In April 2015, Japan launched its first plus-size magazine La Farfa. This publication has been groundbreaking for Japanese culture. The magazine focuses on plus-size women and their needs. It celebrates the curvy figure and is helping bigger women feel more mainstream and normal.
In Asia, where women tend to be on the petite side and most Japanese stores stock only one size, getting good quality plus-size clothing can be difficult. There has now been a rise in popularity of stores that sell bigger sizes. It seems Japan has taken a body positive change and becoming more inclusive.
Based on the sales of the magazine, it seems that La Farfa has been well received by the public. Each issue has sold out. The first issue had an initial print of 50,000, which sold out, so another 100,000 were printed and sold. Since this magazine is so popular, it makes you wonder why there isn’t a US, or any Western country, version.
Yes, there are plus-size magazines in existence, but they don’t seem to generate the same hype that La Farfa does with each run. Their spreads and features are just not as exciting.
They should definitely come up with a Western style version of the magazine. There are some tips that it can take from La Farfa when celebrating the bigger, curvier figures of a full-figured woman. Below are just some tips they can take to make their own plus-size magazines better.
They give readers the chance to walk on their fashion show
La Farfa‘s first fashion show showcased their own readers instead of professional models. Using real models means that you get a varied representation of the plus-size woman. More body types and body shapes need to be taken into account in the fashion industry.
They do not promote weight loss or weight gain
Editor in chief of La Farfa, Harumi Kon, told the Japan Times, “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.”
More magazines, newspapers, and media outlets need to take this sort of approach to promoting body confidence. Body positivity means loving what you have, not aspiring to become what you are not.
They call plus-size models Marshmallow Girls instead of the Japanese word debu, which means fatty
There are those who are against the name Marshmallow Girl; however, the models who use the phrase love it. It changes from being called fatty to something cute. Having a term that is not negative can help empower those it describes.
The magazine does not hide women’s curves
The women featured in the magazine are not wearing drab clothing or long wrap dresses. They wear swimwear and lingerie. They aren’t afraid to show off their legs. Kon explains, “In a conventional fashion magazine you’ll never see a roll of fat extending over the waistband. Our readers appreciate that sort of thing.”
Their fashion tips do not body shame curvy women
La Farfa is very proud to say that they celebrate a full figure. They do not use demeaning language. They offer fashion and styling advice that does not promise to make the wearer of the clothes look slim, rather they enhance the beautiful features that a plus-size body shape has.
There are magazines like SKORCH, Volup2, and Plus Model Magazine, and they do their part in promoting the cause of plus-size women. But they could also jazz up their pages by learning to be cute and fun just like La Farfa. It may even draw in more readers for their magazines.