The government’s “Cool Biz” campaign, aimed at fostering energy conservation by encouraging people to dispense with neckties and superfluous garments during the steamy summer months, may or may not be related to current fashions among young women. But keeping cool aside, girls’ wearing of skimpy duds in public places -- or on the job -- is viewed with disdain by many adults.
Each week at a section on its website called “aspara club,” the Asahi Shimbun polls some 8,000 registered “be monitors.” The results then appear each Saturday in the print edition's supplement, in a department called “be between.”
The question for the July 26 edition was, “Do you feel women’s summer garb is too extreme?” Of the 4,361 valid responses, 80% replied in the affirmative. Of these, nearly equal numbers objected to flashing of too much skin (2,189 responses) and allowing undergarments or navel to be exposed (2,011 responses).
Asked which garments were unsuitable to be worn at the workplace, 3,320 respondents named camisoles -- which originally functioned as an undergarment.
“Seeing women nonchalantly wearing something that looks like underwear is really unpleasant,” a 67-year-old Tokyoite tells Asahi.
The second most unpopular item to wear to work, with 2,257 responses, was low-rise pants. Numerous comments were also made about footwear, specifically sandals and cheap synthetic leisure shoes like Crocs were singled out for criticism.
“At a restaurant, one girl seated on a tatami had exposed a full view of her butt. I had to ask a waiter to tell her off,” one Aichi Prefecture resident tells Asahi, while a 30-year-old Tokyo man complains, “The revealing clothing makes it harder for me to concentrate on my job.”
Interestingly, while a few monitors lamented what has become of Japanese female modesty and reserve, none of the comments considered how “immodest” appearance might be tied to the sex crimes, such as the side-effects of tactile titillation on male rail passengers, caused by close proximity to skimpily clad young women. The survey essentially came across as a simple critique of current fashions and wearers’ tastes -- or the lack thereof.
The Asahi survey also noted that 40% of respondents felt male summer garb was also too extreme -- although for the opposite reason.
“Just looking at men in suits and neckties makes me feel hot,” a 28-year-old Kanagawa woman complains. “Because of them, we have to lower the thermostat, and women feel colder.”© Japan Today