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.