TSS had the chance to interview many GLAPOCHA -plus-size Models!
Today, let us introduce you to KURISU, one of the women who wants to share plus-size fashion in Japan with the world. Of mixed Thai and Japanese heritage, she talks about the influence of her past and how she builds herself as a young woman.
1. First of all, could you introduce yourself ?
My name is Kurisu, and that as amazing as it may sound, it’s my real first name which is also spelled in kanji! I’ve been with Glapocha for 1 year now, and the first time I heard about this magazine was on Twitter. I came across a picture and the models were glowing, so I tried the auditions. I got in and have been a model for the past year.
2. How would you define being plus-size in Japan ?
When I was a kid, I was really very chubby and I was laughed at a lot. Personally, I don’t eat a lot and drink a lot of water, but I’m still fat and round in shape. I would very much like people to open their eyes to this so that everyone can live more easily. All people are different, there are big, small, thin.
Very often in stores, clothing is in sizes M or L, and large sizes are often found without suitable clothing. We would love to be able to wear pretty clothes like people wearing sizes S, M or L and we would love to see the plus sizes offered. The same goes for the color, because for the more normal sizes there is a lot, and for the plus-size clothes there is often only black or brown. I would really like for society to change and for us to have nice clothes with nice colors.
3. What does body positive means for you ?
Whether it’s having shapes, particular clothes or scars for example, the attention is too focused on people, and we all tend to want to hide from other people’s eyes. Before I knew the body positive, I only wanted to hide my curves by wearing loose clothes. When I saw the plus-size models, I remember thinking: “Ah, is it possible to wear this kind of skirt with shapes?” or “Can I show myself like this in front of others?”
I think that the body positive is not yet widespread enough in Japan because we are still too much concerned about the look of the others. People won’t dare to wear the clothes they want and they will get used to this situation, and I personally know people like that. Fortunately, more and more people are spreading this movement, and many are starting to have fun and wear the clothes they like. It’s important for everyone to remember that no matter what clothes you wear, they’re going to fit well and you’re going to look adorable! It’s our duty as plus-size models to spread this way of thinking.
4. Has modeling had a big impact on your personal life?
I often post pictures on Instagram, and there was a girl who said to me, “I’d like to wear this kind of clothing too!”. I recommended a store to her, and she bought clothes in her size there. I think that as a model, we should pass on things like that. When this girl thanked me, I felt so happy inside. I think there are still a lot of people who don’t dare to try different clothes, but I really think that fashion should not depend on the shape of one’s body. Seeing that I passed that on to this person, I was really happy.
5. Did you get different looks because you are half?
When I was in high school, boys used to make fun of me when I wore a skirt for example and they used to insult me about my appearance. On top of that, I got a lot of nasty remarks like “Go home” or “Get out of the country”.
6. Do you think social media has played a part in the way people view models of different sizes and races?
Having social networks is a chance to receive kind comments of encouragement, and seek information from many people, and I think they are indispensable.
7. Do you have any role models or inspirations?
When I was not confident, I remember being inspired by a South Korean person who also does music and dance, but I forgot her name [ed. note: probably Hwasa from the South Korean group MAMAMOO]. I remember her strong impact because her teacher at school told her that she could not appear on TV because of her weight. He told her that she was good and talented, but that she was not cute, and that she could not pass the auditions. She went home crying, and as she thought about whether or not she was cute, she decided to create a new standard of beauty. So she showed that she was beautiful in her own way, passed the auditions and is now known all over the world.
It made me think about the fact that the criteria of beauty were the same in Japan as in Korea: you have to be thin and have a small face. On the contrary, this woman asserts herself as she is and that’s her beauty.
In Japan, Watanabe Naomi also expresses herself freely, whether it is with her clothes, the color of her hair or her make-up.
8. Do you have a message for people abroad who are plus-size, who are interested or don't know about this category?
Beauty doesn’t have to be defined by society, decide to be beautiful yourself! Be confident in yourself and live happily.