Japanese entertainers and fashionistas experiment with gender-bending in their clothes and makeup, including androgynous boy bands.[i] Acrush is a similar group of five young women who dress like boys, intended to replace the South Korean bands that were unofficially banned by Beijing in 2016. A promoter explained, “there are so many androgynous-looking girls these days, we thought they would be more relatable.” [ii]One of the singers said, “My family has always thought that girls should look and act like girls. But for my generation, we think: My life is my own life.”
[i] Jennifer Robertson, “Japan’s Gender-Bending History,” The Conversation, February 28, 2017.
[ii] Amy Qin, “The 5 ‘Handsome Girls’ Trying to be China’s Biggest Boy Band,” New York Times, May 20, 2017.