TOKYO, Japan — Japanese pop girl group Pottya, who describe themselves as "chubby," performed their hits while eleven plus size amateur models strutted along the catwalk at a new men's fashion show in Tokyo aimed at breaking down obesity taboos.
The Tokyo Pochari (plump) Collection, jointly organised by a plus-size clothing brand Sakazen Shoji Co and fashion magazine, Mr Babe, featured models weighing more than 100 kg (220 pounds) walking, twirling and posing on the catwalk.
Thursday's event attracted more than 100 people, who were invited to disclose their weight for a discount on a new range of ready-to-wear plus size clothing items, but organisers said the event was not just about sales.
They hoped to change attitudes towards plus-size people in Japan, where obesity levels are among the lowest in the developed world and large people — sumo wrestlers aside — are often depicted as figures of fun on television.
"I wanted to spread a notion that big and tall men, who have trouble finding clothes to wear, can actually choose from a wider varieties of outfits and enjoy being fashionable," said Li Tianwei, Sakazen Shoji sales manager.
This year's event was so successful that organisers hope to run a bigger show in 2017 with both male and female models, they told Reuters.
"As a fatso or big woman, I want more of these kind of events. Even this one is still small-scaled, I want it bigger," said 37-year-old Momoko Kashiwazaki.
By Kwiyeon Ha; editor: Patrick Johnston.