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Fat shaming in anime, manga, and comics

Identify and critique instances of fat shaming in various stories that are present across the different categories of anime, manga, and comic books. How/why is fat shaming in these genres harmful? How can the situation be improved?

  • I'd say an interesting example of "fat" character being represented well in manga is "Cho-cho" from the Boruto series. She's a plus-size girl with pure and unshakable confidence in herself, her body, and her lifestyle. Even when people comment on her weight rudely, she either brushes it off or takes pride in it. That said, it isn't the best representation as she sometimes seen just non-stop eating and that is sometimes the butt of a joke, but her character and personality are a huge part of her weight and body size and it's pretty rare to see plus-size characters not be complete jokes and to actually have a personality behind the fact that they eat a lot. – Dimitri 3 years ago
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  • We really need more and more fat rep in literature and film. There are real people in this world and they need to be represented. Women especially could use some role models that aren't stick thin. – Jamie 3 years ago
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  • A really important topic. The cultural reasons as to why fat-shaming may be particularly evident in anime and manga would be interesting to explore. It would also be good to address how the representation and treatment of fat characters differs between genders. – Indigo 3 years ago
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  • Oh my gosh, I was thinking about this a few days ago as a potential topic, but I'm not at all familiar with anime, so I was thinking in terms of literature. Would you consider adding literature to the discussion? For instance, you may notice that a lot of J.K. Rowling's antagonists are fat, or described with flat, toad-like, or squished features. More damning evidence: Dudley Dursley didn't become sympathetic until after he lost weight. Neville Longbottom didn't become heroic until he dropped the poundage, either. – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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  • I feel like bigger franchises that appeal to all audiences should step up to plate on this one. Disney has yet to have a fat princess (unless you're under the delusion that Moana was fat) and even in Once Upon a Time they altered the physiwue of Ursula, an originally plus sized villain. Dreamworks has been better, adding heavier-set characters such as Shrek (and later Fiona), Po from Kung Fu Panda, and Fishlegs from How to Train Your Dragon, though the only (permanent) human there was Fishlegs and he wasn't as much of a major character in comparison. Additionally, half the battle is the addition of these characters, the other half is portrayal. Showing a fat character that has the stereotypes that go along with their size is like having a female protagonist that only achieves happiness when their knight in shining armor appears. A larger character must not be defined by their size, but rather by their personality like any other character would be. – alchemicalArchmage 3 years ago
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