The U.S. doesn't have the market cornered when it comes to body issues. Skinny Japanese boys long to be even skinner, reports the International Herald Tribune. In fact, there's something of a traditional gender role-reversal going on in Tokyo at the moment: The New Japanese Woman is "strong, robust, bursting with energy" and taking "boxercising" classes. Meanwhile, for guys, "the ideal fashion weight as decreed by the apparel industry" is about 125 pounds... for a height of 5 feet 8 inches. Sayonara, fatties! According to the Tribune, 25-year-old Junichi Shirakawa wants to drop from 125 lbs to 121 — and he's 6ft tall. Shirakawa says both he and his girlfriend like the fact that she weighs more than he does, and he can wear her clothes: "She's a lot stronger than I am, can lift heavy things and go drinking until dawn. I admire that about her, and feel protected when I'm around her," he says.



This raises several questions: Is it kind of cool that women are taking charge, and some men are willing to be the "weaker sex" as it were? Is the beta male going global? Is it fucked up when a 125-pound dude wants to lose weight? All of the above?

In Japan, It's The Men Who Want To Be Skinny And Cute [International Herald Tribune]