As part of this week’s topic on celebrities in my field site, and after some research of some different celebrities in Japan, I have decided to investigate a young model from Japan, Kozue Akimoto, who as well as being the daughter of Yasushi Akimoto, a Japanese record producer, lyricist and television writer, is also “Instagram Famous.”
In thinking about this strange concept I started to question what Instagram famous really meant and what makes somebody famous on Instragam and began by going straight to Google by asking “What does it mean to be Instagram Famous” but to my absolute belief found absolutely nothing came up that even related to my search. I reworded a couple of words around and kept being bombarded with sites telling me how to become “Instafamous” however no website could tell me what being Instafamous actually meant. After a multiple of searches I finally found a small, kind of dodgy looking site called “Tag Def” that had the short definition of Instafamous below.
Instafamous: person with more than 15k followers that made it to the popular page.
Okay great I guess although that doesn’t really cut it! When really thinking about this, I decided to think about my own knowledge of Instagram and what I feel is a kind of Instagram social norm, I have concluded that being Instafamous basically is a person with over 15k followers who post consistently (atleast once a day) who engage with/ and are engaged with on a regular basis.
Kozue Akimoto has over 127 thousand followers on Instagram and I thought she would be absolutely perfect as being my celebrity of investigation because of the mere fact that although she may be known in Japan, she is not necessarily a Japanese celebrity, and is more an Instagram celebrity with many followers supporting and fanning over her every move.
When looking deeper into Kozue Akimoto and the importance of Instagram, I was surprised to see that Instagram was not as popular in Japan as a Korean app called “Pick” and this app is used to mainly engaged/ and be engaged with other people across Asia. This really got me thinking about the reasons why Akimoto does use Instagram and the reason that I did in fact come up with was the way that Instagram allows for interaction with Western societies and cultures as well as Asian cultures which is important for Akimoto as she is a rising model.
Akimoto’s Instagram page is full of different pieces of fashion including bright colours, pastels, black and white and kitten ear headbands and a variety of both professional and amateur images. When looking at some of the photographs of Akimoto on her Instagram, it got me thinking about the similarities between Asian & Western cultures, with the example of the photographs below of Kozue Akimoto an prominent Australian model, Miranda Kerr.
With this comparison, I decided to look more about the notion of the “selfie” and the way it, quite clearly as seen in these two photos that it has become universal. Even the fact that these models are in the exact same pose drinking a cup of tea is quite odd really, if you think about it (although I do have to admit that I have taken this kind of photo) and the notion of a selfie is very strong with this comparison. It seems that even though Japanese culture and Australian culture are so entirely different, the strong influence of digital culture and the universal notion of the selfie definitely is an important aspect to think about when assessing Japanese fashion, models and Asian culture.
What do you think? Have you ever really thought about the reasons why you are taking that selfie? Why do we do it?