Japan Needs Dandy Men 2005-12-15
This billboard for "The Dandy House" is advertising a diet program for men. It says, "Why don't you give up and lose some weight?" And the smaller text reads, "Japan needs good (i.e., dandy, fine) men." I suppose that's where Richard Gere comes in. Either he owns Dandy House and wants to whip Japanese salary men into shape, or he's the very image of dandyness.
I remember a couple of years ago Malaysia banned an advertisement featuring Brad Pitt as the ideal man. Why not a Malaysian guy? Someone reasoned. Apparently that line of thinking doesn't fly here. Japanese images of the ideal male often range outside of Japan, including the usual suspects (Tom, Brad, Richard) plus people like Korean star Bae Yong Jun, Daniel Radcliffe, an array of cartoon and video game characters (that are Japanese but NOT REAL) and, of course, David Beckham.
So who are the ideal honto ni Japanese men? There are a few, and I'll leave you to point them out in the comments.