Dakota Rose Ostrenga: An Empire Built Upon Lies

*Requested by Cherri (I probably wouldn’t have written this otherwise)

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Dakota Rose Ostrenga/Kotakoti, KiKi Kannibal Corporations, or Bravo Models (ha I wish). I do not own any of the photographs of persons listed. Also: Please note that I do not hate Dakota, or harbor any ill feelings towards her. Thank you.

Being the person I am, it would be hard to not know about Dakota (Kotakoti). She’s everywhere- YouTube, Twitter, Nico Douga, even spamming the front of my Tumblr. She’s known for being cute, doll-like, and impossibly unrealistic.

I followed Dakota and her sister during their scene days, back when I used to think Blood on the Dance Floor was the shit, and MySpace was the biggest social media website around. (What, like four years ago?) Back then, Dakota had frizzy, damaged hair, multiple piercings, and a penchant for raccoon eyes.

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Dakota was, and still is, an avid photoshopper. This picture here is heavily Photoshopped, but all of her scene-phase shots are. How do I know? I used to watch Dakota and Kiki’s Stickam streams (back when that was still a website), and I know for a fact that she was a little heavier then than she appears in this photo.

I used to sit in front of my computer watching their streams and thinking “Wow. They’re so cool.” That’s before Dakota and her sister started using homophobic and racial slurs openly during their Stickam streams. I have always been (and always will be) a heavy believer in equal rights, and suddenly, Dakota and Kiki weren’t so cool anymore. When they started mocking Asians, I drew the line. I couldn’t sit there and be a fan of someone who would openly say such hateful things, so I deleted her from my connections on MySpace and decided to pretend she didn’t exist.

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As you can see from this shot, Dakota was very much the scene queen back then. I remember how she used to claim to have invented/brought back the “leopard-print hair”, in the same way that Kiki is credited with bringing back “the stripes”. As far as I know, neither of them can be credited with that, but it is just a hairstyle, and not something to throw a fit over.

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Dakota Rose has never been ugly, in my opinion. But she has said many ugly things, and that makes her ugly in my eyes, no matter how beautiful she looks. I am aware that she has come back and apologized, but as someone who watched this first hand, it can be hard to forget. I am willing to give her a second chance, but I haven’t seen anything redeeming from her yet.

When I chose to ignore Dakota and Kiki was around the time that there was the whole scandal with Kiki’s way-too-old-for-her rapist boyfriend (now deceased). Shortly after that Kiki and Dakota seemed to fall off the face of the Earth, and I outgrew my “scene” phase. I still appreciate both the music and clothing style (yes, the music is death metal/Skrillex/Emotional, not just scene), but I no longer own nine pairs of “artfully” ripped jeans or apply my eye makeup with such a heavy hand. When I outgrew this phase, I assumed that Kiki and Dakota would continue to insult and degrade people through the Internet, and paid them no mind. I gradually began watching anime and reading manga. I then began listening to Morning Musume and AKB48. The rest followed.

Dakota must have been going through her own metamorphosis a bit after I was, because I never saw hide-nor-tail of her when I took to the J Culture scene as strong Gorilla Glue sticks to your fingers. She was probably practicing her Photoshop skills at an undisclosed location, contemplating how to make her comeback- this time without her sister there to overshadow her.

As to be expected, she exploded in Japan like a firecracker.

dakorarose04She had the look- big eyes, a small nose, and doll-like lips. When I first stumbled upon her via Nico Douga, I did not see Dakota Rose Ostrenga, the “scene” chick from MySpace that I had stopped following because of her horrible attitude. I saw a pretty, too-good-to-be-true doll. Right away, I knew something was up. I have seen “living dolls” like Venus Angelic is person before, and none of them looked this… Barbie. 

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Here’s a few snaps of some of Dakota’s Photoshop mishaps (happens to the best of us, I will say). She obviously liquified her… everything… and wound up leaving those lovely whirlpools behind.

I have a hawk-eye when it comes to Photoshop, despite knowing almost nothing about retouching itself.  I could see that Dakota (or Kotakoti, as I knew her at the time) had edited herself thinner, and done quite a number of things to her eyes (digital false eyelashes, brightening, adding shine, and enlarging). When I checked out some of her social media, I was a little less than amused when I realized she was lying about Photoshopping. To be clear, I DO NOT have a problem with Photoshopping- if you can do it well, why not?? It just perturbs me to see someone who obviously Photoshops deny it so heavily. Plus, she had hundreds of unassuming fans praising her for her natural beauty, and begging for makeup/skin care advice. I draw the line there, giving a bunch of twelve year old who don’t know any better false information. (But I don’t hate Dakota, I swear) If someone asks me what I do to keep my skin clear, I won’t say “oh, just soap and water“. I’d give any honest answer, because your fans deserve it. Face it, Koti, you’d be just another high school girl without them.

Even though I want to be nice and chalk this up as teenage foolishness, I can’t really do that. “Oh, I was just a kid,” does not justify using homophobic and racial slurs. I am a good bit younger than Dakota, and I know not to use those words/phrases because it hurts people. Anyone would know that- my four year old sister knows that!

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Dakota, doing that is not okay. Did you ever once think there might be Asians watching your stream? Did you ever think that you might actually hurt one of them?

Dakota has also stated that she makes her own clothes in the comments of some of her videos, even though I know that you can find those shorts and that shirt on TaoBao for 3USD. I think this is just… wrong.

This image via ExposeBarbie shows just that.

Kotakoti_fake_clothes-575x204You can’t just say you made something when someone else actually did- and probably worked really hard on it! Why not just give the designer credit?

When I look at Dakota standing up in photos, you can tell that she has tried to make herself look taller by stretching out her small frame. I am 5’10” and around her “weight”, and my proportions are nothing like her’s. Dakota and I have very different body types, but you can get the gist of it from comparing the two of us. Dakota pushed her crotchline upwards to create something similar to the manolo tip look (when a model stands on her tiptoes in water/when her feet are out of the shot to create the effect of longer legs), but ended up looking awkward and forced.

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I don’t understand why she’d try to fake being supermodel height… In Japan, the ultimate standard for attractive is “cute”. Most guys probably wouldn’t think “Oh, she’s cute!” when you’re as tall as they are. That doesn’t mean tall girls are any less beautiful, but when I think of cute, I think of small, sparkly things that I can fit in my pocket… Plus, as soon as she walks out of the house, everyone will know she is not 5’8”.

Dakota, you’re beautiful the way you are. Would it kill you to be a little more honest? You have a very lovely non-Photoshopped face, as you can see here, on this image via Tumblr:

dakotaunshoppedIf you want more compelling evidence of her actual natural beauty, please check out this video of her Candy Doll photoshoot:

In my opinion, Dakota is extremely attractive without the Photoshop. If she admitted to Photoshopping, I’ll bet a lot more Westerners would like her, as well as Japanese (because they appear to be getting wise to her tricks). Dakota, please, just be honest. It will make you a better person, and in turn, more people will like you.

I hope I didn’t upset anyone with this article. I really don’t hate Dakota… –Pei

 

 

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THANK YOU!!! (The World of Pei Ton’s One Month Anniversary)

I’m sitting in front of my computer at 1 AM on October 6th for only one reason.

It’s my anniversary.

And no, I’m not married. This is my blog’s one month anniversary!

I have rewritten this entry at least three times because I have no idea how to say what I’m thinking in a way that makes any sort of sense. I’m so overwhelmingly grateful for my amazing blog-readers! You guys are absolutely the best, and your comments make me smile every day. Whenever I log into my computer, the first thing I do is always look at my blog, at my comments and views and the love I get from all of you. It’s so… shocking… to me that my little blog managed to grab the attention of so many people.

I don’t want to make this one of those long posts about how many views I’m getting, or how many likes I have. Those posts aren’t very fun to read, and I can’t imagine writing one. This post is for you. You, the one reading this right now. Not me.

I started this blog with one goal in mind: Get my name out there. Make myself known. Break into the industry.

Now, this blog has given me so much more than just that. It has given me courage.

I look like a confident person on the outside, but I’m really not. I’m 5’10”, gangly, and round-faced. My smile embarrasses me. That’s the reason I’ve always looked so gloomy in photographs. I think I look better without smiling. But this blog (read: my readers) has given me the strength to look in the mirror and go “Hey, I don’t look too bad today,” when I never could before. Being ugly was something I’ve always associated with myself. I felt like the “attractive” gene in the family had skipped over me and graced everyone else. I put on a cool façade and tried to act like it didn’t bother me when it really did.

My blog readers sent me love. You built me up with four little words- you look good today. 

I smiled.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading~!

Happy Chuseok! 추석 잘 보내세요!

Happy Chuseok everyone! ❤

For those of you who don’t know what Chuseok is, it’s basically the Korean equivalent of American Thanksgiving. And if you’re not American, Chuseok is basically a huge festival with a lot of food that falls somewhere between September 18 and September 20. (Chuseok is on September 19th this year!) Chuseok is the biggest holiday in Korea. You may have heard of it called Hangawi before as well.

When I called Chuseok ‘Korea’s equivalent of Thanksgiving’, I wasn’t joking. Chuseok is all about being thankful for your ancestors and the harvest, similar to the way Americans are thankful for the year they’ve had so far. You’ll probably see Korean celebrities in Chuseok outfits, like Crayon Pop are wearing here:

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However, Crayon Pop’s outfits aren’t very traditional. Most Korean women will wear a much longer skirt, and if they are wearing pants, they won’t be shown. The headpieces aren’t as common either- but this is Crayon Pop…

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Chuseok is a three-day holiday in Korea, and it begins on Wednesday and goes to Friday, and then, of course, you have the weekend, so it’s typically a five-day break for most Koreans. Lucky 😉

One of the biggest Chuseok events in the K-Pop world is the Idol Star Athletic Championships. This competition has a yearly Chuseok special, and features many impressive K-Pop groups and Idols. SHINee, B2ST, and T-ara have all participated in this competition, as well as many other groups. If I recall correctly from when I viewed the show on Korean TV, there were 160 Idols competing in the event. 😮

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For example, in this photograph, you’ll see SHINee competing in the Idol Star on Chuseok.

T-AraChuseokAthleticsT-ara 😉

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This event is something I look forward to every year. Why? I love seeing my favourite celebrities outside of their elements- whether it’s singing, dancing, or just looking cute- and in what I consider my element. I may be extremely interested in becoming an idol, but until that is achieved, I am three things: a runner, a writer, and an artist.

These idols seem so perfect to us, with their flawless skin, big, bright eyes, and long legs, that we tend to forget that they are really just human. They aren’t any different from the rest of us once you remove all the makeup and the photoshop. They may be stunningly attractive and incredibly talented, but get this: Everyone has a talent. And everyone is uniquely beautiful. You may not fit the standard K-Pop look, but you can still be beautiful. You don’t have to be 5’6”, porcelain-skinned and able to sing like Christina Auguilera to be beautiful. Not all K-pop idols are this way, and you shouldn’t have to be, either. Beauty, in my opinion, comes from diversity, not conformity.

Not all K-Pop idols can run at break-neck speed or leap eight meters. The best part about Idol Star Athletic Championship is seeing them try, even if they aren’t that great. It’s the effort that they put into it that counts.

Chuseok is a holiday that can mean many different things to many different types of people. For me, Chuseok means Idol Star, Korean BBQ, hot tea, and friends. For other people, it might mean fancy outfits and visiting the cemetery. Chuseok can be traditional, unconventional, or just plain wacky, all depending on who you ask.

girlsgenerationchuseokHere, Girl’s Generation wears traditional clothing. They embody the traditional Chuseok style.

chuseoktea01(Taken from my Instagram- @officialpeiton)

As I said earlier, part of Chuseok for me is hot tea. I’ve been drinking traditional-styled Korean tea during Chuseok since I was a little girl. I’ll always associate it with Chuseok, no matter how old I get or where I live.

In my opinion, Chuseok is not about fancy outfits and five-days off. Chuseok is about being thankful for what you have, even if it isn’t much. Chuseok is family, friends, and being thankful for the life you’re living. I may not be the wealthiest girl (in fact, I’m definitely NOT), or the prettiest (No here too), but I’m still thankful for everything I have. I’m thankful for my education, my friends and family, and I’m thankful for you. You, the person who’s reading this right now. I wouldn’t be anywhere without the wonderful people in my life, and you are one of those wonderful people. The fact that you even attempted to read all the way through this is enough for me.

Happy Chuseok! 추석 잘 보내세요!

Sixteen Years of Morning Musume

It’s the morning of September 15, 2013, and Michishige Sayumi is preparing herself for one of her most monumental performances, ever. And no, she’s not about to go live at the Super Bowl™ like Madonna, or preforming at the VMAs like Miley Cyrus (I should hope not!!). Michishige is the twenty-four-year-old leader of the world-famous group, Morning Musume, and they are about to go live for the Sixteen-Year Anniversary Performance.

Michishige fluffs out her bangs and examines herself in the mirror, getting ready to put on her Game Face. Her group-mates and fellow idols- Fukumura Mizuki, Ikuta Erina, Sayashi Riho, Suzuki Kanon, Iikubo Haruna, Ishida Ayumi, Sato Masaki, Kudo Haruka, and Oda Sakura- are all ready to go, pumped for their major performance.

“WE ARE MORNING MUSUME!” The girls shout in unison.

The curtains open. The lights go on. It’s Morning Musume time.

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Morning Musume took to the stage in angelic white outfits complete with Loli-style high-heeled white boots and subtly accented tops. They are the eptiome of in-synch as the preform ‘Renai Revolution 21’ with brand new dances moves for the first time ever.They also announced that they added another show to their upcoming tour, this one in Nippon Budokan- and this time no one is graduating!

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You can see the passion in their eyes…

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Their facial expressions upon seeing the cake are just too cute! I’m so proud of the girls! ❤

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Tears of happiness were shed

May Morning Musume have many more great years as an idol group! ❤ Best of luck, girls!

-Pei

*Special thanks to my buddy Rima Sui for getting me some exclusive details from the Morning Musume Anniversary Performance. She was there, live (the lucky bum!) and managed to send some extra information my way. Thanks, Rima-chan! 😉

Fakes, Liars, and HyunA (-o⌒) ∑(O_O;) ( ꒪Д꒪)ノ ヽ(≧Д≦)ノ

Everyone who knows K-Pop knows HyunA. You’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard of this funky, sometimes-edgy South Korean pop idol. She’s a rapper, dancer, singer, model, (and more!) and currently managed by JYP and Cube Entertainment. HyunA tackled the K-Pop scene first in the group ‘Wonder Girls’ in 2007. She then moved on to the popular girl group, ‘4Minute’ in 2009. HyunA is also part of the pop duo, Trouble Maker. She’s famous for being a mix of cute and sexy, and is known world-wide for her hit song, Bubble Pop!

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I myself am a big HyunA fan, and have followed her since Wonder Girls. Like most fans, I followed her on Twitter, Cyworld, and other social media. I followed “her” on Instagram too, thinking I had found the real HyunA. Unfortunately, I was just following one of dozens of fakes.

Just yesterday, I logged into Instagram to check up on my friends and my favourite celebs and uljjangs- like Ariana Grande, Miyake Ng, and 박형석– and realized that the HyunA instagram account I had been following was fake (hence the angry emoticons in the title). V(=^・ω・^=)v There were tons of comments on the page, saying things like “You’re just a faker” and “The real HyunA is @hyunah_aa”. Being the person I am, I decided to check out this “hyunah_aah” and see if she was indeed the real Kim Hyun-A. I realized she was after noticing that G.NA follows her!

To be clear: the real HyunA is @hyunah_aa

I immediately reported and then blocked the fake HyunA that I had been following, and I suggest all of you do the same. It’s not cool to fake someone online! I’ve had my fair share of fakes (one of them writing me off as a Mexican/Japanese gyaru model under the name Elle Sandé), and I can definitely say that it’s not fun. People will debate you and your identity, and it’s not fun. People begin to question you, even if you are the real one. That’s never a good feeling.

Moral: Don’t trust the internet, kids.

The internet is both a wonderful thing and an evil one. You can find almost any information you want… and you can also get stalked. Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see. Just because you have 8 Twitter followers doesn’t mean that you can tweet nude pictures of yourself for the fun of it. Anyone could see those- your mom, a middle-aged creeper, your fifth-period Science teacher… ANYONE.

And don’t trust people online with personal information. That hot 19-year-old you just met on Facebook could be your ninety-three year old neighbor. Don’t meet up with people you don’t know. It’s okay to talk (I do a lot of that 😉 ) but don’t give them stuff like the name of your school or your home phone number. They can and will find you. Don’t think they won’t.

Okay, Pei’s boring ranting (that you’ve probably hear a million times) is over. But my advice still stands. That person pretending to be a pretty celebrity is just an ugly liar hiding behind a fake name and a fake image. The Internet is a dangerous place, kids. Don’t underestimate the power of Google. My buddy Rima got stalked and sent a bunch of inappropriate images because she posted her Skype online. Be careful, alright? I love you all and couldn’t stand the idea of seeing you get hurt.

….I still can’t see how I tied all that in with HyunA, but go figure. It works.

Crayon Pop Asks For Money Instead of Gifts?

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Crayon Pop is an adorable S. Korean pop group made up of five girls, including a set of twins. Their members are Gum Mi, So Yul, Ellin, and twins, Cho A and Way. You may know them from their song, Bar Bar Bar, or 바 바 바, as it is written in Korean Hangul.

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The girls are not as popular as groups like 4 Minute, or the Japanese AK48, and are generally less well-known. But as soon as something bad happens, they’re suddenly making headlines.

CRAYON POP’S MANAGEMENT REFUSES GIFTS‘ one article claims.

CRAYON POP– GREEDY?‘ Another blares.

Woah, woah, hold your horses! Crayon Pop is not a greedy group begging for money to pamper themselves. They are a group of genuinely talented girls who all have good hearts. How do I know this? It’s quite simple. Crayon Pop did ask for money instead of gifts (I will explain this in more detail further into the post), but there was a good reason!

Crayon Pop planned to donate the money they received to charity (though they did not specify which). The CEO of Chrome Entertainment, Hwang Hyun Chang, stated that,”…However, the reason for not accepting any more gifts is because people started to give expensive, designer brand gifts to the members, which made them feel burdened. Of course, they were grateful but they also felt bad. Expensive gifts are burdensome for both the person giving and the person receiving the gift. These kinds of gifts may also cause other fans who are not as financially able or young student fans to feel out of place. Also, when the Crayon Pop members use or wear those gifts, it might raise up more issues…“.

Is this not understandable? Asian idol groups, as well as other talent in general, are often extremely thankful of what they receive from fans, and we all know how some hardcore fans can get… Possessive. Crayon Pop’s management was obviously trying to do the right thing here, and please everyone. However, it wound up having the opposite effect. The fans obviously felt either cheated or irritated with Crayon Pop for “refusing their gifts”. Can you imagine how many gifts these girls receive in a single day, let alone a whole week? I’m sure the number is in the 1,000s!

“The standard of an ‘expensive’ gift may differ with each person so we cannot pinpoint an exact amount and we cannot decide on an exact standard on which gifts can be accepted and which cannot. We also cannot ignore the devotion of the fans either so we needed a method that was fair,” Hwang Hyun Chang offered by way of explanation for his decision to uphold the ‘No Gifts’ policy.

I think that the raging fans need to calm down and take a deep breath. For one, this is not Crayon Pop’s fault. Their management ultimately has the final word in public relations, and this was obviously what they thought was best. It did not work out the way they had originally planned, but you can tell they had good intentions. Crayon Pop planned to donate the money to charity, which is about as good of an intention that you can have. It’s not like they came out and said, “We don’t want your gifts! We just want your money!” (They didn’t, clearly)

Before all the Crayon Pop fans loose their minds over this, just think about it from their point of view. They receive tons of gifts every single day, and they obviously can’t use/wear every single one of them. If they tried to use/wear every single thing any fans ever gave them, they probably wouldn’t even be half-way done by the time they’re all eighty years old! So what are they supposed to do with it?! It was probably stressing them out, because of traditional Asian graciousness, they probably felt like they needed to at least thank every single fan for what they were given, and obviously, that’s not possible. (By “traditional Asian graciousness, I mean this: In China, it is common courtesy to return the “favour” done for you, i.e., a gift, with either another gift or at least a strong thanks. I imagine this translates to other countries as well.)  Their management obviously decided, “You know what, enough is enough. No more gifts, please.” which is what got us into this position in the first place.

CEO Hwang even apologized for the events, saying,”We decided the method that would please everyone would be donations but the way we decided to do it and the words that we used were not thought out properly or well enough so we apologize.”

They apologized. Please stop raging, KPoppers! They were trying to do a good thing, kay? They even went on to further apolgize/explain what they did wrong, so it’s not even worth the fussing it’s receiving!

CEO Hwang finished his apology with, “I really hope you understand that we feel it’s better to share the love and devotion you give to Crayon Pop with others who are in need. That will be a more precious and valuable gift to Crayon Pop and the members are happy and grateful enough by just receiving your love. We apologize once again for causing worry through our poor choice of words and expression and please continue to love Crayon Pop.”

As you can see, they already regret trying to be good individuals and donate to charity because of a bunch of angry fans. I know it can be upsetting to feel unappreciated (believe me, I know the feeling), but please do not take out your anger on Crayon Pop. It was out of their control, and I’m sure they didn’t mean to insult anyone by deciding to refuse gifts. They are sweet girls and they make great music, so let’s focus on that, shall we? They’re meant to be enjoyed for their music, not fought about like children. Their true fans realize this. Now, tell me… Are you a true fan?

Thank you for reading all the way through this! I’d appreciate if you’d do a few things now that you’ve read this:

1) Offer any constructive criticism you may have via comment (if possible). Tell me what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what you’d like to see next. Did I address this issue is a constructive and adult manner? Tell me what you thought, because I’d love to hear from you.

2) Take the poll right below this and tell me what you’d like to see next! 😉

3) Have a great day! ❤

~Cheers!