Why are anime characters always so skinny? I mean, it could be because skinny people are just easier to draw. Or is it something deeper? Something a bit more real? Something like being slim equals being beautiful in many people’s minds.
In episode 4 of the original Sailor Moon anime, Usagi apparently puts on some weight and decides to go on a diet. But oh my glob, look at her! She is as skinny as a pole. To add insult to injury, Luna makes fun of Usagi by drawing a chubby version of her. I really thought that was mean of her.
In Kitchen Princess, supermodel Akane Kishida goes to extreme measures to start losing weight. She continues this unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle until Najika makes Akane her Grandmother’s peach cobbler and gets her to realize that she’s beautiful the way she is. But the reality isn’t always like that. Most girls(and even guys) don’t have the support they need.
In the end, is being thin a bad thing? No, of course not. But in the anime society, it can at times go to an extreme.
Related: Am I Ugly?
Sometimes looking at anime characters can have as much damage as looking through the photo-shopped versions of people in magazines. Why? Sure, it might be easier for the animators to draw but we also have to remember that anime isn’t reality. As much as we would love that to be so. The people in magazines are airbrushed to show the even skin tone, the large eyes and slim, “perfect” body.
Anime shows a world where that anime characters always skinny. But we have to be careful with that. The desire to be thin can be a strong and dangerous emotion. I’m 26 now but have dealt with an eating disorder since I was 15. That wasn’t even the first time that I was told that I was fat. And I wasn’t at all. I was 5 feet 7 inches and weighed 120 for most of my life. I was UNDERWEIGHT for my height but a few comments made me feel fat and disgusting. So, I became a binge eater. I would go a day or two eating nothing but maybe a cracker or two and then stuff my face. After all that, it would of course make me sick so I would purge it out.
Even now, I struggle with my eating. I hide my body beneath baggy shirts and hoodies. The anxiety of eating out with friends makes me sick so I’ll usually just avoid people and places. Which in turns means I don’t get out much. But that’s a whole other can of worms.
Eating disorders are more common than they should be. And with the anime characters that we admire and look up to, that can at times causes us to try to look more like them than is physically possible. I mean, anime is made to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. That’s how they’re drawn. But in reality, if we were that size, we would be no bigger than a stick and couldn’t even hold our heads up.
Now that’s a scary image.
Related: Why are Anime Girls Always Dieting
Rai’s article from Rai’s Anime Blog is where I got my idea for this article in the first place! Go check out her awesome blog!
What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!