I’ve been feeling cruddy lately, thus the lack of posts, especially outfit posts. But yesterday I went to a Jero concert! Actually, it was his New York debut. This is what I wore:
…please ignore my face in the second one. Clearly everyone should hire me, I am the best model. I was just sort of itching to leave my house at that point.
(Notice something? I dyed my hair! It wasn’t meant to be purple, but due to a mix-up [read: I grabbed purple instead of blue] this is what happened.
Also I didn’t rebleach the parts I wanted pink so it’s purple, black, and a weird shade of brown.
Word to the wise, kids: don’t get frustrated with your life and try to dye your hair yourself.)
Three sets of bangles.
I purposely did my makeup to look like a blue raccoon. I was very…I didn’t really want to leave my house. But Jero. (If you don’t know who he is, don’t fear! I’ll explain in a few.)
Anyway, I was in the sort of mood where I just wanted to slam my face into my eyeshadow palettes and have makeup everywhere. Do you get like that or is it just me?
I didn’t really get to push the envelope as much as I wanted because I felt so terrible, but. Next time.
(I had a ridiculous dance audition on Friday and I was sore, among other issues.)
Anyway! The man of the hour, Jero. (these pictures were taken on my crappy point and shoot, forgive the quality.)
Jero is an enka singer. One-quarter Japanese, he is making strides in the Japanese celebrity world by singing enka music. He’s the first American to do so, and also one of the few people of color on Japanese television. He’s trying to bridge the gap between enka and the younger generation — it’s generally seen as a genre for older people — by bringing his own style to it.
Jero is great. I admire him a lot, and during the live he was funny and warm and just an overall sweet guy.
(On his suit: “I hadn’t worn this suit in a while, and when I put it on and looked in the mirror, I thought I looked like a bottle of Pepsi.”)
His existence (if not his music) is really important to me. I’m hoping to move back to Japan hopefully before the end of the year, and he’s an inspiration in that he is a person of color who is respected and loved by Japanese audiences. He was even on Kouhaku Uta Gassen, a very important music competition held on New Year’s Eve for the year’s most popular performers.
It helps him, I think, that he is a quarter Japanese and that he grew up in what he called a “pretty Japanese way” due to his grandmother and mother’s influences. He is fluent in Japanese and while he admits to making cultural faux pas (he grew up in Pittsburgh and didn’t move to Japan until he was 22, I believe, after he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh) he knows how to deal with it and move on. But he stands for what he believes in and is firm on his ideals (for example, he refuses to wear kimono despite that being traditionally what enka singers wear; he wanted to “be him.”)
I wanted to say a lot to him. I wanted to tell him that he makes me happy, that he helps me feel better about myself and my choices. I can’t sing, I don’t act, and my dancing is decent but needs help, but he makes me feel like I’m not worthless. He moved to Japan at the same age I am now, underwent vocal training for two years, and debuted. I’m not saying that I want to become a celebrity or anything like that. But him having reached his goals in a country as famously xenophobic as Japan, with a celebrity world that is super political and difficult to break into, is still very meaningful to me.
Instead I choked. I squeaked out a “hi!” and then a “thank you!” and ran away.
Story of my life. I need to do better.