Monday, November 19, 2007

Barbie vs. Fulla

We all know what a Barbie is, considering the fact that the plastic doll has been around for an astonishing 48 years and is the top-selling fashion doll ever made! Barbie, who’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, is given the personality of a beautiful blonde, who is perfect in every way and lives the all American lifestyle. Yet some people don’t approve of the blonde, because of her “revealing clothes and shameful posture” but there’s no worry they have found a replacement! Fulla is the Muslim replacement version of Barbie, which is marketed to children of Islamic and Middle-Eastern countries to replace the western life style of Barbie with the more realistic life style of a typical Islamic woman. The doll was created by Manar Tarabichi, a Syrian entrepreneur and is produced by NewBoy, since November 2003 the doll has sold 1.5 million copies. The doll has been very much approved in the Middle-Eastern countries, because of her conservative and respectable clothes such as a black abaya, wide variety of head scarves, and clothes that show no bare arms, legs or cleavage. In addition to her clothing, she also has black hair, and has had her breasts flattened, these small factors are very important to the consumers of the doll, Shahira Kashlan has said “I don’t mind buying Fulla because she’s closer to Arab culture’ and she added “Her clothes don’t expose”. Fulla is a role-model to some Muslim people and shows how many Muslim people would prefer their daughters to dress and behave, however Mr. Abidin has said that the company never intended to design an Islamic doll, but just one that Arab girls could identify with.

MacKinnon, Mark "Barbie meets her Muslim match." The Globe and Mail 27 Oct 2005: A1, A21.

Unknown. "Barbie and Fulla." July 14,2007. Online image. November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why I couldn’t remember and what I remember

On September 11, 2001, the towers of the World Trade Center were hit by one hijacked plane each. When I was asked the question, where I was that day, I thought hard about where I was but my mind was blank! I went home that day and asked my mom, and everything came to me! On September 11, 2001, I still wasn’t in school because I had just moved to Canada on July 12, 2001 from Norway, and my brother and I were not aloud to attend school with having some medical test done, due to Canadian laws. Although I don’t remember a lot about that horrifying day, I remember that I didn’t find out about the plane crashes until around 8 o’clock pm, and even when I saw them on the television I didn’t really understand what was going on because I didn’t know English very well, being new to Canada and everything but I knew that something was wrong. That evening my parents and their friends were watching the devastating replays of the planes crashing into the buildings, over and over again, they all looked so shocked and could not believe what had happened. I just watched the television as if it was a movie because when I asked what was going on no one would tell me, I don’t really remember when I found out what had happened on that day but I know it was a couple years later.

Shortly after I had found out about what had happened that day Alan Jackson came out with a song "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning? In the song Jackson states in one line "I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference between Iraq and Iran."
With this line Jackson made very good statement about media coverage and how they really don’t care about the people in the middle-east, and how the news considers all middle-eastern people to be the same. This is diffidently not the case because if you were to compare Iraqi and Iranian people you would discover that they have a completely different culture and values. I think that with this song Alan Jackson tried to get people to remember all the people who lost their lives that day, and he did a very good job of it, even though he was criticised for awakening the grief of 9/11.

Soon after Alan Jacksons song was starting to be forgotten and more and more accepted movies came out for the even of 9/11. The movies that came out were “World Trade Center” and “United 93” just like Alan Jacksons song the movies were both criticised for once again awakening the grief of 9/11. In my opinion I think the movies were an alright idea, but they didn’t really focus on 9/11 all together, but instead they chose one part of 9/11 and focused on that in both movies. So over all the movies weren’t that bad but the world really wouldn’t have been much different if they had been made.

Alan Jackson - Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning

United 93 Trailer

World Trade Center

Amy Zalman. " Two planes carsh into the towers of the World Trade Center." Unknown. Online image. 16, 2007.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stefani’s Harajuku Girls nothing more than accessories?

Gwen Stefani has come a long way from being the lead singer of No Doubt. She has become an idol to millions of North Americans and others around the world, for her music and style that she has adopted from numerous cultures. With all this power Gwen Stefani has created her own Fashion line that is called L.A.M.B. which has her own trendy edge to it. To advertise her fashion line, she has hired four women, which have been introduced to the world as Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls”.

The term Harajuku Girls originates from a district in Japan, where women and men (Harajuku Boys) dress with an outrageous style daily. According to an online source, the way to wear Harajuku style is to “be creative; be theatrical; mix and match; look cute; have a sense of humour; be confident wearing clothes that have weird shapes; if you go for bright colours, make sure you have unusual, fun contrast; if you wear make-up, wear it black; be confident in your chosen look; and above all, be stylish”. Altogether, Harajuku Girls are known for the spirit of freedom for the way their style is produced, since it is based upon their personal views and opinions.

Now calling Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls”, Harajuku Girls, is very unacceptable to many critiques and original Japanese Harajuku Girls because they believe that they are not real Harajuku Girls. Instead they are part of Stefani’s Marketing “Scheme” that has the world believing she has created this term and style herself. Stefani, who has also named her “Harajuku Girls”, Love, Angel, Music and Baby, has strengthened the belief that this is all a marketing scheme by using the first letter of each names given to the girls to spell out, L.A.M.B which is her Fashion Line, making these girls walking advertisements. And also the “Harajuku Girls” always stand in the order “Love, Angel, Music, Baby”, to spell out L.A.M.B. In addition she has even made dolls of the Harajuku Girls and her self that are sold for money, and by this she is telling people you can also own your very own Harajuku Girls. It is also believe that Gwen Stefani has used the four Harajuku Girls, Maya Chino, Jennifer Kita, Rino Nakasone, and Mayuko Kitayama as props, just to reach higher success and fame, in the music and fashion industries. Although some Japanese Harajuku Girls don’t approve of the Harajuku Girls other Japanese women greatly believe that the appearance of Japanese women in the media is an extremely wonderful opportunity for the North American society to view more Japanese women in the present media, and more to come.

Many problems have and are occurring in the present regarding the works of Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku Girls; this is because there are two sides to this, on one side many Japanese women do not want to see people like them, becoming accessories to the Western lifestyle and society. Then on the other hand there are Japanese women who want to see other Japanese women on television because “it brings hope to others” says a Japanese women on a blog. With all these problems regarding Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku Girls, its is noted that there have been legal documents signed by both Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku Girls, outlining what they can and can’t do, because in the end of it all, being one of Stefani’s Harajuku Girls is a just a job. In addition Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls get paid a ridiculously large amount of cash for being on tour with her, being at her fashion show, having dolls of them made to be sold, being in her music videos, being at concerts, and just being there in her shadow. Altogether if both Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku Girls are satisfied with what they are doing and how it is being done, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that Stefani has these four Harajuku Girls working for her, a job is a job, when money is involved.


After writing the article about Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku girls, I set up a poll. The poll question was “Do you believe that Gwen Stefani, is using the Harajuku Girls as props?” and the choices were Yes and NO, the results that I got were not very surprising because these are the results I was expecting. Out of the 5 people that participated in the poll, 60% agreed that Gwen Stefani is using the Harajuku Girls as props and 40% said no she wasn’t. I wasn’t surprised with these results because after reading all the other articles on this topic, there was always two different sides to the story and in the end, it all came up to the persons beliefs, values, culture, gender etc…

Knight, Magda Harajuku Girls - the heart of modern Japanese fashion. Unkn. Online. 17 Oct 2007.

Lorenzo Agius. " Gwen Stefani's and the Harajuku Girls." Unknown. Online image.,,1554848,00.html .October 18 2007.