Tokyo Damage Report

Beautyworld trade-show

may 8




(i added the beautyworld gallery. more PHOTOS are there .)


Today I put on one of my gayer outfits and trundled off to see my first-ever beauty industry convention at Tokyo’s famous Big Sight convention hall. I’m always happy to go to a non-anime-nerd event at BIG SIGHT, but today was especially happy because not only had I finagled my way into an ‘industry only, not open to public’ event, but I had gotten free tickets also!

The ‘BEAUTYWORLD’ company is actually in good old Chermany, but the Japanese company that co-sponsored the event is named INTIMA. I suppose the name is supposed to connote ‘intimate’, but for some reason i kept hearing ‘intiifada’ instead. as in, Palestinian suicide-bombing ‘intifada.’ Wouldn’t that make a cozy name for a lingere concern? "slip into some silky intifada. get your man in the mood with intifada."

The clientele was an odd mixture of old guys in business suits, and really dumb slutty girls with fake tans and bad extensions who work at nail salons. Before you call me sexist, YOU try to think of a more exact description of these nail salon workers. The ‘differently access-to-poonannied’?

Apparently the focus of BEAUTYWORLD is not fashion or makeup, but BEAUTY SALONS. In japan they’re called ESTHETIC SALONS. Of course, in japan, brothels are ALSO called SALONS. Which might explain why the nail-file-ladies all look the way they do.

But anyway, the products on display here are geared towards those salons: face creams, waxes, all that shit.

The bad news is, most of the convention was like a giant shopping mall. Just booth after booth of cosmetics and nails with dumb Barbie girls shopping. Also lots of hideous fake tattoos and ‘body art.’

The good news is, the DEVICES.

Good lord, the DEVICES.

Womens’ bodies were put onto surgical-looking tables and vacuum-sucked, plucked, shocked, rolled, swabbed, irradiated, vibrated and massaged. In many cases the woman was totally covered with terrycloth towels with only the ‘offending ugly part’ revealed. And even then the ‘ugly part’ was covered with so many wires and remote-control devices you could hardly see it. And the wires were all bundled into one huge snake which inevitably lead into the bowels of some giant Star Trek Looking machine that the crisp, white-clad technician would be fiddling with the knobs of.

It was like some twisted version of the ‘A Clockwork Orangehigh-tech torture scene, except the guy is a girl and she’s ENJOYING IT. Alternate image: UFO abductee probing room. alternate alternate image: scientology e-meter ‘clearing session’. Fucking WEIRD. I kept looking for the Tentacle Machine, which I swear was round there somewhere.

All the high-tech stuff had this amazing confluence of symbolism. Like the s/m vibe was running steady at 90%, and the super science fiction vibe was at like 95%, but the actual beauty part was down around 4 or 5%. Plus all the wires and lo-tech quack gizmos carry the vague, ominous, inescapable ambience of a Scientology meeting, with it’s ‘engram readers’. Plus the fervent and slightly glassy-eyed believers wandering around do nothing to dispel this vibe.

And of course, none of the stuff even remotely works. Here’s a sample explanation: “these little metal boxes strap around your belly and thighs and through a combination of infrared radiation, vacuum suction, and gentle massaging microvibration, tone up your skin while helping you lose weight.”

Right. “hey look, little elves are coming out of the box too and giving her a bikini wax while sprinkling fairy dust on her birthmark, causing it to , why . . .it’s turning into a profile of Hitchcock! This product is amazing, Carl!”

The whole confluence of beauty, masochism, technology, s/m, and brainwashing culminated in one single image:


This one table had a middle-aged woman in a hot ? pink bikini lying face down on a massage table with no less than a dozen multicolored electrodes plugged in or taped on to her ass, for reasons which were as unclear as they were sinister. The cables all slithered off to this giant machine next to her. And there were like 3 other middle-aged women, customers, perched on a stool next to the table, just, like. . .WATCHING. not guys in raincoats, mind you, but other women. . Watching and WAITING. Waiting for what? For the ass to get up and start speaking in some kind of Frankenstein Monster voice? “I am ALIVE!! RARRR!!!”

This image was such a good summary of the entire event I really wanted to sneak a photo but as you can imagine, security around the Electric Ass was tight.

Make your own sphincter joke.

So instead of obsessing over Franken-Ass the whole time, I just walked around, trying as many asinine, spurious weight-loss treatments myself as I could, and getting in as many asinine conversations as possible with the pouncing vultures in rented costumes that call themselves salesladies.

Examples: (keep in mind that this is all in Japanese and I will sound slightly less stupid).

SALESLADY: welcome! Please take this weight loss pill sample!

ME: do I look like a fat pig?


SALESLADY: welcome! Please take these sample pills!

ME: what is the effect of the pills?

SALESLADY: they give you a bigger bust!


SALESMAN: please view your own face using our ultraviolet-skin microscopic facial scan camera!

ME: ha ha! i look like someone who is dead!


Some of the other cool booths were:

GERSHON’S. the only booth to sell lingire AND enemas. I assume they also had some inflatable dolls and scented lubricants in the back. These enemas weren’t just any enemas. They were “H.Q.C.C.” :hi quality colon coffee!


Actual black java up your butt. Try ordering that next time you are at Starbucks. Also right next to the lingere they had huge color photos of the insides of diseased colons. I thought, understandably, that this was some brilliantly subversive performance art. If only there was some Pavlovian way to make EVERYONE wearing sexy lingere think obsessively about colon disorvers.

more about coffee enemas here:

As a matter of fact, if you have a free weekend, just try googling “gerson” and “coffee” and read what comes up.

OTHER LINGERE STORE: some small asian businessman who is totally dwarfed by this titanic 8 foot Scandinavian model wearing nothing but a bra and panties, whose job it is to stand around not talking for 8 hours. Here’s the REALLY surreal part: the panties are BUTT PADDED. This statuesque blonde, this Nordic goddess, was actually hired because she is defective!! She’s playing the part of an assless woman, whose poor posterior is being ‘corrected’ by some shapely foam. I’m trying to picture her, upon her return to Stockholm, explaining to her therapist the horrible psychological damage this job did to her. Again, brilliantly subversive.

REVERSE TANNING BOOTH: some English company makes this machine that somehow makes your skin WHITER by shining huge bright lights at it from 4 inches away. It looked like they were in Bruce Banner’s laboratory trying to create mutants by injecting them with high radiation. Of course I had to ask the lady, “so do lots of old ex-yamanbas go here?”

oh, yeah. FYI yamambas are them:


FOR NO REASON in the corner, in between the fake nail salons and the butt pads was a whole little restaurant serving wine. Like HELLA WINE. I was asking the guy, “um, . . so is this some kind of . . .uh, FASHION wine or something?” he just said no. he was like, "why are you asking that kind of question? isn’t it obvious that EVERY EVENT IN HUMAN HISTORY needs/has needed a wine tasting booth?"

HYPERBARIC CHAMBER: the kind Michael Jackson is supposed to sleep in (insert your own m.j. bed-time-related humor here, you heartless bastards).

Basically the way it works is, they put you in a giant bag and inflate it with lots of extra oxygen. So you’re getting more healthy air AND more air pressure than regular unhealthy lame Earth air. Whether this actually keeps your skin tight as you age I have no idea. I guess if you walked around all day INSIDE THE CHAMBER your skin would stay tight. But you’d look like the MICHELLEIN MAN, then, wouldn’t you? Anyway it was a weird but not unpleasant experience. I was hoping the increased atmospheric pressure would make it difficult to move my arms or something, but no luck. Basically it felt like I was inside some great big guy’s LUNG.

Also, and just as INSANE, were the conferences . . . where literally 120 women stand around with blank zombie faces watching some cutting-edge earthshattering nail-gluing demonstration. Seriously, over one hundred women are watching! That’s way more people than at most rock shows I’ve seen. I could kind of understand it from a business perspective if they were taking notes and trying to get a higher paying job at a nail salon but they just stood there gaping, mouths open, like a batch of hungry groupers.

The BODY MASTER. I tried hella machines here, but the body master was the most fun! The preposterous idea is that, by mechanically forcing your legs up and down hundreds of times a minute, you will somehow get in 30 seconds the same exercise benefit as if you ran 5 miles. As a health-making-apparatus it’s pure hogwash . . . but as a BOOTY SHAKE-A-SAURUS, it is a fucking MASTERPIECE. My ass was gyrating at 15 times a second. I think that all the stuck up bitches and tight-ass ‘dancing is for homos’ guys in clubs should be forced onto this machine at sporkpoint until they get forcibly funked.

Also when you’re on it your voice sounds like ozzy saying ‘III AAAMMM IRRRONNN MMMAAANNNNNNnnnnn’ .


NEO QUI ENERGY COCCOON. Some crazy Estonian maniacs are making these things that look like George Jetson’s Space Coffin. They’re like mini-saunas with built-in whirlpools, piped-in music, aromatherapy, vibrating action AND something called ‘infrared massage.’ The salesman wasted no time in informing me that the woman on the brochure cover was ‘a typical estonian’ because Estonia has “the most beautiful girls in the world.” I assume they were just all dogs before he invented this machine, right?



Was another major theme of this event. For instance . . .

PROGRAM ONE: in real time, uses biometric technology to apply ‘virtual makeup’ to your face. It tracks the movements of your eyes and mouth and keeps the fake lipstick/eyeliner in their appropriate positions, as you click around and change them. Naturally I asked the saleslady “can you make me look like a Yamanba?”

PROGRAM TWO: the ETUDE BEAUTY SYSTEM. \ in case you’ve found my comments a little bit bitchy, this software is, in a nutshell, why I hate the entire beauty industry.

Here’s how the ETUDE works: First you stick your head inside the PROBE BOX where a super-high-resolution digital ultraviolet camera scans your face. Then on the computer monitor they zoom in until they find something gross. It’s a totally high-tech way for you to discover brand new flaws that you don’t even know you had! They also have a tiny version of this, which looks like a showerhead, so you can find brand new, expensive-to-fix flaws with your scalp.

Here is an actual quote from their website ; “Because ‘seeing is believing,’ clients are more apt to purchase products and services given the feedback given to them by Charm View.” Obviously they just want the boss at the beauty salon to read that, not the customers.

website here go now.

PROGRAM THREE: the age-simulator. You’ve probably seen this machine if you’ve watched programs about abducted children. “if he’s still alive he’s 19 now and he’d look like this.” Somehow this really desperate, morbid software has made it from the backs of milk cartons into the beauty salons. As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, what is up with a beauty salon product THAT ACTUALLY MAKES YOU LOOK UGLIER???? What the SHIT, MATEY??

PROGRAM FOUR: the 3d modeling studio. You go into a box that looks like a purikura booth, and lasers in all 4 corners zoom up your body and create a 3 dimensional model, using over, if I remember,, 100,000 points, to create like 10,000 polygons. This model can then be rotated or zoomed in any direction. My only regret about the whole event is that I did not strike some kind of heavy metal triumphant Barbarian Vanquishing the Wizard pose inside this machine.

The lasers didn’t scan the top of my head though, so it looked like the top had been sliced clean off. I told the technician guy, “hey, it looks like KILL BILL!” and he laughed so hard that polygons came out of his nose.

Overall thoughts: this is weird. Way too weird. But, is it weird because I am a very manly manly man who has never been to a beauty salon? Or is the weirdness just so intrinsic, so systemically bone-deep that even a die-hard salon customer would also be freaked out? Not a question I can answer by myself.

Any reader who has gone to salons, please write me and tell me, is the shit I’m describing all in the average salon? Or, if YOU had gone there with me, would YOU have been like, ‘what the dickens?’ Help me out here!


also, tomorrow, i will post the photos of beautyworld. today i have to go study japanese with a russian hostess, long story. after that i will go hear irish traditional music played by japanese people using ’80’s speed-metal instrumentation. of which more next week.

so, kind of hard to sit indoors and play with the damn computer.

good news : if i keep posting one show review a day for the next week, i’ll BE CAUGHT UP!! i’ll finally have gotten rid of the huge backlog of shit i’ve written-but-not-had-time-to-post. and if that happens, then subsequent entries will be IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER again. which i think everyone is hot for.



i added the beautyworld gallery. please go there, as it makes the story more interesting.


: the brochure for this event is a good five pounds. Every single vendor gets to write a little ‘mission statement,’ and some of them are real doozies. like, are you as bone-splinteringly angry as i am to find out that people who paint nails for a living are now called, get this: NAILISTS?

not only is that annoying, but it isn’t even a particuarly good euphemism!! it doesn’t make them sound more clinical or professional, it makes them sound like some kind of bizarre religious cult.


"oh, god, is it the Nailists again? tell them we gave already, during Glossover.’

anway, back to the mission statements:

For instance, the aptly named BEAULY COMPANY. As in, “you look beaulyful today.” From beauly’s blurb: “at this year’s fair we offer an assortment of basic skin care products, which utilize NANO particle to enhance their absorption by the skin. A Demonstration of the Vitamin C permeability and antioxidant retention rate of our “portable-home use, ION – induced facial care device, beauly II”, will be performed at West Hall, Booth No.: 757, So come on and feel free to visit us!”

The terrifying thing about this is, it’s not ‘engrish.’ This is the way that ‘beauty-care specialists’ talk IN AMERICA.

Or the JAPAN NATURAL LABORATORIES, who manufacture the ‘Aurora-ceutical.’ What do you get when you get an Aurora-ceutical? Why, you get “a multifunctional facial treatment instrument featuring face massage by 5MHZ ultrasonic wave.”

I love this idea that scientific = healthy. As if the effects of, say, hemlock or a butane torch couldn’t ALSO be described using long words. Also the idea that medical = objective. Like, even if the machines ACTUALLY COULD remove that zit or whatever, will that objectively make you a better person? Aren’t the machines all designed to support increasingly rigid beauty standards that are monumentally arbitrary and not the least bit objective? Sorry, turned into Granola Dyke for a second. But still, sometimes broad sides of barns need to be pelted a little.


Or this, from the INTER FACE company: Inter Face Group greets a memorable year called the 20 th anniversary this year. We continue challenging to realize the dreams of the women in the world who wish to be beautiful as “a beauty station loved by every woman.”

Best name award goes to FUSS UND SCHUH INSTITUT, whose beauty treatments sound like something you’d get from Dr. Menegle. “Ve vill also present attraktiv inforrrmation on Fusspflege through the Monitor TV,so zat you can rrrealize “fussplege” much more visually.”

Most skewed “enthusiasm – to – coherence” ratio award goes to the wonderful LA-SINCERE COMPANY.

“it present the basic skin care cosmetic, body&hair care, correspondence to sensitive skin care products and so on that it make use of the character of GEL which the skin took back originally the healthness and to lead to the beautifully moist skin. We have an assortment a great variety of the Config cosmetic for business / or professional use. And what is more, let me provide to low-cost.

Moreover, let me present the Doctor’s cosmetics Lipodarm, Excellence and care system’ that we have import and sale its. They are very revolutionary system because are improvement, make it repair a skin in a short time.”

I just can not get ENOUGH.

The NEOQI Energy Cocoon is an innovative and multifunctional body care equipment providing skin, stress and body care treatments. The energy cocoon offers ultimate spa-and beauty procedures erquiring minimal time and space. This product offers the possibility to use many different functions: steam sauna, aroatherapty, infrared sauna (!), vibromassage, vichy shower, music system and hydromassage in a single product.


GREAT FORCE BIOCHEM company: another sort of stream-of-consciousness, Burroughs meets Barbie kind of mission statement:

4 th nano collagen on demand, the future cosmetic concept, merge biology and nano-tech, utilize unique M.A.C. technology, 4 th nano collagen can look after both absorption and effectiveness. Great force is the leader brand of nano material manufacturing and development in Taiwan, specialize in bio-grade nano material which can be applied in daily goods, looking for professional and enthusiastic agen.

‘bio-grade nano material’ . . . doesn’t it sound JUST LIKE something the president would say? “we have just found, based on multiple intelligence from credible sources, a huge stockpile of bio-grade nano material. We are going to invade Taiwan tomorrow.”

Best punchline award goes to KYODO PRESS. Their mission statement is as follows:

“THE BODY is the only lingerie and foundation magazine which has been sold by the bookstores nationwide in japan. We have covered overseas and domestic manufacturers. Twice a year, paris and lyon lingerie shows in france are covered. Through them, we have introduced the latest collections to japanese underwear freaks.”

I am SO HAPPY I did not have to make that up.

i’m pretty sure that is not ‘engrish.’ there is NO WAY. this HAS to be a case of ‘underpaid intern’s revenge.’


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