Knight for Kawaii Melanin
Greetings Magical Being,
I am blessed to see Kawaii Melanin on my feed, and for that I’m grateful. However, stepping into the alternative fashion scene is difficult when the majority of the visual representation looks nothing like... Well, us. If wasn’t for DCKawaiiStyle I wouldn’t have thought there was a community for me in the Jfashion scene. Online communities do help quite a lot, but online communities can also put more emphasis on a particular desired look for Jfashion. It can contribute to a lack of confidence in participating in Jfashion or alternative fashion communities. As I continue my fashion journey through alternative expression, I thought I would reflect on the importance of Kawaii Melanin.
As a newly budding Black J-Fashionista who still hasn’t quite found a set style to work on, I try to challenge my range of colors and get over the mindset that certain colors are just for paler skin tones. Many of my fashion forward friends including myself experience commentary on what doesn’t work for their skin because of their skin tone. While no one asked for those comments, they are said regardless. Don’t get me started on the vast range of commentary for ones body type in jfashion. Like I said it’s challenging to find confidence in styles and community that favor people who look nothing like you. From hair to body shape it always feels like something is wrong with me and my presentations of kawaii fashion. I try to explore the root of Eurocentric beauty standards and overcome it, but it takes a lot which is why community support is needed. I currently have a small Kawaii Instagram community I encourage and lead and am a part of the DMV community DCKawaiiStyle, and Facebook group; Black J-fashion. Still, with Instagram and Tumblr, fighting these beauty standards and being present in these spaces can be draining. Especially when it feels like your efforts and creativity will never be acknowledged or appreciated as much as those big time jfashion lifestyle participants. I hear a lot how people of color will drop J-fashion because the community breeds toxicity and hate, but I firmly believe that this can change. I believe that kawaii melanin has a place in Jfashion communities. I damn sure advocate and fight for it.
The hate I’ve seen towards online friends in this community from our pale peers hurts. It can break you down, but that doesn’t mean we don’t belong there or can’t contribute to these communities and spaces. We live in a world that continually moves to admire and acknowledge Eurocentric beauty. I want to see more Kawaii Melanin from all over be style leaders and mentors. I want to see those heralded in Kawaii Communities uplifting those Melanin blessed beauties and their style frequently. Is it too much to ask? The question I have for those style leaders in J-fashion is why are you gate keeping POC with melanin from experiencing the world of Jfashion? When will you start protecting your melanated friends in these communities?
I hope to be a resource one day for people of color to see and feel that they can be magical too. Why? Well, I like to consider myself a knight for kawaii melanin, and I protect those in those spaces who need it.