Every day, girls all over America are doing their best to be “cute and skinny”.
Dieting, working out, spending hours in the bathroom, squeezing ourselves into tight pants, strapping on a pair of Spanx, we’ll do whatever it takes to reach the pinnacle of girly beauty.
Over in Japan, guys are doing the exact same thing (minus the Spanx…I think).
Traditionally, it was the women of Japan who strived to be tiny, but after the country went through a “health and exercise boom” about 7 years ago, the “new Japanese woman” wasn’t afraid to show off her curves and muscles, and was “proud” of her sexuality.
Guys, on the other hand, started to shrink.
“Young males between the ages of 18 and 30 make up the slimmest segment of the [Japanese] population” explains the International Herald Tribune, “and the ideal fashion weight as decreed by the apparel industry is 57 kilograms, or about 125 pounds, for a height of 175 centimeters, or 5 feet 8 inches”.
No six-packs or bursting biceps here. At 125 pounds, most of these guys probably don’t have the arm strength to lift much of anything, let alone weights.
Junichi Shirakawa, A twenty-five year old retail worker who was interviewed for the article, claimed he wanted to be skinnier than 125 pounds, and admitted that his girlfriend was the one who wore the pants. “She’s a lot stronger than I am, can lift heavy things and go drinking until dawn” Shirakawa explained. “I admire that about her, and feel protected when I’m around her.”
According to the article, Shirakawa isn’t alone in wanting to be sheltered by his girlfriend. “[Japanese] men claim to want to be pursued and then nurtured – they often hate to make the first move and often shy away from conflict.”
There’s no real explanation for this odd character reversal taking place in Japan, with the articling only speculating that since women are becoming more self-sufficient, men are deciding to take a backseat role.
Now, I’m all about having a boyfriend who takes me seriously, but dating someone who raids my closet, runs behind me if someone freaky walks past us, and strives to show his ribs, doesn’t sound appealing in the least. It would be like dating some kind of male version of Kate Moss.
I’ll take a guy with a little extra over someone with a little less any day.
What about you? Like the idea of having a boyfriend you can lift over your head?