lifestyle

Yahoo! Japan bans ads that 'create inferiority complexes' about weight, physical characteristics

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Internet portal Yahoo! Japan has implemented changes to its advertising policies. The new regulations, which went into effect on Sept 3, prohibit the use of advertising language that Yahoo! Japan feels will cause a mental/inferiority complex in those who see them related to an aspect of their personal appearance.

“Advertisements containing statements like the ones listed below cause people to have mental complexes,” asserts the Japanese-language press release, giving the examples of:

“Because I have a lot of body hair I wasn’t popular with the opposite sex, but now that I use hair removal products, I have become popular.”

“Because I was heavyset, people avoided walking with me, but since I’ve started using diet products, that’s stopped happening.”

“I was balding, and worrying about what other people thought about that made me lose confidence, but by using hair-restoration products, I’ve regained my confidence.”

To clarify, Yahoo! Japan’s new policy is not a crackdown on fraudulent ads or online scams that promise unrealistic results, are rife with hidden fees, or infringe on customer’s privacy through phishing ploys. The effectiveness of the product/treatment being offered and the transparency of its pricing are irrelevant, as the newly added policy’s sole litmus test is whether or not Yahoo! Japan feels it will create an emotional complex within those who view it. “Statements that frame an aspect of physical appearance as something to have a complex about preserves and promotes discrimination, and is absolutely unforgivable,” the notice states.

It’s clear that Yahoo! Japan’s heart is in the right place, as falsely creating and then exploiting psychological pain in an extremely unkind way to make a buck/yen, and devaluing someone as a person for not living up to a particular set of physical appearance standards is dastardly as well.

At the same time, the amount of body hair and body fat a person has is something they, to a degree, can influence. Some people’s genetics and/or preexisting lifestyles have resulted in them being hairier or heavier than they themselves would like to be, and if that also happens to be more so than they have to be, there are goods and services that can help them at least get a little closer to the appearance they desire for themselves, and in turn help them feel happier and more confident. Modern science even has ways to deal with receding hairlines, as our own staff can attest.

Going back to the examples of newly banned ads, in Japan not just men, but also many women have an open preference for a smooth-skinned partner, so doing at least some hair removal is, in terms of statistical probability, probably going to have a positive effect on your dating prospects. The “not wanting to walk with a person if they’re heavyset” example is a head scratcher, since those two things aren’t usually correlated in Japanese society. As for hair restoration, for generations in Japan the stereotypical image of a washed-up, ineffectual middle-aged man includes a shiny, sparsely covered scalp, which is a source of stress and anguish for many guys with exceeding hairlines.

While the ideal would be for the unfair association to go away, it also seems unfair to imply that it would be wrong for balding guys to want more hair, or to feel more confident if they had it, and so they should simply endure the current connotations of thinning hair until society becomes more enlightened. It’d be similarly unkind to tell people they have to accept whatever their current weight and amount of body hair as their unalterable destiny, and that no desire for change could possibly be positive or healthy.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Yahoo! Japan isn’t outright banning hair removal, weight loss, or hair restoration ads. Under the new policy, those can still be allowed as long as they’re not, in Yahoo! Japan’s eyes, promoting an inferiority complex. That tightrope might be hard for advertisers to walk, but perhaps an effective strategy would be to trim the “I used to ” part of the story and focus more on “[Now] I ,” so that everyone can choose to pursue the appearance they have decided they want.

Source: Yahoo! Japan via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “Smooth Hair” poster sparks controversy in Japan

-- Unexpected, hot summer item for Japanese men is also catching on in Korea

-- Man arrested for robbing Tokyo convenience store with nose hair trimmer

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Nanny state nonsense. All it takes is for one person to “feel offended” and it brings the entire system down.

Crazy.

This will be fun to complain to Yahoo over trivial things in ads that pass their new guidelines.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Nanny state nonsense.

Sigh. They are a privately held company. There is an old saying in business; "the customer is always right". If you are in business with the intention of remaining in business and even growing you do not do things to offend possible customers. It has nothing to do with free speech or "nanny state". It is what customers expect.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sigh. They are a privately held company.

I believe it is a public company, but I meant state as in condition, and as a play on the more common expression which refers to a government.

I don’t think it’s so much about free speech as it is trying not to be offensive and receive bad publicity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So they won’t advertise makeup that transforms you? No more weight loss pills or body enhancing products of any kind?

Thats fine, but I noticed yahoo stopped doing comments a few months ago.

Thats not good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sigh. They are a privately held company. 

That doesn't mean they're allowed to discriminate based on skin color, body shape or size.

"Beautiful thin models need not apply" is just as bad as saying "Unattractive overweight models need not apply"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nanny state nonsense.

When did the government/state start running yahoo japan?! I missed this news. But a poster on JT said it, so it must be true. Did the government buy it or take it over through legislation?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Strangerland

When did the government/state start running yahoo japan?! I missed this news. But a poster on JT said it, so it must be true. Did the government buy it or take it over through legislation?

Nope it is a publicly traded company so you can own shares in Yahoo if you want.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nope it is a publicly traded company so you can own shares in Yahoo if you want

You must be wrong as the other poster claimed a nanny state. They can’t have been wrong so it must be owned by the government now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That doesn't mean they're allowed to discriminate based on skin color, body shape or size.

"Beautiful thin models need not apply" is just as bad as saying "Unattractive overweight models need not apply"

Good thing Yahoo! hasn't said either of those things, then, isn't it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Will they ban ads that mock foreigners too?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Paul ScottToday 11:04 am JST

Will they ban ads that mock foreigners too?

Baby steps, Paul, baby steps...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't get no satisfaction. Fomenting envy, insecurity and self-doubt is the basis for all marketing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe they should just ban the ads of products that make people fat and ugly? Junk food has just been confirmed to trigger body responses related to aging.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If someone is caused having mental complexes by advertisements, how to say, well, that one must have accumulated already lots of other problems long before...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh no the body positive junk now infecting Japan.

North America has 30+% obesity same in Much of the EU, Australia, etc...

Even doctors are now to frightened to tell people they are overweight or obese.

The west wonders why Covid-19 hit it so hard as opposed to Developed Asian countries.

Well simple 5% obesity in Japan and South Korea VS 30+% in the west and all the problems associated with being obese.

Several studies in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.... Have pointed out that over 70% of those seriously ill from covid-19 and requiring advance treatment were seriously overweight/obese.

But when this is pointed out the reply is fat shaming, then they say Obesity us not a factor it is cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary disease, ignoring the fact that the number one cause if all those things is obesity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Dear Yahoo Japan,

as a heavyset, balding person with lots of body hair (due to Mediterranean genetics) with an inferiority complex because of them, I am actually interested in all of those products! You should not ban such ads! I must look for another website. Perhaps Japan Today can fill the void? There is a huge market of people who need such products to regain our self-esteem...

Sincerely,

Sal

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The advertising rules here are really lax. Look how many ads there are on telly for so called supplements that are supposed to make you look younger, give you thicker hair, repair arthritic joints etc. They make false claims. The worse ones are for diet supplements that focus solely on how you look rather than the health benefits, and they celebrate dangerously rapid weight loss too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as a heavyset, balding person with lots of body hair (due to Mediterranean genetics) 

Mediterranean genetics, lol. I have some of those too and thanks for making me laugh! Funny aside, at a noddle restaurant in Shanghai the proprietor came out and held his arm up alongside mine pointing out we both had hairy arms. He is a Uyghur but living in Shanghai was accustomed to seeing men with no arm hair. So when I walked in with my Mediterranean genetics it was noticeable to him, lol. My family there says men like me are what they call a "golden monkey". It's probably meant to be derogatory but I find it funny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even doctors are now to frightened to tell people they are overweight or obese.

Mine aren't! Just saying .........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lots of Trump supporters will have their inferior complex expose, when they hear about Trump being a confirm sexual predator of a teenager, with a collaborated with witness Micheal Cohen, Google Trump Cohen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the medical advice and education doesn’t seem to be getting through to the obese...

Maybe shaming is worth a try? They are a “huge” burden on health and social services and many lead miserable lives.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

I would recommend watching YouTube

Doctor Mike: My response To Fatphobia Claims

He is an actual practicing doctor giving real life advice, answering medical issues.

He has been promoting proper nutrition, debunking false medical claims, etc...

He has come under attack for saying being obese or overweight us not healthy to the point that he actually had to make a whole video defending the facts he points out regarding obesity.

And he is not alone.

Here is the irony of it all.

Many countries have now banned models under a certain BMI because it is considered unhealthy and what some models do to get that thin is unhealthy.

Then fashion magazines in order to placate the body positive movement go and place obviously obese models on their magazine covers.

Both far to low and far to high BMI are not healthy but only one is really causing major health problems for a large portion of the population and that is the one politics and social media seems fine with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this is a positive step. I do however wish that people in the US were more conscious of living and eating healthfully. It's very sad to see such a developed nation suffer such poor health because of obesity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites