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Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/8/25 22:19
SSJ Jup81: I'm well aware that Japanese are more open to talk about weight however, when they are talking about their friends' weight, they don't give them looks of DISGUST and staff at restaurants and other places (if they want to be perceived as professionals) never tell customers that they're obese or give them looks of disgust. Talking with friends is always different than when others are talking and MAKING FUN of you. Nothing friendly about that.

If people around you are gossiping, glaring at you, and making fun of you right in front of you because they think you don't know their language, it cannot be perceived as anything BUT rude. I don't consider hateful gossip from strangers to be part of "Japanese culture" (or at least not a part worth preserving if it is). If they knew we (or rather I) could understand them, I guarantee you they would have shut their mouths, because the things they were saying were not 'culturally acceptable' by any means.

But anyways, if the obese individual is aware that others are looking at them with disgust and/or saying horrible things about them and doesn't care or wants to try to ignore it, they can, and often that's the best way to go. But if it hurts and they don't feel like allowing others to ruin their day, there is nothing wrong with shaming the offenders a bit by letting them know you DO understand and they're being rude. Sometimes you just can't make excuses for why it's okay for people to belittle you...
by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/8/25 23:36
Rabbityama: I see what you mean. I guess,in my case, I've never been in the situation or noticed as far as I've been concerned. Never noticed look and such. But yeah, I do agree. I guess, in this case though, I just think of it along the lines of, "There's nothing I can do about it."

"being fat in japan IS a problem to be solved - you can't get decent clothing if you are fat in japan!! when i came to japan i was fat, i lived with this problem! i couldn't find anything to fit me properly! since then i have gotten much thinner and now it's all good."

Even tall people probably have a problem finding clothes in Japan, even if they are considered to be a "normal size", imo as far as women go, especially since western women tend to be curvier than Asian ones. I would expect tall women in Japan to have trouble finding clothing that may fit properly (like say pants).
by SSJ Jup81 rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/8/30 18:24
I think you will have to deal with those comments and also most people will assume you are not happy with your weight and that you wish you were thin. Sounds harsh but that's how it is here.(as demonstrated by some previous posters offering dieting advice such as "do not go to macdonalds" - genius!)
Perhaps people will find it hard to get their heads around the idea of you being a strong confident women who is not crying herself to sleep at night...but it is probably a good lesson for them to learn.
Japan is a country where people are keen to fit in rather than stand out.
Especially for women there are very few public role models for overweight "cool" (?) people, if you get what I mean. The first time I showed a japanese friend a music video of Adele they were amazed that she could be taken seriously and sell so many records when she was fat. Interestingly when the 21 album eventually did reach Japan it was advertised on train door stickers by an overweight comedienne crying with a tissue in a joking way.
I think fat women are represented similarly to the way gay people are in Japanese media, basically as a joke. (Big LOTTO is another example) There are very few serious or aspirational public figures like in the west.
And media representation borders on public ridicule. When it comes to going out in public, at least you have the advantage that people will attempt to hide their hurtful comments. People don't even hide comments in public from gay people because they assume everyone is straight unless they are wearing a dress or acting effeminate like the ones on TV. Anyway this is all just one small part of life in Japan, there are plenty of things to enjoy that have no relation with this discussion. Enjoy!
by tokyoguy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/1 03:11
i think it is a good thing that people aren't accepting of being fat.

let's face it. being fat is not healthy. while you may be confident and happy with yourself it also endangers your own life to be fat - if your family has any genetic tendency toward heart disease, diabetes, etc. simply by being fat you could make your chances of developing such a disease skyrocket.

it's not worth it to be fat. japan is a very easy country to lose weight in, there are soo many healthy foods that can be eaten if one uses a little self control and good judgement. might as well start once you arrive! soba is delicious in the middle of summer and tops out at around 200 calories..!
by winterwolf (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/1 14:28
I am a large woman, and have lived in Japan happily for years. I have put on weight as I've got older - and I certainly have different genes from most Japanese people - but even when I first came to Japan, I was curvier than the average Japanese woman. Practically speaking, I think one has to accept from the beginning that it will always be hard for anyone not very slender indeed to buy clothes here. I have favourite US catalogs and I buy everyday clothes from them, and dressier things on trips abroad. I find controlling weight here about as difficult as anywhere; although classic Japanese food is delicious, healthy and served in beautifully small portions, you don't always get to eat a perfect meal in the context of a busy day. At the same time, I am sure that I would weigh more now if I lived in my home country, were constantly confronted by larger, richer portions, and owned a car. Here I walk 15 mins to the station so that's half an hour's exercise even not counting the day's work, errands, etc. All that being said, the point is that some of us are just larger than most of the Japanese people around us, and sometimes they do have trouble figuring out why. They know that they lose weight easily - incredibly easily - if they just cut back a little, wonder why we don't do the same, and conclude that we must just like to be bigger. Even taking account of occasional exceptions - unsophisticated strangers, an intrusive friend, and people like doctors and exercise-class teachers who think it's their job to point out what you already know (and always depending where you are and who you're with - for example, as in any country, in a bar with people who have lost a few inhibitions you'll get a different impression) the general level of public and private politeness here is high. I think one thing to remember is that Japanese people in general do value neatness in personal appearance, and dignity in behaviour, and are turned off by sloppiness, messiness, and loudness. But as long as you dress with care, and mind your manners in public (taking your cue from how adult Japanese people act, which if you stay here long enough, gets to seem natural), you are very unlikely to encounter rudeness, whatever you look like. Mostly what other posters have registered as "disgust" in shop assistants is probably more like panic: will I have to speak English to explain we don't have her size? - how do I say that? You can make it easier for them by just being polite. Stares in public? - well, you are different, in any number of ways, some more admired than you may realize, some not - but again, if you're feeling sensitive and culture-shocked, you can definitely misinterpret expressions. However, I do not recommend talking about being fat - to anyone. That just gives people the idea that you really enjoy talking about it, and does open the way for questions you might not appreciate. Be yourself, look good and be seen to care about your appearance, stay cool, and you will be fine.
by happyhere (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/4 07:18
OP seems thick skinned enough to teflon block the sniggers/ whispered comments behind her back whilst in Japan. Plus she's only going to be here for a year for school, so if she really hates it there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Immediate thought is that she might not cope with the metro/trains, especially around rush hour. She'd be taking up 2-3x space, so be prepared for death stares from fellow commuters.

BUT, she's a big girl (no pun intended) and I'm sure she can take care of herself on her adventure in Japan.
by Bayo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/4 17:01
I'm 5'6" and 265 pounds so similarly overweight to the OP. I'll be visiting Japan (on holiday) soon, for the first time.
I've steeled myself to expect some looks, but hoping it won't be too bad as I'll be mostly in tourist spots (Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Koya, Takayama, Osaka, Hiroshima and Miyajima).
I'm of Indian descent too but am British.
I imagine some of the attention will be diverted to my husband who's 6 foot 6 inches tall, with pale English skin, freckles and probably the hairiest arms known to mankind! He's got a beard too.
If we get looks, we get looks. If we get comments in Japanese, I won't know what they say, and what I don't know won't hurt me. If they look askew, I'll hope I can just ignore it. If they make comments in English, I'll deal with them as politely and confidently as I can.
by KaveyF rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/5 18:17

Being very tall is also kind of problem in japan.People gossip and stare all the time.Please tell me if a poster asked the same question op asked with the tall tag what person like you would say?

She didnt came here to sort out her weight issue and she didnt asked you your opinion how you lost weight.She asked how you were treated being fat specifically in japan.Give her suggestion based on her requirement.

I also suggest op to point out those professional if they are rude with her.I have seen idiot woman touching other person belly trying to measure it.This is something Op should never take politely.Say those person its rude.Its rude in American dictionary.
by sean (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/5 23:05
In all seriousness. If you don't like the way you are or fear the way other people see you, then conform or change to appease them and your own insecurities. Otherwise, just realize that people will always talk, gossip, judge and criticize because they know no better or need to feel better about their own flaws by doing so.

At the end of the day think about how much of an impact these people will have on your life. If it is a group that you will need to work with and you see as important to you, then yes do something about it. If they are just random people on the street, why bother?
by Dude... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/6 01:33

You may be stared at and talked about if you're too tall in Japan, but it's not such a negative trait, and not something you can control. People want to be taller, especially with the short average height amongst the Japanese population.

Being too fat however is self-inflicted and an undesirable trait for the most part. If you ask people whether they want to be shorter or taller, most people would say taller. If you ask people whether they would rather be skinnier or fatter, I'm sure the majority would say skinnier. You can't control your height, but you can control your weight. If someone came in here asking about reactions to them being too tall, I'd say, don't even worry about it.
by notfat (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/6 01:53

The point is not what people want to be or what they can control.We are talking here about public reaction.In both cases those are rude unwanted and unnecessary.
by sean (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/9/6 18:26
I am 175 cm tall European woman in my forties and my weight is appr. 80 kilos. During the three weeks I spent in Japan in 2010 I understood two comments: in Nara a schoolgirl stared at me with expressionless face and said "Buta!" (pig) and in Kyoto two workmen were chilling out in a park and as I walked past them the other said "Omoi!" (heavy), but the other shouted after me "Beauuutiful woman!" in English.

There may have been other occasions, but I did not notice. Naturally, I did not react to these insults even though I do understand Japanese a little.
by Tsuki (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/1 08:05
First of all: being fat is NOT unhealthy like the media around the world like to tell us 24/7. Please read: http://kateharding.net/faq/but-dont-you-realize-fat-is-unhealthy/. Nor is it always self-inflicted. That is such a lie. See the pyramid: http://www.food-for-thought-pyramid.com/articles/pyramidsample.pdf

Second of all: the Japanese are a relatively homogenous society. That being said, this means they all must have a pretty common genetic makeup which makes them thinner and smaller. Plus, their lifestyle is a lot different than ours.

Third of all: being a nearly 300 lb, 5'6" woman myself, who has yet to go to Japan, but is going next Spring, I am also preparing myself for the stares and such. But having been ridiculed since school (I'm 28), I'm used to comments about my weight.

Fourth: Confidence is contagious. Happiness is contagious. I plan to smile the majority of the time I'm there. I also plan to answer questions about my weight truthfully and confidently. Will they be able to understand? Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. All I can do is be as true to myself as possible and let them decide how they want to react to me. If they want to make friends, great. If they don't, whatever.

I hope you've been enjoying yourself! I hope to blog about my adventure in Japan as a fat girl. :) I spent 5 months in high school abroad in Germany. German's are like American's, so it was easy'ish to find clothes, but I did get mocked a bit by stupid people.

And that's it. XD If you get mocked, so what? If they don't take the time to get to know you before knocking you down, there's no reason to let them get to you.

Have fun in Japan!! :))
by fatgirlmary (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/1 12:57
I think there needs to be a balance here (no pun intended), yes many Japanese are naturally skinny. However it is not just the media, any doctor in the world would tell you that being that overweight is not an ideal for any race and it is potentially dangerous for your health. (Unless you are a giant and incredibly tall or a body-builder something...but again that would come with other complications). However, I am not saying that gives people a right to be judgemental or mean. Humans do plenty of things that are dangerous for their health like smoking or drinking etc. I also think obesity can occur for various reasons and so we shouldn't make judgements about someone's character based on their waistline.
by tokyoguy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/1 13:23
First of all: being fat is NOT unhealthy like the media around the world like to tell us 24/7.

I am sorry but I have to disagree, not trying to be rude. It is not the media, they are JUST reporting what doctors say everyday. Media are not qualified to talk about health, doctors are, and they all say it is unhealthy.
by the guest guy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/1 15:14
I am overweight at around 120 kg / 264lb (being 185 cm or 6'1"). That being sad, 99% of oveweight cases or unhealthy. Seriously don`t lie to yourself. Sure there are cases where overweight is caused by different factors, in the end it usually does not change the fact that it is unhealthy. I got diabetis due to my weight. I know people that lived to become old with lots of weight, but it is like playing russian roulette. I don`t mind people being overweight (I lost some weight, but it is still difficult to keep on), but pretending it is not health related is kinda .... Really if you are happy with your weight, it is fine, but your risk to get seriously sick will be higher. it is all fun until you get hit yourself.
by Rintaru83 rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/1 22:17
The OP said "in 2 weeks" she'll be moving, hopefully she'll be able to follow up on her experience having been there so far.

That being said I don't understand why people move to a country they've never been to before. Anyone reading this, thats my advice.. visit, then move. It's not for everyone.

I had a friend move to Japan and she was NOT happy here after about 6 months just because things are worlds different, but she was stuck cause she had to finish school.

On the weight issue itself, I'm sorry but being overweight is unhealthy, in a general sense. What I mean is, you may be healthy now, but the risks are greater for many diseases, and types of cancer.

As for being overweight in Japan, people will stare. People saying "confidence is contagious" and a smile goes a long way are correct to a degree.. they'll still say things behind your back. Some will even openly take pictures of you because some people may never have seen a larger foreign woman before.

Not everyone in Japan is paper thin, I've seen a few "chubby" girls here too, who are ethnically Japanese, and they have it hard sometimes with girls and some guys snickering behind their back.

Of course not all Japanese are like this, some will be approachable, and understanding, but anyone who's overweight and coming here should be fully aware that you'll be stared at, talked about and commuting and finding clothes will be a problem unless you lose weight.

I'm not here to lecture anyone on losing weight, although it IS healthier, if you're happy with the way you look, good for you, just keep in mind you're in another country, that you have to mould yourself into, they don't have to mould themselves to fit you.
by Georgia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/3 04:29
I am 5'4", 150 lbs. I am older, it doesn't matter why I'm so big, the truth is I am lazy and like to eat.

How bad will the service be because I'm fat?

Unfortunately I understand enough Japanese to know when I'm being called fat.

I would rather cancel and wait until I am close to a normal (by Japanese standards) size than have a bad time while I'm there. The last time I was there I was certainly taller and fatter than almost everyone, but I didn't notice service suffering.

I appreciate your honest opinion.
by Fatter than most (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A fat lady being fat in Japan 2012/10/3 17:09
There are those considered "fat" who are healthy, but it also depends on where the fat is. For example, most black women carry their weight in their busts, hips, thighs, or behind. By Japanese standards, that probably would be considered "fat", but, even though it is a problem (if the person who carries weight in those areas feels it to be) or it literally is), it's not particularly dangerous or unhealthy (usually).

The most unhealthy place to carry a lot of weight, which can cause things like heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks, etc., is the midsection/stomach. That's the most unhealthiest place to carry weight since it can be a factor of many health problems.

But of course, I must add this, just because a person is small or skinny, by no means mean that said person is actually healthy and can have problems usually associated with weight.
by SSJ Jup81 rate this post as useful

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