Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie!
Good points. I also found her to be "milking the little itsy-bitsy-girl" image to impress, and didn't find it too impressing. But then I've always had a problem with the part of the mainstream Japanese culture that promotes the "cute" appeal of female stars. But your post makes sense. Hopefully that is really the way Mao is and she is not trying to look/act younger than she is.
Originally Posted by jesslily
Matt Savoie~Soul Skater
How many times have we seen, Mao? Maybe she's not like that all the time. Maybe, once she's been around longer, she'll act more "grown up".
Miki Ando may have acted older when she was 15, but we all mature at our own rates.
Everybody has a different personality than the next person. Alot of shy people come off as child-like. I know I go into shy kid mode when I'm around people I don't know, in social situations, and I'm 23! lol I'm quite mature, but a lot of people mistake me for 16, even though I'm 5'9' to 5'10'. Go figure.
it's very true that in Japan, China, and other east Asian countries the mainstream cultrues promote the cute appeal of female stars. I have been to Japan and stayed there for a few months. Both Chinese and Japaness' TV entertainment programs look like produced for teenagers' shows in US. Girls who are 20 something talk like early teens in US. As for Mao Asada, I think that's who she is. She really does not act young. She is jst cute.
It's definitely a cultural thing. I used to live in Japan and for a girl, being cute is regarded above all else - no matter how old you might be. Just look at the singing group Morning Musume. For a 15 year old Japanese girl to be acting like a 12 year old girl(by American standards) is completely normal and IMO refreshing - people grow up too fast.
Originally Posted by Frau Muller
Morning Musume, LOL.
Originally Posted by Sunshine Slayer
Keeper of La Khok's Tutus
I agree that many kids these days (US anyway) really do try to grow up too fast. At 15 Mao is still a young teen and I have no problem with her young, vibrant style. She will have plenty of time to "mature" in look and style as she grows up. JMO.
Originally Posted by SunshineSlayer
Hi all. I usually only read this forum and don't comment, but I feel like I have to because it seems some of you might be misunderstanding Mao.
It's kind of true that many Japanese girls (not only teens but 20+ as well) try to look/act younger, but Mao, no, definitely not. I agree that she looks younger than 15, yes even for a Japanese, but she's not trying to look/act cute nor younger than she is, it's just the way she really is and it's not her fault.
I'm from the same city where Mao is and have had many chances to see her talking with her coaches, friends and family at local competitions over the past years. She seemed like very innocent (in a positive way), good-hearted and is definitely not the type of person who tries to create a certain image to impress people. Some may think her behaviour in K&C is a bit immature and that might be partly true, but to me, it seems she is yet to care about how she can be viewed by other people and that's absolutely a usual Mao.
No tricks nor strategies. I just hope you don't get her wrong. She really is a nice girl
Hi, Laars, I'm glad you decided to post. And what a nice one! Mao is definitely a sweetie-pie, and it's good to hear that it is unaffected -- the real Mao!
Like Mathman, I'm also glad to hear that Mao's demeanor is unaffected. I teach young ladies in this general age bracket and will attest to the fact that they grow up too derned fast. 7 year old kids are already interested in sexuality, driving a car, working at a job... and they aren't shy about asking me questions. I incorporate a ton of lighthearted silly games into their lessons as a way to steer them in the direction of just enjoying being kids. The time as a child is far too short.
I recently re-watched 2004 Junior Worlds with Kimmie Meissner, Katy Taylor, Danielle Kahle, Mai Asada and Miki Ando. Ando was the serious adult of the competition, and all the other skaters were being the exuberant youngsters they were. Kimmie, Katy and Danielle giggled their way through the competition and acted exactly the way Mao was acting at the GP. Yes, the threesome were 14, a year younger than Mao, but that's nitpicking.
Mao can't compete at Olympics or Senior Worlds, so to her, these GP competitions aren't a do-or-die proposition. She's just enjoying herself, so good for her!
BTW, I was shocked by the way Mai Asada looked. She was tall and almost skeletally thin, with really broad shoulders, and you could see the upper rib bones in her chest. It made me wonder if some of these skaters fend off the puberty bug by keeping their weight way down.
Thanks to Laars for his first-hand knowledge on Mao's personality & all other comments!
One of you, above, mentioned that her coaches may be trying to intentionally keep her routines girlish. Hence, it makes it even odder (if not laughable) that her 'Carmen' SP includes a couple of attempts at 'sexiness' -- such as that little twirl of the pony tail. Carmen the vamp? Uh-uh...don't think so! It *is* cute, however.
In some ways, it was refreshing to see a skater NOT vamp her way through Carmen!
I agree, euterpe. I also found Mao's SP to be refreshing, mainly because she seemed to be enjoying herself and the music, rather than trying to 'interpret the character' of Carmen.
It was even more refreshing to see the normally sexpot Navka make no attempt to vamp through Carmen either!
Originally Posted by euterpe
All these posts are interesting and IMO are true in general, I mean about cultural, physical, family order, etc. influences. But it's especially nice to get first-hand information from Laars--thanks for posting and hope you do so more often.
I didn't find Asada's behavior insincere on or off the ice, it's just that her doing "Carmen" wasn't my cup of tea. Of course it is many other people's cup of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, not to mention the judges'. I really enjoyed her LP and look forward to seeing her skate throughout the season--even her "Carmen" now that I'm prepared.