After pondering the cuteness of this poster and the superman-like transformation from dowdy OL with freckles (or spots of dirt on her face from the night before in Roppongi) to a rather fashion-forward, if not severe, young lady about town. Although the message seems to be don't apply your make-up on the train, I can't help feeling that it's actually saying don't show that face outside the house until you are so made up you look like a different person. This poster reminded me of a somewhat nasty story I have heard repeated about the gaijin guy who takes a hot Japanese girl home one night only to find the next day that she has a freaky-in-a-bad-way face after removing the make-up and had misrepresented her assets using various forms of undergarment trickery. I realize I am only perpetuating this story by repeating it but I would be fascinated to know if it has actually happened to anyone. I don't wear a lot of make-up nor have I had any friends who wear so much they look completely different with a naked face so I may not be in the best position to judge, but it does seem like there is a lot more transforming going on with make-up here in Japan. Rather than "accentuating your best features" as we are told in the West, the mantra here seems to be "make yourself look different."
Take for example, this nose shaper to help you achieve a "higher" nose. I have seen this and a similar device that fits inside your mouth (god knows what for) at most drugstores. I suppose this and eyelid surgery, and Japanese women think they look Western, when what they should do is appreciate the features they already have. I've never seen a group of women more interested in appropriating the physical features of another ethnic group as here. It seems a shame that some Japanese women are preoccupied with the much-touted high nose and big eyes, when similar arguments could be made for the beauty in their small noses and almond-shaped eyes. If (and a very big if) I ever have some half-babies of my own in the distant future, I would hope they won't feel the need to look more European or Japanese. Can anyone offer some insight on their own or their children's self image here in Japan?