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Takarazuka Revue lists 25 characteristics that make women unattractive

By Casey Baseel

Since its first performance 100 years ago, Japan’s Takarazuka Revue has been the country’s most respected theater company. While the troupe is known for its lavish costume and set designs, as well as its bombastic musical performances, its most distinctive characteristic is that the group is composed entirely of actresses, with women playing both male and female roles.

To their fans, Takarazuka actresses are the epitome of grace and poise. There are a lot of pitfalls that have to be avoided to maintain that pristine image, though, as shown by the company’s list of the 25 marks of ugly women.

Recently, a number of former Takarazuka actresses were interviewed on the NHK morning talk show "Asa Ichi." Among those who appeared was Mizuki Hashimoto, who has gone on to a career in acupuncture since leaving the stage.

Like many respected organizations in Japan, Takarazuka takes its traditions very seriously, and has established several of them in the century since it came into being. Hashimoto explained that the company has a set of 25 things that make a woman ugly, which veterans of the troupe pass down to new members.

Let’s take a look at the list, which states that ugly women:

  1. Never smile
  2. Never say thank you
  3. Never say something tastes good
  4. Have no energetic spark
  5. Have no confidence
  6. Complain
  7. Have no hope or faith in their hearts
  8. See the negative in everything around them
  9. Don’t know they are ugly
  10. Speak in a small, timid voice
  11. Let themselves get hurt over trivial things
  12. Are jealous of others
  13. Have no light in their eyes
  14. Smirk
  15. Shift blame to others
  16. Hold grudges
  17. Look at everything in a tragic light
  18. Either can’t or choose not to realize when they have a problem
  19. Don’t give their all for others
  20. Don’t trust others
  21. Have no desires in their personal life or career
  22. Are boastful and lack humility
  23. Don’t accept advice
  24. Assume they’re always right
  25. Darken the mood just by being present.

We have to admit, none of these sound particularly appealing. Even No. 3, never saying something tastes nice, can be a downer for those around you if your standards are so high you can never show any joy in social dining situations.

A couple of these seem like a bit of a paradox, though. For example. No. 9 tells us that ugly women don’t realize they’re ugly. Of course, women who aren’t ugly, by definition, don’t realize that. What’s more, if we accept that not realizing you’re ugly makes you that way, shouldn’t it follow that doing the opposite, realizing you are ugly, makes you, in fact, not ugly?

No. 17, taking a tragic outlook on life, also seems just a teeny bit hypocritical, considering that many of Takarazuka’s best-loved plays are romantic tragedies.

Overall though, most of the items on the list make sense. As a matter of fact, taken as a whole, it’s such good advice that saying it’s for those aspiring to be beautiful seems like an unnecessary limitation, as does dumping all of these maxims on one side of the gender line.

It’d be a lot more accurate to say these are simply 25 things to avoid if you want to be a good person, regardless of whether you’re a woman or a man (or just play one on the stage).

Source: Iroiro

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Appearing in Takarazaka Revue.
-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is not applicable to just women, but people in general.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

don't see the problem with 10 to be honest, its kind of cute. Most unattractive thing I think is women who break wind loudly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was honestly surprised with this list. I expected it to be the usual surface level looks based list. Like the writer, I agree that taken as a whole, and not restricting it to women, the opposite of this list is the mark of a beautiful person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of my friends is a second-generation Takarazuka Revue fan, and she tells me that the fan-base is largely made up of extremely unattractive, overweight middle-aged women who (to put it nicely) have obviously never known the love of a good man. I hope we don't see a similar scenario to the AKB48 incident, but it wouldn't surprise me ..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

How about dropping the word 'ugly' completely, and try to suggest someone can be more attractive if they try to avoid a few of these traits. I reserve 'ugly' solely for people who wear it through bad personalities. That's ugly, not something as trivial as a timid voice.

I teach high school kids, and some must endure such crippling shyness that they have great trouble bringing out their inner beauty, but it's there. No amount of superficial cosmetic fluff or insincerity will do it, but dropping the 'busu' crap and letting them know they are human will give them a chance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ok, since nobody else has, I will ask the question. How many of the girls attracted to the Takarazuka theatre company are gay? Just wondering.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At least they can sing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Kabuki is the flip side of Takarazuka...and men play all the parts. Wonder what their "25 characteristics that make men unattractive" list would be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good list, but surely they've got number 10 the wrong way round? It should be "speak in a loud, assertive voice".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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