If you create it, they will cry. At least that is the thinking behind Hiroki Terai’s new Japanese firm, Ikemeso Danshi, which means cute man. Based on his experiences working for a number of corporations in and around Tokyo, Hiroki discovered that Japanese women are having a hard time keeping up in the hyper-competitive work environment. While larger numbers of females are working in the country each year, their overall quality of life has been decreasing, according to statistics released by the national health agency. Having witnessed this reality develop, Terai decided to create a solution by combining a number of stereotypical features that women around the world are supposed to love: hot guys, chick flicks, and crying.
Although Terai claims that Ikemeso was created to help women overcome the male-dominated workforce, the services provided by the company don’t seem to back up that pledge. The basic premise of the new business works like this. You’re a female who is having a rough day at work. Your boss just yelled at you, you spilled coffee on your blouse, and now the vet called to say that your beloved cat is sick. You just can’t take it anymore. The emotional pain has taken hold and there’s only one thing left to do: hop on the computer and click over to Ikemeso’s site. Now, as you’re holding back the tears, you need to find the guy who best fits your ‘type.’ Are you in the mood for the bad boy? The loner? The one overly obsessed with your plaque and tartar levels?
Once you’ve found your ‘tear therapist,’ Ikemeso will send him over with some super soft tissues in his pocket and a few tear-inducing movies. After you watch the films together, and cry out all of your frustration, your magic man will stand you up, leaning you against a wall, and slowly wipe the tears from your cheeks. You’ll magically feel better about your coffee-stained blouse and sick feline, which means you’ll be able to go back to being a productive worker.
Just a few things to keep in mind though. Yes, this is an actual business. Yes, people have really used the service and had nice things to say about it. And, yes, it will only cost you $60. But seriously, how about the blatant sexism underlying the entire reason for the company’s existence? Or, if you’re into more practical realities, how does this even work? You’re having a really busy and stressful day and you decide to just take a break in the middle of it to watch movies and cry as McDreamy wipes away those tears? I doubt that jerk of a boss who drove you to such dire straits is going to say, “Sure Pam, close the blinds of the conference room and watch Love Actually for two hours on the projector. I support your need for emotional decompression.” And yet, the company has had over 150 customers since going into business at the start of September.