Over the past couple of years there has been something a revolution in the perception and treatment of chubby girls in Japan. With the coining of the term “Marshmallow Girl,” plus-sized girls across Japan have been gaining confidence and options in the fashion world. There is now a fashion and beauty magazine dedicated to these girthy girls and even an idol group.
Although the fashion world is slowly coming around to providing for these larger-than-average young ladies, there are still holes in certain sectors, like cosplay. “Marshmallow girls” can rejoice, however, as a special line of plus-size costumes is due to be released this fall.
In many Western countries, despite the persistence of super-slim models in media, much of the population is more in the category of “overweight.” Clothing manufacturers have kept this in mind, making it easy to find almost anything in larger sizes. This is not the case in Japan. Rarely will you find a store stocked with sizes bigger than Large (which would usually equate to an American-size Medium). Plus-sizes are very hard to come by.
So you can imagine that if finding regular clothes is a challenge, finding costumes would be next to impossible! Costumes rarely come in sizes bigger than Medium and even the supposed “one-size-fits-all” options are a joke if you have some meat on your bones.
Seeing the untapped market of costumes for marshmallow girls, the Japanese costume manufacturing company JiG Paradise, will be releasing a special line of costumes called, “Marshmallow Girls Series.” The costumes are already on display on Internet shopping sites like Amazon Japan, but you can’t actually buy them until September 4.
While they call it a series, it really only consists of four costumes, “Forest Girl” (aka Little Red Riding Hood), “Alice Girl” (Alice in Wonderland), “Witch Maragret,” and “Snow Princess” (Snow White).
The size is considered 4L (American equivalent, XXL), having measurements of 110-centimeter (43-inch) bust and 95-centimeter (37-inch) waist. This is significantly larger than the typical size available, which runs 88 centimeters (34 inchs) in the bust and 70 centimeters (27 inchs) in the waist, read: an American size Small.
The catch, however, other than only offering four styles, is that the costumes are a bit more expensive than their smaller counterparts. Smaller costumes rarely exceed 5,000 yen, but the Marshmallow Girl Series outfits will cost 9,504 yen. The company cites the need for extra fabric to explain the price discrepancy, but really, how much more did they need??
While the options are limited and the price daunting, Japan is moving in the right direction toward providing options for their marshmallow girls. Keep your eyes open this Halloween for the first generation of the Marshmallow Girls Series costumes.
Sources: JiG Paradise, Amazon Japan
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