobe to be like in the future?

I think I’d like to work on organization and storage. I want my actual lolita storage area to look cuter.