la farfa – A Magazine for Big Japanese Girls
When I heard that the first fashion magazine for big ladies in Japan would be published I was very excited. It smelled like revolution. Wasn’t this a sign for a change? For an end to magazines only displaying super thin models and a call for fashion designers to offer clothes in bigger sizes?
How disappointed was I when the magazine appeared in stores at the end of March. I got me a copy in a bookfirst in Kobe where it was positioned right below the special issue of a magazine calling to “Loose weight beautifully!” with “easy exercises with which you will never gain weight again”. It was like a punch in the face of comedian Watanabe Naomi who posed on the first cover of la farfa.
I wonder how a Japanese “Ms Chubby” or “pocchari-san” will feel when she looks for la farfa and finds diet messages just on top of it. Maybe she should try another diet instead of embracing her body to make the best of it? Maybe she should get both magazines, so in case that the “fail-proof” diets don’t keep their promise she could still stick to fashion advice for big ladies…
Anyways, I got the magazine and read through it, but there wasn’t actually much to read. It mainly introduces examples for how to combine clothes in a slimming way and the only texts were an interview with Watanabe Naomi and comments from a (thin) stylist on street styles of big girls.
One thing that got clear in the street style section was that the Japanese Ms Chubby isn’t necessarily fat. She could be taller than average, have broader shoulders or a bigger bust to count as big. There are some girls in the magazine who really don’t look fat in any way for Western eyes. But because not everything about them is tiny, they fall into the “big” category.
But all these girls complained about the same thing: That they aren’t able to wear clothes they like, because shops don’t offer big sizes. In fact, many brands only offer S, M and L so there isn’t much room for bodies not fitting this standard. Thus, introducing brands which do offer big sizes is probably the biggest benefit of la farfa.