Don’t call them fat; call them Marshmallow Girls

TOKYO —

Many of us have an impression that Japanese girls are slim and petite (which many of them really are), but one of the sad truths behind their stick-thin figures is a rather serious case of discrimination from society. While voluptuous women are popular in certain parts of the world, being even slightly chubby (not obese) is a big no-no in Japan and chubby girls often get called “debu” (fatso) online and sometimes to their face.

But recently, a new nickname for such chubby ladies has started trending among Japanese Internet commenters, which hopefully will change the attitudes people have toward them. Behold, the rise of the “marshmallow girls”!

When interviewed by Pouch, Mr Saichu, a man with a self-proclaimed “tummy fetish,” commented that the society is deeply biased against “fatties”, and usually criticize that they “lack self-discipline, or neglect maintaining a balanced diet, that’s why they got fat”. But he personally thinks that a chubby girl’s tummy has a heavenly “marshmallow feel” and that the “fats that have accumulated expresses her historical growth as a female”. He also thinks that “marshmallow girl” is an apt nickname for chubby girls and hopes that the cute naming will lessen the discrimination toward them.

Unfortunately, a biased mindset is not something that can be changed overnight. Japanese twitter users have been unrelenting, commenting that:

—“Call them whatever you like but a fatty is a fatty.”
—“That’s confusing, calling them debu or pizza (a demeaning nickname for plus-sized girls who look like an oily otaku) is just fine.”
—“The only thing sweet about them is how sweet they are to themselves in terms of health management.”
—“Marshmallow Girls, they melt when flamed.”
—“Change that name to boneless ham.”
—“They’re more like mochi (glutinous rice cake) than marshmallow.”
—“Stop trying to rationalize fatsos!”
—“‘Meat bun girl’ sounds like a better name.”

Source: Pouch

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  • 16

    Anna-Maija Juuso

    How about behave like a civilized human being.Why is it always young girls who are evaluated by their looks or by some other feature. Find it very sad and cruel .We should teach our children to respect eachother,and it makes me sad to see that this happens on society level,like this article describes.

  • 11

    smithinjapan

    All this need for labeling is the problem, not the size or shape of a man or woman. They're being categorized, which in itself is isolation. But man, the comments posted at the end are just cruel.

  • -19

    falseflagsteve

    @ anna; No all people get picked on for their looks, stop this women victim stuff please.

    Easy to stop being picked on , eat healthy, less and exercise more if you are fat, Be responsible for yourself. If people call you name, ignore them as they are not worth bothering with.

    Motivation is the key and lay off processed foods and chuck the telly out.

  • 9

    justbcuzisay

    I wonder if the people who insult chubby (like the article said NOT obese) girls as being unhealthy also insult the underweight girls? I am very concerned about the number of skin and bones girls I see around and some I know personally that appear to have a very unhealthy relationship with food (only eating a small amount once a day, often only high fat or sugar foods)

  • 15

    TrevorPeace1

    The term of 'marshmallow girls' is just as demeaning as any other name. You don't have to call them anything, and you certainly don't need to tell lecture them about what to eat or not eat, or to get more exercise. That's just as demeaning as calling them names, and just as psychologically damaging. Live and let live, for heaven's sake!

  • 8

    sensei258

    It's their bodies and lives, let them do what they want with them. Unlike smokers, smart phone addicts, or drunks, whose habits also can harm those around them, they're not hurting anyone else.

  • 5

    BertieWooster

    I'm a marshmallow bloke!

  • 17

    SimondB

    why not just refer to them as women?

  • 8

    mito

    I never realised how nasty J-girls could be on-line. Yeow!

  • 3

    bass4funk

    Wait a minute, some people are fat and healthy, not everyone has a fast metabolism and NOT everyone can lose weight or even gain weight easily if they are skinny. You can flip it around and come up with the same argument. People can be cruel and some people don't understand, they just say, you should feel insulted and that should give you the motivation to want to lose weight. If you want to be fat or if you are fat and can't lose weight for whatever reason or you were born heavy, it's that persons choice. I've dated both and for the most part, larger women tend to be less snobbish and have less of a *itchy attitude, than their slimmer counterparts. And let's face it, there are a lot of plus sized women that are amazingly gorgeous. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • -13

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Fat is not healthy. Period. Why are we aping the US with fat acceptance? Now there are shows in US that feature obese people as the main characters. I wonder why there are comedies. Because fat people look rediculous. And my heath tax will be paying for all the medical problems that they have in the future. Paying for their heart attacks, cancers, clogged arteries, etc that go with being FAT! I have to pay because they stuff themselves with pizza and ice cream. How about vegetables? Oh yeah, like Americans, they have not heard of vegetables. Well, fat people die young, so maybe that will save the Japanese pension system.

  • 9

    magokoro

    gokaiwomaneku, you have no idea how much of your tax money is going on healing smokers, alcoholists and recently people who will have cancer from living in high radiations zones in Tohoku. fat peopel are the last on that list..

  • 2

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    Do looks really matter? Why does Japanese always judge as to your size, height and weight. Plus they have no toilic of conversation except being fat, etc...?? It's only when I'm here that I feel fat and heavy..when I go home to my own country, I'm considered petit and slim.

  • 11

    smithinjapan

    falseflagsteve: "Easy to stop being picked on , eat healthy, less and exercise more if you are fat,"

    And no doubt you are the picture of perfect health, steve. Who says people, women or men, who are a little or a lot overweight at eating at McD's every day? Some people have slow metabolisms, and all the exercise in the world won't help because you need food to survive. You are part of the problem, steve. Do you support bulimia and/or anorexia if it's a fat person? Society expects these fragile, thin, little women, and you promote it by suggesting that if a woman is a little overweight and others don't like the image than it is HER fault.

    If a man or woman is a little chubby, so to speak, but it's not having any negative impact on health, then please allow them the proper respect and ability to have a good self-image. All of this 'fatty' and 'marshmallow' stuff is utter crap. Calling someone a 'marshmallow girl' is no different at all than calling them something else. How about dropping the labels altogether and just accepting whom they are?

  • 10

    slumdog

    Easy to stop being picked on

    Not necessarily.

  • 3

    Weasel

    Guess cliches as "chunky-chicken"or "big-boned" are now passer de mode? The times change may so quickly, but the concept remains the same.

  • 7

    John Occupythemoon Daly

    Wait a minute, some people are fat and healthy, not everyone has a fast metabolism and NOT everyone can lose weight or even gain weight easily if they are skinny.

    Bass, I love you, bro, but you are 100% wrong. Health at every size has been proven a myth by every single peer reviewed study, ever. True, some people do have faster metabolisms, but the first rule of thermodynamics states that calories in < calories out = weight loss, and the reverse will be true for weight gain.

    Some people have slow metabolisms, and all the exercise in the world won't help because you need food to survive.

    Smith, you too, friend. This is 100% false. Sure, you need food to survive, but if you eat too many calories and your body isn't converting them into energy, it will convert them to fat.

    Do you support bulimia and/or anorexia if it's a fat person?

    That's a massive jump from suggesting people eat healthy and exercise.

    Euphemising obesity and fatness is indeed wrong, considering how dangerous it is for personal health. Certainly people shouldn't be discriminated against, or treated like garbage by people just because of their size, but this whole notion that the world needs to change to fit (haha) obese people is ludicrous. Obesity and sedentary lifestyle is the number two killer in the United States, more so than toxins, disease, accidents, firearms deaths, drugs and sexual behaviors COMBINED. This is a serious problem, and society SHOULD be telling people to take good care of their bodies, teaching healthy eating habits, and not glorifying dangerous personal choices.

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=198357

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Strangerland: "Anyone can lose weight. Yes, anyone (I've done it, and I'm one of the slow-metabolism people). Sure it's more difficult for some people. That doesn't mean we should start accepting fat as the norm."

    As usual, you guys completely miss the point, and continue to single people out and discriminate. This is about labeling people, not about obesity or being overweight. I am 100% for exercise and go to the gym at least three or four times a week, walk the 4 km to work and back every day, sometimes twice, and am generally in good health and am in within my ideal weight, but that's not only because of the exercise, and doesn't mean I would be unhealthy if a few kgs heavier. It is indeed easy to lose weight, but it's NOT easy to keep it off, and that is in part based on metabolism.

    Point is, this is about calling people this and that based on social morays, not on health. If you missed it, it's a thread about the new 'cute' nickname for overweight women being called "marshmallow girls", and in the thread contrasting said women with the expected 'thin and petite' that I suppose a lot of posters on here think Japanese women 'should' be.

  • -7

    homleand

    I think this is a cute nickname!

  • 5

    CraigHicks

    It's not wrong to say in general we have a big health issue with obesity, to provide education and opportunities to change life styles, to try and keep high fructose corn syrup out of pregnant mothers and childrens diets. But it's wrong to say "this" person is bad because they are fat. People are what they are, there are an infinite number of ways a person can be beautiful , or ugly. One day Lance Armstrong the team captain was sitting at the dinner table with his team mates and ate 3 giant pieces of chocolate cake when he was supposed to be on a diet. Then the next day he made the whole team perform an extra torturous training session jut because HE had eaten too much cake and needed to burn off the calories. It just goes to show sometimes there are more important things than being skinny.

  • 2

    paulinusa

    "But he personally thinks that a chubby girl’s tummy has a heavenly “marshmallow feel..."

    Priceless!

  • 8

    kimuzukashiiiii

    This article, and the view of much of Japanese society, makes me sick.

    Yes the majority of Japanese are very slim, however Its not because they necessarily eat less, but more to do with genetics. Ive known many Japanese women who are slim, and then after having a few kids, or hit middle age they get big. Just like their mothers did.

    Interestingly the comediennes in this country (Two springing to mind are Watanabe Naomi and yanagihara kanako) are chubby. Either chubby or made up to look very unattractive. I think this is so disappointing - sending out the message to young girls that only slim and beautiful girls can be idols or models, but if your not slim or beautiful, but talented, you have to be something else. Lets face it, those two girls I mentioned are hilarious, and obviously intelligent. They are wonderful role models, rather than some bimbo dancing around in a school uniform. That being said I would LOVE to see a chubbier girl in AKB, or modelling.

    Very interesting indeed that "marshmallow boys" (aka Sumo wrestlers) are looked up to and respected.

  • -12

    falseflagsteve

    @Smithinjapan

    Yes, i am a picture of health i guess. Slow motabilism, pah, you speed it up yourself. All of the adults in the British side if my family are over weight. I do 2-3,000 sit ups a week along with a few hours weights. I don't eat processed foods or sweets and crisps unless i am somewhere and out of politeness. Haven't had a cold or anything since 2006 and all due to being healthy, active and positive.

    The same people who maon about being picked on fro being a fatty are often the same ones who moan about no pay rise, the price of foods etc.

    Here's my advice, get off your backside, eat healthy, exercise daily instead of watching the box in the corner of the room.

  • 3

    sighclops

    We only have the media to blame for this... and it's not only the case in Japan!

  • 6

    slumdog

    The same people who maon about being picked on fro being a fatty are often the same ones who moan about no pay rise, the price of foods etc.

    You base this very unique opinion on what exactly? It just seems to me that you have gathered three unrelated elements and forced them into one sentence.

  • -11

    falseflagsteve

    @slumdog

    From personal observations.You may have noticed that i wrote "often the same ones" Obesity is often linked to lack of motivation and helplessness, partly due to being part of the rat race and continually worrying about bills and blaming others for their woes in life. On the other hand poor fatty crappy diets and being bone idle is the reason for many being fat and looking awful.

  • 1

    TokyoGas

    Stay Puft Marshmallow Girls!

    Some people do get the short end of the stick with regards to metabolism. I recall reading a study where all the participants were feed the same foods and monitored. Some gained, some lost and some pretty much stayed the same.

  • -7

    genjuro

    @Strangerland Good points. I just remembered a popular show in the U.S. called 'The Biggest Loser', pun obviously intended, where overweight and obese participants compete to lose the most weight. It shows them with a coach going through their strict daily regimen of exercise and diet along with their physical and mental struggles. For those with weight problems and want to do something about it, it's certainly a motivational and encouraging show to watch.

  • 10

    choiwaruoyaji

    Curvy Japanese women can be very cute.

    I think we should enjoy a wide range of human beauty!

    I can't understand guys who limit themselves to girlfriend's of just one body shape.

    Personally speaking I have a lot of time for cute plump "rubenesque" Japanese women.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    John Occupythemoon: "Health at every size has been proven a myth by every single peer reviewed study, ever."

    So wouldn't the proof of being a myth be a myth?

    "That's a massive jump from suggesting people eat healthy and exercise."

    The problem is the person in question, who constantly criticizes others and demands they follow his life-style and rules, is not 'suggesting' anything; he's criticizing and insisting. THAT is a far bigger problem in terms of society than a little bit of padding on the stomach.

    falseflagsteve: "The same people who maon about being picked on fro being a fatty are often the same ones who moan about no pay rise, the price of foods etc."

    And we're back to focussing on money again -- just after claiming you never do that. This is a silly comment otherwise anyway, and completely baseless.

    "Here's my advice, get off your backside, eat healthy, exercise daily instead of watching the box in the corner of the room."

    And if they don't it's okay to insult them through name-calling? THAT is what this article is about, my friend. It's not about whether or not the people in question are overweight, it's about what they are being labelled. I can think of some pretty creative and even 'cute' nicknames to call the people who always label others that do no fit their ideal societal requirements, if you like, steve.

  • -10

    gaijinfo

    If they're allowed to eat whatever they want (and blame their metabolism) I'm allowed to use any language that I want.

    how about this, ladies - you eat what you want, and I'll use whatever language I want.. kay?

    (BTW, my students call me debu all the time).

  • 4

    BurakuminDes

    I'm pretty sure most of those nasty netizens attacking these ladies at the end of the article are not exactly Brad Pitts or Hugh Jackmans. In fact, I bet many have never attracted as much as a smile from a real-life woman, let alone anything else!

    I'm with Choiwaruoyaji - curvy Japanese girls and ladies can be VERY cute!

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    gaijinfo: Being allowed to eat what you want (and what's with this permission stuff?) is no excuse for hate-speech. Sorry your students call you 'debu' all the time. Would marshmallow-san sound better?

  • 5

    slumdog

    From personal observations.

    Okay. My turn, my personal observations have led me to the conclusion that most experienced weight problem of people around the world who never get any pay raises and cannot pay for food do is starvation and malnutrition, not being overweight.

    Obesity is

    something you seem to be using to feel better about yourself.

    I am very blessed. However, I cannot see the point in degrading other people just because their shape does not match your own. That goes for assuming the reasons for said shape.

  • -12

    falseflagsteve

    @slumdog

    I don't need to feel better about myself or get praise from others or write posts to "fit in". You are incorrect about the poor people and i don't mean unable to eat and starving of course. In the West the cheap and often easiest option is junk food. People don't need sweets, biscuits, fried food, burgers, pies, doughnuts to live. Even in Japan you can live in a frugal manner and eat healthy foods. People should spend more time learning nutrition, and get some cooking skills instead of sitting in front of the telly every night snacking and drinking coke and Dr Pepper.

    I don't degrade others, they do that to them selves by getting into that state. There are of course exceptions b ut they are the exception, live healthy and become a better person.

    @smithinjapan

    I steer away from making personal attacks online and in real life. I do not call people fatties and blobs in real life or online even if they are. I have helped quite a few friends and family lose weight and increase fitness and this is because i was asked by them not because i told them they are fat. Mind you i did insist my wife exercise and lose weight a few years back after she gave up smoking and put on some weight. I wouldn't want to wake up to a big fat thing and i am sure she wouldn't like to either.

    It's called respect and your are respected for keeping in shape, looking after yourself and working hard. Anyone who doesn't is not setting a good example to their family especially if they have children.

  • 8

    sillygirl

    i have never read such mean spirited comments. there a loads of people out there struggling to lose weight and get healthy (with health issues such as diabetes which can put weight ON instead of the other way around, chron`s disease or any other disease that requires steriods (which puff you up like a balloon), or mental health issues or ADD where those drugs can cause people to gain weight). sheesh. some of you people need to lighten up.

  • 8

    slumdog

    I steer away from making personal attacks online and in real life. I do not call people fatties and blobs in real life or online even if they are. I have helped quite a few friends and family lose weight and increase fitness and this is because i was asked by them not because i told them they are fat. Mind you i did insist my wife exercise and lose weight a few years back after she gave up smoking and put on some weight. I wouldn't want to wake up to a big fat thing and i am sure she wouldn't like to either.

    I wonder if you are aware you are claiming you do two completely opposite things.

  • 2

    Tessa

    I inherited the fat gene from my beloved father, and was the only one of my (rail thin) siblings to run to fat in my teens, and boy did they let me know it! Because of their bullying and other social pressures, I learned at an early age to take very good care of my body by exercising and eating right. Now, two decades onwards, guess who the fatties in my family are? Hint: it's not me!

  • 3

    White_Shinobi

    I love marshmallow girls... "Bones are for dogs, Meat is for men"

    Chubby is great...

    I've broken too many skinny girls out here...

  • 8

    Thunderbird2

    Wow, I never realised that there were so many superfit people on the forum, ready to preach fitness and healthy eating to those of us who are so sad and demotivated. I laughed my head off at the idea that insults are nature's way of motivating us into losing weight. Does that work for skinny people too? How about insults about glasses or acne? I think some people have read "Lord of the Flies" too many times.

  • 4

    Kingslayer

    Discrimination exists: sometimes it's due to the color of someone's skin, or body type, the things they like to do, the people they love or the gods they believe in, etc. People having problems with understanding that we all are different inside and outside it's pathetic. People who think they have the right to look down on someone because they don't want to or they can't lose weight are discriminating. Someone's weight, figure or body type is not for you to police and dictate whether it's right or wrong. Whether it's a personal choice, biological or whatever does not concern anyone but the person in question as long as they are not harming others. They aren't harming your eyes just because you deem them unattractive, or because they don't want to exercise. Fat isn't an insult, and hopefully marshmallow won't be one either. It's what you are, and you should accept yourself in all shapes and sizes. Women are already judged too much on their appearance.

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Tessa, good for you! My own Mom has always been fat. Eventually, a doctor's exam showed she has an abnormal metabolism that metabolized food straight to fat. What a curse! She and Dad never addressed this so now she is 81 and still pretty huge. In bad shape, too. It's cruel, but without seriously addressing this sort of situation, the end result is not pretty.

    How many overweight people out there have this condition? I don't know. All I know is it has led to a lifetime of working out like there is no tomorrow and I am in perfect shape. Nothing like seeing what I could become as an incentive. People, fat is sometimes more complex than food intake.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "a chubby girl’s tummy has a heavenly “marshmallow feel”

    What about her behind? That be double heavenly marshmallow feel!

  • -10

    fupayme

    I have nothing against chubby women, but I personally wouldn't date one, as it generally is a reflection of their attitude / work ethic towards life.

    If you let yourself go too much, then it probably bleeds into other aspects of their life (work, relationships, child raising, etc)

    Maybe if I was a lazy overweight man, who didn't have high standards when it comes to life / work / health, then I would be with a chubby woman.

    But if I am going to Not be lazy , take care of my body, and aspire for something greater, I would only want a woman who is willing to do the same.

    So I don't think we should put these women down, as a way to motivate them. Instead maybe state some facts to them.

    Such as, generally women who are in shape, have a higher chance of getting a more attractive man. Or staying in shape leads to a longer life. Or show them the statistics of how an increase in BMI leads to a decrease in future net worth.

    These would be better motivational tools imo.

  • 6

    Thunderbird2

    Next target for the ubermensch will be those with glasses, hair loss and sticky out belly buttons. Ve must create a race of schupermen! (Und vimmen)

  • 4

    RedactedbyFemiKnotseez

    The science of nutrition and metabolism is extremely complicated. You cannot look at anyone and assume by their apparent lack of or abundance of fat that they are lazy or have poor eating habits/ work ethic. All we know for sure is that someone making such assumptions are ignorant fools. I say this as one of those people who used to be able to eat anything all day with no exercise whatsoever and have virtually no fat to show for it.

    And I will tell you another thing you cannot assume: texture. Every person's fat is a bit different. Some people have firm fat and some people have loose, flabby fat. Firm fat can be pretty nice and I can tolerate a bit extra of it. Flabby fat however....yuck.

    Also, I have an idea! How about we just drop the euphemism garbage? From now on, people are old or fat. No more of this senior, elderly, big-boned, full figured, marshmallow nonsense. Call a spade a spade or hold your tongue. Besides, some guys like fat girls. So hold your judgements and just date who you like.

  • -1

    Mennonite Maiden

    @Strangerland

    The same way YOUR society expects a woman to have a tiny waist, melon-size breasts and round bum? Sounds pretty much like Western/American Society and Western/American men expect women to be...LOL

    Let me see...I'd expect men to have no less than 2% fat in their bodies..a 6-pack for abs and of course...pure muscle. No beer bellies, no seating in front of TV, no sugary snacks...just pure slavery at the gym...yeh, that's what I would expect from you If I was living in YOUR society... At 5'4 and 115lbs..apparently, I'm still FAT by Western/American standards.. The Irony!

  • 2

    GW

    Boy oh boy, a few posters here are really taking the cake! Although they aren't admitting to it!

    A few astute posters figured put the REAL problem & that's labeling, which is a bit of a plague in Japan

    And I wonder if those posters have any problems labeling people daft, just saying!

  • 0

    Chantella Jackson

    At the "it's a big no-no", please don't be scared if you aren't very skinny. I have Japanese family, many of them are not stick skinny, and I have never seen them be treated horribly. Yes, there are mean people there who will pick on you just like anywhere else in the world, but it's not as super serious as the post makes it seem, or as super serious as some people are taking it. <3

  • 10

    mountainpear

    I have a very slim looking female Japanese friend who informed me that her body fat percentage was 34%! I was really shocked because you can't believe it by looking at her. But her fat is the internal/visceral kind. This kind of fat that sits on the organs is way more dangerous than the fat that sits on your bottom or thighs! So it really is impossible to say whether someone is healthy or not just by looking at their size!!!

  • 5

    DudeDeuce

    So I don't think we should put these women down, as a way to motivate them. Instead maybe state some facts to them.

    Why should we care about how complete strangers look or how they live their lives? People come in all walks of life and that's how the human race will be far after you are gone.

  • 7

    Cos

    Wow, I never realised that there were so many superfit people on the forum

    Yes, crazy how many super-doctors we have around... Mine needs to check my family health history, my life habits, take lots of measurements and even lab tests to declare me healthy, or not. And if ever I have a problem, he is even more cautious to declare why that happens. But these days, so many people can do diagnostic on a stranger at a glance and propose a magic bullet to cure them. And for free. Thank you guys.

    I do 2-3,000 sit ups a week

    A great way to damage one's back. And you think you are qualified to coach others.

    if you eat too many calories and your body isn't converting them into energy, it will convert them to fat.

    Sorry to say it as it is : my body converts some into poop.

    Fat people being called fat is society reminding them that they have a problem.

    OK, so we could tell you that you're thick to encourage you, Fupay, Flagsteve, and co ?

    Or show them the statistics of how an increase in BMI leads to a decrease in future net worth.

    Yes, show us. Just a few taken randomly in high BMI averages chart : United Arab Emirates BMI 26.66, United Kingdom BMI 26.19, United States BMI 27.82... and they have a grim future compared to the lowest BMI ? We're talking about Somalia BMI 20.48, or North Korea BMI 20.78 ?

    most experienced weight problem of people around the world... cannot pay for food do is starvation and malnutrition

    Yes. But so far away from Omotesando and its windows full of size seven outfits... Logically, the same "darlings" that accuse anyone not in shape (at their idea) of laziness, they will say the same about third world countries, deemed lazier than the hard working rich nations that go to pump natural resources and get their stuff made in sweat shops.

  • 2

    Serrano

    More cushion for the pushin'!

  • 1

    massan

    it is free for them to call themself as Marshmallow, but wait a minute. Marshmallow suggestives of not chubby but fat,tho...??

  • 7

    NathalieB

    Some interesting research has come out recently suggesting that it is not your overall size that is important so much as your levels of fitness and diet in general. Yes, fat is associated with lack of personal care, but sometimes as many are pointing out here, there are "fit-fat" who are naturally large but extremely healthy. Some recent data has come out for example, suggesting breast cancer survival rates form an inverted "U" shape based on weight - and thinner women have the same prognosis as larger women, i.e. lowered survival rates.

    But whatever the stats show - at a purely aesthetic level I have known many men who love the curvier shape and I have sat next to girls way bigger than me and felt like Nathalie-no-boobs as they get all the attention and all 100lbs of me doesnt get a look in. There is always something beautiful to find in everyone - be it an incredible smile, amazing skin, stunning hair or eyes. So I just think be as healthy as you can be, make the most of what you have, and let fate do the rest.

    And on a personal note it is heartwarming to see so many guys on here applauding the larger girls shape - as a woman - even a tiny one - it is so hard to get bombarded with images of perfection on a daily basis. Now if you could all just add a comment on how sexy women over 40 can be, that would just make my Christmas..... :) !

  • 5

    slumdog

    Natalie,

    Women over 40 can be extremly attractive!

  • 3

    philly1

    Now if you could all just add a comment on how sexy women over 40 can be, that would just make my Christmas..... :) !

    Think: Helen Mirin. (Btw by J standards, she is fat.) She will hit 70 in two years. Why stop at 40? Meri Kurisumasi, Natalie-san.

  • 7

    Livvie

    This thread...oh boy...

    This argument is a losing battle. However please allow me to throw in my two cents!

    People with weight issues will forever be labeled as "lazy", "disgusting", "a tax on the health care system" etc. Especially women. Just can't win. Not to mention the fact that it seems that the people who say these things about women in particular, aren't the pillars of health themselves. It is perfectly acceptable for a chain smoking, heavy drinking, overworked and sexually promiscuous louse to tell someone that they need to get in shape, from merely judging that person's physical appearance.

    Just as there are people who are thin, not because they have eating disorders, but because their metabolism stops them from gaining a lot of weight, there are plenty of people who aren't thin and are still physically active, but will forever be questioned about their lifestyle and eating habits. How many All You Can Eat Sweets Cafes do you see abroad? How many in Tokyo? Right? And they are all filled seemingly healthy looking Japanese women. I had a female friend who was quite slim, and when I saw her eat most of her meals weren't really meals. It was ice cream, a slice of cake, a cookie, a piece of curry bread from the convenience store, So, does that make her better because she looks "healthy" on the outside? Is it okay for her to continue eating the way she is eating because it helps her stay slim? No. But if you saw her sitting next to a "marshmallow" girl in McDonalds, where would your look of distain be directed to? The big girl right?

    Yes there is a problem with obesity in the world, but do you really think shaming them by calling them names will motivate them to get healthy? For some people, yes. For others, it actually ends up exacerbating the problem, and that's when you see cases of people just shutting down and shutting themselves up in their homes, slowly eating themselves to death because they can't deal with the ridicule anymore and food is the only thing that makes them happy.

    Just some food for thought (pardon the pun)

  • 1

    Leigh Ivan Quintellio Wighton

    I'm not condoning name calling, but sometimes we need to be prepared for nastiness. It can at times motivate some people to do something about their situation...sometimes.

    My experience with weight issues and the like is that in only a few cases of people there is an actual medical reason for being overweight. For most of us, being overweight is a result of a poor diet and laziness.

    Someone mentioned earlier that they go to the gym and walk several kms every day but is still slightly overweight. Barring a medical condition I would say this is still due to not enough enough exercise and possible poor food choices. I could be wrong, but I see this kind of problem all the time in the gym and among people who have asked me for tips on exercise and nutrition. Going to the gym doesn't equal weight loss in the same way that merely attending a language lesson won't make you proficient in that language. Thanks to a lack of education on the subject, most of us have an extremely simplistic notion of diet and exercise. Actually, the more I think about it, the more certain I am that better education in diet and exercise is a better method of discouraging obesity than name calling and insults.

  • 5

    Qamar

    Wow, such nastiness! I never got good attention. Growing up I was underweight, so I was called names for being "stick-thin" and looking "exactly like a guy". When I hit my later teens I suddenly went from underweight to normal weight, and people pointed out that I'm 'fat" and "round face". So, really, you will never satisfy everybody. As long as you feel healthy, and can run up one or two flights of stairs I guess. I just know this, when I did tell my weight to this one Japanese guy, his face was, terrible (60kg), and told me that he wouldn't date me unless I am under the 50kg range. I laughed and told him I'd never date a guy who values my image more than my character. No compromises, I'd prefer living with a cat, than a guy who values beauty and image more than personality, I'm not sorry at all.

  • -5

    Tamarama

    I've almost never seen a person I would consider 'fat', in Japan. Seen a few I would consider 'chubby', I guess, but they are few and far between.

    People I personally know who are fat are basically that way because: 1. They have a terrible diet, where they eats LOTS of food, almost all of it unhealthy. 2. They don't exercise.

    So, I guess I look at them as people with poor self control, and people who make poor choices. But, to make fun of people for that is mean and childish.

  • 1

    bass4funk

    I love you, bro, but you are 100% wrong. Health at every size has been proven a myth by every single peer reviewed study, ever. True, some people do have faster metabolisms, but the first rule of thermodynamics states that calories in < calories out = weight loss, and the reverse will be true for weight gain.

    Hold on. How am I wrong?i have an aunt that was fat from the time she was 2, she's not a big eater, but she always had a Problem with weight. She's 45 now and had to have gastric surgery to help keep her weight down. She has always eaten healthy for most of her life. Some people DO have a medical condition and NOT to mention if you. She tried everything else, so this was the last hope she had. Luckily, she did the operation.

    My point is, if there is a woman that is fat and not by her own making, I don't think we have the right to judge. There are a lot of gorgeous BBW out there. I'm not talking about the obese ones. I'm sure there are, but I have never meet one. I just have a problem with skinny women thinking they are all that, when they are not. Most of them have egos bigger than the Hindenburg.

  • 2

    kaimycahl

    Id rather be fat than to look starved! Some of these J-girls look like they missed a lot of meals. As they say in the states "she is so skinny she can dodge through rain drops".

  • 3

    NathalieB

    Thanks slumdog and philly - Christmas has come early for this slim but over 40 chick! :)

    Its funny you know - I have quite a few friends and I am also guilty of this - who have this idea of an "ideal weight" and most of us at some point have managed to get down to it, either through diet or exercise or a simple bout of gastroenteritis! And many of us, once we have got there, have realized that actually, we dont look as great as we thought we would! The media puts so much pressure on women to be a certain way. and yet many men say they prefer women who are not too skinny. There seems to be a bit of a gap between what is considered "ideal" for men and women.

    But like I said before - there is always something beautiful to be found in everyone. Take the girl in the picture - yes, she is on the large side. But such a pretty face. I would kill to have skin like that!

  • 0

    TrevorPeace1

    I'll throw in my praise for women over 40, NathalieB. The most attractive woman I know in Japan is 66 - six years older than me - and she happens to be pretty thin. Heavy on the pretty. It truly hurts not to be in her arms every day I am back in Canada.

  • 0

    NathalieB

    Awww TrevorPeace1 - what a lovely thing to say. I am sure she is missing you too and waiting for you to come back.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    If they're fat, call them fat. Don't sugarcoat it. Maybe the real concern is they can't assume a fat person in Japan is an American tourist anymore.

    <-- (6'2" 235lbs and technically obese based on a BMI chart)

  • 2

    Nessie

    that have accumulated expresses her historical growth as a female

    This guy should be dating trees.

  • -1

    Mennonite Maiden

    <----5'4 115lbs (6 children) Considered FAT by Japanese Standards..LOL!!!

  • 1

    JoiceRojo

    I'm a fat person but I don't care what other people call me because they immediately assume that I'm a glutton who cannot stop eating, passes her time on a couch watching TV with a cola an french fries. I have my check ups every 6 months due the company i work for, they can never find anything bad in my health, I don't have high cholesterol, my blood pressure is normal, don't have diabetes or heart-related conditions I have a diet of 1800 calories per day and I don't eat sweets (not fond of cakes, sweets or pastry) instead of sugar i use stevia the only problem with me is that I'm fat.

    I admit I don't do exercise, my work hours are long (11,5 per day plus 2 hour commute) so on weekends i do household shores (cleaning, laundry, etc) I'm feeling very wiped out to go to a gym.

    The other day there was an article about a member of an idol group who had to lose weight she was 1,57 mt and her weight was 49,5 kg I am 1,57 and the lowest weight that i did have was 48,5 kg, my bone structure was horrible i did look like Christian Bale in the movie The Machinist, (intermediate no the extreme) and my ideal weight is considered chubby in Japan, so I'm not going to argue with them.

    As for the name calling it is a way to sugarcoat it, marshmallow still suggest that chubby or fat girls are all obese because they eat and binge on food, you can be fat by simply being sedentary and a messy diet (eating at different hours, replacing dairy with salty foods, etc.) they just should assume that they are fat, or if you prefer to soften the blow a "plus size"

  • 1

    bruinfan

    There has to be a middle ground here. Yes some models project an unrealistically thin image, but on the other hand if someone is unhealthfully obese, you are doing them a disservice to tell them it is OK not to lose some weight.

  • -1

    Daemon Ryuou

    While society is definitely in the wrong for breaking down these girl's self-esteem, they are partially to blame. You either choose not to listen to what people say or you do something about it.

    No matter the factors involved, it is possible to maintain a healthy weight if you truly put your mind to it. Not just an easy route doing 10 sit-ups a day, but pushing your limits and challenging yourself. I have a very slow metabolism; and despite being overweight I've always been a healthy eater. I dedicated 5 days of my life to and intense workout schedule that included a half an hour of cardio at a target BPM each day on top of 2 mile walks and an hour of muscular workout before breakfast every morning each day; drinking a lot of water, and a cup of green tea with every meal. Granted, I was in pain for pushing myself to such extremes, but in those 5 days I lost 12lb and I continued to lose an additional 10lb gradually during the next 3 weeks afterwords just riding off the boost my body received. That's 22lb in a month; or rather; 22lb in 5 days worth of effort.

    If you're comfortable being a marshmallow, then I'm glad for you. There are some people like my brother who prefer girls with meat on their bones (browser history thus referenced), and you shouldn't care what other people think anyway. But if you yourself are uncomfortable with being overweight, stop procrastinating or making excuses and do something about it.

  • 4

    Aaron Loki Brummett

    "Fat bottom girls you make the rocking world go round" -Queen "I need a whole lot of women"- KISS "Whole lotta Rossie" - AC/DC. "the bigger the cushion the better the pushin"- Once again, KISS

    Also, would highly recommend "not" calling any woman a "marshmallow girl"... that is, if you wish to remain on good terms!

  • 6

    ambrosia

    Stranger: These names are the natural check to ensure that the balance doesn't get thrown off. All these people who are trying to redefine fat as being ok are missing the major point - it's not ok. Being fat is bad for the person, bad for the society. People should feel hurt/insulted when someone calls them fat. They should then take this insult and use it as motivation to lose some weight. Simply re-defining fat to be ok is wreckless, bad for the fat people, and bad for society

    I would agree that being fat is not likely to be good for you. By the same token, neither is being severely underweight, as many young Japanese women strive to be. According to one study, being bulimic decreases your life expectancy by 5 to 7 years and being anorexic by as much as 25 years. According to your logic, it should be okay for us to insult those people to try and motivate them into gaining weight.

    Here's the thing though, it's not really any of your business as to whether or not someone is over or underweight. You are not the behavioral police so unless you think it's okay to insult people who don't sleep enough, eat too quickly, eat too much processed food, work too hard, use artificial sweeteners, drink soft drinks or alcohol, worry too much, engage in sexual habits that put them at risk for stds, engage in dangerous or injurious sports or activities and any other numerous things that are bad for them, why would you basically condone the name-calling of overweight people?

    Overweight people are not the problem and should not have to tolerate abuse because the way they look makes others uncomfortable. I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, hurling abuse at someone just because they are overweight.

    A society that thinks it's okay to insult others for the way they look is the problem. If you really care about someone you don't show them that by insulting them. Most people wouldn't train a dog using negative reinforcement. Why would it be acceptable with people?

    That cruelty is somehow to be accepted and condoned is also the problem here. People should work a little harder on minding their own business and being a little kinder, neither of which means you have to like that people are overweight, just that, again, it's none of your business and it's just plain mean to insult people like that.

    We'd be a far more mentally healthy society if we simply accepted each other, foibles and all. We may not live as long but we'd be happier.

    http://www.lifeinsurancequote.net/how-eating-disorders-can-shorten-life-expectancy/

  • 1

    FightingViking

    The French have a word for it : "Il vaut mieux faire envie que pitié..." (better to be envied than pitied...)

    "Lourd" has has two meanings too : "heavy" - as in weight - but also "dull witted" (as in those who judge others by their weight...)

  • -7

    gokai_wo_maneku

    You do not get fat because of a thyroid glan or a slow metabolism. You get fat because you stuff your face with pizza and ice cream and cookies etc. Stuff your face with celery and you won't get fat (negative calorie consumption). And you get health problems. Sore back and can't have sex (according to what I saw on US TV last year). Who wants that? Is that why people want to get fat, so they get a sore back and can't have sex? Don't get soft on fat. Don't give it cute names like "marshmellow" to make peole think it's OK. Call it "fatty" and say it is damaging to health.

  • 2

    ambrosia

    gokaiwomakeku: Call it "fatty" and say it is damaging to health.

    I'm going to assume that you're an adult since you're posting on this site. From that premise I'll move on to the notion that adults advocating calling people names under the false assumption that it is somehow going to help them is just ignorant and mean. I'll finish with adding that you ought to mind your own business about other people's health unless they specifically ask you for advice and that you might want to put those stones back in your pocket until you're perfect.

  • -5

    gokai_wo_maneku

    ambrosia, I would like to mind my own business, but as I said above, it will cost me money. I have to pay the national health insurance that is going to be treating their obesity related diseases, which drives up the national heath insurance program here. I have fat friends, but I don't like the idea of having to pay for their poor life style choices. They should man up and get healthy. It is a money issue.

  • 5

    ambrosia

    gokaiwomakeku: I have fat friends, but I don't like the idea of having to pay for their poor life style choices. They should man up and get healthy. It is a money issue.

    I'd really like to believe you but again, there's simply no need to be cruel and it does little good in trying to get people to change so there's more going on there than money, whether you want to admit that or not. As for it costing you, do you get as indignant about all of the bad habits and behaviors that people have and are you perfect, living the life of an ascetic monk? If not, then stop being a hypocrite and reign in the nasty barbs. If you really want to help your friends, then "man up" by supporting them and being a little positive. There's enough negativity in this world already.

  • 3

    Qamar

    Gokai- Well, nobody is perfect. I'm sure you have some bad habits too. If you only eat celery, I have a best friend for you, my pet rabbit. Seriously though, lighten up a bit please. I have so many friends like you (unfortunately). Every time we go and eat they make my life hell (and I'm not even overweight), because "you shouldn't be eating grilled chicken! Here try this veg burger" or "omg, you're going to eat Chocolate gateaux??? Do you know what calorie intake----" I don't care. I don't want to live all my life chained to eating a diet of a rabbit because of what other people think. I looked horrible when my bones showed (and I used to eat A LOT). There are, my friend, people who are stick thin, yet have diabetes, cholesterol problems and what not. Heart disease doesn't only come from 'eating pizza'. And not only "fat people" are sick. So stop accusing people just from their appearance. If you call me fatty, I will just tell you this: it is a pity that you don't know how to enjoy your food, if my grandma were still alive, I would introduce you. You will still be 'thin' (just add some fat cushioning for the cold days :) ), but you would be eating teh BEST and most healthy food you ever tasted....everything is about balance ;) Merry Christmas

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    Jorge... strange name for a "gal". And not exactly "ugly", more weird....

  • -1

    Jerome_from_Utah

    Hopefully, none of the Marshmallow people are in the US Air Force or JAL. Both institutions have a "program" for those with a BMI over 25. I also remember a PanAm flight attendant that had visible ribs showing through her uniform and they still thought she was overweight. Remember, a waste is a terrible thing to mind.

  • -2

    gelendestrasse

    Japan always comes up with a euphemism about things from enjo kosai to marshmallow girl. Go figure.

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