Where are all the fat chicks?

In the works of anime and manga, that is.

Note: This isn’t a feminist or anti-feminist post or anything like that, so don’t expect a deep philosophical argument about the injustices of a male society/the overpowering feminazis.

I understand that society, be it Japanese, American, or otherwise, tend to have standards on beauty, and that there are even wildly differing opinions within each society, but I was reminded today by a figure drawing and anatomy book that there’s a strong emphasis on slender beauty. Not overly slender to the point of health problems as is is the case with supermodels, but an emphasis on remaining trim. I also understand that it’s an anatomy and figure drawing guide and probably wants to emphasize the musculature of characters as a guide to the reader, but my issue isn’t with how to draw books.

As much as I am fond of the anime ladies, I do not think that the styles associated with it are so static and impossible to adjust that overweight women cannot be portrayed as beautiful, which I think is clear is a common motivating factor for the appearance of female characters in any sort of entertainment. Perhaps my fondness for Ogiue, a thin female character, does not make it obvious, but everyday I see plenty of very attractive women with meat on their bones but don’t necessarily have the voluptuous hourglass figures of Ikkitousen or Witchblade, which some people will claim as being “close enough.” I also understand that overweight women, while present in Japan, are not as common as elsewhere, and that even the standards for being considered overweight can change drastically from culture to culture. My mother once told me that when she was young, she didn’t know people could ever become heavier than about 140 lbs.

I also cannot believe that all Japanese men prefer the thin woman to the thick one. I have no numbers to throw around, but probability (and the release of certain adult titles) suggest that there is a fanbase out there. More importantly though, even if there isn’t much of a contingent for this body type, anime and fanart in their ability to idealize the feminine form most certainly are able to make a larger woman attractive to otaku.

And I refuse to believe that the idealization involves simply making them thinner.

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9 thoughts on “Where are all the fat chicks?

  1. High School Girls has a decidedly plump character in the “Nerd” group, which is probably closer to what you’re talking about… although she’s not attractive. I think the “Nerd” social circle in the manga in particular includes very fat and very thin nerds (the two stereotypical nerd bodytypes).

    But I do get the impression from anime – and I don’t mean character designs – I mean “Health Day” episodes where girls weigh-in and are measured, that everyone in the country weighs within 5 pounds of each other and are all within 5 inches of the same height.

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  2. Anime: thin, white, young and mostly smarter than adults.

    The worst representation (outside of other ethnic groups) is middle aged people. Mostly men. They’re either:

    1.) Incompetent dopes.
    2.) Perverts
    3.) Dumb parents of older kids (younger parents are usually nice,wise & sexy)
    4.) Bald
    5.) A mixture of dumb, bald perverts loathing their corporate lives.

    I agree that over-weight males and females aren’t well represented in Anime. Heck, the main stream media tells us everyday that by the years 2021, three-quarters of the world with be medically obese. What then? No place to hide them.

    JMFO™

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  3. It’s not a very positive portrayal, but Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran includes one episode featuring a tall, fat, strong blonde girl named Stephanie. More positively, there’s Mao Daidoji from Princess Nine, who’s a protagonist (admittedly, one of nine).

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  4. Pingback: Oh, why here are the fat chicks! « OGIUE MANIAX

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