Japan's latest addition to the J-Pop roster is Chubbiness, a "band" of women who have perfectly normal bodies but are being labeled as cutely fat anyway.
The group began last summer through an open casting call collaboration between the music company Avex and CanCam, a fashion magazine targeted to college women. Reports indicate that executives were looking to capitalize off the popularity of a body acceptance movement for "marshmallow girls," a trendy name for Japanese women whose bodies fall outside "the norm" of a small, slight figure. As a perhaps unnecessary reminder, Japan is a country with very specific beauty ideals perpetuated by a low obesity rate and an obsession with mass-produced "idols." (Almost like the United States, but not quite!)
Chubbiness hasn't released any music yet, but the Twitter feed for the group includes lots of pictures of girls posing with food. According to Japan Today, eating is a topic that comes up a lot in their interviews, like with Nikkan Spa, where "the reporter notes that all members of Chubbiness enjoy eating and when the conversation revolves around the topic of food, the girls become very lively and happy." In another profile that includes bios of all the women, they're asked to give the "favorite chubby part" of themselves; chin, cheeks, thighs and boobs are all named. Outside of this gimmick, we can only wait to find out how actually talented they are. Their music is supposed to come out in March.
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