Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all? aka. Crimson talks a bit about Body Type

Hey guys! Here I am again, popping in for one post this month. I know, tragic right? Well, if anyone is even out there wondering (lol)

For today’s post I wanted to write a bit about this month’s OWLS topic:

“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”

When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture mediums that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.

Also, as an FYI, this post is not part of the official tour. But if anyone is curious, these were the official stops so if you haven’t checked these out, definately do so!

1: Paradise Kiss & Self Confidence/Self Acceptance!!! by Shay (Anime Reviewer Girl)

3: Beauty Within the Monster in “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” by Arria Cross (Fujinsei)

5: OWLS Blog Tour: Brotherhood FInal Fantasy XV – Listen to Your Body by Matt (Matt-in-the-Hat)

7: [OWLS Blog Tour] Self-Image in Fruits Basket by Zoe (Let’s Talk Anime)

10: [OWLS Blog Tour]: Mob Psycho & Being Your Own Worst Enemy by Hazelyn (Heyitszel)

12: Heroes Meeting Humanity Expectation by Lita (Lita Kino Anime Corner)

14: [OWLS Blog Tour] Not All Heroes Wear Capes: How A Quirkless Kid Became a Hero by Naja (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero)

15: Elfen Lied – Accepting Every Part of Yourself, Good and Bad by Rai (Rai’s Anime Blog)

17:  Time of EVE Welcomes Impartiality Through Reflection | OWLS “Mirrors”  by Takuto (Takuto’s Anime Cafe)

19: Mirrors in Wandering Son: Navigating Visual Gender Norms [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mirrors] by Carla (Pop Culture Literary)

21: Mirrors Within The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Andrealinia (All Andrealinia)

24: OWLS: “A Mirror Image Of Me”—Catcalling & Physical Beauty In Kiss Him, Not Me by LynLyn (Just Something About LynLyn)

26: OWLS Blog Tour: Reflections on Peach Girl by Gigi (Animepalooza)

28: OWLS July Tour: You, The Mirror, and Haruhi Fujioka by Katrina Sade (Grimm Girl)

31: Fujita Tatara said: “I have to change!” by Moonid (Random Garage)

Now then, I just wanted to talk a bit about this because I find physical appearances to be something I can be passionate about. I know I mentioned in the Colors Blog Tour that race wasn’t something I really cared for in media. Physical appearances, however, are and if there’s something in the show that purposefully shames a bigger person, I take issue with it. I’ll stop watching the show and will blacklist it in my mind, never to be seen by moi


One such case was with Kiss Him Not Me. Now I’m not going to go too much into this anime because I didn’t make it past the first episode (so I don’t really feel qualified), but I know a few people were asking why I didn’t like it because hello, the main character is a fujoshi! How can I not resist the urge to check it out? Well, to start I couldn’t’ resist, I did check it out but I just didn’t like it. Why?

My answer: I didn’t like how the whole being chubby was portrayed in the first few minutes of the show. We got to follow Serinuma during school and saw that she was (so to speak) a type of outcast. She had a best friend who reveled in the pleasures of pairing up her classmates into gay relationships (come on, who doesn’t do this?) but the “hot guys” of the school rarely paid any attention to her (and if they did, it wasn’t nice, I believe she also gets whacked during gym)

But it wasn’t just how superficial all the guys around her were that angered me. It was how she sounded before and after her transformation that bothered me (like she couldn’t talk around her body fat vs. cute and airy when she’s skinny), the way she was finally deemed to have huge cute eyes only after she lost the chubby cheeks, and the apparent lip gloss on her lips (and why did she suddenly decide not to wear glasses after?)

I have a feeling that the show is meant to be funny but those first few minutes of episode one reminded me that people have a certain image of what it means to be “fat”. This was the first time I’d seen this in an anime and it was pretty disappointing. Of course, in terms of self-confidence, I hear Lyn has a better post about Serinuma (so check it out!)


And speaking of shows I haven’t watched but that I do know about. I really like the idea of the male love interest not being your typical bishounen, which Ore Monogatari explored. It’s the first time I see something like this but alas, that’s all I can say about it. I do have it on my to-watch list but romance is just not my cup of tea (unless it involves two guys)


And anime isn’t the only time I’ve seen this idea of the main character losing weight and only then becoming desirable. In fact, I think the first time I encountered this was when I was a kid watching telenovelas with my family. There used to be this show called Llena de amor (Filled with love, though the image there says Fill me with love) where the main character is considerably bigger than everyone else (who are haughty upper class people). The only person who isn’t is her cousin who she starts to fall in love with and I really thought it was cute because he always looked past her weight


He would hang out with her, they’d do hilarious things, and in the end he began to love her regardless, but it couldn’t end like that. She had to lose weight for her to apparently meet her Happily Ever After (there was this whole drama stuff that I hardly remember at this point involved as well) and I don’t particularly like that message. That you apparently need to be a size 0 to be able to win the hot guy and be loved and accepted by others? No.

It shouldn’t matter how small or big you are, how well you keep yourself or not. It’s going to sound so cliche but what matters is the personality, who the individual is on the inside


One movie that I watched recently that I think fits the body type thing I’m going for is Paraíso (Paradise). I really liked this movie because even though Carmen and Alfredo are overweight, they are portrayed as normal. They have dreams and aspirations, they have jobs and loving families, they love each other, they have a healthy sex life, and they just are. They live in their Happily Ever After…or at least until society makes its ugly appearance

In this movie, Carmen and Alfredo end up moving to the city because Alfredo got a good position at his job that required him to do so. When they end up at his job’s annual party, Carmen is stunned at the bullying her husband and she are being subjected to

In lieu of this, Carmen decides that she’s going to start a diet and has Alfredo be part of it, but as she does this she realizes that the whole weight loss issue is starting to become the third wheel in her marriage. Everywhere she goes weight loss propaganda haunts her. Even Alfredo begins to haunt her as he loses weight and she gains and I think this is a realistic portrayal (as I’ve done the whole buddy weight loss plan and found myself in Carmen’s position of gaining instead of losing)

And I especially liked how at the end of this movie, Carmen realizes she’s okay where she is. She stops doing the weight loss program and regains the confidence she lost when she heard the cutting remarks about Alfredo’s and her body type. In this story Carmen didn’t have to lose weight and wear a tight dress to finally regain her Happily Ever After. She just had to realize that her body type was already right


Also kudos to this show for using actors who don’t fit the mold of a perfect body. In Llena de amor, the actress is actually rather thin and they just fill her up, which is a whole other issue with body type, attractiveness, and media. If you guys ever notice, a lot of the heavier people in shows are minor characters or older people or just not the main characters

I think right now we’re obsessed with smaller bodies because that’s what was “in” before (not that it isn’t still, but we’re getting improvements). It’s something stuck in our heads and even though we’ve moved from ‘lose weight to get the hot partner’ to ‘lose weight to become healthy’ the whole less weight = desirability is still there

I know this morning my mom had the TV on and I was listening to this Yes you can program where a woman weighed 180 pounds and they made it seem like that was a lot. I don’t usually know what certain weights are but 180 is familiar to me because I fall around that area and when I heard this guy make it out to be terrible it made me angry. Not because it felt like a personal insult but because out somewhere there might be someone taking this to heart. They might believe that 180 pounds is a terrible weight and that they need to do something to gain acceptance

Because I’ve been reading a bit more books I’ve heard about diversity in books, where the public is basically saying they want more stories exploring different religions and mythologies, exploring different sexualities, starring different race main characters, and people with disabilities. I also think that body type should be one of those things because usually the main characters are on the thinner side (when you see those adaptations). Personally I don’t want stories where the characters struggle with their body type, I just want a story where being a bit bigger isn’t an issue

I know that there are webcomics out now that are starting to bring different body types to the forefront, even some celebrities finally posting their not perfect bodies for the public to see that it’s not all about being thin. Even music is starting to delve into certain topics. A favorite of mine right now is Most Girls

While this song doesn’t specifically talk about body types, it talks about confidence and how everyone is different, how it shouldn’t matter which type you chose to be. That the important part is to be comfortable with your body

You know some days you feel so good in your own skin
But it’s okay if you wanna change the body that you came in
‘Cause you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen

Now, I’ve mostly been talking about one end of the spectrum and I don’t want to make it seem like being thin and having a model’s body is all sunshine and rainbows. Because it’s not. People who are seen as desirable also have their own hardships, both men and women. I’ve seen guys holler at girls because they look good and wear short shorts or something showing cleavage. And sometimes some women like this attention, possibly even seek it but that doesn’t mean a guy can just do this. Not everyone wants it and you can’t just assume, especially if the attention is coming from a stranger. Likewise, a guy shouldn’t be sexually harassed if he works out and has a six pack or has a pretty lean body

Which brings me to think that what’s wrong is our mentality and society is only fueling it. We need to respect every body type, not cross lines into harassment or be demeaning. I would love to get rid of labels like Plus Size because that separates us, shames certain bodies. I also like to think that we’re making progress


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