As the spotlight of plus-size fashion get bigger and brighter in Japan, influenceurs seem to be coming out of the woodwork everyday.Magazine, Tv apparition, Pop-up store and fashion show start to grow up. TSS team get the best way to introduce some of the Producers, models and influencers of the poccha world in Japan.
Let’s us introduce Momoka Ai one of the people who want to show plus-size fashion in Japan with the world.
- First of all, could you introduce yourself ?
I’m Momoka Ai, a plus-size model! Nice to meet you.
- You introduce yourself as Neo Poccha on YouTube, what does that mean?
I’m surprised you saw my Youtube channel, thank you very much! Unlike pocchari (chubby) people in Japan who want to hide their bodies, neo poccha are people who wear bright colors like neon without hiding their bodies: neo poccha is therefore the contraction of neon and pocchari.
- Why did you decide to become a model and create your own event?
The world of plus sizes in Japan is still very narrow. I wanted to become a tall model so that people like me would be more recognized by people with all body types, and make people discover the pocchari culture.
Concerning the event I organize, it is a fashion show dedicated to tall people, which takes place twice a year, in spring and autumn. There was no large size fashion show in Japan. There was a lot of fashion shows for the thin people and no collection for the tall people. That’s why even if the tall people came to watch the fashion shows, they couldn’t really have fun and visualize themselves buying these clothes.
That’s why I figured that since there were no large size runway shows, why not create one? So I created my own fashion show in 2017.
- How would you define being plus size in Japan?
The image we are sending back is still narrow compared to people of “normal” weight. People still don’t know that pocchari exist and that plus-size fashion exists. We are a minority trying to develop in Japan.
Is the term pocchari (round) positive or negative compared to the term plus-size for you?
The term pocchari has changed in a positive sense. It used to be used in a very negative sense to talk about people who couldn’t keep a good figure. But thanks to famous people like Watanabe Naomi, the image of the plus-sizes has improved. However, the term is positive if it is used by girls or women; but if it is used by young men or men, it is often equivalent to the term debu (fat) to refer to people who are outside the normal clothing sizes (S, M and L).
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- Is there a difference between curvy and plus size to you?
There’s a difference for me! The term large size is popular all over the world, but I think it overemphasizes the differences between people’s sizes: thin, normal, large…
On the contrary, I think that the term round emphasizes the beauty of each person’s curves, which is why I prefer to use the term round rather than tall.
- Have you been subjected to the dictates of thinness?
It’s true that I’ve been called “fat” many times, even today in the comments of my Youtube channel. For example, when I talk about makeup or fashion, I get a lot of comments about the fact that I can’t buy the same sizes as normal people.
But I’m not paying attention! Even though I receive these comments, I consider that the values are different for everyone, as is the definition of beauty. Even if you try, it’s impossible to satisfy the whole world. That’s why I don’t pay attention to it, and I prefer to be satisfied with myself. I don’t feel any pressure at all.
- Could you talk to us about Peach Spice?
Peach Spice is a shop that I created that offers unique dresses and pieces from abroad such as France, the United States and China. It is currently under construction!
Plus-size people generally want to hide their bodies with dark colored clothes that are found a lot in Japan, with very little cute design. That’s why I launched this shop which offers very colorful clothes for plus-size people in Japan.
- Do you have models or inspiration?
If I had to pick a Japanese person, it would be Watanabe Naomi. She is now known all over the world and has received a lot of criticism for its weight, but it is now very much linked to the Gucci brand and spreads a lot of positivity, which is why I admire her very much.
If I had to choose one person abroad, I would choose Iskra. She puts a lot of emphasis on the beauty of her round shapes and I like her very much. I watch her instagram a lot.
- Do you have favorite beauty or fashion brands ?
Among the Japanese brands that I like, there is CHUBBY CURVY from the Hankyu mall which offers a lot of nice clothes. There is also the Myuusha brand which offers clothes in one size, very practical for those who don’t fit into “normal” sizes.
- Do you have any advice for girls who would like to be more confident with themselves?
I’ve already tried to talk about it in my Youtube lives but it’s a complicated subject *laughs*. I believe that self-confidence is not obtained from someone, but is obtained by believing in oneself. It’s obvious that if we evolve in an environment where we are always told that we are cute, we will increase our self-confidence, unlike if we were in an environment where we are always told hurtful things. But even though we often hear that we’re cute, I think it takes more than that to have self-confidence. You also need to receive love from your parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and cherish their words to gain self-confidence.
Of course, there were times when I didn’t have confidence in myself, but now that I’m surrounded by people who are important to me, I believe in myself.
- Do you have any clothing advice for plus size women?
I think there are a lot of tall young women in Japan who don’t trust her and don’t think they have an interest in fashion. If you live near Tokyo, there are stores dedicated to large sizes. Even if you don’t live in Tokyo, colorful fashion or the fashion you like can help you feel confident. The people who will see you with pretty clothes will be inspired by you. That’s why I recommend you like the clothes you’re wearing.
- Do you know that there are events in Europe and abroad about Japanese culture and fashion?
I’ve already heard about Japan Expo!
- Would you like to be invited and represent plus size fashion ?
With great pleasure! Even though I live in Japan, I love the fashion and beauty of other countries and it would be a pleasure for me to participate!
- Do you have a message for your french fans who follow you?
Even if we don’t live in the same countries, fashion, make-up and self-esteem are universal. Let’s love and have fun together!
Momoka Ai have a Youtube Channel if you want Japan fashion recommandation and Lifestyle ! Let’s go to follow her !
Also she is hyperactive on Instagram !