In America, in our tabloids we often see pictures of underage and adult stars doing things that are certainly not good for their career; Lindsay Lohan stumbling, drunken out of bars, Britney Spears fooling around with a back up dancer. Britney is supposed to be American pop’s queen, but yet we really don’t care if she does anything we wouldn’t do, and I actually don’t know many Americans who like her…
Things like this in Japan, however, result in burned photo’s, ended careers, and videos on any BBS of pictures being torn and having “Skank!” or “Putaro!” on them.
I am not putting Japanese in a bad light, but simply studying what CAUSES these separate reactions. Japanese seem to less idolize their idols than they do look up to them, and consider them as supposed examples of adequate moral standards. Americans choose a different type of obsession, and instead consider their pop stars as people to imitate in terms of fashion and opinion.
An American rock star appears, jet lagged, and looking rather tired in a photoshoot. He might mention it in an interview or something, but otherwise it goes unnoticed.
A Jrocker (for example, Toshiya of Dir en grey) appears in the same situation, and has to release an personal apology.
Is it, perhaps, that while American stars are ushered to upkeep an acceptable image, idols are ushered to create an entire new image, AND upkeep that one? The peppy one, the yankee one, the mature one; like a shoujo manga.
Regardless, I feel both cultures rely on their stars far too much, too a point of star obsession. You have people forming their entire belief system around something a actor has said, and people completely redoing their style over a hair cut someone got.
Perhaps, maybe, our idols all have more in common than we think.
Let me introduce you our new member in kakko-ii.com blog team. She is Angela from US of A. She is into J-pop & movies and writes her own Sakuranbo! blog too. I’m very pleased to have her with us now on.