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Japanese React to a Plus Size Belle

Jade Jones, a plus-size, queer black woman plays Belle in a stage production of "Beauty and the Beast" and Japanese-speaking users on Twitter and in forums are voicing their opinions.

ボディポジティブ プラスサイズ美女と野獣

This article from MSNBC trended on Japanese Twitter this week. Unfortunately, as things usually go with Twitter a lot of the comments are negative. The worst of the trending reactions are to Jones' skin tone and weight, with users calling this stage performance "野獣と野獣" ("Beast and the Beast").

Like many other countries, beauty standards in Japan are quite rigid and generally praise very slim women with pale skin. Colorism, racism, and prejudice against overweight people is every you look online.

それを現代風に読み替えるという視点で黒人役者抜擢も理解できる。 でもさ、あえてプラスサイズにする必要あるのかな

(You can understand the selection of black actors from the perspective of translating it into a modern style. But I wonder if it is necessary to make it a plus size)

プラスサイズって言葉初めて聞いたけど要するにデブって事か。デブのプリンセスが居ても良いと思うが美女と野獣ってタイトルに違和感が。 エマワトソンの美しさが際立つな。
ボディポジティブ プラスサイズ美女と野獣

(If you want to make a fat, black princess, you should make an original princess.)


(The image of Belle is ruined. I wish I could make a new black plus-size princess.)

まさかね... プラスサイズ......美女と野獣...美女?? いや野獣と野獣か?

No way ... plus size ... Beauty and the Beast ... beauty? No. The beast and the beast?"

Many tweets and forums have long threads of users agreeing that plus-size women aren't beautiful and that black women should not play roles "originally intended for white women". Some users go so far as to make extremely racist remarks.

There are people who support having different ethnicities and body types playing roles made popular by thin/Caucasian actors, however, the overall reaction to Jones really exposed how many people think.

Jade Jones is a beautiful, talented actress (and a great singer)! While not surprising, I'm sad to see the negative reactions to this beautiful Belle.


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