|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
A revealing new fashion trend
Weekly Playboy 8/22-29 By Takeshi Ito
Young,trend-conscious women in Tokyo have taken to a decisively outrageous new look this summer,proudly walking down the streets in skimpy cut-off T-shirts,undersized tank tops,partially unzipped jeans or ultra-mini skirts.
They all show off their tanned bellies.
The sudden emergence of these exhibitionists,mostly in their late teens to early 20s, prompts Weekly Playboy to ask a couple of questions - why do they dress like that and how are bystanders supposed to react?
The loosely organized article not only tries to answer these questions,but offers photographic proof of the eye-pleasing fashion now in vogue in Tokyo - a total of 13 young women show off their uncovered bellies in their favorite skimpy outfit.
Below each shot are the women's comments,such as,"Does this look like underwear? It's not!" "I can't show this one to my mom," and "You can stare at me if you want to."
Aren't they leading men on? Weekly Playboy has no doubts,but asks the women for confirmation.
"This is a healthy fashion," counters a 16-year-old.
"I don't want men to look at us with a dirty mind.Well,I don't mind young guys watching me, but I want to say 'no thanks' to dirty-minded older men."
Others are totally indifferent.
"I spent three days on Shonan beach sunbathing with my breasts uncovered.I don't care if men stare at me," says a 17-year-old,who went on to unzip her jeans to show off her deep tan to an unprepared Weekly Playboy reporter.
While the article offers no conclusive answers,it seems that the underclothed women want to draw the attention of good-looking men about their age but dislike the idea of men in their 30s and 40s appreciating the view.
"It's really hard not to watch," points out a 45-year-old salaried employee."But they stare back as if I'm a pervert."
Weekly Playboy provides no solution for confused Tokyo men wondering if they should "watch or not."
Instead,the magazine quotes a retailing source and informs us that most of those suggestive dressers are high-school students.Another source,a psychiatrist,warns that although skin exposure has been a way of drawing the attention of prospective partners since the days of the Arabian Nights,these underage girls may not understand the effect.
"If you want to approach them,you might be better off pretending you don't care whether they are showing their bellies or not." (TI)