Japanese Society Becomes More Open to Body Size Diversity

The Land of the Rising Sun is known worldwide not only for its delicious cuisines but mostly for its healthy selection of food and dishes. Majority of Japanese are very health conscious and particular about their diet. For most people in Japan, being slim and slender is regarded as the standard of beauty especially among women.


In this regard, the Japan Association for Eating Disorders and Japan’s Health Ministry noted that Japanese women in their 30s to 50s opt for a great deal of ways just to maintain a thin figure or even underweight.


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According to a Japanese nutritionist, “while the life expectancy rate for women is almost 90 years old, most of those women are woefully underweight, suffering from osteoporosis and other nutritional deficiencies, and take more medication than their mothers’ generation did.”


In order to meet their desired weight, many women suffer from calcium deficiences and poor diets over the past years. However, the Japanese society has become more open to women that are larger than the usual size. Their concept of the ideal body weight is currently more sensitive to women of different body types.


For instance, mainstream like Naomi Watanabe, the “chubby idol” group Pottya, comedian Barbie, Haruna Kondo from comedy duo Harisenbon, and the comedy group Morisanchu are now being accepted on national television.


With this recent trend, the Japanese society has expanded its perception when it comes to body and beauty diversity. It is unfortunate, however, that majority of these plus-size celebrities are into comedy movies and are called “fat” by audiences because they do not fit the traditional concept of beauty among Japanese women.


To address this matter, a number of celebrities including Naomi Watanabe have been vocal about the issue of body appreciation which should not just be limited to having a slender physique. At the moment, Watanabe is the most popular positivity model for voluptuous women in Japan.


Reference: Body confidence and body positivity in Japan


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