Back in Japan pop stars take their role very seriously. Perk up your ears, Justin Bieber. Not only did Minami Minegishi, a member of the girl band AKB48, take to YouTube for a public apology after spending a night with her boyfriend—she also shaved off all her hair.
In addition to the cut bow, head shaving is viewed in Japan as the ultimate mea culpa. But really? Should a 20-year-old woman need to apologize for having a boyfriend, a dancer in a boy band?
The cultural mores are clearly very different here. The YouTube video of the contrite star, in which she ascribes her actions as "thoughtless and immature," has had more than 3 million viewings.
"If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band," she said. "Everything I did is entirely my fault. I am so sorry. I don't believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don't want to quit AKB48."
According to an article in the Guardian, management of AKB48 have since demoted Minegishi to "trainee level" even though she was one of the founding band members in 2005. The band saw sales of more than £126m in 2011.
Like Bieber, a young boy was photographed cupping the breast of a former AKB48 member in a teen mag. But that's where the comparisons end. In Japan the grope prompted police to launch an investigation, and the magazine publisher was ordered to "destroy about 670,000 copies of the magazine."
Crazy amount of pressure on Asian celebs? Or should our young idols take a leaf out of their book and take their roles more seriously?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled the above three-drawer Natart dresser (model number 3033) by Gemme Juvenile Inc. and the Million Dollar Baby dresser (models M4712, M4722, M4732, M4742, M4733) by Bexco Enterprises Inc.. Both dressers pose a risk of entrapment and tipping hazard.
The Natart dressers were recalled for a retrofit after a two-year-old boy got trapped inside a drawer and then suffocated. Two deaths were reported after the Million Dollar Baby dressers trapped toddlers in the U.S.
From January 2005 to December 2010, the Natart dressers were sold at Furniture Kidz and other independent juvenile specialty stores and at Baby.com. From January 2006 through June 2010, the Million Dollar Baby dressers were sold at JCPenney and independent juvenile specialty stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs.com, BabyUniverse.com and other online retailers.
Customers are advised to immediately remove the dressers from a child's reach.
Free retrofit kits with wall anchor straps are available for the Natart at www.chelseawallanchors.com, www.NatartJuvenile.com, by emailing the company at [email protected] or calling toll-free at (855) 364-2619 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Customers can obtain a free retrofit kit for the Million Dollar Baby dresser at www.themdbfamily.com/safety2 and click on Safety HQ or call toll-free at (888) 673-6652 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.
The CPSC stresses the importance of anchoring furniture and TVs, stating that every two weeks a child dies from a falling piece of furniture or television.
Beyoncé Knowles may be one of the luckiest, happiest women in the music industry today. But in a forthcoming HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream, the star dishes about "the saddest thing I've ever been through."
Before giving birth to Blue Ivy 13 months ago, Beyoncé suffered a miscarriage. For the first time she opens up about the traumatic experience that many women can relate to. In one scene the pop singer recalls hearing her baby’s heartbeat as “the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life."
"Being pregnant was very much like falling in love," she muses according to an article in Rolling Stone Magazine. "You are so open. You are so overjoyed. There's no words that can express having a baby growing inside of you, so of course you want to scream it out and tell everyone."
Eager and ready to become a mother, Beyoncé apparently picked out names and dreamed about what her child might look like. Until something went wrong. "I flew back to New York to get my check up—and no heartbeat," she says. "Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat."
Like her husband, she then channelled her despair into the first track of her new album, which she claims “was the best form of therapy for me." Obviously the Beyoncé fairy tale has a happy ending, with baby Blue Ivy recently celebrating her first birthday in true celebrity style.
But this candid side of Beyoncé is one seldom uncovered in the press. So for fans the documentary may provide an interesting and intimate glimpse into the superstar’s life.
Motherhood has hardly slowed down this mama's career. Not only did Beyoncé perform at President Obama's inauguration, and in a Destiny’s Child reunion at the Super Bowl, she’s also due to release her first and highly anticipated album since becoming a mom.
Life is But a Dream premieres February 16th on HBO.