In Japan is called a Gravure Idol

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Another kind of idol they have in Japan is called a Gravure Idol.


Gravure is a French word dealing with photography, and that's what makes a gravure idol a gravure idol: her looks.
Gravure idols are a product of the 1980's when the economic boom loosened morals across Japan.


That's not to say that things went to hell- they didn't; but you can definitely see a difference in the moral conservatism of the country between the 1970's and the 1980's.


The crazy, wacky, colorful culture that the world identifies with Japan was born in the 80s, and gravure idols are an off-shoot of that.
Before I talked about idol singers, and idol singers can be gravure idols, and idol singers can do gravure; but what's important is the descriptor that comes before the word "idol".


That's like a specialty. While idol singers specialize in looking cute (or kawaii, as they say in Japan), gravure idols specialize in being sexy. It's a step up.

Gravure straddles the fine line between what is merely sexy, and what is pornographic.


A gravure idol may choose to do nudity in her pictures, or she may never choose to slip out of that bikini.


Some of the temptation that makes gravure work is what you don't see. There are definite lines that are drawn that once you cross, you can never go back.


A gravure idol may choose to do tasteful nudes, but not overly sexual, raunchy nudes.

That crosses the line into AV (the Japanese word for porn).
An idol singer may choose to do gravure, but would never do nudity because that crosses the line and would be devastating to her idol singing career.

Oddly enough, an AV (porn) actress can do gravure, and she might also be in an idol group (google the Ebisu Muscats) but once she's AV, she's AV for life,
and she'll never get that innocence back that's required to be proper idol singer.


Gravure Idol videos are big in Japan, and there are a million and one ways that they straddle that line between what's acceptable and what's AV.


There are so many shades of gravure that there's no space here to cover them all.

I should know, I've directed 11 gravure idol movies. It can be tough at times, because you have to give the audience what they want, which is sex, without giving them what they want.


It's a tease. A burlesque routine to the extreme, and some directors and idols get really close to crossing that line.
We're talking, hanging onto the smallest of margins. The absolute smallest.


It's no wonder that some gravure idols go on to be porn stars, the money is certainly better.
But then again, some gravure idols go on to open successful restaurant chains, so you never can tell.