Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The skinny on Japan


{Konnyaku jelly. No fat, no calories, filling, and cheap. Pretty good taste too! I love Japan.}

Japan makes me feel fat sometimes. Most Japanese girls are naturally tiny and delicate, and I occasionally feel like a graceless giant alongside. Truth is, I'm not very tall, and I'm the thinnest I've ever been. Being away from cheese, butter, and bread has done wonders to my weight. I still run a few times a week, ride my bike everywhere, go hiking, and eat healthy meals. I do love sweets and never say no to dessert, but I'm always keeping everything under control. I fit in all Japanese clothing sizes, and I'm not even the largest size. Despite all that, I've never felt so concerned about my weight, and self-conscious about my curves, which are considered unattractive here.

It's kind of sad, because I know better than that. I'm usually very happy with myself. Yet I'll have days when I just feel terrible (especially when I wear sneakers). I think girls are the same anywhere in the world, but honestly, being surrounded by tiny girls can be hard on one's self-esteem. Sigh. I think that's one of the biggest challenges for a girl, about living in Japan. No kidding.

Anyways. The fruit jelly is actually quite tasty. And, I'll never, ever stop baking my beloved cupcakes. On that note... I do have a brand new package of icing sugar, waiting to be turned into a yummy vanilla frosting.... mmmmmmm.

16 comments:

thevoyageofv said...

Twins.
I know the feeling. I've never been one to complain about my weight, but I'm having a fat year. That's right, I didn't say fat day. I said YEAR. It's ridiculous. I hate the sound of my voice when the words come out of my mouth, it makes me feel like one of 'those' girls. Enough of that.

Lauren London said...

I know what you mean, I feel insecure about my body today. :(

Jen said...

I never thought of that, but now that you bring it up, I think I would definitely feel the same way! I have pretty large hips, and I think I would feel like the curvy, fat American around all those Japanese women. Sad, because, like you, I know I'm healthy and not at all fat.

I hope you're able to overcome the feeling and realize it's just another cultural difference that makes us all unique!

Kelly said...

Vivi!!!!

you are sooo beautiful inside and out!! i hate to see you having one of "those days." we all have these days and we all HATE them. hateeeee them. keep your chin up, girl because, you can fit your sexy curves into Japanese clothing! now that's an accomplishment haha. and i bet you rock them :)

Saara said...

I know exactly how you feel, cause I wrote exactly the same kind of text one year ago, when I was as an exchange student in Milan. The girls in Milan are so supersupertiny and they eat pasta and pizza and gelato. The jealousy was beyond. At some point I understod that I am not the same. That I SHOULD look as I do and I really understood the point when 2 of my Finnish girlfriends came to visit and I could compare myself to girls from the same place. Even today I feel normal and good in Finland but like a whale in the fashion capital Milan.

Creatively Challenged said...

i think girls being insecured about themselves is a universal thing. having said that, i'd die for your bod

Isabel said...

you have summed up my thoughts perfectly. You are beautiful though.
xoxo

Nicole Marie said...

i totally know what you mean. my sister who is only a year younger than me is literally 100 pounds. so skinny and tiny! i feel like a fat beast when i'm around her haha.
i'm trying to lay off bread. youre lucky its easier over there for you. everywhere i look theres a bakery or store with delicious looking baguettes!

AbbieBabble said...

That's no fun. At all. At least you know you're being hard on yourself?

In other news, that fruit jelly looks like so much fun to eat!

黎仁南 said...

Knowledge is power...................................................

French lover said...

Hum. I know what you mean. Quelques jours - voire quelques heures - à Tokyo et je me sentais déjà énorme et encombrante. Mais je crois qu'il faut juste essayer de ne pas te perdre de vue. De ne pas oublier que ce qui est important est TA vision de toi-même et non celle des autres lorsqu'ils voient à côté d'une petite japonaise über tiny. Idk if that makes sense. Anyhow, je sais qu'il est difficile de ne pas avoir l'impression de faire tâche lorsqu'on est un occidental au Japon, mais il faut aussi se dire que les japonais n'adulent pas les belles actrices américaines pour rien !! :)

Kattrina said...

Ugg, that would be the worst feeling. I *happily* had the opposite problem when I lived in Honduras. They love curvy women with donuts hanging over their pants. Everyone always complained that I was too thin and just being in that environment was a huge burst to my self-esteem.
Keep thinking positive thoughts!!

Susanna Banana said...

I hear ya on the weight issue. I've been dieting and exercising and I still feel like I'm not where I want to be and its so frustrating! Japanese culture is so different...being so thin is so "in" and it can make one feel like they're never skinny enough. I try to embrace my curves..I got the big hips. Girls are so pressured these days...it's crazy, isn't it?

mina said...

I felt like that the entire time I was in Tokyo. Any weight I lost in Central America was gained back (and then some) since coming to Europe. I wonder why, my diet consists of pain au chocolat and waffles.

I bought that fruit jelly once thinking that it was juice - not a pleasant experience!

P.S. Would love to post your list this Sunday, if that works for you?

seasonal lust said...

i dont think its you dear. japanese girls are obsessed with their weight. and that is an understatement. everywhere you go there are products to help girls lose weight, including stockings that 'burn calories' as you wear them. ridiculous or what? It's really not you, japan as a culture puts too much emphasis on appearance and skinniness. try to realize that this is the culture and mindset that you are being immersed in and embrace the fact that you grew up with a different set of perspectives. love.

seasonal lust said...

and it doesnt mean to be told, but you are beautiful as you are.