Some of the biggest changes in Japan over the years have taken place in the world of academia. Over 10 years, for example, my university classroom has changed from reserved, plain-dressed girls who used to hide behind their bangs to a group of miniskirted, sexy, breasty teens who wiggle and jiggle their “equipment” as they stride along in skyscraper heels and shriek into cell phones while at the same time curling their eyebrows. Every day I fear Cosmopolitan magazine is going to pop into my classroom and start snapping photos. And this, of course, is what my students are hoping for.
“No, no, she is not Britney Spears!” I would say about the little Britney look-alike in the front row wearing a low-waisted miniskirt and a cropped top to show off her pierced navel. But Cosmo would ignore me.
“No, no, that student is not Mariah Carey!” I would claim as my little Mariah, with the backless shirt affixed to her body with just a few strings, settled into the pouty-mouth position. But Cosmo would merely continue setting up those electric fans they use to make a model’s hair blow back and her nipples protrude.
Then Cosmo would be pleasantly surprised when one of my favorite students, who always wears pink, made her classic late entrance into the classroom. I’m pretty sure she’s chronically late due to morning shopping sprees. Her clothes are always so new, they look like she has just taken the tags off moments ago in the school bathroom. Yesterday, she had on a white lacy bra with straps made to fall off the shoulders and rest there. Or maybe she just hadn’t had time to adjust them yet. After all, the time it takes to get from the school bathroom to the classroom is pretty short. With her entrance, the Cosmo camera-crew-turned-paparazzi would swarm around her, snapping photos of everything from her lacy bra straps to her just-purchased pink Cecil McBee bag. She wouldn’t miss a beat, though — she has been waiting for this moment her whole life.
“For God’s sake, this is a university classroom!” I would yell, and they would throw me out. The students, that is — for ruining their opportunity to become famous. Meanwhile, Cosmo would be handing out bikinis for the next classroom shoot.
But until this happens, my students will have to be content with just trying to be a little sexier than the day before. And with the current fashions, this is no problem. Fashion has come to the rescue most notably in the brassiere department. These days all bras are the self-thrusting type that force small breasts outward like two bullets. This is because they have “underwire” cups, named after the metal hardware, probably chain-link fence, installed to push the breasts up until they create a shelf. When you consider that these bras also have to support cell phones that some students store in their cleavage, you can see that the underwire bra has a big job to do. Mr. Universe would be put to shame.
I’m sure some of my students use remote control to give an extra lift at lunch time, just after the scheduled afternoon eyelash re-crimping. Heck, if your eyelashes can fall by midday, you can be sure that other parts of your body are doing the same.
Since there is no end to the number of things one can do to improve the female body, personal grooming has gone public in order to have enough time to fit it all in. On the bus the other day, for example, I saw one of my students plucking the hairs off her hands.
After all, she would hate to miss that Cosmo opportunity.