1. Avex, a Japanese entertainment company and fashion magazine have co-signed a new pop idol group called “Chubbiness.”
2. The girl group is composed of 10 “plus-sized” Japanese women. Here are its members (all dubbed “chubby girls”):
Left: Kawai Akina; Right: Nakazaki Erina
7. “Chubbiness” is a fallout from a recent Japanese fad that recognizes plus-size models as “marshmallow girls.”
Women’s magazine la farfa coined the term after introducing its model Goto Seina as a “marshmallow girl.”
8. The marketing gimmick was immediately deemed offensive and a little perplexing by most Western netizens.
11. But most self-identified “marshmallow girls” are not only OK with it, they actually prefer the label.
Seina says the term is positive, and should not be confused with being called “fatty”:
“Of course there will be different opinions—people who say ‘you’re a pig’ or ‘you’re a fatty’,” says Seina. “But for me, [marshmallow girl] makes me really happy”.
12. This is not the first time an East Asian girl group has been marketed by their weight.
The labels behind Piggy Dolls, a K-Pop group formed in 2011, have been highly criticized for using the girls’ weights as a selling point.
13. After succumbing to social pressures, all three members of Piggy Dolls underwent dramatic weight loss.
All three group members were later replaced.
BuzzFeed has reached out to Chubbiness for comment and is awaiting a response.