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Mixed-race 'Rola' changing the DNA of Japanese pop culture

Published on Jul 13, 2014 11:54 AM
In a picture taken on May 20, 2014, Japanese fashion model and TV personality Rola poses for photographs during an interview with AFP in Tokyo. -- PHOTO: AFP 

TOKYO (AFP) - In celebrity-obsessed Japan with its conveyor belt of 15-minute stars, fashion icon 'Rola' is blazing a meteoric trail at the forefront of a galaxy of mixed-race stars changing the DNA of Japanese pop culture.

Turn on the TV and there's no escaping the bubbly 24-year-old of Bengali, Japanese and Russian descent - she even dominates the commercial breaks.

A marketing gold mine, Rola smiles down celestially from giant billboards, her wide eyes and girlie pout grace magazine covers and she even greets you at vending machines.

But Rola, who settled in Japan when she was nine, has done it by turning the entertainment industry on its head, her child-like bluntness slicing through the strict convention that governs Japanese society.

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