When American female pop stars shave their head, it’s because they’re Sinead O’Connor or they’ve gone crazy, which, come to think of it, is repetitive. In Japan, it’s because, well, not to make any gross generalizations, but Japan’s the land of Domino’s Mayonnaise Pizza. Clearly, something’s not right over there. For example:
A Japanese pop star has been forced to cut off all her hair and make a tearful public apology after being caught spending the night with her boyfriend…Minami Minegishi, 20, made the dramatic gesture after a tabloid magazine printed pictures of her leaving his house last week.
In an emotional four-minute YouTube video, now viewed almost 5million times, she asks for forgiveness and displays her shaven head, a traditional act of contrition in Japan. (Via)
Minegishi is a member of AKB48, an all-girl group (in fact, they hold the Guinness World Record for world’s largest pop group, with 91 members) that has sold over 20 million albums and earned $200 million in 2011…in Japan alone. They’re gigantic, literally and figuratively, and the “ashamed” Minegishi spending the night with Shirahama Alan, a member of the band Generation, is like someone from TLC getting caught with Long-Haired Guy #2 from Hanson. (Note: my pop music references are forever 1999.) This story is impossible for any American to truly understand — we stopped feeling shame decades ago.