Heavier body type picked as cutest for second year in a row.

More than a few people would say that Japan is obsessed with slenderness. This is, after all, a country where some consider the strictly calculated “Cinderella body weight” to be a target worth shooting for, and where it’s not uncommon to hear heavyset celebrities openly referred to as “fat.”

However, for the second year in a row participants in a poll by Japanese survey site Minna no Koe showed little love for thin women. The most recent poll garnered 3,992 responses to the question “Which body type is the cutest for a woman?”, and when split between six physiques the votes were for:

6. Fat (1.6 percent of votes)
5. Thin (3.8 percent votes)
4. Plump (4.2 percent votes)
3. Slightly thin (14.9 percent)
2. Medium build (36.7 percent)
1. Slightly plump (39 percent)

Not only did “thin” fail to rank in the top half of responses, it actually fell in standings compared to Minna no Koe’s survey for the same question in 2017, dropping from fourth to fifth place as it swapped positions with “plump.” The results for first through third places, as well as sixth, remained the same as last year, meaning that for the second consecutive year the respondents picked slightly plump as their favorite feminine physique (slightly plump had 39 percent of the votes in last year’s poll as well). Slightly plump was also the number one pick among male respondents, with “medium build” being women’s top choice.

Given these results, you might wonder if Japan is about to see a surge in fashion and show business icons in the mold of plus-sized entertainer Naomi Watanabe. That’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, though. While respondents between the ages of 40 and 69 picked slightly plump as their favorite body type, younger survey participants preferred a medium build, and with youth opinions carrying so much weight in marketing, odds are talent agencies aren’t suddenly going to shift their searches to heavier candidates for acting and modeling gigs.

There’s also the matter of no numerical metrics defining the different body types, and comparatives such as “plump” and “thin” still have to be taken through the prism of Japanese society’s middle-of-the-bell-curve baseline, which corresponds to a much lower body fat percentage than in the vast majority of other countries. Because of that, even if Japan itself is saying that it finds “slightly plump” women to be the cutest, to the rest of the world, those same women are probably going to continue looking pretty slender.

Source: Minna no Koe
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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