Yet another of AKB48’s endless ranks of identikit idols is courting controversy – this time by daring to appear without makeup, with 21-year-old Atsuko Maeda’s natural appearance brutally distressing fans with her “ugly” and “below average” looks.
As part of her efforts to learn to drive (an accomplishment of such difficulty apparently being a major event for an AKB48 member), she was exposed momentarily to the cameras without the benefit of layers of makeup and Photoshop:
How she “normally” looks, or at least how she appeared in material sold to fans:
She recently “graduated” from AKB48 to the rank of minor celebrity, at the advanced age of 21 in any case now being far too old for inclusion in their ranks.
Even this event proved controversial amongst her creepy fans, who were soon decrying the loss of their “investment” in her, but otherwise her career has been bland and largely bereft of scandal, making her a model member.
AKB48 fans and detractors alike are shocked at the results:
“She doesn’t look the slightest bit like a celebrity there…”
“She can fade out as a commoner now.”
“She looks worse than a normal person.”
“How can you say this after seeing her usual pics!”
“They really worked hard with Photoshop on those.”
“She’s just ugly!”
“Maybe she looks just normal, but in a reasonable way. Although you would never believe she was a model or actress from those.”
“Isn’t she just one of those girls who end up changing a lot going into their twenties from her teens?”
“She looks like a man…”
“If you mixed her in with normal students she would be in the lower half.”
“She’s really ugly. How did they get her gussied up so nicely? The power of makeup?”
“Makeup. Genuinely cute girls look cute even without makeup.”
“She looks about right for letting otaku think they could realistically marry a girl like this.”