Kaori Shijo has an interesting article in the NYTs this week about two new-ish fashion trends that have gained ground here in the last year or so: the "Mori" (forest) girls and the "Ageha" (swallowtail butterfly) girls.
Shijo (and her sources) explain: "The forest girls wear layers of thin cottony dresses, thick tights and boots, unpretentious makeup and cloth tote bags, the intention being to resemble a handmade doll from some romantic, Black Forest setting....[They] want to obliterate sexuality.... [and] are wary of all forms of aggression or self-assertiveness. They're just too fragile, or would like to be that way. They don't want to live so much as to exist, preferably on a metaphysical level.”
Meanwhile, swallowtail butterflies "show a similar mistrust of the real world. Their aim is to look as much as possible like the blow-up figurines men buy online, only with flamboyant makeup." (Says one 23-year-old Ageha girl: “I like it when everything about me feels artificial.") These "doll impersonators" spend hours applying false eyelashes, hair extensions and heavy makeup.
Apparently, as much as they wish to alter their appearance, they won't get plastic surgery, because in Japanese culture, it's considered a "sin against their parents."