Kimura Kaela Shaves It Off


I am too old to be chasing stories of teen celebrity coiffure, but I can’t help but think there is a deeper meaning to Kimura Kaela‘s new unbelievably-unadorable punk haircut. At the moment, the buzzed sides have morphed from “heart” red to a sickly shade of lime green.

For those unfamiliar with Kimura, she is an up-and-coming cutie-pie singer/actress, who in the past, had shades of alternative-ness, but nothing too shocking for a Seventeen model. This “rebellious” haircut appears to be a promotion stunt for her new harder-edged single “Beat” — a slight musical departure from the perky power pop her team created for her in the past.

Now, I’m supposed to think that this haircut is “meaningless” outside of mere “fashion”-based intentions, but this does seem like a calculated attempt to remove her from the “cute idol” group and place her in “rock chick” territory. Fashion as genre identifier? Yes, but I can’t help but believe she is personally interested in shunning the idol-factory industrial mechanisms and going “real” — and this new haircut is her way of showing it. Whether or not I’m being deceived by clever marketing or not, she is using fashion in the Western sense of having the behavior be attached to a particular philosophical disposition. This is clearly a protest, albeit in that cliché “protest” mold. If she grows her hair out and puts out a slick Europop album in the near future, I may be wrong about all of this, but idols don’t just up and shave their heads.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
October 4, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

16 Responses

  1. Nakasone Says:

    It is utterly clear that:
    1. You do not understand Japanese sensibility,
    2. Japanese do not understand Japanese sensibility,
    3. This person exhibits post-moronic cynicism.

    This is a kind of a Cute Americanism.

  2. r. Says:

    if she couples this new “do” with some dr. matrins, then we can be sure.

  3. r. Says:

    whoops, that’s dr. martins. dr. matrons? dr. maitre d’s?

  4. jed Says:

    The start of something?

  5. erikhw Says:

    Yes, Dr. Martens “Air Wair”.

  6. rachael Says:

    i don’t know how much you can read into it, because she had the shaved coloured undercut whatever you call it quite a while before the release of ‘beat’. (it was summer – it was hot)

    her singles up to now have been relatively cutie rock songs, like you said. my guess is after the okuda tamio one it’ll go back to that.

    even skye sweetnam is more ‘rock’ than kaela.

  7. Jrim Says:

    marxy: be honest, you’re only working yourself into a lather over Ms Kimura’s new bob because you fancy her. Either way, this kind of behaviour has lots of precedents in the Western pop world; Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake both spring to mind.

  8. marxy Says:

    I don’t think she’s weird that she’s “gone” rock from idol land – I’m amazed that they let her diminish her looks in order to get there. Now, I don’t care (much) about her haircut, but I’m sure a lot of Japanese boys are a little confused.

  9. Carl Says:

    Are you sure little Japanese boys are the ones buying music by cute Japanese girls? I always assumed their CDs were purchased by impressionable teenage girls looking for fashion role models.

  10. Chris_B Says:

    r: I saw a pair of oxbloods in your place. perhaps under all that hair you are really one of those national front skins?

  11. r. Says:


  12. Brad Says:

    I’m been looking forward to this new single to see what Okuda Tamio would do with her. I agree, she does seem a little more interested in at least appearing to be something other than a typical pop idol. I hope she sticks with Okuda for a while…

  13. x Says:

    To be honest, this just isn’t important.

    “Pseudo-slut pop-trick probably pulls publicity stunt”

    Nigga, please.

  14. marxy Says:

    You’re right, but the non-“big deal”-ness of it all is what I find interesting.

    (Plus, I have my head in data sets from 8:30 am to 12 pm and I’m losing touch with the outside world.)

  15. Dave Says:

    Sounds like Japanese music isn’t doomed.

    Also, Japanese woman are going to become macho-cynical tough people.

    Sounds like it’s time for Marxy to move to Berlin.

  16. r. Says:

    say what you want to say about her hair, but her summer sonic performance sucked.