B Stylers: Japanese teens who want to be black
A group of teenagers in Japan known as B Stylers, have declared to live the life of a black person.
Dutch photographer Desiré van den Berg discovered the teens while traveling around Asia for the past seven months.
She lives in Hong Kong at the moment, but when she was in Tokyo, back in December 2013, she met Hina, a 23-year-old who works at a trendy Tokyo boutique called Baby Shoop. Hina’s shop has the tagline “Black for Life.” She describes its products as “a tribute to Black culture: the music, the fashion, and style of dance.”
Hina’s appearance is also loyal to what the Japanese call “B-style”—a contraction of the words “Black” and “Lifestyle” that refers to a subculture of young Japanese people who love American hip-hop culture so much that they do everything in their power to look as African American as possible.
B-stylers like Hina visit tanning salons once a week to darken their skin. They also tend to use darker foundation, listen to hip-hop and visit special African hair salons to get braids or curly hair. Hina also wears colored contact lenses to make her eyes seem bigger.
What do you think of the B-styler’s definition of what it means to be black? Is it insulting? Racist?
Or more of a reflection of self hate?
Sound off below!