Masculinity, Makeovers, and the Ethics of Consumption in Japanese Films for Young People

  • Christie Barber
Keywords: consumption, masculinity, ethics, Japanese film, subjective agency

Abstract

This article examines three recent Japanese films for young people—Kyō, koi wo hajimemasu (Today, I Will Fall in Love), Paradise Kiss, and Runway Beat—that employ a common narrative strategy whereby interior development of the female protagonist is matched by a process of transformation through consumption, in the form of a makeover. The films code consumption as morally good in that the female protagonists, following this transformation, achieve some degree of subjective agency and find meaningful positions in their social worlds. Nevertheless, an examination of the process of transformation and of the depictions of the young men who initiate and control the transformations reveals that these films convey a problematic ethics of consumption.

Author Biography

Christie Barber

Christie Barber is an Associate Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is also a Ph.D. candidate, and her research focuses on representations of masculinity in Japanese film for young people.

Published
2014-05-30
How to Cite
Barber, C. (2014). Masculinity, Makeovers, and the Ethics of Consumption in Japanese Films for Young People. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 6(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/219
Section
Articles for Special Issue on Consumption