Thursday, 31 January 2013

Minegishi Minami, the No Dating Rule and my thoughts

Wait... What?

What happened between the time I have been sleeping and going to college? No, seriously, WHAT HAPPENED?

No no no no no... This seriously isn't happening, is it? Guys... Guys...?

I pretty much woke up to this news... I came home from college, went to sleep because I felt tired and had a raging headache, and then when I awaken after a few hours this is what I first see as a piece of news from my feed on blogger; Minegishi Minami has been demoted to Kenkyuusei and has shaved her head.

... She was caught in a scandal. And this is what has happened to her because of it.

When I saw this news, even before I watched the video, I wanted to cry. I don't know why, but I wanted to. It might be because Minegishi is the Idol I never wanted to see in a scandal, or it could be the fact that she was one of the first few AKB girls to grab my attention. Either way, I wanted to cry... and after watching the video I want to cry more, because she looks like she is in a lot of pain and is trying hard to basically 'repent' for the crime that her fans and AKB management thought that she committed.

Okay, maybe crime is going too far, but still... actually no, it's pretty similar. Minegishi and any other girl involved in a scandal are basically treated like they have done something wrong, like they are a shame on society and their group. My emotions are all riled up right now, so if I am being in any way offensive, then try and forgive me... or just hate me.

I don't think that I have been so hateful of the 'no-dating' rule before now. I have no idea why, but Minegishi getting caught in the scanda, shaving her head (whether she did it herself or not) and being taken down to Kenkyuusei makes me wonder what this no-dating rule does to these girls; I know that it's hard for them to have to fight urges and basically give up their entire lives to their groups, devoting themselves to their purity and their fans... I get that. Everyone has commitments in their life, not as sacrificial as an Idols, but we all have commitments that mean we can't do certain things sometimes... but it all seems so horrible. Demoralising, even. Actually my sister once mentioned that it is pretty much like 'oh, no virginity? You're trash then' when an Idol is involved in a scnadal, and to be honest, it is.

In a way this is slut-shaming on the Idols behalf.

I bet you're wondering why it's Minegishi's scandal who has made me think this way right now, but honestly, so am I; it could have been any Idol who made me think this way, but it just so happened to be Minegishi because... well, I never expected it, and honestly, she seems like the one person you would never see in a scandal. That, and she looks like she is in so much pain and turmoil with herself right now.

... I'm upset and shocked by this, and honestly, I have no idea what the hell I am saying in this post... all I can say is that this is a post I never expected to make or a scandal that I thought I would ever see.

All I can say is that right now I hate this no-dating rule more than ever. It's horrible, and if Minegishi's appearance right now does not show fans how cruel and demoralising the rule itself is, then... well, I don't have anything to say, but it upsets me that the rule has done this to her. It looks like it has destroyed Minegishi.


  1. I'm pretty sure she shaved her head herself. After all, at least in Japan, shaving your head is a way of showing how sincerely sorry you are for having done something - like, it shows that you're admitting you're ashamed of your actions. I mean, not that I think Miichan should feel this way.

    This rule has always been hideous, but more than anything, this whole incident has fuelled my hate of Aki-P and the rest of AKS more than anything else. Honestly, AKS is the lowest J-Pop company I know, they're scumbags.

    And, it's funny that you should mention slut-shaming, because, actually, it's completely true, yet AKS present these girls in such overly-sexualised ways. It's a load of fucking condraditcions all at once. Honestly, most other idol companies aren't as misogynistic as that. AKS have the same standards as all these bloody Nice Guy types, from the looks of things.

    My other concern is...does this mean that no3b will be discontinued? Cause I actually preferred them to AKB themelves. Miichan was my 4th favourite in the entire group actually. Proper gutted.

    1. Yeah she did... the more I thought about it, the more I realised it was her who did it and not management because hair is something to be truly appreciated in Japan, unless something happens and you cast away your hair for a new look to change how you are seen... or something.

      I think that we all hate Aki-P. The rule is an old one, though, and it is a horrible one too; but we can't do anything about it. I just think that how they go about it is worse because they put the girls somewhere else to 'repent' if they don't want to graduate, and basically make sure that the girls know they have done wrong and that they are being judged forever more; see Sashihara Rino in her latest video - she was pretty much unseen there.

      I hope that no3b is not discontinued, but it seems it will be... they were the sub-group who were doing okay to me, even if I did not follow them. Now though...

    2. Yeah, getting rid of all the hair is supposed to show exactly how sorry you are which would be a very very sorry.

      I've always Aki-P, though. And AKS. Mainly because I hate the Senbatsu system and I also hate how objectified the girls are.

      What annoys me is that people are generalising the whole idol business based on this. But, no, if it were H!P, yeah, they'd get kicked out, but they'd be back on screens before long as variety idols. With AKS, it looks like the girls get kicked out, AKS milk the scandal big-time, and the girls are forever shamed, only to make a precarious comeback much later on. To me, it seems like Aki-P is so focused on making the perfect idol group that humanity no longer concerns him.

  2. Nice post and I agree with some of your points, Chiima.

    Just adding my opinion but not even a fan but when I saw the video pop up, I had to take a look because I am aware of a few AKB members but to shave her hair off in an act of forgiveness to the public does seem extreme from a Western view. I do not believe for one second she shaved her hair off according to her, there must have been some “influence” from her company.

    The demotion is really sad but like others have said, she knew the consequences of her actions. I heard she is a 1st generation member as well. I heard this AKB member and the EXILE member are getting treated the same by idol fans but obviously with the girl’s video and how in most idol relationships, the girl seems to be getting the blame and negative treatment more than the male, the attention seems more on her not only in Japan but also in the West e.g. the BBC and the Guardian over here in the UK have picked up on this story. To be honest it deserves to have international attention and pressure but only if international media do not make assumptions and read up from a translated Japanese article.

    1. Thank you NyNy ^^

      It's sad that she shaved her head; it's so extreme and something you would never expect an Idol to do, not even in Japan! Graduation is normal, but this? This is upsetting and going too far as everyone has said. I do think the company influenced her a little, too.

      Thing is she signed a contract at 13; you don't really realise how you will feel 7 years later. I think these girls run in to it thinking Idol life is the only life, but not all girls can commit to it, some want affection from another person up-close and not the affection of fans via money. It's sad that it has come to this though, and it does seem that the girls always suffer the most.


  3. If I find out she was forced to cut that hair, I want somebody's ass on a stick.

  4. I find this purity nonsense to be pretty sick. I get that it's all about maintaining their appeal in order to maximise sales and marketing, but what someone really needs to do is to get out there and buck the trends. To stand behind their idols and say "these girls are thinking, feeling human beings and no good person has a right to stop them from following their heart's desire" and strike a blow for change.

    I really don't understand how the fans don't revolt over this either. Are they so short-sighted as to think that if they ever had a shot with one of their idols the dating rules would most likely prevent their fantasies from coming true? So everyone loses. The girls, the fanboys, personal liberty and human decency.

    1. I do too. It's not nice to think about, either... but it's how they are and I doubt they will stray away from this 'ideal' any time soon.

      Most of the fans are older men who are used to the way it is now - younger fans will probably question it, but right now the younger fans are a minority in a majority I think.