First Video by J-Pop Group “Chubbiness” is Just as Offensive as You’d Expect

Providing a contrast to the collection of stick-thin limbs and tiny smiling faces that most Japanese girl groups consist of is J-pop newcomers “Chubbiness.” Though since they’ve been named after the very thing that sets them apart, their launch clearly isn’t the high-moralled normalisation of girls who are thicker than Cheese Strings it claims to be, but a “Cute fat girls! And they’re singing!” marketing gimmick. We’re sure that comes as no surprise to anyone.

By western standards the girls would be considered averaae weight or even slim

Worst of all, none of the girls are actually fat. By western standards most would be considered average weight or even slim – disproving the entire message they’re trying to promote

Interestingly, their first video Manmadeiiya (“Fine as we are”) sees them depart from the jolly fat-person stereotype, depicting the girls competently filling a variety of culturally-significant positions that are strictly reserved for women under a certain size – newscasters, actresses… No, of course it doesn’t. It does attempt to promote a positive message, that it’s ok to be “fat,” but opens with the girls (who would be considered average weight or slim by western standards) shovelling down sugary treats while cheering, then goes on to see them hugging doughnuts and complaining that their breasts are getting sweaty from doing a little run.

Just to be clear, we would think it was great if a group of “marshmallow girls” (as girls who are even slightly chubby are sometimes referred to in Japan) were making an authentic public declaration that they’re comfortable with their body type, but not when it’s clearly a commercially-driven exercise masterminded by a bunch of old men who’ll make lots of money from manipulating young girls and reinforcing the message that fat girls are not only lazy and greedy, but have to be jolly in order to gain social acceptance.

We’d even take the awful crap AKB48 put out over this.

7 thoughts on “First Video by J-Pop Group “Chubbiness” is Just as Offensive as You’d Expect

  1. Fat people in general are lazy and should not be ‘comfortable with their body type’. What positive benefit do you get from being overweight? Hypertension, heart disease, high blood pressure… The inability to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath, social stigma; seriously, stop being lazy people.

    • As someone who is considered ‘chubby’ I have to say I completely disagree with you. I am not lazy. Sure I don’t run, but that is due to a past injury. I walk everywhere I go. I work two jobs, and am often on my feet for hours on end almost every day. I take the stairs instead of the elevator. The amount of exercise I do will not change the fact that I am chubby. For some people it is incredibly hard to lose weight. There are different body types and you shouldn’t excise everyone with fat on their body as lazy. Some people have wider bones, like me. My his are all bones but I have thicker legs and an ass, but at the same time a tiny waist. That’s just how my body is built.
      And as for the girls in the video, they are not fat. As someone who is gone to japan, I can say I saw a lot of girls fitting their size. And it’s sad that they are considered fat or chubby. My boyfriends sister thinks she is chubby because of her culture, despite her being 115 lbs at 5’3-4.

    • I dont usually reply to comments like this but this is downright ignorant. I have been an athlete my whole life, swimming, judo, rowing and then daily workouts in the gym. I study and I have been trying to lose weight my whole life.
      I cant. All bodies are different and its harder for me to lose weight. I am on a healthy diet plan, I do not do excessive eating, junk food or binges. I have been on a caloric deficit for 2 years now and I am struggling to lose kilos after kilos. Not all fat people are lazy. Many of us are actually more active than so called slim people. What do u make of rugby players ? Some of them are chubby as hell and they are professional athletes. Your comment is as condescending and ignorant as saying “all skinny people starve themselves/have anorexia”

    • Yeah but being chubby or normal weight should be fine. I get what you mean, that being fat is unhealthy, and I agree with you. But seeing as the topic here is “chubbiness” rather than anorexic, I would much prefer healthy chubby than sick anorexic.

    • no, i’m not lazy and i usually run when in stair because i easily got scared with no particular reason /i don’t even know how to say it in english lol/ but i just still can’t be skinny >_>
      ps* i used to be fat people until i’m worried that i will get a heart attack then die XD

  2. Chubbiness is an idol group. Period. It is absurd to expect them to make some kind of social statement. And it is even more absurd to expect an idol group to not be commercial. Their job (which they are hired to do by a commercial agency) is to become someone’s object of desire, whether that be someone you want to be with or someone you want to be like. (Girls and women account for a huge percentage of popular idol groups fan base.) Chubbiness fills a heretofore unfilled niche for men and women, boys and girls who think chubby women/girls can be cute or hot. It is not about being fat. It’s about being chubby. As you note, it’s not the same thing.

    By the way, no one is complaining about sweaty breasts. “Mune ga atsuku naru” (胸が熱くなる) refers not to the literal chest but to the heart, which becomes hot whenever the subject of the song is around. The lines about running or turning off the air conditioner are a play on that phrase, though there is the additional element of the pudgy girl being more prone to feel warm after exertion.

    As for the jolly fat person aspect, sorry, I just don’t see it. They are no more or less jolly than the majority of idol groups. Have you ever seen Momo Kuro? Now there’s a jolly bunch of (not chubby) girls. Same with “lazy” and “greedy.” It’s just not there. You are projecting your own 先入観.

    Chubbiness has been promoted for months as a “chubby idol group.” Of course they were going to play up the chubby aspect in their first video.

    You are interpreting this video from a decidedly non-Japanese perspective. You are criticizing them for being something other than you wanted them to be. I’m not much into idols (though I’ve been following Chubbiness out of curiosity), but I understand that there are a lot of people who are into idols. Is it fluff? Of course. Is it commercial. Well, duh.

    You say this plays into stereotypes of fat people; I say it expands, ever so slightly, popular notions of what can be considered attractive. I know plenty of Japanese “marshmallow girls” in real life who are thrilled by the recent trend in Japan to see pudgy girls/women as potentially attractive. You see the cup as half empty; I see it as half full.

Tell us what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s