Edit: Gwen refers to them as her art project and as figments of her imagination, has forbidden them to respond to interviewers, and renamed them Love, Angel, Music, Baby after her brand. She did not find them in Harajuku. She is rumoured to have forbidden them to speak English, although at least Angel (California native) must be fluent. On the other hand, they're consenting adults who signed contracts, and are probably paid quite well.
Official bios from gwenstefani.com:
LOVE: Love, a native of Tokyo, Japan, began studying dancing when she was just five years old. At 21, Maya’s ambition and dedication helped her land a position touring with Japanese Rock group B’z. Soon after, she began appearing with other Japanese pop stars like Namie Amuro, Kumi Kouda and BOA. In 2003, she moved to Los Angeles to study dance and English. In 2004, Love landed a principle role as one of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls. She traveled with Ms. Stefani both internationally and domestically to promote the album “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” In 2005, Love toured the nation performing in sold out arenas as part of the Harajuku Lovers Tour.
ANGEL: Originally from Torrance CA, Angel took hip-hop dance classes at San Diego State University thinking it would be a fun hobby. There she found her passion for hip-hop dance, music, and culture. Since her graduation from SDSU, Angel has performed on various commercials and television shows. She has danced with artists like Missy Elliot, Christina Milian, Ricky Martin and of course Gwen Stefani, whom she danced and toured with as part of the Harajuku Girls.
MUSIC: Music grew up in Okinawa, Japan, with dreams of moving to America. Ever since she was a young girl, she loved dance and was inspired by artists like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and TLC. She taught herself how to dance by watching their videos and practicing in her house. Music moved to Los Angeles in 1999 to study in America and pursue her career as a dancer. She has toured with Britney Spears and was featured in music videos by Missy Elliot and Marques Houston. Most recently, Music has traveled the world as one of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls and was a featured performer on the Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005.
BABY: Baby grew up in Osaka, Japan, where she began dancing informally at quite a young age. She moved to Los Angeles in May of 2004 and booked her first job in America as one of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls. Baby has contributed to various projects including music videos, commercials, photo shoots and live performances. She was also a featured performer on Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005.
2) Would you be a Harajuku girl (or gender/ethnicity-appropriate equivalent)? Why or why not?
3) If you were a minority entertainer, would you rather raise your visibility no matter how, or would you rather avoid stereotypical roles even if it means getting less exposure?