ESSAY: “Marshmallow Girls”: Challenging Japan’s Body Image Status Quo?

(Author's Note:  Please enjoy my final paper for my Fall 2014 art history course in Contemporary Japanese Visual Culture!)

Introduction
There is no doubt that mass media has affected women’s body image around the world. As women, we are inundated with images that depict a certain standard for women’s bodies, regardless of where we live. Fashion magazines [figure 1], billboard advertisements, television commercials: the messages flood women’s brains, reinforcing that in order to be happy, to be loved, to be desirable, a woman should be thin—or at least, a woman should not be fat.

Fashion advertising follows this trend in many developed nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Consumption of images of the average fashion model, who weighs currently 23 percent less than the average woman (while twenty years ago an average model weighed 8 percent less)[1], has been found to be linked to increased body dissatisfaction among women. That, in turn, can lead to extreme dieting or the development of eating disorders. Additionally, women’s self-esteem is under attack not only from extremely thin models, but also from digital manipulation of women’s bodies in fashion magazines.

While most fashion and body image statistics focus on the Western world, Japan is not exempt from body image challenges. Japanese women are presumed to be, and expected to be, petite and slim, with little room for deviance. Indeed, the obesity rate in Japan is 3.5 percent, compared with 34.9 percent of Americans and 34 percent in the United Kingdom.[2]

Recently, however, the cultural ideal of the slim, petite, pre-pubescent-looking Japanese woman has been challenged by a new plus-size phenomenon known as “Marshmallow Girls”[3] [figure 2]. This cutesy name not only seeks to reduce the negative stigma of a plus-sized body in fashion in Japanese culture, but also perhaps seeks to restore a sense of kawaii to women whose bodies are generally considered too large for this ideal of cuteness, innocence, and youth.

In this paper, I intend to examine this “Marshmallow Girls” phenomenon within the greater cultural context of fashion and body image in Japan. Are “Marshmallow Girls” having an effect on Japanese women’s body image, or is it just a passing fad? Does the term “Marshmallow Girls” succeed at bringing a sense of kawaii to more “womanly” bodies, or is it insulting? Or does the Marshmallow Girl create yet another category on which women’s bodies are judged by Japanese society? And can this “Marshmallow Girls” movement, likely designed to market clothes to plus-size women, truly have an effect for good? It is my view that while the effect of the “Marshmallow Girls” movement may overall be a net positive for body image in Japan, the capitalist nature of its birth and of its present popularity may mean that once monetary demand for chubbier bodies fades, so too may the movement.

Eating Disorders and Health in Japan

Eating disorders among women in developed nations are on the rise. Women are most susceptible to developing eating disorders during their adolescent years; this trend holds true in Japan as well as the Western World. Since World War II, eating disorders have long been on the rise in Japanese women, even as the average weight for Japanese men and women is increasing.[4]

In Japan, several factors have come together in mandating a cultural sense of thinness, in comparison with the United States. For example, in Tokyo, the government has mandated a maximum waist size in 2008 for those over 40: 33.5 for men and 35.4 for women; those who fail to meet the requirements are required to be counseled. Additionally, the Japanese diet is more conducive to a thin frame than a Western-style diet, consisting of healthier foods that are lower in fat, such as brown rice, vegetables and fish; the average portion size is smaller than in the United States.[5]

Attitudes towards body image and culturally mandated thinness, especially among younger Japanese women, can also be understood through a new app called “Nenshou! For Girls” that is designed to shame the users into losing weight. According to Cara Clegg at Rocket News 24, while the original “Nenshou!” app, designed for men, offers encouragement and support from anime women, the women’s app, “three gorgeous guys will give you the old carrot-and-stick treatment to encourage you on your weight loss journey. While you exercise, you can also enjoy a burgeoning relationship with one of the cast of ikemen (hot guys) who has been so romantically insulting you.”[6]

In their 2004 study, Kathleen Pike, M.D./Ph.D., (Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Columbia University) and Amy Borovoy, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University) have gathered much information about the statistics of eating disorders in Japan, noting that “from 1976 to 1981, actual cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in Japan increased two-fold”—and the number keeps climbing[7]. They cite a 1999 study in which the researchers found that “42% of normal weight women reported significant dieting efforts to lose weight, 5.9% reported fasting to lose weight, 14.3% reported the misuse of diet pills, 10.3% reported the misuse of laxatives, and 3.7% reported the misuse of diuretics (Nakamura et al. 1999).”[8]

Additionally, in a 1987 study, “Nogami and colleagues reported that 1.3% of high school students and 4% of university students reported engaging in binge eating behavior”; in addition, “Takeuchi et al. (1991) reported that among junior high school females 48.4% dieted to lose weight, 41.1% paid attention to what they ate, 75.1% reported significant weight concern, and 38.5% reported feeling fat”.[9] In 2001, the National Nutrition Survey found that 26 percent of women in their twenties and thirties had body mass indices barely above the diagnostic weight for anorexia nervosa, or 18.5.[10]

Pike and Borovoy also discuss the differences they found in the rise of eating disorders in the West versus in Japan. They purport that while in the West, eating disorders arise due to a desire to be thinner and more attractive, in Japan these issues arise due to a struggle with traditional roles, physical maturation during adolescence, and a desire to return to the “sameness” of their pre-puberty bodies.[11] Essentially, they write, in Japan there is little middle ground for women’s bodies to exist—they are either the bodies of a young girl, who has access to the kawaii aesthetic, or that of a mother, who is expected to bear children and is unable to be truly kawaii. They write that while the development of the in-between shōjo, or teenage girl has succeeded in media portrayals, “less is known about the reality of how women navigate this transition from girl to adult, through an ambiguous space (adolescence)”[12]. Thus, if one does not have the appropriate body of a young, slim girl, there are few options for the same sort of societally accepted beauty and attractiveness.

Furthermore, in the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Jung-Hwan Kim (Associate Professor, Department of Retailing and Fashion Merchandising, University of South Carolina, Columbia) and Sharron J. Lennon (Professor Emeritus, Department of Fashion, University of Delaware, Newark) studied the relationship between consumption of mass media imagery and increased eating disorder tendencies, using 114 college-aged women, and found that more than television, fashion and beauty magazines had the most detrimental effect on women’s views of their bodies. According to the researchers, “the evidence suggests that continual exposure to thin figures of fashion models in fashion or beauty magazines may make college women unhappy with their body weights and influence their perceptions of themselves as overweight”.[13]

In fact, according to Plus Model Magazine, most models working today are within the body mass index range for anorexia nervosa. While plus-size models have also been fighting for recent prominence and runway access, today’s plus-size models begin at a size 6, while in the past they ranged from sizes 12-18.[14]

A study from 2004 by Shiela Reaves (Professor, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jacqueline Bush Hitchon (Professor, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Sung-Yeon Park (Associate Professor, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University), and Gi Woong Yun (Associate Professor, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University) found that issues of women’s self-esteem and body image could be altered or resolved when digitally altered images are presented in tandem with the original, unaltered states. Once women accept that the images they consume have been digitally modified to unrealistic proportions, including lengthening of the legs by 30 percent, they are more likely to be happier in their own bodies.

“Marshmallow Girls”: Another Way?

Recently, a new trend has arisen in Japan designed to recast plus-size women in what is ostensibly a positive way. In 2013, a new plus-size fashion magazine, La Farfa, gained prominence and held a plus-sized fashion show. According to the Japan Times, La Farfa displays models in the range of 60-120 kg, or roughly 132-264 pounds. For her part, Harumi Kon, the editor-in-chief of La Farfa, told the Japan Times that “We don’t promote losing weight or gaining weight, because there are women that look gorgeous regardless of what they weigh […] Our view is that people should not be defined by the size of the clothes they wear.”[15] In its inaugural issue, La Farfa displayed plus-size Japanese model Goto Seina and called her a “Marshmallow Girl” [figure 3].

According to RocketNews24, the term “Marshmallow Girl” derives from the feel of a soft, fatty stomach: “When interviewed, Mr. Saichu, a man with a self-proclaimed ‘tummy fetish’ commented that the society is deeply biased against ‘fatties’, and usually criticize that they ‘lack self-discipline, or neglect maintaining a balanced diet, that’s why they got fat’. But he personally thinks that a chubby girl’s tummy has a heavenly ‘marshmallow feel’ and that the ‘fats that have accumulated expresses her historical growth as a female’”[16].

Goto reportedly enjoys being called a “Marshmallow Girl”, saying “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”.[17] According to Tsunagu Japan, Goto weighs 85 kg, or roughly 183 pounds, and stands at 158 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet 2 inches, giving her a BMI of between 34-35, within the range for obesity.

Capitalism founded the movement, and capitalism marches on, and a new J-Pop girl group, called “Chubbiness” [figure 3] and consisting of “Marshmallow Girls”, was founded in early 2014 through a collaboration between CanCam Magazine and Avex, an entertainment company. Over 3,000 applicants were considered for acceptance into this group through a nationwide casting call titled “Zenkoku Puniko Audition (nationwide chubby girl audition)[18].” In the tradition of Japanese idol culture, these women must maintain their (in this case) “chubby” shapes or risk being asked to leave the group. A similar group, “la BIG 3” [sic] [figure 4], also features “Marshmallow Girls”.

The women of Chubbiness and la BIG 3 are presented in similar ways. They are often dressed in brightly colored clothing that shows off their arms, with cheery expressions on their faces. As can be expected, much of the attention surrounding these idol groups has to do with their larger-than-average body sizes; an interview with RocketNews24 asked each girl to name her favorite “chubby” part of her body; answers included thighs, cheeks, and breasts[19]. The emphasis is on establishing the idea of chubbiness as something cute and desirable, rather than a problem to be solved or eliminated.

The girls of Chubbiness and la BIG 3 are often associated with food; Chubbiness’s music video titledマンマデイーヤ!, features them eating various foods, and la BIG 3’s video, “Pochative ~ Body mo Heart mo Glamorous”, begins with them eating ice cream. Additionally, an introductory interview with the girls of Chubbiness by Nikkan Spa featured questions about food and eating[20]. “Pochative” takes its name from a portmanteau of pocchari (“plump”) and “positive”, thus again emphasizing a potentiality for kawaii, for a sense of cuteness, in being larger than average-sized.  The overall sense of happiness and joy that Chubbiness and la BIG 3 emanate is echoed in the brightly-lit videos with their catchy, bouncy melodies; they aim to create a sense of positivity about their bodies. However, it seems as though the way these idols are portrayed has a quite a bit to do with food, strengthening the stereotypical link between the consumption of food, especially unhealthy food, and a larger body size.

Reception of this idea of “Marshmallow Girls” has been mixed.  Indeed, Kon says of responses to La Farfa: “‘Initially there was feedback from readers saying our models weren’t pretty, and that dressing them up doesn’t change the fact they are overweight.’ But she adds that responses from the readers have become more positive recently”.[21]  In general, reactions to larger-sized women additionally include scorn, largely coming from men on the internet[22].  In an April 2014 survey conducted by the website Match Alarm, 77 percent of men stated that they would prefer a slimmer girl, commenting that slimmer women seemed “cleaner”, more “organized”, and that they would be “proud” to date them, whereas they viewed larger women as “slovenly” or “unhealthy”. Conversely, men who preferred larger women said “‘they seem kind of motherly’” and “‘it feels good when you hug them. They’re feminine’”[23]. Taking into account the earlier opinion from Mr. Saichu, another aspect to the burgeoning popularity of this movement comes from a place of male desire for rounder bodies. Thus, while Marshmallow Girls seem to be responding to the perceived lack of appreciation in mainstream publications and media for larger body sizes, they also come from a place of male desire for care and for the sensual feel of these bodies.

While La Farfa was originally intended to be released twice a year, its burgeoning popularity means that it is now a bi-monthly, having sold over 80,000 copies of its first issue. It would seem as though this trend is gaining traction in Japan—that La Farfa and its army of plus-size Marshmallow Girls, as well as Chubbiness and la BIG 3, are taking Japan by storm.

Conclusion

On the one hand, a movement extolling the virtues of much-disdained bodies cannot be anything but positive. But is the name “Marshmallow Girls” truly empowering, or merely infantilizing and cutesy-fying? The term “Marshmallow Girl” seems to be a way to allow larger Japanese women access to the concept of kawaii, or a type of cuteness, in their mode of dress as their slimmer counterparts. But is kawaii something to which all Japanese women should aspire, or should the developing conversation around plus-size women pave a new way in talking about women’s bodies and appearance, rather than finding ways to fit women into previously created boxes? Additionally, taking Pike and Borovoy’s commentary on Japanese women’s body anxiety stemming from discomfort with their developing adult bodies, what bearing has “Mr. Saichu’s” assessment that larger women have more “historical growth as a female?” Indeed, the “Marshmallow Girls” movement seems doomed to be a trend that is fetishized by one group of men, and maligned by another.

The rapid creation of idol groups such as Chubbiness and la BIG 3 in response to this trend also brings up important questions. Is it positive that this “Marshmallow Girls” movement was started by a fashion magazine, ostensibly to sell clothing? Is it positive that a movement purportedly designed to give plus-size women more body confidence has been further monetized to sell music? Do the capitalist aspects of the “Marshmallow Girls” movement decrease its power and/or impact?

Additionally, although the women of Chubbiness are larger than the average Japanese woman, they fall within the norm for a Western body shape. For example, the girls of Chubbiness range from body mass indices of 22.6 to 25, well within the normal range for their heights.[24] Yet their compatriots in la BIG 3 purportedly weigh in, all together, at more than 440 pounds, a fact their management agency reveals with pride.[25] Thus, are “Marshmallow” Girls truly subverting and challenging norms of body image in Japan? Are they considered to be chubby in Japan? Or are they merely demonstrating an acceptable form of deviance from the standard body type?

Is the term “Marshmallow Girls” responding to Japanese demand for a wider variety of appreciated and acceptable bodies, or merely creating a false sense of empowerment in order to spur consumerism? It is my assertion that while the term “Marshmallow Girl” is overall a net positive for Japanese women if it does help them accept their bodies, its ties to capitalism may doom it to die once interest in this market of consumer dies. Truly, because the movement is so recent, only time will tell about the success of the “Marshmallow Girl” and her various iterations in Japan.


Images


Figure 1.  A group of models in CanCam Magazine, a popular Japanese fashion magazine. (http://www.officiallyjd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/20130605_cancam_21.png)


Figure 3. Goto Seina in La Farfa.

Figure 4. “Chubbiness”.

Figure 5. “la BIG 3.”



Works Cited
·      Pike, Katherine and Borovoy, Amy. “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization.’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531. Accessed October 23, 2014.


·      Kim, Jung-Hwan and Lennon, Sharon J. “Mass Media and Self-Esteem, Body Image, and Eating Disorder Tendencies.” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 2007 25: 3. Accessed October 23, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0887302X06296873.


·      Moeran, Brian. “The Portrayal of Beauty in Women’s Fashion Magazines.” Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. Volume 14, Number 4, December 2010, pp. 491-510 (20). Accessed October 23, 2014.

·      Reaves, Shiela, Hitchon, Jacqueline Bush, Park, Sung-Yeon, and Yun, Gi Woong. “‘You Can Never Be Too Thin" –or Can You?’: A Pilot Study on The Effects of Digital Manipulation of Fashion Models’ Body Size, Leg Length and Skin Color.” Race, Gender & Class, Vol. 11, No. 2, Race, Gender, and Class in Media. [2] (2004), pp. 140-155. Accessed October 23, 2014.


·      Ghosh, Palash. “Japan Has Many Problems, But Obesity Isn’t One Of Them.” International Business Times, January 25, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090

·      Hongo, Jun. “Treading a healthy path — whichever road you take.” Japan Times, December 5, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/12/05/lifestyle/treading-a-healthy-path-whichever-road-you-take/

·      Lovett, Edward. “Most Models Meet Criteria for Anorexia, Size 6 Is Plus Size: Magazine.” ABC News, January 12, 2012. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/most-models-meet-criteria-for-anorexia-size-6-is-plus-size-magazine/

·      Gray, Emma. “'Hey, Fattie' App Uses Hot Anime Men To Shame Women Into Losing Weight.” Huffington Post, August 2, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/hey-fattie-app-weight-loss-women_n_3695874.html

·      Dries, Kate. “Japan's Plus-Sized Girl Band Chubbiness Is Not Actually Chubby.” Jezebel.com, February 4, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://jezebel.com/japans-plus-sized-girl-band-chubbiness-is-not-actually-1515679881

·      “Call Larger Women “Marshmallow Girls”, Says Magazine.” Japancrush.com, December 13, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.japancrush.com/2013/stories/call-larger-women-marshmallow-girls-says-magazine.html

·      Hongo, Jun. “Plump Singing Groups Throw Music World Some Curves.” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2014. Accessed November 9, 2014. http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/10/01/plump-singing-groups-throw-music-world-some-curves/

·      Coello, Joan. “Don’t call them fat, call them Marshmallow Girls!” Rocketnews24.com, December 19, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/12/19/dont-call-them-fat-call-them-marshmallow-girls/

·      “Don’t call us fat! We are marshmallow girls!!” Tsunagujapan.com, July 20, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.tsunagujapan.com/dont-call-us-fat-we-are-marshmallow-girls/

·      Clegg, Cara. “More marshmallow girls, but will we be calling them marshmallows for much longer?!” Rocketnews24.com, February 15, 2014.  Accessed November 1, 2014. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/02/25/more-marshmallow-girls-but-will-we-be-calling-them-marshmallows-for-much-longer/

·      “Japanese girls are not just skinny any more!? Chubby girls are in!” Rocketnews24.com, June 25, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/06/25/japanese-girls-are-not-just-skinny-any-more-chubby-girls-are-in/

·      Coello, Joan. “Meet Chubbiness, Japan’s latest chubby girl idol group.” Japantoday.com, January 29, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.japantoday.com/category/arts-culture/view/meet-chubbiness-japans-latest-chubby-girl-idol-group

·      Joan Coello, “Marshmallow girls unite! Meet Chubbiness, Japan’s latest ‘chubby’ girl idol group,” Rocketnews24.com, January 28, 2014, accessed November 1, 2014. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/01/28/marshmallow-girls-unite-meet-chubbiness-japans-latest-chubby-girl-idol-group/

·      Wrigley, Fran. “Plus-size idol group “la BIG 3” made a music video, and they do a lot of eating in it.” Rocketnews24.com, September 30, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/09/30/plus-size-idol-group-la-big-3-made-a-music-video-and-they-do-a-lot-of-eating-in-it%E3%80%90video%E3%80%91/

·      “Men Want Slim Girls, Not Fat ‘Marshmallow Girls’ Says Survey.” Japancrush.com, April 24, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.japancrush.com/2014/stories/men-want-slim-girls-not-fat-marshmallow-girls-says-survey.html




[1] Edward Lovett, “Most Models Meet Criteria for Anorexia, Size 6 Is Plus Size: Magazine,” ABC News, January 12, 2012, accessed November 1, 2014, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/most-models-meet-criteria-for-anorexia-size-6-is-plus-size-magazine/
[2] Palash Ghosh, “Japan Has Many Problems, But Obesity Isn’t One Of Them,” International Business Times, January 25, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014,
http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090
[3] Joan Coello, “Don’t call them fat, call them Marshmallow Girls!” Rocketnews24.com, December 19, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/12/19/dont-call-them-fat-call-them-marshmallow-girls/
[4] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 497
[5] Palash Ghosh, “Japan Has Many Problems, But Obesity Isn’t One Of Them” International Business Times, January 25, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014,
http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090
[6] Emma Gray, “'Hey, Fattie' App Uses Hot Anime Men To Shame Women Into Losing Weight,” Huffington Post, August 2, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/hey-fattie-app-weight-loss-women_n_3695874.html
[7] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 497
[8] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 498
[9] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 497
[10] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 497
[11] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 518
[12] Katherine Pike and Amy Borovoy, “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization,’” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 2004 Dec; 28 (4): 493-531, accessed October 23, 2014, p. 503
[13] Jung-Hwan Kim and Sharon J. Lennon, “Mass Media and Self-Esteem, Body Image, and Eating Disorder Tendencies,” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 2007 25: 3. Accessed October 23, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0887302X06296873, p. 17
[14] Edward Lovett, “Most Models Meet Criteria for Anorexia, Size 6 Is Plus Size: Magazine,” ABC News, January 12, 2012, accessed November 1, 2014, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/most-models-meet-criteria-for-anorexia-size-6-is-plus-size-magazine/
[15] Jun Hongo, “Treading a healthy path — whichever road you take,” Japan Times, December 5, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/12/05/lifestyle/treading-a-healthy-path-whichever-road-you-take/
[16] Joan Coello, “Don’t call them fat, call them Marshmallow Girls!” Rocketnews24.com, December 19, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/12/19/dont-call-them-fat-call-them-marshmallow-girls/
[17] “Call Larger Women “Marshmallow Girls”, Says Magazine,” Japancrush.com, December 13, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japancrush.com/2013/stories/call-larger-women-marshmallow-girls-says-magazine.html
[18] Joan Coello, “Marshmallow girls unite! Meet Chubbiness, Japan’s latest ‘chubby’ girl idol group,” Rocketnews24.com, January 28, 2014, accessed November 1, 2014,
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/01/28/marshmallow-girls-unite-meet-chubbiness-japans-latest-chubby-girl-idol-group/
[19] Joan Coello, “Marshmallow girls unite! Meet Chubbiness, Japan’s latest ‘chubby’ girl idol group,” Rocketnews24.com, January 28, 2014, accessed November 1, 2014,
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/01/28/marshmallow-girls-unite-meet-chubbiness-japans-latest-chubby-girl-idol-group/
[20] Joan Coello, “Meet Chubbiness, Japan’s latest chubby girl idol group,” Japantoday.com, January 29, 2014, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japantoday.com/category/arts-culture/view/meet-chubbiness-japans-latest-chubby-girl-idol-group
[21] Jun Hongo, “Treading a healthy path — whichever road you take,” Japan Times, December 5, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/12/05/lifestyle/treading-a-healthy-path-whichever-road-you-take/
[22] “Call Larger Women ‘Marshmallow Girls’, Says Magazine,” Japancrush.com, December 13, 2013, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japancrush.com/2013/stories/call-larger-women-marshmallow-girls-says-magazine.html
[23] “Men Want Slim Girls, Not Fat ‘Marshmallow Girls’ Says Survey,” Japancrush.com, April 24, 2014, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.japancrush.com/2014/stories/men-want-slim-girls-not-fat-marshmallow-girls-says-survey.html
[24] Website for Chubbiness: http://avex.jp/chubbiness/profile.php
[25] Jun Hongo, “Plump Singing Groups Throw Music World Some Curves,” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2014, accessed November 9, 2014, http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/10/01/plump-singing-groups-throw-music-world-some-curves/

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