Monday, November 16, 2009

coin drop

My favorite thing about going to Tokaichiba, the rural-ish town I work in once a week, is the farm outlet produce packing warehouse with a ghost of a storefront. It has just a few baskets of fresh, cheap produce out front, and a jar with a coin slot tied to a string for honor-system payment. I stop in and grab some naganegi or a bunch of greens whenever I get the chance. I rarely pay more than a hundred yen. This summer, I got big bunches of basil there for ¥100 per bag and I made a big batch of pesto.

I was listening to Top 40 on the radio the other day and I heard that Sean Kingston song, Face Drop. I don't really know anything about him, but I kinda like this song, because he says
"'Cause you always try to fill me with doubt
Sayin' that I'd look better if I was thinner
Don't you know you shoulda loved me for my inner
When I left you, yo, I came out a winner"
And I think, though there are lots of songs with females talking about battling body image crap (TLC's Unpretty comes to mind, and India Arie's Video), with the possible exception of some obscure punk/indie stuff, boys don't talk about body image very much. It seems like there's a taboo about guys talking about their body insecurities; it's like they're not supposed to have them. But I have at least one guy friend who's struggled with anorexia, and know plenty of other guys who have body issues. (And I really like the rainbows coming out of Sean's chest in the video.)

I'm pretty tired of hearing about fat Americans and fat in general all the time. It's true that, as a country, we eat a lot of junk food and fast food and should take better care of ourselves. But I'm sick of the way, in Japan, it seems even more acceptable to make disparaging comments about people who aren't crazy skinny. I was reading about some Japanese model the other day who said that she weighed in at 97 pounds during her teenage modeling years, and she was called a fat cow by the other girls. That's just CRAZY talk.

I thought I had outgrown body insecurity a long time ago, but being in this country and some stupid boys have brought it back a little.


  1. i always feel so conflicted about losing weight in japan. i have been slowly losing weight since i got here and i'm very happy about it. i pretty much really genuinely like my body. i think it's neat and feminine and pretty and i think i'm lucky to have nicely proportioned curves. but i know it doesn't come close to the standard of beauty here. people told me i'd lose weight in japan because all the food is healthier but that is total smack. i'm losing weight in japan because i hate looking so large compared to everyone else and because no one hesitates to vocally keep track of my weight for me. if i gain a couple lbs, they'll mention it regretfully like i'm sick or something, but if i lose five, they beam proudly like i am doing a great and beautiful thing.

    i always thought sean kingston was a winner! and i always feel bad for boys, too. i've known plenty with body image issues and very few who weren't ashamed to talk about them.

  2. Yeah, most of the time I'm ok. I'm healthy and that's my main goal. I just get so bummed out by all the commentary. And I wish there was more of a space for people of different shapes, colors, and sizes. Blah blah blah Benetton ad.