Japan Today

94% of Japanese women don’t feel confident in a swimsuit, survey reveals

By Casey Baseel

With Japan being an island country, even in the heat of summer most of the population thankfully isn’t that far from a beach, and there are numerous public pools that open up during the season to help people stay cool.

But while nothing beats a refreshing dip in the water, there’s also the stressful flipside of being seen in public wearing a lot less fabric than usual. In a recent Internet survey, a whopping 94% of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s said they don’t have enough confidence in their figure to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit. Thankfully, they also passed along their tips for dealing with this problem.

The most common tactic was layering up to cut down on the amount of skin shown or otherwise obscure the body’s contours. Sarongs, zip-up sweatshirts, T-shirts, and shorts were all popular choices.

Not all women with this plan were looking to conceal cellulite. One 25-year-old woman expressed concern about her small bust. “I wear a bikini with a well-padded top, and throw on a parka as soon as I get out of the water.”

The most conservative wardrobe choice came from a 33-year-old who just wears pants on the beach, which is perhaps not the most appealing choice for guys looking for eye candy, but a definite way to preserve your modesty.

Others took the opposite route of trying to create a body they felt more comfortable putting on display. “Diet, ab exercise, gym,” answered one concise 25-year-old. Another respondent picks the days she’ll be wearing a swimsuit well in advance, and starts a steady regimen of exercise and stretching to slim down as much as possible by then.

Of course, not everyone does such a thorough job of planning ahead. “I go on a diet for a week,” was the strategy of one 28-year-old.

Realistically, if it only takes you a week to get into bikini shape, you probably didn’t really have much of a problem to begin with. Still, every little bit helps, a sentiment best expressed by the 25-year-old whose plan is “I don’t eat anything right before I put on my swimsuit.”

But how you look in swimwear isn’t just a function of your body fat percentage. Ordinarily Japan isn’t big on exposed midriffs, and the weather gets chilly enough that during long stretches of the year you’re unlikely to go out in fashions that show much of your legs or arms either. It’s natural to get a little lax on hair removal during the colder months leading up to summer, so several women said they take a trip to one of the country’s numerous hair removal salons (many of which also receive male customers) before hitting the beach for the first time each year.

Of course, all of these tips can be superseded by treating any invitation to get in the water like an offer to do hard drugs and just saying no.

A few respondents said they flat-out refuse to wear a swimsuit under any circumstances. “Not gonna happen,” said one 25-year-old, who was backed up by a 36-year-old respondent who firmly stated “I absolutely refuse to wear a swimsuit.”

Harsh words for any guy who wants to see the girl he likes in a bikini; a group also known as “all men.” If a girl responds with this, the best hope for Operation Date with a Girl in Cute Summertime Clothes is to go with Plan B.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Amazon Customer Reviews: the Girl’s One-Piece Swimsuit -- Why Do People Wear Underwear on their Heads? -- 10 videogames Japanese players gave up on

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Japanese girls look absolutely fantastic in a bikini from my experience, and have plenty to be proud about. Their naturally slender bodies, that bronze ever so nicely with a bit of sun are an absolute treat. I've met a number of them surfing in Indonesia, Japan and Australia and they always look fantastic.

Be proud and flaunt it girls. You don't have the flab, and you don't have the fake.....now THAT'S what should be covered up.

33 ( +39 / -8 )

I'm from Spain, and everyone, from 0 to 99, goes to the beach in summer. If these girls saw how granma feels confident to wear a swimsuit they wouldn't be so conscious about their body. Problem is only cute boys & girls are "allowed" to go to the beach here. You must be perfect on bikini or you stay home.

27 ( +27 / -2 )

Well of course: skinny, no boobs, pale white skin.

Exactly what is wrong with any of that? Particularly,

no boobs

I never really understood what was so great about big breasts. In most cases, I prefer smaller ones.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

Be proud and flaunt it girls. You don't have the flab, and you don't have the fake.....now THAT'S what should be covered up.

Hear hear. Most Japanese girls have amazing bodies compared to their flabby, Western counterparts.

24 ( +33 / -9 )

94% of japanese answer "no" to questions which begin, "Do you feel confident in"

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The author fails to realize that not all women's swimsuits are bikinis. I found this piece confusing and poorly written.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

There is a simple solution.....Ladies if you are around me and do not feel comfortable in your bikini, please feel free to take it off.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

At 25, near the peak of your physical prowess, and not having a body you're comfortable with is a damn shame.

I wonder what a survey like this in California would turn up.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Whatever you own tastes, Japanese women themselves don't generally like how they look. My wife's friends tell her how they hate their 'flat faces' and think my wife is pretty, while my wife is self-conscious what she calls her 'beak'. They also talk about short legs and flat chests and backsides while my partner wishes she had the smaller frame of Japanese women. This is a country where women are judged on looks, even more so than in most countries and they are the world's biggest consumers of cosmetics per head. If I spent as much time in the mirror as Japanese women, I could also speak for days on why I'm no Brad Pitt.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

94% of Japanese women don't feel confident in a bikini, survey reveals

and 99.9% of men.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Apparently the remaining 6% are in this photo.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japanese women are beautiful and I'm not so sure they are telling the truth in this survey.

This article seems to paint a different picture.


9 ( +9 / -0 )

I've been going to Hawaii beaches for years and the Japanese girls in their 20's look great in bikinis (slim but curvy). And even the older Japanese mothers look better than their Western counterparts.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

exactly what timtak said. This isn't about Japanese feeling self-conscious, it's about them not wanting to say they're "confident"/"good at" anything out of modesty.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Then foreigner's bodies are 'overdeveloped'? Comments like that just sound catty.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Whether in a bikini or a one-piece, most Japanese women look great in swimwear. As long as you look healthy, then it's all good.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I am a Western woman, and an American. I work out every day in the gym and am certainly NOT the horror show ya'll are so easy to classify as "those awful Western women". Yes, I get it that there are a lot WW who are big and flabby, but not ALL of us! Please modify your over generalization!

I feel fabulous in a swimsuit and can't wait to get to the beach to show off and in general relax around the many slender J-bodies. I'm good with mine. They are good with theirs. So everyone just relax and enjoy the sun.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The beach over viewing Enoshima, I go there every summer almost every week. Enjoying nature, beautiful view and bikini view. I really have no bad comment about Japanese women in bikini.

Most Japanese would answer they have no confident about something it is common answer, however it is not really others can observe after a lady would wear a bikini.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Never saw that lack of confidence when I first came here. My wife and a few of her friends even wore thong bikinis. I miss those days! The women were much more confident and forward back then.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

japanese women are the most beautiful and sexiest in the world. but it seems also the most self conscious about what they look like to others. it takes away a lot of time and joy in life. but well, nobody's perfect...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Internet survey reveals. What a farce. People here comment on a survey that can hardly be representative of the average woman in this country. Try to understand the culture. Even if women do feel confident about their bodies, they won't tell you, because it would seem like bragging and that's what one does not do. Typifying Japanese women as skinny or not having enough to show in the right place as in this comment, "Because they're super concious of their undeveloped bodies", is unfortunate.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ugh, that beach looks like my idea of a nightmare. Far too busy.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"I wear a bikini with a well-padded top, and throw on a parka as soon as I get out of the water."

That would definitely not only look weird, it would be extremely uncomfortable.

So, 94% of Japanese women don't feel confident wearing a swimsuit, eh? No matter, since 94% look good in a swimsuit!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Ordinarily Japan isn't big on exposed midriffs"

It was about 15 years ago, unfortunately that lasted only 2 summers...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As a western woman, I'm disgusted by your comments and over generalizations. So too thin not good, fat ofc also not good... Your ideal is the only good.... that's exactly why girls feel pressured; Japanese or Westerners...women would feel pressured when reading such comments.

...I went and hugged my bf, for not being a guy who thinks like many of you here.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There are some uneducated men that make generalizations or stereotype meaning a broad statement that applies to a broad group of people because generalizations are not entirely true. Modesty is one pillar of Japanese culture and is a highly regarded virtue. Many Japanese women are notoriously private and reserved. However what is modest to one person is not to another. An appearance that is simple, moderate, judicious and free from ostentation is always safe to present in Japanese society. Therefore many Japanese women prefer to wear a bathing suit that is modest. Whether you're full-figured, small-busted, straight up and down or have extra padding you can find a swimsuit that fits comfortably, flatters your figure and make you feel absolutely fabulous. So wear a comfortable and flattering swimsuit style that's figure friendly. Just remember you have to look just as you want to be treated by a man. The more shallow you'll look, chances of getting treated like a object or trophy are higher. Bear in mind that for every women there is a man out there so just relax and look out for him.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

That's a shame, considering Asian women look damn fine in bikini's. Usually.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Funny that this is said because it seems that 94% of Japan's population is on the beach whenever I go and more than half are women in bikinis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

not sure why Japanese women feel guilty about their curves.. what they have is pretty good. problem is there are no good beaches available in Japan and the below is not true in Japan

With Japan being an island country, even in the heat of summer most of the population thankfully isn’t that far from a beach,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder what a survey like this in California would turn up.

Well it would be co-sponsored by the Fisheries Ministry and the Fukushima Earthquake relief fund, if you know what I mean.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

99% of peoples already knew this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Once had a girlfriend like this. It spoiled an otherwise idyllic day at the beach. Perhaps she didn't want to get sunburnt, but she insisted on wearing a long-sleeved cotton shirt over her bikini, even when in the sea!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People posting about size and proportions are the exact reason people feel embarrassed or shy to wear swimsuits. Pathetic and childish to say the least.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

People have to get over the idea that others are watching them. The ones that get attention are either beautiful or ugly. Most people are just average.......lucky for them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese people are generally skinny, yeah. Apparently they don't know that most of western people would like to be skinny, like these Japanese guys and girls:


If your average Japanese guy and girl have this kind of body, I wonder how they can complain. Tons of western girls would like to be like that, and also tons of western guys. Some western guys could prefer to be a bit more muscular, anyway they would prefer be thin like that ratherthan to be fatty. I really don't know which reasons have these Japanese women to be so negative. Probably they are only too modest.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

94% of JPs woman dont feel comfortable with anything it should say, or leave the judging to us man!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have visited Japan four times, there are certainly more swimsuit capable ladies than here in the USA!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yes. I don't get it. They're totally hot and super sexy and yet, "I'm not pretty" or "I don't have a good body".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder how many Japanese guys would feel confident in a Speedo?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That's so ridiculous, I've been all over the world and Japanese women are pretty much the slimmest, healthiest look women in the world, on average at least, the vast majority would look fine to stunning in a swimsuit. There is a problem in Japan with women idolising a western figure which not only barely exists in the west itself these days (a huge proportion of western women are extremely overweight), but is simply incompatible with their own genetic inheritance. To modify the phrase "You fight with the army you have, not the one you wish you had", "you need to live life with the body you have, not the one you wish you had."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with yyj72. As long as you look healthy, then it's all good. That said, Japanese women, very generally speaking, are among the most beautiful in the world (and I should know. I've been to more than 20 countries in 5 continents).

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Wow - lots of gaijin guys here bashing foreign women! Guys - there are many sensational looking ladies in bikinis in parks and beaches in Sweden, Hawaii, Australia, Brazil , etc- trust me. Not all great-bodied ladies are Asian - they come in all colours. I just wish more Japanese ladies had similar confidence in wearing bikinis and swimsuits in summer!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I see J girls around Saitama with huge knockers, too bad they do not take them to a beach, or just walk around the station in tiny bikinis like they do back Europe??

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@qamar.... You just said that we don't think too thin (i.e. anorexia) or too fat (overweight) are good, so basically we're pressuring others to be healthy? How is that a bad thing? That means you get a longer lifespan...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And yet they go naked to public baths. Culture is weird.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

****THIS IS VERY SAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In 1966-67 ,My ship was " at HOME " IN YOKOSUKA !!!!!!!!!!!!! PL:EASE ,PLEASE BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR BODIES ...................SOME of US LOVE SLIM LADIES .........................

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Possibly many women in that category compare their bodies with the European bikini archetypes we see in magazines. As men we should encourage them to remain slim and even what many here consider "underdeveloped" because the chickens come home to roost after 2 or 3 decades. Making allowance for the exceptions, Japanese women maintain attractive figures well into their latter years while Americans and lots of Euros/Oz get a bit, well, you know what I mean.

I sometimes differ with Smithinjapan, but this is one (slightly ambiguous) comment I can't disagree with: "If it's your body type in general, or your breasts are too small (you think), you're shorter than average, lanky and not muscular, and other things only drastic measures would 'fix', then forget it and screw anyone around you who won't stare and salivate."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is just sad. Everyone has some body image issue. Just screw it and get on doing the things you enjoy. Forget what other people who you will never see again think.

Women need to understand that almost any body is attractive to men. It is more about attitude then anything else. For every body, there are lots of men who love it. Skinny, fat, shapely, small bottoms, big tops, small tops, big bottoms. Forget the people shown on TV - those are 0.5% bodies.

A smile is the most attractive thing for most people anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

gogogo: "Seems 99% of the problem is pervy guys"

Not at all. If you're basing your fashion decisions on pervy guys, the problem is yours.

There is but one reason why people don't feel confident in wearing a swimsuit (and I bet it's nearly all women): they are basing their feelings and existence on how others perceive them. It's a sad, but all too common thing humans do, when really so long as we are not hurting others we should not give a crap what other people think. Worse still is the fact that most of the people would refuse to take any advice such as 'have confidence in yourself and your body' unless it came through the form of praise by others. If it's something you can do something about and that you are personally unhappy about -- like you have a farmer's tan you don't want to sport, or you're overweight and don't want to wear a biniki, or the thing is too tight, then get in shape or change styles. If it's your body type in general, or your breasts are too small (you think), you're shorter than average, lanky and not muscular, and other things only drastic measures would 'fix', then forget it and screw anyone around you who won't stare and salivate.

Celebrate your body, don't be ashamed of it. If you've a friend with perfect curves who puts you to shame (you think), that's life. Better to acknowledge that and be proud of what you have than feel ashamed and/or wonder what you can do it about when there's little or nothing natural you can do. And anyway, variety is the spice of life.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This video has been made by some Italian guys:


They are basically saying how beautiful the girls are (I can understand them because I'm Italian). I find weird these Japanese girls are not aware they are generally attractive, specially for foreign men.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

She doesn't enjoy it because when down the beach we are trying to spend some quality time with our young daughters.

You know what Sigmund would say; She says she doesn't enjoy it, but deep inside, she loves it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Rule no. 1: If they do not pay your rent and help you buy your food, do not worry about what people think about you. Where I come from, even whales are confident wearing swimsuits. They just do not worry about opinions. Japanese need to overcome this problem.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


Oh I'm sure that many of the guys who pass comments about girls here have perfect bodies (for long life span you know) too..not even a pinch of beer belly at all! Please....

Just let everybody be free to wear whatever he/she likes..no matter what kind of body type he/she has. The sun and the sea is for everyone to enjoy. No matter also how big or small a girl's characteristics are -_-.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese women are usually too self-conscious about themselves not just with swimsuits, but with other things, especially their weight.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

At Enoshima this summer I have noticed a new fashion among young Japanese women for wearing a g-string under a standard bikini.

It looks cute.

But I want to say to them... just go with the g-string...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah here in Japan the guys wear g-strings! True story I was at the beach last week and there was this old dude Wearing what looked like a woman's t-back!! Thank the gods I didn't see his balls!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and unfortunately, we allow beauty to be defined from a male perspective. It's a universal problem. People judge themselves for who they think they're supposed to be, instead of appreciating who they are and what they can do with those bodies. Like win a Nobel Prize for iPS, or win a gold medal for wrestling.

I can't appreciate jealous comments that Japanese girls have nothing to show for. That's just jealous girl-on-girl hate talk. Would you say that to your best friend, your lover, your sister or your daughter? No. People come in different shapes and sizes. Get over it. And ladies, wear whatever you like to the beach.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most Japanese women have a lot of confidence. I think this article is drawing the wrong conclusion based on assessments. e.g. If 94% of Japanese women don't like making bread in a rice cooker then one needs to change their marketing techniques based on the different culture. One needs to know a little more about their customer.

Ford Motors also made a similar mistake during the early 80's. Ford was trying to figure out why their huge cars were not selling in Japan. The reason was because Japanese roads are smaller than roads in America and are designed for a smaller vehicle. Ah! Now Ford Motors had something to work with. Ford Motors did not assume that Japanese women were not confident enough to drive the larger vehicle. It was just too big on Japanese roads. The roads in Malaysia are even smaller... so one needs to know these things first and then make adjustments.

I think most Japanese women are confident enough.... and also polite enough to simply say "not interested" and say it in a nice way!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe they aren't comfortable but I'd never complain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, if you are thin and your chest is small, well you are undeveloped. Yeah, right. When you have your course, you are a perfectly normal woman, and it is really painful also when you are thin, you know.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Being too self-conscious is just the flipside of caring too much about how you appear to others.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This is a good thing, as long as it makes them want to stay thin and in shape. I'd rather have 94% feel they need to try harder to wear a bikini, than have 94% think they look awesome in one regardless of how fat they are (a.k.a. American women)

Still, must be rough to be a woman. Since so much value is placed on just their appearance and they are taught from a young age (from tv, magazines, peers, idols, etc) that beauty trumps all other aspects of their being.

If only Japanese girls could enter the mind of us guys for 1 day, they would realize that we don't focus on such small details as whether they are 120pounds instead of 115, or if they have a little tummy fat showing while they wear a bikini. Since men are pretty much programmed to be attracted to them regardless of such small details.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Women are self conscious about there bodies? Never heard that before....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I am a the minority in my view...... Ladies, I am not a skin guy, showing more is sexy but not required. Happy, genuine, no cosmetic alterations, no tan lines, big boobs are not required, and honestly I prefer to meet fully clothed an see the style! Pervs prefer the skin. Do you want to attract pervs? They may not be faithful. This said, I am absolutely normal to see a beautiful woman scantily clad.....works of art gals!

Have no shame. I would like to know the percentage who are perfectly happy with themselves worldwide. A very small percentage I would bet. And we have what we are born with. Only excersize can sculpt it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because they're super concious of their undeveloped bodies. There too thin, and yet they don't think so. They have no curves., no butts, and no boobs..,so naturally you will ,OSS all confident to flaunt as there's nothing to flaunt.

I showed that quote to my ex (who is a Japanese woman)... and she finds it offensive, as are most of the negative comments in this thread.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah, you can tell many girls here don't feel confident about getting out in a full 2-piece, although they definitely should. Luckily there aren't many fat people in Japan, so the beach is always quite nice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and 94% of men don't care what they (themselves) look like in a swimsuit.

but 94% of men like seeing women in a swimsuit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wrong answer. Google the utube "Japanese girls surfing diamond head".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well if they're lacking in confidence, then what they probably need is more positive praise and encouragement. But if you feel that you should have the "perfect" body, then no amount of praise or positive experiences can help you. That goal is unattainable.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

my wife is a little on the heavier side (same as me). She is unwilling to go to the beach here, but is perfectly normal with any other beach outside of Japan. Have to agree with *


*. Only the pretty ones and misc gaijin allowed on beaches :)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Please, most foreigner girls absolutely love the looks and attention. Its the groping they just dont like, but even then...

She doesn't enjoy it because when down the beach we are trying to spend some quality time with our young daughters.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think survey is misleading... if it talk about 94% Japanese men then its true and reason is well known

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Is it any wonder they aren't confident with all these nasty comments about women in general, be it Japanese or western? I don't think the majority of women anywhere are confident with their body and being in a bathing suit. I don't blame the men for that, I blame society and women for the most part. We rip each other apart and are rather nasty - lord knows I can be with certain things but when it comes to looks? Nope. It is a shame because Japanese women are slim and do look after themelves but when you live in a society that doesn't care about your brains and just your looks, you end up with a nation of women who dislike who they are and what they look like. I hope those of you with daughters are trying to do something about this. I see far too many "damaged goods" in my job and it shouldn't be that way.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

In my experience, Japanese women often don't trim/wax 'downstairs' and worry about how this looks in bikini bottoms, often covering up with a sarong or shorts-style bottoms.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Tmarie- preach!! And most people do nothing about it but submit to the pressure. Those who don't are hammered down usually.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese women have a complex about everything. "I'm too pale. I'm too dark. Too fat. Too skinny. Not pretty enough, Too pretty. Too tall. Too short"...blah blah blah...Its all media driven nonsense designed to make women feel self conscience about themselves so that they buy their products....and the women fall for it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Me and my partner are foreigners and she hates the amount of glances she gets from Japanese men when we go to the beach.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Harsh words for any guy who wants to see the girl he likes in a bikini; a group also known as “all men.” I

Seems 99% of the problem is pervy guys

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

They should stuff a couple of inflatables down the front; could double as life preservers. Two birds, one stone?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Of course they don't feel ok wearing a bikini. If you weigh like 30 kgs.... just bones. Eat up!!! Niku tarinaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Me and my partner are foreigners and she hates the amount of glances she gets from Japanese men when we go to the beach.

Please, most foreigner girls absolutely love the looks and attention. Its the groping they just dont like, but even then....

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

No surprise here... Many Japanese women even feel to embarrassed to cut down the forests in their nether regions.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Funny that they should individually have no confidence in their own bodies when they all look the same.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Because they're super concious of their undeveloped bodies. There too thin, and yet they don't think so. They have no curves., no butts, and no boobs..,so naturally you will ,OSS all confident to flaunt as there's nothing to flaunt.

-30 ( +16 / -46 )

Well of course: skinny, no boobs, pale white skin. Pretty faces though.

-31 ( +6 / -37 )

Of course they don't. Many of them are painfully thin.

-33 ( +6 / -39 )

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