Taking a peek at Japan's groundbreaking first plus-size magazine
Whether we’re talking about the awesome street style, J-pop, or the fact that they brought us Hello Kitty, there’s no doubt that Japan has brought us some seriously rad stuff. But Japan has also been criticized for its “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to fashion (and can we get an “amen!” that Asian women in general are super underrepresented in the fashion industry?). So it’s no surprise that when something comes along that challenges the stereotype that Japanese women are all one size, it not only becomes an instant success, but it’s paving the way for other brands in Japan to follow suit. We’re talking about La Farfa magazine, the little publication being heard ’round the fashion world.
La Farfa is Japan’s first magazine created for women of all sizes, featuring average-sized models on its’ cover and within the magazine itself. It boasts fashion and shopping tips geared towards readers looking for stores that accommodate bigger sizes. “Our view is that people should not be defined by the size of the clothes they wear,” Harumi Kon, the editor in chief of the mag told the Japan Times last year.
At its’ core, La Farfa is trying to change the way society labels women. They’ve made the term “marshmallow girls” trend in Japan to overcome the derogatory and popular term “debu” (fatty). While some have said “marshmallow girls” is still an offensive term, models for La Farfa have defended it. As Goto Seina, a model for the mag said, “Of course there will be different opinions — people who say ‘you’re a pig’ or ‘you’re a fatty’, but for me, [marshmallow girl] makes me really happy.”
If being a “marshmallow girl” is wrong, then we don’t want to be right!
Not only did La Farfa sell out its first issue printing of 80,000 copies, they also changed their original plans to publish as a bi-annual to be a bi-monthly instead. Other fashion brands are also taking notice; a popular Japanese lingerie line called Pocha Kawabura added larger cup sizes to their lineup, and an adorable shop called Plumprino just launched in Japan — and they offer way more than just “one size fits all.”
It turns out that happiness can come in any shape or size (which we totally knew all along). And Kon agrees. “Whether you want to lose weight or not,” she told the Japanese Times, “you must begin with accepting and being happy with who you are now.”
While we’re super happy to see La Farfa pave the way for all-inclusive fashion trends in Japan, we’re equally bummed that the magazine keeps selling out. We hope they print more issues, because we need to get our paws on one!
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