A five-piece girl group like the Spice Girls, only larger and with nicknames like “Fried Chicken” and “Ham and Sausages”.

Women around the world often feel pressured to conform to beauty ideals perpetuated by the media, but in Japan – where trends like the controversial “Cinderella weight” suggest a 165-centimetre (five-foot, five-inch) tall woman should weigh 49 kilograms (108 pounds) – that pressure is particularly great.

Lately, though, plus-sized women are fighting back against the country’s slim brigade, with celebrities like Naomi Watanabe leading the charge by proudly embracing her curves, as part of an emerging pocchari “chubby” trend that’s becoming more popular with men and women alike.

Curvy women are also taking to the stage as members of new plus-sized idol groups in Japan, which offer an alternative to the cookie-cutter mould of slender idols, and one unit that’s currently in the spotlight is Big Angel. Featured in a video by YouTube channel Asian Boss, the members of Big Angel are big, beautiful, and proud of it. And they want others like them to embrace their curves too.

Take a look at the video below:

In the clip, Big Angel leader Michiko Gotochi, or “Mi-chan”, happily tells us all that she is 167 centimetres (5.48 feet) tall and weighs 109.8 kilograms (242 pounds). Though she once weighed 54 kilograms, Gotochi says she is much happier now than when she was slimmer, and says her weight gain was due to stress eating a lot of high-calorie foods like karaage, or fried chicken.

▼ Gotochi when she was slimmer and trying to lose even more weight for a modelling agency.

Like all the members of Big Angel, Gotochi goes by a food-related moniker, and hers is “karaage“. Other members are “in charge” of other foods like “Ham and Sausages“, “Rice“, “Mayonnaise“, and “Grape Sherbert“.

▼ This fan attended a Big Angel live concert and brought along handmade items representing each member’s food.

Big Angel is gathering a lot of support from fans, and Gotochi says their dream is to go on a world tour, where they can visit countries that are more accepting of women with larger physiques. With a combined total weight of over 400 kilograms (881.8 pounds), Gotochi and her fellow idols are hoping to ring in “an era of fat idols”, and become role models for plus-sized women around the world.

Rather than run away from using the word “debu“, or “fat“, Gotochi says they prefer to embrace it, calling themselves “debu idols” in an attempt to change people’s way of thinking so more positive connotations can be associated with the word.

According to their official profile, the Big Angel girls are “obese angels” who fell from heaven after eating too much. Now they’re singing and dancing on Earth as an idol unit in order to lose weight so they can return to heaven again.

Though Gotochi says there’s no real pressure on the group’s members to maintain or lose weight, she does admit to being concerned about the health issues related to being overweight. If she or the other angels do decide to lose weight and get back to heaven though, we can only imagine this would open the door for more angels to drop down and join the group.

That would be similar to the revolving-door “graduation” system used by more mainstream groups like AKB48, which could then pave the way for a multi-dozen-member big-girl group in future. Big Angel 48? Now that’s something we, and the country’s marshmallow girls, would love to see!

Source, images: YouTube/Asian Boss