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With Those Eyes, She Did See

In all the previous episodes, we’ve seen Yune and Claude come to terms with the cultural variances, but there are a few striking points in episode six, dealing with Alice and Yune (and Camille). They are both young ladies, embedded in their respective cultures, and in this episode we witness an exchange of attire. But it’s more than that: fashion is culture.

Croisee


I think Snippet Tee’s post on discipline and punishment as concept of feminine beauty does a great job at highlighting the girls’ positions. It’s easy to see both girls realize the awkward feel to the foreign clothing, yet it is a first-hand experience for them to see the cultural fluency. Perhaps they are unaware, but I feel Camille guides us in acknowledging that the exchange isn’t simply about aesthetics (though it’s delightfully aesthetic). There is so much woven into the gown and the kimono, reflective of each culture and society, and while the young girls may feel a difference, Camille shows us a greater perspective.

Croisee

Camille is brilliant, elegant, and painfully reserved. She bears a hidden sadness, natural perhaps for her status and age, driven by society’s cage. Where is her sense of freedom? Maybe in a dream of some far-off culture, where girls do not need to bear the weight of beauty, yet Yune brings disillusion. Camille sees. Regardless of culture, these girls will grow “comfortable” of such obligations, and the realization: there is no perfect freedom for a lady1.

Croisee
Notes

1 – Has the world change since then? Some. Society is not perfectly understanding nor tolerant, and maybe it never will be. I see a double-edged sword.

* – No, I didn’t just want to post nice pictures of Camille on my blog.

Categories: Meditation, Summer.

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4 Responses

  1. That very notion of having “no perfect freedom,” but at the same time being hailed as beautiful is one of the saddest moments for those ladies who blindly or helplessly obey the norms of beauty of the society.

    And, I don’t think world will ever change. For some degree, people are always going to be prisoners of “beauty” and its ideology. The era of birdcages might be over but there’s something that will always arise to replace it e.g. statistics of a perfect body.

    • Prisoners, if held responsible. I think there will always be social pressures, but so long as society is reinforcing freedom of choice rather than placing responsibility (e.g. “it’s a woman’s responsibility to act X and appear Y”), I think we’re better off. I would hate to lose many popular aesthetics and trends, but we all need some freedom.

      I also feel conformity plays a role in these complex social struggles, but it’s just likely another pressure under different pretense. :) Thanks for reading.

  2. OMG yes. The birdcage metaphor is very appropriate and loud in the series, but more subtly is Yune’s kimonos. We see the same sort of restrictions that tie women down happen with Yune as well (the amount of customs that go toward putting it on and such). More telling is when the two girls exchange clothes. Alice notes that her feet are bound together and can’t walk.

    It’s a sad time back then (and perhaps today). And no, I don’t think the world has changed. There is always societal expectations of what the ideal women should act like. It may not be in a tight corset or heavily draped kimono, but the same cage exists nonetheless.

    Camille certainly recognizes this, but I still can’t figure out her inner thoughts on this.

    When she suggests to Alice that Alice learns the ways of Yune instead of just being flippant and free about how she puts on the kimono, Camille is perhaps showing an acceptance and resignation to the overwhelmingly oppressive societal views. But I don’t know. I really can’t tell exactly what she thinks, and that’s why I think I’m falling in love.

    • Your phrasing is always so enticing, and I would love to see you write more on the societal expectations and Camille; maybe when you’re settled it ^__~

      That is a nice point between Alice and Camille, nurturing in a sense. I recall Alice mentioned she was a tad clumsy, while Camille has always worn elegance. I feel because of Alice’s whimsical nature, conforming to their society will ultimately cause her more suffering (Alice’s situation is more fragile, though she is the younger sister), or at least a different kind of suffering apart from Camille. In a way it kind of feels like big sister is looking out for little sister as well.

      And Camille is just marvelous. She is so evasive as a character, and while we see changes in expression, they only make her more mysterious. I definitely think she has taken that step beyond the line of rebelling agaist society, and is now accepting her role in society, but there is still darkness and fire in her, whether or not she’ll use it for herself or another is a question. Very captivating character, minimal but highly aesthetic.

      Fall in love, you know it’s right! ^ ^



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