If you’re used to seeing the mostly reed-thin Japanese singers and actresses on TV and music videos, you can be forgiven for thinking most Japanese women are size 0. The recent popularity of the so-called “marshmallow girls”, or those that fall outside the normal thin figure, has given birth to a “chubby” J-pop girl group called, what else, Chubbiness.
But instead of being a great role model for the body acceptance movement, the group has been getting criticism for several reasons. First of all, some observers have noted that they’re not really chubby, just normal-sized, meaning they’re a little bit bigger than the usual J-pop stars, but still cannot be considered “big.” They technically have not released a music video yet, but their social networks have been posting endless photos of the girls posing with and eating food. Their interviews usually talk about eating and what their favorite “chubby body parts” are. These things lead to a sort of “fetishizing” of normal body sizes, which some believe lead to the reinforcement that being not thin is abnormal.
The popularity of the marshmallow girl concept can be considered progressive in a society that calls women debu, or “fatso,” even to their faces, and where the low obesity rate is something the country takes pride in. It remains to be seen whether Chubiness, whose members went through an open casting call conducted by music label Avex and fashion magazine CanCam, is the real thing music and image wise, or whether it is just a marketing gimmick to ride on this newest trend. We have to wait until March though, which is when they’re scheduled to release their album and music videos.
[ via Jezebel ]