Earlier this week, we talked about Thailand’s Tom subculture. Stemming from the word “tomboy,” Toms are women who follow the fashion trends and speech patterns of men, oftentimes so completely that they win over the romantic affections of other women.
Today, we’re crossing over to the other side of things with a look at rising Japanese celebrity Ao-nyan, whose feminine looks and girlish style are winning fame and fans, even though the model is a guy.
While Ao-nyan, who’s also known as Midori Kamo, is the sort of individual who challenges a lot of the labels society uses, linguistically he falls into what Japan calls otoko no musume. Literally meaning “man girl,” otoko no musume are men who make their professional appearances as women.
Among otoko no musume, Ao-nyan is starting to stick out from the rest of the pack and catch the eye of the mainstream media. In July, photos of the model were featured on Fuji TV’s Mezamashi TV morning show, and Ao-nyan himself was a guest last month on the same channel’s afternoon talk show Viking.
▼ Ao-nyan in the dressing room before his Viking appearance.
All of this seems to be translating into commercial success for the model, as well. Ao-nyan’s most recent photo collection disk, titled Boku to Anata to Anata Dake no Atashi (Me, You, and the Me Only You Know, with a shift from the masculine boku to the feminine atashi between the two instances of “me”) proved so popular that all copies are currently sold out, with a second printing currently being considered.
▼ Some of the tamer photos from the collection
Ao-nyan is apparently photogenic regardless of which gender he dresses as. For a recently concluded photo exhibition in Tokyo’s Harajuku, Ao-nyan posed for pictures in both men’s and women’s clothing.
Still, the model seems most proud of his otoko no musume portfolio, regularly tweeting new pictures of full-on photo shoots or simply a girlish sock/shoe combo he’s trying out.
After all, if you want to beat the girls at their own game, you’ve got to sweat the details.