The Japanese fashion magazine La Farfa is trying to change the way the nation thinks about plus-sized Asian women by adopting the new term as a positive description for larger women. And despite intense ridicule and dismissal from an intensely fat-phobic culture, women all over the world—and all over the Internet—are starting to listen.
In recent years, Asian and Asian-American women have begun speaking out about the pressure they face to live within the stereotype of the ultra-thin, petite Asian girl. In Japan especially, the increased reach of unhealthy Americanized fast food has brought with it even greater pressure for women to be thin. There’s even a fat-shaming weight loss app that Japanese women can download: Unlike its male counterpart, which features hot anime girls gently encouraging men to lose weight, the app for women features hot anime boys yelling fat-shaming phrases at women to encourage them not to eat—including addressing them as “fatty.”
But things are slowly changing: Lolita fashion is popular among plus-sized women, and La Farfa recently became the country’s first plus-sized fashion magazine. Last year, La Farfa threw the country’s first plus-size fashion show.
Now, La Farfa is trying to change the way Japanese women discuss their body types. In its most recent issue, the magazine featured plus-size model Goto Seina, labeling her “marshmallow girl.”