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Daily Share: Japan’s Chubbiness Urge ‘Marshmallow Girls’ to Love Themselves

Chubbiness, the J-Pop group.

Chubbiness, the J-Pop group.

Marshmallow Girls

If you’d like to dive deeper into Japan’s body positive movement, Pocchari, after our article on plus-size model Naomi Watanabe, check out Chubbiness.

Chubbiness is a band of ten women chosen by Avex, a Japanese entertainment management group. Avex held a contest in which these ten women were chosen out of 3,500 so-called “marshmallow girls.”

A lot of these women don’t even seem chubby by most standards, but Japan does have one of the lowest average BMIs in the world. Their music offers upbeat messages to fellow plus-size ladies.

“Our first debut song, ‘Manma Dear,’ is a support song for Punikos [chubby girls] all over the world,” says one of Chubbiness’ members. “‘Manma Dear’ means ‘let it be’ or ‘love yourself just the way you are.”

Surprisingly, the comments on their YouTube videos are almost all positive. User Angel Kolle says, “What a refreshing group! This is completely different than the usual unattainable image that a lot of Asian pop stars have. I’m not saying those individuals are bad in any way, but in reality, most girls don’t look like idols and seeing a ‘perfect’ idol often makes them doubt themselves. This is a group that can inspire girls to just be happy as themselves because, for once, the idols look just like them.”


Unfortunately, there are also these assholes who are only there for plus sized bodies if they are healthy. No surprise: it’s four thin white people sitting in a room talking trash about Asian women rejecting weight norms. Yes, Chubbiness are eating a lot of food. However, it’s an act of defiance for a woman to be recorded enjoying food –especially if that food is considered unhealthy or indulgent.

With lyrics like, “Girls should lose weight? Can’t take it! If you are already shining and girly, just stay as you are” Chubbiness offers a positive alternative to the fatphobia many folks face daily. While this band may feel a bit inorganic — and as though they’re being objectified — ANY presentation of plus size bodies in Eastern media (and not as the butt of jokes) is a step forward.


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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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