TSS had the chance to interview several plus-size models from GLAPOCHA magazine, including Mama models!
Today, let us introduce you to MAYU, one of the mama model who wants to share plus-size fashion in Japan and her life as a plus-size mama model with her 5-year old son with the world!
1. First of all, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Mayu, I have a 5-year-old son and I’m a Plus-size Mama model!
2. Since when are you a plus-size model and how did you become a model ?
I participated in the Glapocha audition in January  and was selected. I wanted to become a model long before that, because after I got married and my son was born, I didn’t really have time for myself anymore because I had to focus on my family and my home. I wanted to be with myself by wearing kawaii and fashionable clothes even though I became a mother because I love it. I love being happy, doing what I love and I want to be an example for other moms. So that’s how I became a role model!
3. Is there a difference between curvy and plus size to you?
It’s really a difficult question! For me plus-size has a positive image that we have of ourselves and put forward on Instagram, but the terms fukuyoka/pocchari in Japan are really about appearance. I think like Shinomama [coming soon] that it’s a personal definition, and everyone can find a word that fits them.
4. Have you undergone the dictates of thinness in your life?
Yes, and much more in Japan than abroad! When I was on my honeymoon in Guam [American island in the Pacific Ocean], I was walking around in a bikini and some Japanese kids there at the time pointed at me and made fun of me and said I was fat. I like my body and that’s why I bought a bikini, I really remember those Japanese kids. I really think that Japanese people have very strict criteria about thinness.
5. Have you had any comments about your weight from your parents? As well as from the school environment?
Personally, my parents never gave me any particular remarks. I was only 40kgs until middle school, and it was after that when I started eating a lot of sweets *laughs*. It was more my grandparents who would make remarks about my weight.
6. You are mom and models, can you manage both ? What do your children think about the fact that you are model ?
At home, my husband and child really support me. We are very united and we are always together. They had come to support me during the auditions and it really touched me. When I was still hesitating to participate, my husband would just tell me: “You can still participate, don’t put pressure on yourself”, and I think that’s why I succeeded. Even my son is having fun imitating my poses, accompanying and supporting me, and I am very grateful.
7. Should there be more representation of mama models for you?
As Shinomama was saying [coming soon], I experienced this pressure of marriage and family before I became a Mama model. Since I had this opportunity to become a model, my world has really expanded, people can understand me, and share my experiences.
8. What are the most common stereotypes about plus-size people?
Stereotypes often depend on men and women as well. Men are more likely to think that either one is thin/fine or one is pocchari.
9. Do you have models or inspiration ?
Momoka Ai-san [GLAPOCHA’s founder] ! As well as our seniors from Glapocha. They are so beautiful and professional, they are really models in their ways of posing and parading.
10. Do you have any advice for girls who would like to be more confident with themselves?
You shouldn’t hesitate to be positive with yourself. For example, if I think I look cute in this outfit, I have to tell myself that. By removing the negative from my life, and with the help of my son and husband who will also tell me that I am cute, I become much more positive.
11. What are your favorite fashion and beauty brands ?
For shopping, I buy whenever I find a nice garment. I really like H&M and ZARA. For cosmetics, I really like Korean brands like CLIO.
12. Do you have a message for people overseas who are plus-size, interested in plus-size or are not familiar with this category?
As Mikuru mentioned [coming soon], it’s a big dream I have but I see more and more brands overseas putting out plus-size models like the brands I love (ZARA and H&M), and I dream of modeling for those brands. Many plus-size models are also plus-size models, and I would love to do collaborations with them.