Young Hina has what is most coveted by Japanese women – pale skin. And yet, she visits tanning salons every week. Not just for a sun-kissed look, but for a deeper, darker shade. Hina is one of many young Japanese women who are crazy about B-Style (Black Lifestyle). They adore the African American pop/hip hop culture to such an extent that they are ready to compromise everything natural about their looks. After all, as Hina herself admits, “part of B-Style is that you do not look Japanese.” So there are trips to the tanning salons along with hair braids, clothing and accessories that reflect B-Style to the core.
For Hina it all started when her hair turned frizzy in high school. She then got interested in Black artists and found them pretty cool. Soon she found herself in a tanning salon for the very first time. Today, she is an employee at a trendy Tokyo boutique called Baby Shoop, completely dedicated to B-Style fashion. The boutique goes by the tag-line ‘Black for Life’. Hina loves working there as she feels the shop is a “tribute to Black culture and also to their music, fashion and dance.” And it’s not just Hina but all the shop girls at Baby Shoop that undergo deep tanning on a regular basis. One of the shop girls points out, “Really, with a tan you look slimmer. You look healthy and of course great.”
Hina’s mother has no problems with what she has done with her appearance. “My girl has tattoos and many piercings,” she proclaims. As long as Hina is not dying from cancer, it’s all okay for her. “When you are young you can do these things, so I say, you do what you want.” Now that sounds like a super-cool parent. Besides tanning and dressing up in B-Style, Hina and her friends also enjoy ‘black nights’ – hanging out with hip hop dancers, rappers and clubbers.