Hope you're well and enjoying this Friday evening! (✿◠‿◠)
Song of the day: Labyrinth of Dreams by Nox Arcana (I love atmospheric music like this!)
Today I want to talk to you about Dakota Rose, a.k.a Kotakoti, a girl who has recently become famous on the Internet for looking like a doll. I've been following the rise of Dakota Rose for a few weeks now, ever since I came across a post about her from Cindy Tang's blog. In the post, people were arguing about whether or not she Photoshopped her images, and I found myself morbidly fascinated by the hype/love/hate around this Internet sensation, so I decided to research her a bit.
You can read more about her here:
When I first started reading about her and her family, I was completely shocked at the amount of drama that she and her family have gone through. I saw some of their old Youtube videos where they were making fun of others, saw how they acted on camera and what they thought was acceptable to post on the Internet. After comparing it to how Dakota wants to be portrayed now: a cute, sweet, innocent girl, I found my jaw dropping in disbelief at just how blatant this girl is with her unashamed intentions of capitalising on the Asian market... ๏_๏
She found a niche where she could play her looks and styling to her advantage and decided to not so subtly capitalise on it. Her tags on Youtube videos are all in Japanese, Korean or Chinese, and she lists her keywords as: barbie doll, blow up doll etc. How much more obvious can you get?
If she was a genuinely sweet person then I wouldn't have felt so meh about it, but at the time, I found it pretty offensive that she was trying to take advantage of half a continent of girls where the cultural ideals of beauty are already beyond anything achievable without a certain level of high maintenance: hair dye, curls, circle lens, nails etc. i.e. styling beyond recognition.
On a side note, personally, I think the gyaru style is pretty cute, but prefer the ulzzang one as it's far more natural and achievable by an everyday Asian girl. Maybe I'm coming at this from a Western angle, having never actually lived in Asia, but as I've been infused with a healthy dose of British cynicism, I just find it depressing that so many girls feel like they have to go through all of this to look acceptable, and that there are entire shows all about makeovers, with it being completely acceptable to make fun of the girls before they have their makeover!
Anyway, going back to Dakota. What made me raise an eyebrow and then some was the fact that she denies Photoshopping any of her images, claiming that every image is her natural self. She denies using Aftereffects to edit her videos, thus to everyone who believes her, she has created a perfect image and a new 'level' of beauty that people are either worshipping or turning anorexic for.
I think the images she has created for her new online persona are beautiful, and her outfits are beautiful too, but by lying to thousands of people, by pretending to be sixteen and half Japanese to land a contract with Bravo Models, she is only setting herself up for a fall.
There are people who have done bad things in their past, (hey, I'm definitely no angel myself!), but by acknowledging the past and their mistakes, they can grow and heal. But all the lies that Dakota has created only serve as a cage, trapping the ugliness on the inside. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, since by becoming an Internet celebrity, there will be so many people watching her every move, both fans and haters alike.
Anyway, that's just my two cents.
And this is a photo of the ducks at my college: