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What does it mean to be Kawaii?

What does it mean to be Kawaii?

Adorable, cute, and kawaii all are used in the same context. In Japan, people use the term “kawaii” for anything or anyone they find adorable. The word kawaii itself originated from the word kao hayushi, which means "blushing” but can be translated as “cute”. For many Japanese kawaii is not just a word but a lifestyle and sub-part of their culture.

If you ever had the privilege to visit the Harajuku district of Japan, you must have seen kawaii in all its glory. Girls dressed up as characters and with cute costumes.  Kawaii can be found in other parts of the world as this lifestyle has been adopted by many.

But what does it truly mean to be kawaii?

Appearance and clothing

For starters, having a cute overall appearance is required. Dressing up in cute outfits will make you look kawaii. The popular cute styles in Japan are decora and lolita. Decora kawaii outfits consist of cute accessories like hair ties, bows, and excessively cute bracelets. As for lolita, the girls who opt for this style dress like babies & little girls. Cute dresses decorated with frills, bows, and ribbons. Lolita girls maintain an innocent vibe with their overall clothing.



Some of the kawaii girls don’t go overboard in dressing up in a particular style. They prefer to adorn simple yet cute clothes like oversized hoodies or clothes with cute characters on them. They like to exhibit their kawaii soul with simple tops with a girly and babyish vibe. While many girly girls wear a lot of cute short dresses and skirts. Most of the kawaii outfits are usually in pink, coral, or pastel colors with lace, bows, and frills.


Cuteness is strongly associated with animals. Many of the kawaii fans own accessories like cat ear headbands, bunny headbands, and other similar accessories. They also get their nails done in themes like Hello Kitty or Sailor Moon. Some even go for vibrant cute colors like pink, mint, yellow, pastels, etc.

Many kawaii lovers also own cute stationery, lunch boxes, cutlery, and many other household items.




Bags and Shoes

Bags of vibrant colors and shapes like heart, star, bear, cat, etc, and any character printed on it looks cute. Many kawaii fans go for such bags to emphasize their inner love for cuteness. They also hold their whole ensemble with cute platform-heeled shoes that accentuate the height and overall give off a kawaii aura. Shoes like uggs, sneakers, and school girl shoes are considered pretty cute in the kawaii world.


Hairstyle and Make-up

People who truly want to look kawaii, go for a hairstyle and makeup that gives off an innocent vibe. Pastel-colored hair that makes the face look small is really popular among kawaii fans. They also put on makeup that makes their eyes look more round and bigger and lips pouty for a child-like cute look.


Being kawaii means you have to commit to a lifestyle that revolves around looking cute and spreading joy. People who truly live such a lifestyle talk, walk, eat, and dress cutely. They embrace cuteness and add it to the bleak world. The whole idea behind their kawaii lifestyle is to spread joy with their happy-go-lucky attitude and to live freely.

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