BL. Boys love. Bishonen is a Japanese term literally meaning "beautiful youth (boy)". The term describes an aesthetic that can be found in disparate areas in Asia: a young man whose beauty (and sexual appeal) transcends the boundary of gender or sexual orientation. It has always shown the strongest manifestation in Japanese pop culture, gaining in popularity due to the androgynous glam rock bands of the 1970s, but it has roots in ancient Japanese literature, the homosocial and homoerotic ideals of the medieval Chinese imperial court and intellectuals, and Indian aesthetic concepts carried over from Hinduism, imported with Buddhism to China. Today, bishonen (and their same sax love) are very popular among girls and women in Japan. It is called "BL" or "Boys Love." They should be very bishonen, not bear or hairy men. Reasons for this social phenomenon may include the unique male and female social relationships found within the genre. Some have theorized that bishonen provide a non-traditional outlet for gender relations. Moreover, it breaks down stereotypes surrounding feminine male characters. These are often depicted with very strong martial arts abilities, sports talent, high intelligence, or comedic flair, traits that are usually assigned to the hero/protagonist.
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