Sunday, August 23, 2015

Japanese Fashion Magazines: The Bad and the Ugly

For the second part of my Japanese magajiin feature, we're going to focus on the cons, or the relatively bad parts of Japanese fashion magazines, this will mainly rely on vanity related things and the fact that the magazines dedicate, and designate, entire 20+ page sections to "beautify yourself by practicing our diets, and you too can look like our models" crap.

 The Bad

Japan is known for its absurd standards of beauty. Asia in general is known for being slimmer than the rest of the Fat World by a landslide with obesity percentiles affecting about 5% of the population. Japan is a very appearance conscious society, and that is reflected in the fact that:

The models are extremely skinny.

If you ever thought yourself a skinny white girl, in a land of American landwhales, prepare to have your confidence squandered by the girls in Japanese fashion magazines. 

So you think 25 inches is the slim size for a waist, how about 24? Or 23? Or 21, even? Good, because that's the Japanese model "norm". 25 is now fat. Get the fuck out, fatty!

Now, understand this. Japan is a "smaller" society. 

so there's no saying, that if you moved there yourself, as a westerner - and exercised as much as they did merely through foot transport- you would not lose weight yourself. But also don't go prancing around the fact that the girls are absurdly skinny. Don't go skirting around it, understand it's fashion standard, but don't go prancing around it. 

In particular I think the most exemplary girl in J-fashion magazines to use for the "absurdly fucking skinny" example is Kawakita Mayuko, whose legs look like fucking this.

 Let's check her measurements.


Women can be that naturally skinny in only rare cases, but it makes them look quite sickly to those around them, Japanese girls are smaller, but not usually that small. And that's even putting into question that these statistics are true, considering she's probably shorter than that and even slimmer. I've seen ridiculous fucking 39 kilogram weights put for 155 cm models, and sighed, because ohgod that's unhealthy too, but 162? Bro, this is just too much.

my sister was near exact height and weight that Mayuko is, but as a thirteen year old girl. Thirteen. THIRTEEN!

She is now 5'7" and weighs more than I do, and I'm 110 lbs! 84 lbs? That is the size of a child! A child!!! A child! Even if you are short, that is still very small.

Mayuko is the model I look at and I kind of have to suppress the urge NOT to stare at the twigs that are her legs. Mayuko is the kind of girl who gets my visceral urge to start downing laxatives again going. Mayuko is just a bad, bad, bad, bad bad example, and even in the fashion industry I think using her is a bit far fetched. And they still photoshop the FUCK out of her.

She's merely the worst example Vivi and other magazines provide to young and influential, stupid girls, who think that they can just get by on a cracker a day tryin' to look like that. Just because they have pretty faces doesn't mean they're not hurting their bodies as models, girls, the one thing models won't ever admit until their career is over is that they hurt themselves modeling, that they suffered from eating disorders, etc. Some models are naturally thin, but many more struggle by with miniscule portions and excessive exercise just to satisfy their photographers, editors, and agencies by the end of the day. It's not a glamorous job.

Point more taken, it's not something to aspire to be.

But when a young Japanese girl sees attractive clothing ON a very small model, what do you think they think?

Well, it looks good on her, but will it flatter me? 

And as she keeps flipping...
Oh, they're all really skinny....
How many pounds do I need to lose....
I look so fat....

A diet section??!!!!

That's right, ladies and gentleman, in a land where there's already an extreme expectation for slimness, in a magazine that's supposed to bolster the self esteem of girls by making them want really cute clothes, there is a DIET SECTION. Popteen, in fact, the main gyaru magazine, released a full DIET BOOK. Japan's eating disorders are on the rise, and yet, here we are, still expecting these young, probably already skinny Japanese girls to get down to 40 fuckin kilos to satisfy the ever growing trend of making clothing smaller. 50 isn't FAT, 50 isn't even remotely fat, I weigh 50 and I think that's lucky considering how much SHIT I down per day in soda calories. And even on a shorter girl, they can carry 50 just fine, so why is THIS a thing?

The model in question in Popteen's "diet book" inset, is Kumicky. Kumicky weighed an absurdly small 43 kilograms already, she looked actually pretty good at that weight, small, but with some extra pounds on her teeny frame, she was nowhere NEAR fat. The diet book says she went down to 38.....
of course, it gets worse when she's depicted in a teeny bikini.

 An already skinny girl like Kumicky didn't need that weight loss, and neither do most Japanese girls. Most Japanese girls are pretty damn small compared to westerners that I've seen, but I can't believe the magazine even stresses absurdity such as this, that you'll somehow make a mark on the world by being 83 lbs, as if it's a desirable weight that won't affect your health whatsoever and you'll feel better or some shit. That is eating disorder influencing talk, right there. It's gross. Just plain gross. Stop that. STOPTHAT!

I wouldn't be so irked by this if it weren't lying out in front of me in black and white, on the pages, even in Japanese. I wouldn't be so irked if it didn't span as many pages as it did. The sheer dedication to vanity, and feeding girls' minds unhealthy thoughts, unhealthy thoughts that they are likely to follow as young girls, is just plain terrible.

 As fashion styles keep getting smaller and smaller and Japan's deniability grows that they do have a problem with unobtainable fuckin' beauty standards, more girls fall pray to the ideology they praise that diet pills, quickie starvation, massive calorie reduction, and even starvation, are the way to go, and though they don't suggest this outright, it's subtly crept in there. It's subtle in the way that they basically know how to worm their way into a female subconscious, the writers, to try and get people to buy their clothes, but no, they can't be fat or ugly, so they decide to place diet sections in the middle of the mag to encourage the readers to drop enough weight that they resemble the models in question. 

And it's just not fucking healthy, I say this especially for 13 year olds reading the magazines, to be telling a girl that her vanity is her biggest prize, even in an appearance conscious society, that's pretty fuckin' warped. Guess what? The models are gorgeous, and if you're not a model, that's ok! If you're over 50 kg, good for you, you don't have to weigh 40! You never see that in these magazines. All you see is diet diet diet, clothes clothes clothes, boys boys boys, and it's all stressed 10x worse than the american adaptions of these types of mags. I had my time on diet pills and starvation, I for one now know that I can't ever obtain Japanese model ideal unless I basically kill myself, but the lot of girls reading these in Japan don't.  

I was admittedly raised by a narcissit, she didn't always tell me outright that she found me to be sloppy, ugly, or unkempt looking, or fat, but I could see it in her eyes. My mother shitted on me from the time I was a child for not taking care of my looks according to her narcissistic standards and I grew into a very insecure, sick teenager because of that. I think while young girls should read magazines freely as they please, they shouldn't take them to heart, and they certainly shouldn't go overboard. Even if their parents beg them to go on a diet, they shouldn't follow others whims just to meet Japan's ridiculous societal standard of beauty. If they choose to lose weight, they should do it for themselves on their own fuckin' accord. And these magazines aren't helping what with their "our model was underweight and now she looks like a concentration camp victim!" crap.

Fuck the 60 cm waist ideal, young Japanese ladies, eat as much ice cream as you fucking want, and flaunt the fashion shown on the pages of those fashion magazines as you are.

We can't all be Sasaki.

Not that I'd want to be.

 Nor can we be Mayuko.


  1. So I just watched Atelier on Netflix and, while I didn't notice how stupidly skinny Kawakita Mayuko was in the show, I did notice how grossly thin Kiritani Mirei was. I decided to Google her to see more pics and sure enough she looks terrible which surprised me because I know she's pretty popular. Then I found a post that also pointed out Kawakita Mayuko's skinnyness with pics that are even grosser than the ones you used and... I just don't understand how anyone could look at pics of these two girls (and others) and their emaciated frames and think anything other than "ugh..." They look anorexic and they probably are because I can't think of any natural way you'd end up looking like that unless you were restricting your diet to a ridiculous degree. I just... it boggles my mind... how could anyone look at these girls and think they look good?!

    1. East Asia in general has really narrow ideals of beauty, I don't understand them entirely either, but those two definitely push the envelope. Although not even Japanese ppl think they're all attractive either, as evidenced by the translation of this 2ch thread I read.

      honestly it makes me worry a bit for some reason, whether or not the girls are doing it on purpose or it's more the companies restricting them or something, it still gets at me. I had an ED when I was younger and though I never got to this stage it was torturous feeling like I had to keep starving myself, no matter how much my body protested- I think that level of restriction I went through ended up with me after recovering actually appreciating the food I was able to eat. It's like when I read about the horrid diets the kpop industry has or the limitations that are put on women in east asian entertainment in general to keep them thin, because if they aren't thin enough netizens will start calling them fat. it's all very disturbing how people yo yo so easily between loving and hating these celeb bodies in JP / KR culture compared to even the west.