Fairy Kei – Alternative Black Girl

First of all, I apologize profusely because it’s been ages since I last wrote a blog post. Needless to say, a lot has happened. Let me condense the last five months super quickly so I can get on with my topic for today:

Ahem.

Old best friend became new boyfriend. JET didn’t work out. New bf moved in. Newer better job. Better job was bad for my mental and physical health. So I got an even BETTER job as a “job coach” and will continue substitute teaching in the fall. (Oh, did I mention I’m a substitute teacher now?) I threw a book launch party in June for my fantasy novel, The Adventures and Shenanigans of Bastien Falco — that was FABULOUS. Sold like 30 books that month. Also, my birthday was July 5th and I’m 24 now. Yay.

Now. On to the topic at hand. See that dork with the purple hair in this post’s featured picture? That’s me.

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Yep. This is me. When you weren’t looking, I turned into a fairy.

Yes. I’ve done it. I’m a fairy. By that, I mean that I’ve recently gotten really into this style, this lovely slice of Japanese street fashion, called Fairy Kei. As soon as I saw this style, I fell in love immediately. My first thought was: MY PEOPLE! All these pastel rainbow dreamy fairies and unicorns roaming the Earth! I made it my mission to become one of them.

fairy 2

fairy 1

I’m well aware that they’re Japanese, and that Fairy Kei is a Japanese street fashion thing, but stuff like that has never bothered me. I’ve always been an alternative black girl, searching for my own style. I spent my angsty teenage years dabbling in Goth, Scene, and Punk. I even tried Gothic Lolita, but that was simply to expensive. I never could have afforded it. I’d bought one dress from Hot Topic, and some cute black chokers, but that was just about it.

But then I got to college and realized that I actually look pretty cool in light colors and that wearing all that black wasn’t really flattering on me.

And then, just five months ago, I discovered Fairy Kei, and I realized that this was what I’ve been trying to be. I mean, who cares that I’d be the only black girl I know dressing this way? That had never stopped me before. I’d been teased so many times before, since junior high (when I loved wearing MCR and Green Day t-shirts), so I’ve become numb to it. Why should I feel bad about myself when people who wear nothing but t-shirts and jeans — BORING CLOTHES — all the time make fun of what I wear?

Summer of 2013 started my own personal era of fashion. Forever 21 was my best friend. Then, I went to Japan and lost my mind, shopping in Shibuya, Tokyo. I was drunk on compliments in both Japan and the U.S. But see, even though I was stylish back then, I was still sort of conventionally stylish. I wore bows and stuff and dressed up — I looked like a doll going to class — but it was nothing compared to trying to imitate Japanese street fashion.

Street. Fashion.

You know, like those Harajuku Girls that Gwen Stephani was so crazy about.

Gwen Stefani Visits MTV's ''TRL'' - December 10, 2004

Gwen Stephani and her Harajuku Girls

Except now, Harajuku has pushed street fashion to its limits. We’re talking going beyond Fairy Kei. The fashion style in the photo below, my friends, is called Decora:

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It’s a bit too much for me, but I can respect it.

But back to Fairy Kei.

My family and friends are pretty much used to me by now, dressing the way I do. No one bots an eye. I get compliments on how cute I am — even from strangers. Thankfully, I surround myself with loving and open-minded people, so I never really have to worry too much about feeling weird about the way I dress. Fairy Kei makes me feel girly. It makes me feel good.

However, some alternative black girls aren’t so lucky. It doesn’t matter if they’re Goth or Fairy Kei or anything in between (Pastel Goth is literally smack dab in the middle). They are dressing in a way that makes them happy, but for some reason, dressing “out of the norm” is not widely celebrated in the black community. To more fully understand what I mean, consider reading this article, The Issue with the Perceived “Whiteness” of Being an Alternative Black Girl.

When I go on YouTube and watch videos by Fairy Kei vloggers, they are almost exclusively white and Asian. And when I dared to post fairy videos of my own, I will admit that I felt a little self-conscious.

But I mean. Pastels look good with my skin tone, too.

And it helps, that, from what I’ve seen, the Fairy Kei community seems to be very inclusive and warm. It welcome fairies who are trans or gender-queer without question. There are plus-sized fairies running around.

And, of course, there are us, black fairies. ❤

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I don’t know who this girl is, but I seriously need to get on her level.

So, if you’re a secret (or not-so-secret) alternative black girl, wear whatever the hell you want to wear! If Fairy Kei looks appealing to you, I encourage you to try it out! There may be people out there who will call you names and make fun of you, but those idiots aren’t worth your time. Life it too short for boring clothes. And life it too short not too wear what you want to wear. (I mean, depending on where you work, you may not want to wear Decora/Fairy Kei/Goth/Lolita/Punk/Metal-type stuff to your job. But, you know. Compromise.)

So, long story short: If you want to do the thing, THEN DO THE THING! ❤ I promise you, it’ll feel great.

 

Also, if you’re interested in my super new YouTube channel (it’s really silly and dumb — don’t check it out), it’s called Star Blush Universe. As of today there are two really boring videos. You’re better off just scrolling through my tumblr.

Until next time~!

 

“That’s Because You’re Black”

So once, when I was in 3rd grade, I was on a bus driving back from a field trip. It was super fun! We’d gone to an archaeological dig, and I’d found some cool fossils. It was great.

Now, this was at a program for gifted students called Horizons. Every Thursday, I was excused from class all day to go to Horizons, and I loved it. I learned Russian, more advanced songs on violin, and all  sorts of cool things. The projects were always awesome. It was kind of program where, if the teacher told you you were going to do a project, you didn’t groan – you jumped for joy.

Group of multi-ethnic kids jumping together

Yep. Just like this.

Back to the story.

We were on the bus, and the radio was on. “Superwoman” by Lil’ Mo came on. (Yep. Year 2001. Feel old yet?) Except for like, two other kids from my school, all the students in my Horizons class were white. But, I mean… that didn’t matter to me. And I really thought it didn’t matter to them, either.

There were these sisters whom I considered my friends, Karen and Rose, and so I sat by them. And Rose said, “Man, I hate this song!”

I said, “Really? I love this song.”

And Rose said. “That’s because you’re black.”

At at moment, it felt like I should have been hurt by her comment, and I was, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on why. Yes, I was black. And yes, Lil’ Mo was black. But that didn’t necessarily mean I would automatically like her music. I just thought “Superwoman” was a cool song.

If you’re unfamiliar, or if you’re up for a dose of nostalgia, here’s the song:

What’s funny is that the black kids would also make fun of me for listening to bands like Green Day and Evanescence.

Isn’t it interesting that no matter what music I listened to, it was always subject to scrutiny?

Don’t get me started on people’s reactions when they heard my favorite Japanese songs, or Celtic metal songs, or 8bit/Chiptune songs.

Ugh. -.-

But you know what? I listen to whatever I want, and I’ve since learned not to give two shits about what people think about it. If I want to listen to Tame Impala, damn it, I will. If I want to listen to enka music, then damn it, I will.

If I want to listen to Gackt, The Tontons, Lamb of God, Ice Cube, Nujabes, Mos Def, Wonder Girls, Polysics, DBSK, THE PILLOWS, THE PIXIES, NOVEMBER’S DOOM, ELUVEITIE, OR THE ROLLING STONES

THEN DAMN IT

I WILL.

And if you don’t like it:

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Where Are the Forks?

A bunch of my friends and I lived in the same apartment building – so our parties were pretty awesome.

For whatever reason I can’t remember, I decided to call it a night around 2 a.m. and walk across the hall back to my own apartment.

Moments later, there was a knock on the door. A couple giggly drunk girls asked where the party host keeps his forks.

I said, “Um. In his kitchen, presumably?”

They looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Oh my god, where are you from?”

“I’m from here.”

They were shocked.

Later, I had to ask someone if “presumably” is that uncommon of a word and if it really is odd that it’s a part of my regular vocabulary.

Like… really?

From a young child, I took the things I learned in English classes to heart. Standard English was the name – to master it was my game. Don’t as me why. Maybe it’s a language thing. I’m the same way when learning/teaching myself foreign languages. Also, I like sounding intelligent and well read. (Correction – I am intelligent and well read. And I like to show that with my speech.) For this reason, I’ve been called things like “white girl” and “oreo.” As if proper English only belongs to white people?

Some people even thought my family was rich based solely on the way I speak.

Alas.

Feeling Pretty White Bread

Since I started college, I’d always pride myself on my diverse group of friends. One night, a bunch of us went out to Ihop. We took a look around and realized that we pretty much look like the United Nations.

Another time, years later, a small group of us was hanging out, engaging in shenanigans. One of our newer friends, a white guy, looked around and said, “Man. You guys make me feel pretty white bread.”

I looked around, and I realized I was the only black friend – black as in, not mixed.

All of my biracial and multiracial friends are beautiful and come from interesting families. Thinking of it that way, it’s kind of hard not to feel like a ho-hum plain Jane.

I mean, take ice cream, for example. I always opt for the most delicious mixes of flavor.

But I have to remember that vanilla and chocolate are still classic flavors.

My Chinese Boyfriend

My junior high was like, 99% black – or something like that – but every weekend, I went to a college prep program.

Formed a huge crush on a guy. We talked on the phone every day for hours, even though I was pretty sure his whole family hated me… For reasons I was never able to find out.

But I liked when he spoke Cantonese. And we were both interested in Japanese things. I liked to draw, and he’d admire my drawings. Oh! And we both played violin! We liked each other as people – I just happened to be black, and he Asian.

And I really was infatuated with this eyes – huge and brown and completely adorable – and his hair – jet black and shiny.

One day at school, all the girls were talking about their little boyfriends, so I decided to chime in. They all looked at me like I was Bigfoot.

You have a boyfriend? LOL. Yeah right.”

(You see, the teachers loved me. The students loved to torment me. I was the weird kid who liked Japanese things and rock music. I had a 4.5 GPA both years of junior high… due partially to my book smarts, and partially to my pathetic lack of friends.)

Anyway, as soon as I told them he was Chinese, they were just floored.

(lol wtf is wrong with her where do you even find chinese guys what a loser)

You know, after a couple years, when me dating became a regular thing, whenever my family found out I had a boyfriend, they would ask, “Is he white or Asian?” It was with a joking air, of course, but there’s always some truth to joking. Is it really that big of a deal? Did those girls really have to laugh so hard? You almost never see black women/Asian men represented on television, so whenever it happens in real life, people think it’s bizarre.

Anyone remember that show

Anyone remember that show “Flashforward”? No? Probably because it didn’t get a second season.

And is it really so hard to see people as people? Seriously, when my college prep program took a zoo trip and invited the parents, his mother kept calling him away from me. And when he and I sat on the bus on the way back, his mother glared at me. I was 12 years old! (I’m 22 now. Weird to think how that happened so long ago and how much it had affected me then…)

Sigh. I guess that was just as well. When he and I went to high school together, he turned into a complete douchelord for reasons that remain a mystery to me.

But that’s fine. No more death-stares from his mother – whoo!

Staples

My day camp used to take trips to the JCC (Jewish Community Center). This was when I was like… 6? 7 years old?

My mom liked to braid my hair – often in cornrows. It was pretty much the norm for me and most other little girls I knew…

So one day, a girl came up to me, with face screwed up in a mix of curiosity and disgust, and said, “Are those… stapled?”

I looked at her as if she’d come from another planet.

Who the hell staples braids to their head?

Why would she even think that?

Even if she did come from another background, I mean, staples braids to one’s head would seem pretty stupid to a 6-year-old, wouldn’t it? And she see staples in my head? No.

I was shocked. Appalled.

I just sort of looked at her and said, “No,” as if she’d just asked me if the sky were red and the grass were pink.

Gosh. Even now, it makes me wonder where that question would have come from…

I’m Indian (Part 2)

There’s family folklore.

Some say, in addition to our obvious African roots, we also came from Irish immigrants. It is well believed that we have some Native American… somewhere (I doubt it).

Our family historian, one of my aunts, suggested that we may also be mixed with East Indian.

I told my friend, Dwarka, who is from India, to which he replied, “We’re siblings!”

And we engaged in a heart-felt hug.

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Actually, it was an internet hug, but whatevs. Still counts.

Swing Set

So, I was a kid, it was summer, and my day camp decided to take a trip to the zoo and the park.

At the park, my friends and I ended up playing with a trio of white siblings. It was good fun.

We decided to see who could run through the swing sets without getting hit.

One of the swingers was the youngest sibling; the other was me. The little girl’s older sister told her not to sync up with me because it would make the challenge too easy.

Then, out of the blue, the little girl screams, “I CAN MATCH HER IF I WANT. WHY CAN’T I? BECAUSE SHE’S BLACK?”

We all stared. Nervous smiles were had by all.