Tokyo Damage Report

‘Celebitch’ magazine

dasai fashion.

ok, it’s a fashion magazine! called what?

no,seriously, that couldn’t be. it myst be an optical illusion caused by too much bling-fontery. try again.

oh shit.

There’s no editor’s statement, so it’s impossible to tell if this is just a bad side effect of a "celebrity + rich" portmonteau or a deliberate, Hiltonesque "celebrity girl you love to hate" provocation.

Anyway, here is a typical page of celeb-ich:

Note how the graphic design is engaged in a no-holds-barred caged-match death-duel with the fashions for the title of "If Looking At Something Could Give You Herpes."

See how effortlessly this leapfrogs over the dozen-or-so "Cheap japanese Hostess" fashion zines, into "cheap RUSSIAN hostess" territory.

Below, paste-on fingernails. In two styles: the cool style and the elegant style.

This magazine is outrageous, but with none of the defy-society girl-power mystique of the old EGG magazines. And although geared to working-class women, it encourages them to dress in a real pathetic imitation of real wealth. This is for broke women that try to fill the hole in their ego with rhinestones: not slutty so much as deeply sad. This is an amazing MC Escher Staircase of a magazine, an endless conveyor belt of bad taste, where every page is somehow more sad than the page before and after it.

 

Like this before-and-after flowchart:

They take these two okay-looking clerks at 7-11 and turn them into hideous 1989 New Jersey Prom gargoyles:

 

Think it doesn’t get any sadder? wrong!

next is an ad for a VIRTUAL GIGOLO. A small program you can download to your cellphone that lets you do a choose-your-own-adventure text game with tiny 18×20 pixel hosts who give you computerized compliments.

 

so sad! the subtext practically screams, "I don’t dare even fantasize about actual love! I buy an imitation of an imitation of it!"

next is even more sad:

a day in the life of a typical CELEB-ICH role model: a single mom who walks her infant around the hood in pleather hotpants, and a purple hoodie festooned with silkscreened $100 bills. Subtext: "this is how we, the editors, portray our OWN readers." I think the next issue comes with a pop-up hand with a glue-on pinky ring that smacks readers in the face and says "Bitch better have my money!"

 

And no saddie magazine would be complete without soft-core porn of gigolos:

the next photo had him with a rose clutched in his teeth. Or was it a glass of red wine and matching bath-towel?

 

Next, part of a 2-page spread on "what is wrong with your body and how much it will cost to fix it."

To me what is the most interesting about this is not how blatant it is, but how cheap the surgeries are : average cost $800. In other words, they are not going to do anything for you. Double-sad!

Finally,

link to celeb-ich amazon.co.jp page so you can buy your own copy.

The customer reviews on the amazon page are also pretty rad.

Some people argue that this kind of "hard, crafty" Vegas showgirl image is empowering for Tha Ladeez, and a good antidote to the forced cuteness of J-society. (never mind that successful gold-diggers would not get caught dead in these outfits!). Others advise that this magazine is just making fun of women in general.

The other 90% of the reviews are dedicated to "what does bitch mean anyway?" One person points to the perfectly respectable fashion magazines that print articles of devil-may-care rich girls like Drew Barrymore and Paris Hilton, and says the "celeb-itch" trend started there. Another says that Japanese gold-diggers are the equivalent of D.B. and P.H. : tragic figures who, though gifted with beauty, wit and fabulousness are still called "bitches" by jealous-ass haters.

Other reviewers point out that the analogy to Hollywood Bad Girls doesn’t apply in Japan, where word "bitch" in japanese doesn’t mean " woman who will get in your face if you don’t do what she wants" but simply means "cum dumpster."

 

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. David September 3rd, 2011 11:22 am

    Hi there! Just found your blog and I have been obsessively reading past entries, esp the magazine reviews and the recent weird music genres that only Japan can churn out. Really enjoyed your articles and your sense of humour. And those fashion magazines that teaches you how to dress like a western gangster & douche (as you called it): my gawd, which sensible person dresses like that??? And 20000 yen for a set of fake finger nails? Crazy~~~ I don't remember seeing people like that on the streets of Japan; maybe I went to the wrong places or these fashion only exist in magazines. On my last trip to Japan 2 years ago, I found this magazine (forgot the name) that advises you on how to dress like hosts from host clubs and there was an article inside that teaches you techniques on how to pleasure your clients, complete with photos (!). Hope you can review that as well, if possible. BTW, the expose on the visual kei scene disappeared: did Mr Satoh get cold feet at the last minute and asked you to take it off? Carry on writing!

  2. David September 3rd, 2011 8:01 pm

    Alright, just read the article on G-Style; my gawd, that magazine lasted for so many years?! There's such a big market for it to sustain?! You the man!

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