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Bishounen

Bishounen (literally, "beautiful boy") refers to a specific Japanese aesthetic concept of the ideally beautiful young man. The prefix bi- specifically refers to feminine beauty (bijin, lit. "beautiful person", refers to a beautiful woman.)

The bishounen is typically quite slender and not very muscular, with a tapered chin and effeminate or androgynous appearance.

The aesthetic of the bishounen began as an ideal of a young homosexual lover. It is perpetuated today in anime and manga, especially shoujo (girl) anime, shounen-ai, and yaoi.

Some western anime and manga fans use the term bishounen to refer to any handsome male character, although this usage is, strictly speaking, imprecise.

The female equivalent term is bishoujo, however a bishoujo is far from ambiguous in gender.


See also the film Bishonen.



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