This is Ryuchalo. He's four years old. And he appears in grown-up men's fashion magazines. Heck, his Facebook page lists him as "Ryuchalo, the four year old host". Let me explain: "Four years old" as in pre-school and "host" as in a paid male drinking companion.
In Japan, host fashion is...different. Little Ryuchalo sports "host hair" and host threads. On 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, photos of Ryuchalo are going viral. His Facebook page currently has over seven thousand likes. Some of the comments are supportive. Others are not.
"This kid is gonna go bald," wrote one Facebook user. "I dyed my hair when I was a kid, and it hasn't impacted me at all," wrote another. "So perhaps, it's none of your business?"
The image text reads "Four year old little host Ryuchalo."
Bleaching a little kid's hair probably isn't good! Depending on how it was done and what chemicals were used, bleaching can be bad for one's hair, scalp, and even eyes. That's one of the least worrying things, because while he's not an actual night club host paid to drink and smoke cigarettes with customers, calling him a "host" and putting him in host fashion magazines with actual hosts is thrusting a very small child into a very adult world that he cannot begin to comprehend.
Japanese mothers who came of age during the 1990s and the 00s are perhaps more open to unique or funky kiddy fashion. When these mothers were teens, Japanese fashion got rather outrageous among some subcultures. That, thus, filtered down to how they shop for clothes and brands like Boo Homes.
However, Ryuchalo's get-up is not normal children's fashion in Japan. This is host fashion. Calling your pre-schooler a "host" is not normal, either. That's why photos of Ryuchalo are surprising people online. "This is child abuse," wrote one commenter on 2ch. Others said the kid's fashion seemed "unsettling" and didn't like how the kid's parents weren't letting him be a kid.
The child's mother is apparently very much into host fashion. On her site, she says she likes reading fashion magazines and dreams of putting her son in a boy band.
Here are photos of the kid's magazine spread and photo shoots.
Kids, as a rule of thumb, wear ridiculous clothes. They often don't have much of a choice. And to be honest, whether that means dressing your kid as a honeybee or like this, it's not really my place to judge other people's fashion sense. But we're not only talking about fashion sense here, are we?
Note: "Ryuchalo" is how the child's name is spelled in English
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
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