Is being thin really that beautiful?

Japanese Women Don't Get Old Or Fat

I was at the bookstore the other day and noticed a number of books on the topic of slimming. One was Japanese Women Don’t Get Old Or Fat and another was French Women Don’t Get Fat. Going by the titles, I seem to get the idea that thin is beautiful. But the strange thing is, every time someone sees me, they’ll remark that I’m losing weight and they seem to be insinuating something else other than looking good.

Yes, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and just the other day, I dropped my wedding ring because even my fingers are getting thinner!  I didn’t deliberately lose weight; it just happened for me when I changed my diet and when I started doing more housework.  I wish to have a bit more flesh too but it’s just not happening despite my regular meals. However, while I’m thin – I weigh 43kg by the way – I don’t think I look unhealthy. But the way it’s said to me, it sounds as if there’s something terribly wrong with me. Maybe I look like I’ve aged because losing weight seems to have that kind of effect.

So I have no idea if being thin is really beautiful?  People who don’t know me seem to envy me for my size but those who know me tend to imply that there’s something wrong with me, or my life.   And from where I come from, it seems that being fat is good because it’s a sign of a good life. Haven’t they heard of “the rich and thin”?  (I only possess one, not the other…unfortunately.)

Anyway, it’s not a good idea to lose that much weight.  Like I said, it has an aging effect especially if your cheeks suddenly go all hollow.  I think my short hair is not helping too because it shows a lot of my neck and my bony shoulders.  So I’m very sick of hearing the line “You’ve lost weight”. I want to be like the Japanese women who don’t grow old but I certainly don’t mind some weight gains.


  1. Beanie says:

    I weight 44.1kg…but I’m also 149.86cm. I want to lose a bit more weight!

  2. Florence says:

    To me being too thin will makes the person look older.But don’t be so fat also, will make you look worst.For me, I used to be 40kg, after gave birth weight maintain to 46 to 47kg, I try not to make myself over 48kg.I feel that nowadays men prefer women look a bit fleshy not fat or not thin.Then will look younger! Yeah!

  3. Cass says:

    I believe women need to have curves. I wouldnt want to look like a bamboo stick.

  4. stella says:

    i guess most people put on weight when they’re happy, at least that’s with me

    when i’m undergoing tremendous stress of any sort, my weight loss tends to be astounding – like 4-5kg in a week! during one such time, a concerned friend actually asked me to go see the doctor ‘coz he thought i may have a health condition!

  5. aichaku says:

    i’m 167cm, when i was younger i was less than 50kg, & always received complaints that i’m too thin. now i’m fatter, i receive complaints i should lose weight. :p i think people will always have some advice to give and no compliments – esp in asian culture – it’s like the way to make small talk, like talking about the weather in england? lol

  6. AtelierGal says:

    I’ve always been on the slim side, but started to have curves these past few years. I’m not complaining because looking like a toothpick is dreadful.

    I was watching a variety show and this woman in her 40s look like one and the crab pincher in my hand got me!

    As long as your BMI is ideal and you’re comfotable in your own skin, don’t care what others say.

    However, I kinda enjoy my hollow collar bone & my shoulders. Mom always say I can collect water whenever it rains lol

  7. alixana says:

    I can identify with this post! I’ve lost about 7 kg this past year ‘coz of illness, and while I can comfortably fit into a size ‘s’ now, the people who know me and love me best are all horrified. To them, I don’t look slim – I just look skeletal and unhealthy. But people who don’t know me think I look terrific. So I have two sets of totally contradictory inputs about the way I look, and it can be a bit tiresome.

    So now I’m trying to keep my weight from plummeting any further, yet at the same time, I’m trying to control it so that I don’t pile on too much. I think the important thing is to be at a healthy weight and be happy with it. Having the glow of health beats looking stick-thin any day, in my opinion. As of now, I’m close to being underweight, and that’s a clear no-no.

  8. sesame says:

    Oh, you’re very slim then! And you still want to lose more weight? ?

  9. sesame says:

    I don’t like being too thin really. I agree with what some of the ladies say here – a women should have some curves. I used to be around 48 – 50kg before giving birth and I think I look better than. Anyway, I was younger too…Heh.

  10. sesame says:

    Wow, losing 4 – 5 kg a week is astounding! I guess stress has many negative effects to our skin and also weight.

    But I’ve also seen the opposite. People who stuff themselves with food when depressed…so these are the very fat ones.

  11. sesame says:

    Haha…that’s true what you said about our culture! Somehow, compliments are less forthcoming and the focus is always on the negatives.

  12. sesame says:

    That’s funny! Collecting water from your hollow collar bone! I’ll try if I can collect some when I bathe later. Hahaha…

  13. sesame says:

    Ah…your experience with your weight issue sounds like mine! Good thing, my weight has been more or less consistent for the past few months but I do get concerned and have to ask people if I look unhealthy or ghostly because of the way they comment.

    Tiresome…yes, that’s exactly how I feel too.

  14. sesame says:

    What you said reminded me of what my hairstylist told me – he doesn’t like to hug a skinny woman cos she’s all bones!

  15. Raelynn says:

    i’m about 163cm, weighing about 43kg to 44kg on better days (last weighed was 42.9 before dinner. even i was a little horrified.

    friends who came over for my 21st (all close friends) were very concerned about my weight loss. one was saying “you look great, but i’m just concerned that it’s not healthy”. which is true, i shed a lot of weight last year due to exams, and dropped even more when i started putting braces on (2 weeks porridge diet), and i’ve been sleeping really late.

    it’s like a dilemma, gaining more weight will put more stress on my core muscles (which is weak, went for physio for that before) which means more back aches, but gaining more weight will make me look healthier to people who are concerned.

    believe it or not i actually contemplated dropping more weight. but that was before i hit the weighing scale.

  16. sesame says:

    Ah…you have some backache issues so I can understand why increased weight is stressful. But based on your height, I think you should just maintain. Maybe you can explore something in your diet that can help strengthen your bones too (if you’re not already doing so.) I have backache issues, but it’s cos of my epidural and anyway, I’m much shorter than you.

  17. BT says:

    Once my brother and my cousin told me that I look much better with plumped cheek rather than hollow(losing weight due to hectic work life). The comment from man definitely make sense. The problem is, how to lose weight on those critical parts (arm, tight..etc) only? (#_*)

  18. madelyn says:

    for me, being thin is not really a good idea.

    i’d also prefer some body fats that would enhance a woman’s curve.

    i weigh only 40 kg, and people would remark that i need to gain weight. i couldn’t agree less.

  19. Sparklewolfie says:

    After a certain age, being too thin does make you look old, I think ? My mom lost about 40 lbs (~18kg) from stress and everybody said she looked like she aged 10 years!

    “hollow” face is probably a big part of it ? I am 167cm and 61kg, so I would like to lose some weight, and since I am young and have a rounder face, it probably will not make me look older ;D

  20. coco says:

    i’m surprised to read that being fat is good – this is what my mom thinks! i thought most asian woman want to be sticky thin without flesh! at least that what i read from gossip magazine from hk and taiwan. any female stars are labeled ‘fat’ if they have a bit of flesh and labeled ‘healthy’ if their bones are showing through their skin!

    i’m not fat, but i’ll be considered somewhat overweight if i go to asian countries.

    if people lost weight they have to find out why or it could mean some underlying health issues. not trying to scare people but they should be cautious than discover anything too late.

  21. liesl says:

    Been following your blog for a while since I’m into organics and like your posts about new organic products, but I don’t think I’ve commented before! So hi =)

    I agree, some fat actually looks good on a woman. I had a friend who used to be anorexic and then got back to a healthier weight later. She was still slim but not toothpick-skinny like she was in her anorexic days. But she still felt that she was too fat, although when I compared her old and new photos, she looked much rosier and healthier in her new ones.
    I think the social pressure to be thin can affect a woman psychologically even after they get their weight back to normal! I’m wondering if it is really quite rare for a woman to not be affected by all these media images of skinny actresses, but many of the above commenters here on your blog seem to prove otherwise!

    Have you heard of the fat acceptance movement? There’re quite a few American blogs about it that you might be interested in!


  22. Dee says:

    I think people can’t tell the difference between lean and thin. I think that having a little bit of meat on you is perfectly fine. I use to be a size 0 in middle school and I hated it. I was so boney it didn’t even look healthy. There was this space between my legs that I didn’t like. I’m so happy I have thighs now! Haha.

    Plus, I like it if a woman has some meat on her face. Especially in the cheek area a bit. Makes them look so young! I’m not so fond of prominent cheekbones.

  23. Zulai Luna says:

    I would prefer to be skinny in a heart beat. For a simple reason, it’s easier to find clothes that fit and look good. But men prefer some meat on women, something juicy to hold on to…hehehe. So I guess I am ok then to be size 8.

  24. sesame says:

    I have flabby arms too – those need toning with exercises but I’m too lazy. :p

  25. sesame says:

    Yes, some curves would be lovely. I think as long as one is proportionate, that should be nice. Too thin isn’t that great looking sometimes.

  26. sesame says:

    Your comment reminded me of a recent picture I saw of Madonna with very hollow cheeks…

  27. sesame says:

    I’m not sure about other parts of Asia but it really depends…most pple I know seem to think a bit of meat is good and bony isn’t all that sexy here (especially if the person doesn’t have boobs to boot.)

  28. sesame says:

    Now that you mentioned it, I remember a teen I was once coaching – very anorexic looking…it was scary. Actually, I tried to lose weight too as a teen. I ate very little and that was a mistake. Probably why I couldn’t grow taller. ?

  29. sesame says:

    What you say reminded me of what I told my son the other day – why are your legs so skinny! I was so upset when I saw that his legs are long and thin in a recent photo we took. He eats but he’s only growing vertically!

    I used to have an issue with my thighs – they were fat and I was ashamed of them. Now, I think they look better.

  30. sesame says:

    Yeah, as long as you’re happy, don’t lose weight unnecessary. Just be healthy and exercise and you may trim some body parts that way too. ?

  31. Jen says:


    Don’t worry about your son, he’s just growing up … he’ll start growing horizontally when he’s done growing vertically ?

  32. Nadia says:

    Hi! I come by your blog every now and then and really enjoy it! I’m from Japan and I have to say, its very uncanny how the majority of Japanese girls are very thin. They say French women drink a lot of water, but I would say Japanese women drink a lot of green tea. Real green tea, none of that green tea+honey or green tea+pomegranite bottled teas you see in states and even around asia (like HK or Thailand!) I know I drink it every day, first thing in the morning and always at dinner. I even carry around a bottle in my bag so I can have a sip whenever I’m thirsty!

    Another thing is I think Japanese women are mostly petite- not just height and what not, but bone mass. I’m half european and japanese and Ive clearly inherited my fathers big bones and shoulders! My mom is a lot more dainty.

    But at the end of the day, even when you are the thinnest girl here in Japan (in a healthy way, because they just are naturally thin), I think girls here are always under the pressure to stay or become even more thinner (When they dont need to! at all!) It’s the media, the magazines and the too skinny girls (the unhealthy ones) that a lot of Japanese girls look up to. I know some girls who are in the 40kg range trying to get down to 38kg!

    Anyways, Im definitely happy for the food we eat here- not the imported cuisines but the Japanese delicacies. Like soba, sushi, soups…(alliteration much? haha) Its just so simple, healthy, light, yet super delicious ? I wish I saw more real Japanese food outside of Japan!

  33. Cass says:

    I just want to thank you for having wonderful blogs. When I couldnt sleep at night, I would re-visit those older posts which I might have missed.

  34. sesame says:

    Hi Nadia:

    Oh you lucky gal! Japan is so interesting and it’s one of the countries I’ve not been to (unless the airport counts). The food is so great and you’re right that they’re healthy and of course delicious!

    Yes, when I read the book, it seems the secret is in the green tea. I think my drinking of green tea at one stage every day helped and also eating lots of pineapples.

  35. sesame says:

    Thank you Cass for coming back here often and I’m glad the info keeps you entertained during sleepless nights. ?

  36. sesame says:

    Haha…I hope so. I always have pple commenting I should feed him more when I’m doing so. But I do like kids to be a little bit more chubby.

  37. fwy says:

    A few years ago I read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. I am the type that is born slim & no matter how much I eat, I still remains the same. I just take it as a fun read. FYI, Mireille Guiliano has never given birth before. This may be one of the reason she manages to stay slim.

    Additional info: Hilary Swank’s production company bought the film rights to French Women Don’t Get Fat.

  38. sesame says:

    You’re lucky! Oh the book is going to be made into a movie? I never read the book actually.

    I think it could be genes for some pple. Don’t think giving birth has the fattening effect for all but perhaps sometimes conceiving a child has a change on the hormones and hence, the physical change for some women.

  39. Renz says:

    I’ve always been on the slim side since young. My height about 163 and weight about 48kg. Some ppl think that I’m just nice and some think that I’m skinny. But I don’t keep on a diet, and just eat whatever I want, I think its mainly because of my active lifestyle thus my weight reminds pretty constant. (I’m an addict to chocolates!!).

    However, being skinny/slim isn’t that all good. I mean yeah you can fit easily into clothes, but you don’t really fill them out (i look like a toothpick), and thus you end up looking more like a clothes hanger than a bodylicious babe. =p. Also, most people comment that I look better with some weight on. Hence skinny/thin doesn’t mean beautiful, sometimes with some fat, you’ll look younger and gorgeous as well! Just be confident with who you are.

  40. sesame says:

    Yes, agreed. I think model thin isn’t always that great looking. A bit of fats won’t do any harm.

  41. eli says:

    I think it’s hypocritical when people say a “real” woman should have curves. Sorry, but curves do not a real woman make! A real woman come in any shape and’s like saying a real man should look like a gym trainer just because that’s the “ideal” body image.

    What about the ladies who are thin naturally, should we punish them for being thin? Or the ladies who are more than curvy, they are fat? While it’s important to be healthy, people should be given the choice whether they want to be skinny or put on more weight, as long as it’s not unhealthy or ridiculous-looking. Just because someone wants to cut back a few pounds means she’s not a “real” woman is total bull.. nothing wrong with being thin! But meat on the face helps to make one look younger, that’s true.

  42. Suz says:

    THIN is not always attractive or beautiful…but media has made it so that an average size girl who is size 8 or 10…is considered…obese or fat…in which case you have girls like me and younger wanting to be skinny at all cost…it’s sad but our society…allows the media to “brainwash” us into thinking it’s okay to be overly skinny & we should try to be skinny…I don’t mind being toned and not having fat around all my body…thats excess but I do mind being boney…where there is no fat whatsoever!!

  43. holly says:

    I have been thin my whole life & have heard the meanest comments from people, who seem to be almost pissed off because of my size, even though I tried in vain to gain weight. Recently I discovered a condition that I have, and that’s the reason why I was so slim. Luckily, I’ll be ok, and I’m hoping to gain weight finally. For now, I just started drinking Boost Plus, because it’s supposed to help with weight gain when one has lost weight or has a medical condition. But for all those people who make negative comments, I would like to say that sometimes you can’t help being skinny, and to point it out to a thin person isn’t very nice. I would love to have some curves, but just because I don’t have any, doesn’t mean I’m not a complete woman. Magazines need to start showing average weight woman and larger women in their fashion spreads. By only showcasing thin models, it sets up an ideal that many women can’t reach, and besides, it’s not a healthy ideal anyway. Being skin & bones is not fun, and it doesn’t mean you have a perfect life just because you’re a size 0.

  44. sesame says:

    I apologize if some of the comments about women having curves came across as offending. It’s not meant to put down women who are slim for sure. You’re right…that it’s a personal choice. There is no ideal shape for all and it’s up to the comfort level of the individual. Also, in certain cultures like ours here, some of the older folks associate women with curves being more “productive” in the procreation dept. Haha…a little ridiculous but that’s how it is here.

    I think it’s more important that one looks proportionate and healthy.

  45. sesame says:

    I think increasingly there’s bad press about being too thin too so hopefully that’ll curb some of the damages. Funny when I was younger, I wanted how I look now but now that I’m older, I seem to think that being a little fatter would make me look better.

  46. sesame says:

    I’m tired of people commenting on my weight too so I can understand how you feel. It irks me but I just brush it off. Funny people seem to be more sensitive when someone is fat or at least, that’s how I feel. They won’t go round saying “hey, you’ve put on some much weight!” but it seems more acceptable for them to comment about people losing weight or being thin.

  47. Jyoan says:

    I think we need enough fats to look good. Hollow cheeks really makes one look older. Moreover, fats gives one smoother skin, and a nice curve. And the curve is the most important, imo. I do think that thin is beautiful, but not underweight. Thin is definitely better than being fat no matter how I look at this beauty and weight issue… …

  48. Angelicia says:

    hey,I come across this but I find it is ridiculous that asians think that healthy weight or good weight is under 50kg. I am 53kg myself and I do not find myself fat. The reason is because I find that skinny girls are not beautiful at all.
    So what they are skinny? it does not mean they are beautiful. Beautiful girls should have MEAT. Alright, if you are super skinny .. you will realise almost all your fats are gone. You might even need a smaller size bra or panty. That is pathetic.

    Girls with meat is much more attractive because no matter what clothes you wear,you fit in it.
    I do not mean super fat but just right. Not too fat,not too skinny.
    I eat alot but I do exercise 3 times a week. I do yoga too.
    And I still keep in shape despite my weight is 53kg.

    I believe is not about your weight,but is about how you take care of yourself.

  49. sesame says:

    I think it’s important to be proportionate. I’m quite short so the max I can go is about 52kg.

  50. Felicia says:

    Wow :O I knew that asian women were short and thin, but I never thought that they were this thin :’O
    Maybe it’s because I’m just a teen and I don’t know much about most stuff, but I am 16 years and weigh 60kg. And people always tell me I’m skinny! Around here I am just normal. (Also I am 171 cm tall, that makes a difference too)
    40 kg?! That’s just a tiny bit more than my little sister who is 11!

    I would guess that you weigh less because of the diet though. I live in Scandinavia, where meat and potatoes and a lot of fat foods are a normal part of our dinners. It probably isn’t in asia. And the enviroment of course. And genes I guess.

    Anyway: I am naturally skinny, but if I could I would love to gain some weight so that I could have more curves. But sadly I was born with genes that never make me gain anything, no matter how much I eat. So I never gain any meat on my bones. But I would love to have ’em curves. I truly believe that curvy women are prettier. Bootylicious you might say ?

    I don’t get this ‘I-gotta-be-skinny’-mania. There is nothing really special about skinny women. Their clothes dont fit as good and they almost look scary. Maybe I think this because I know what I look like and I would rather be a little rounder ?

  51. sesame says:

    *sigh* I recently lost more weight due to a detox session. Truth is, I would like to gain back some weight but it seems tough. And you’re right that the diet also makes a difference. I guess the bone mass too.

  52. pinkpretty says:

    hi sesame! Really i agree with your post. I like to be little bit flesy. but many of my friends like to be slim. They used to say i m fat. i dont think so. i m 51kg and 157cm height. am i?
    pinkpretty last post is: Beautiful Bridal Bangles

  53. gobi says:

    i am not worry about my weight any time because i am only 50 k.g, please tell me , how to increase , i have tried a lot, i am 21 years old, in this age others has 60 k.g. at least near my area boys what i m not.

  54. gobi says:

    i am not worry about my weight any time because i am only 50 k.g, please tell me , how to increase , i have tried a lot, i am 21 years old, in this age others has 60 k.g. at least near my area boys what i m not.

  55. Sesame says:

    No, that doesn’t sound fat at all. Don’t worry too much about what your friends say…if you’re comfortable, that’s good enough. I find that some people comment negatively about others to feel good about themselves.

  56. Sesame says:

    Hard to say…I think snacking a lot in between meals and not moving too much will help increase weight. ?

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