Dress for Awareness: The Positive Power of Yami Kawaii

June 19, 2019


For decades, fashion was used hundreds of times to use as a weapon of empowerment and expression. Commonly a voice to make it clear that anyone is allowed to wear whatever it is that they would like to. "Yami Kawaii" isn't any different from this. In the way that I perceived it, it is a representation, an expression used by people who are suffering from mental illness to let this topic surface and noticed by society. Some people are trying to talk about such a taboo topic in a lighter and more approachable way. This then later popularized by the artist and fashion designer, Kuua Oyasumi. "Menhera", on the other hand is an internet slang used to call people who are seeking mental well-being. Originally from the word "Menheru" to "Menheraa" with "aa" as an equivalent suffix to "er" from the English language, and eventually shortened to "Menhera".
Yami Kawaii is oftenly mistaken to be Menhera itself. Just to make it clear:

Yami Kawaii - means "sick cute", a subculture from Japan, commonly a contrast to Yume Kawaii in a darker approach circling around being sick, having obscure health or negative thoughts.

Menhera - is an internet slang used to call people who are seeking mental well-being, originated from Japan's mental health board to call it's users.

For a more detailed history of Menhera:

Making this clear to my readers is my biggest goal, because as much as possible, I want people to understand what this means not only to me but also to those who are using the subculture to reclaim the awareness Yami Kawaii and Menhera is trying to send out. 

For years, Menhera has been misused to describe attention seeking people who has intentions of hurting themselves to its extent just to be noticed. Some calls it "Fashion Menhera". This bad notion that circles the word itself is exactly the reason why we are trying to reclaim what it truly means. Because of its popularity, it's really that easy to dive into the menhera mainstream, but also because of it, the true meaning behind it as someone who seeks mental well-being is being disregarded.

There is such a power to this subculture. The power of spreading awareness about mental health and making it more open for discussion. Being it such an awkward topic to talk about in some countries including Japan, this fashion genre is specifically helpful. 

Menhera isn't really for everyone in my opinion, for it holds such a sensitive topic behind it. Although Yami Kawaii, is something more open for those who are inspired by the fashion of it. I still suggest everyone who are looking into this subculture to read more, and educate themselves more about how this was formed and as to why menhera became a thing. Hold on to why people are using this fashion to spread positivity so that no one will ever again fall into the category of fashion menhera.

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