Pink Energy: The Kawaii Cookout
Summer is boiling, and anime is streaming. If you're like me, then hot girl summer is slipping by faster than stockings tear on thick thighs. The social calendar is holier than fishnet tights, and it leaves me wondering where are my kawaii friends. Is my social calendar just a victim of the times? In kawaii spaces, it's hard to navigate the social world. Often the beauty of a coord doesn't equate friendship but rather an admiration. A hundred heart reacts sadly are not a substitute for companionship. I'm here to tell you about how to survive and thrive the elitism of the kawaii cookout. Why do I call it a cookout? Well, making friends and understanding where you stand within that friendship is similar to how you navigate a cookout. The etiquette of a cookout is actually the perfect metaphor.
Entering a cookout is simple. You walk in, and the food is usually cooking up outside. If you are a guest or new to this cookout culture, you might just remain outside to socialize. Everything you need to engage is outside. I call this the outer level of engagement and socializing — this level of social commitment is in how we navigate online communities or attend in-person community events. Yes, there are resources available to learn about the kawaii community. Examples of resources come in blogs, magazines, youtube, and more. It's a breeze to have these things as a way to engage with others. However, what happens when these resources don't open up the pathway to making friends. You might find yourself stuck as an "outside guest" circling resources, light conversation, but rarely allowed into deeper circles. Frequently this feels like its the last stop to getting anywhere within the kawaii community. It's often a lonely surface-level feeling. Honestly, I hate it. Thing's don't get better when gatekeepers and platforms are refusing to diversify their space. I say this because even resources can not look like you, or include people like you as a face in Kawaii spaces.
Let's say you do manage to get past gatekeepers. The next step of cookout etiquette is the people who are allowed in the house but limited to the first-floor bathroom. I see this as the social space that people are allowed to interact with the kawaii family. The great ones are the ones with established platforms or history within the jfashion community, the number one family members hosting the cookout. How you build upon relationships and get to know these people beyond the visual aesthetic and fashion are up to you. A lot of people will find themselves in and out of the first floor socialization and the outdoor space within the kawaii community. It's not uncommon to be in and out of these areas within the substyles and community. If anything takes it as the space in which you are learning and growing. I see this level of friendship being acquaintances or just your network. These are the people you can attend events with, take pictures with and of course will gas you up on social media. It doesn't mean that you don't know them; it just means you don't know them as well as you could.
The third layer of the etiquette at a cookout is the people who allowed upstairs. These are the friendships that are harder to develop in kawaii communities. In a cookout space, being allowed past the first floor in a house is big. It means you've established relationships and bonds beyond a surface level. Getting to this point is hard, but it's not impossible. Sometimes moving from being a guest outside to a friend laughing it up upstairs comes out of just messaging someone. Living in kawaii culture means we live for the visual of the lifestyle. A strong visual presence often leaves out the gritty truths of kawaii culture left to linger behind pink filters. It's kind of painful to live that way, but having friends who share your love of the kawaii world who you can be real with is so important. Yes talking about the latest shops is excellent but getting real beyond cute looks and amazing edits is a game-changer. I think that having the relationships, the equate family, or something more profound is what will make the kawaii community an international culture worthy of fame in social change.
Some people inspire social change and who are real in kawaii communities. People who don't let cute erase the authenticity of being human and going through things. No matter where you are with someone in the Kawaii Cookout, there is room to strengthen the bond you have with them. Curb stomping gatekeeping is, of course, a full-time job in the community sometimes as a jfashion blogger and advocate for black femmes. I only hope to see that kawaii will come to encompass the rebellion, the free spirit, and the whimsical aspect of art and style as self-expression for many years to come. Making friends isn't an immediate remedy. I do believe that having genuine friendships outside of surface-level association is what will make the kawaii cookout a better experience for all. Think you're ready to navigate the kawaii cookout? Go forth and prosper, as i believe you can find those people who will welcome you beyond the first floor of the kawaii cookout. No matter who they are, don't settle for less than a genuine friendship. They are humans behind the cute edits and pretty visuals. A decent human being will be cute with the pink filter on and off. Keep it in mind in your kawaii spaces. I believe the best pink energy is authentic.
Thanks for joining me on another kawaii influenced conversation! I will be bringing this heavier topics to Instagram on my IGTV. This article in particular will be featured in the first August episode of the month! If something resonated with you in this article drop a comment, and share with a friend!
Some Blogs to keep in mind as a resource for Jfashion as a lifestyle: