Koda Kumi has been suspended at least until the end of February for having made a remark on the “All Night Nippon” radio show that women over the age of 35 have “rotten amniotic fluid.” Although it was lighthearted and joking, her comment has caused an outrage that has caused Avex to stop her promotional activities for her album “Kingdom,” caused her to be removed from her promotional image for cosmetics company KOSE’s VISEE line.
Oh, Kumi, if there’s one thing I’ve liked about you in Japanese media it’s that you were able to surpass the Japanese media image of being quiet, meek, and cute and instead be loud, outgoing, and glamorous. But a comment like that was just stupid, especially when you’re in public, and most especially when you know that you’re a public figure that represents a Japanese female empowerment.
I think the Japanese are taking it over the top towards her comment, making it into a scandal resulting in a suspension at a busy time in her career. However, I do think her comment was over the top. Even in the United States, a comment like hers would’ve caused considerable public backlash. I can make rude jokes like hers when I’m with close friends in a private location, but common sense tells even me to not go into public and say something that would insult a large group of women as a whole, and my life doesn’t depend on my public image. She is a celebrity that is portrayed as a sexy, outspoken, confident woman, someone that men can drool over and women can idolize – her comment makes her seem petty, self-absorbed, and ruin her image towards female audiences.
This is reminiscent of other female celebrities who have done unbelievably stupid things in public that go against common sense, like Sawajiri Erika acting like a diva at her Closed Note premier, Abiru Yuu announcing that she was a thief on television, or Abiru Yuu’s other public offenses. Sometimes, girls, comments you’d make at home with your friends is not what you should say when tapes are rolling.
Sawajiri’s actions have turned her image from a dorama sweetheart to a cold diva; Abiru Yuu’s actions have made her a hated celebrity figure before she was even able to do much. Koda Kumi is currently one of Japan’s most popular icons; it’s unclear how this will affect her album sales, her upcoming concert tour, and her career and image as a whole.
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