That time I had a Breakdown in the Levi’s Changing Room in Rural Japan

Somehow I managed to make it all the way through puberty without body-image issues. Or, more specifically, weight related body-image issues.

With frizzy hair, bad acne, and braces I knew I wasn’t pretty, but I always kind of assumed my personality made up for it.

If I could just get the person alone and work my awkward “word magic” on them, there might be a chance of them actually liking me. Which sounds weird actually typing it out, but I swear it worked.

I don't have many photos from that time (obviously). But this was when I was 13.

I don’t have many photos from that time (obviously). But this was when I was 14.

Still, by some miracle (and some excellent parenting), I never struggled with accepting my weight. I weighed what I weighed – and that was it. I don’t drink sugary drinks, exercise a couple times a week, and make sure to eat healthily. I never developed an eating disorder, try extreme dieting, or thought I was fat.

Moving to Japan changed that.

A lot.

I had one of the lowest points last week, at a Levi’s at the Premium Outlets in Ibaraki (rural Japan).

And by “lowest points” I mean I curled up into a ball in the changing room and cried because it was the third store we had visited that afternoon and I couldn’t find a single pair of jeans that actually fit me.

At this Levi’s outlet store, the largest jean size they had on display was a size 25. Which is somewhere between a US size 2 and 4.

I grabbed a couple pairs of stretchy 25 jeans and hoped for the best. None of them fit.

Because I have a butt. 

Embarrassed, I sent my husband off to ask if they had any bigger sizes on any of the jeans. He came back with a couple pairs of 26 (US size 6), one size 27, and one size 28 (US size 8).

After trying (and failing) with a couple of the pairs, I just… broke.

I was done.

Full on sobbing behind the tiny curtain in the Levi’s changing room. Because this was the third store we had been to (Forever 21 and another Japanese apparel shop) that didn’t have anything that went over my hips.

I’m so tired of always feeling fat, ugly, and out-of-place when I’m out in public. I don’t wear makeup enough (most companies in Japan require their female employees to wear makeup every single day). I’m loud. I’m not particularly graceful. I’m boyish. And apparently, by Japanese standards, I’m overweight too.

I’m tired of walking into a store and knowing that I probably can’t fit into 80% of the stuff on the racks because at 5’6 (168cm) and 125lbs (56 kg) I’m simply too large to wear all those “free size” shirts, dresses, and skirts in most apparel stores.

And if I’m being honest… I don’t think I could have survived in Japan for this long if I was single. I’m not a strong person. I’m not nearly as strong as you give me credit for. 

I can look into the mirror every morning and be like “Hey beautiful, how you doing~?” but that only goes so far. I know it sounds horrible, but I also need a bit of outside validation. Thankfully, my husband is great at giving said outside validation.

I might live in a country where the majority of men thing I am boyish, loud, obnoxious, overweight, and/or ugly (and many of said men have vocalized those thoughts to either me or my husband) – but I’m married to rare breed who doesn’t. Whew.

ryosuke mineta and grace buchele mineta couple


But then on like the 10th pair of jeans I tried on at Levi’s I found one that fit over my hips.

And my butt.

So I bought two pairs of it – and cut one pair into shorts the next day at home.

Life got a little better. Now all I need is to be uber-careful and make those last another two years, so I don’t have to go jeans shopping again.

I still get overwhelmed sometimes, especially when I’m downtown in the uber-trendy places in Tokyo. But as I talked about in this comic, my husband likes my fashion style better.

And I like my butt.

It is a very pretty butt.

I got a new pair of running/hiking leggings that I adore~

I got a new pair of running/hiking leggings that I adore~

I refuse to let Japan give me (any more) body image issues. I’m freaking awesome the way I am, even if I can’t buy jeans in my size.

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

148 Comments on That time I had a Breakdown in the Levi’s Changing Room in Rural Japan

  1. I have never been to japan before so I can’t say much. When I think Japanese clothes and such, I think these are the regular size that Japanese are. So I try not to stress to much over it, but i feel you on this.

  2. You’re skinny. Period :) I think the problem is rather that most shops in Japan only provide short size, or clothes for tall women with a limited number of sewing patterns… and that’s it. Don’t worry too much about that unimportant stuff and enjoy your life ;)

  3. Normal is different for each individual! You are tiny, Grace! 125 lbs. at 5.6″ is quite impressive. I’m 5.4 and when I weigh 155 my hip bones and ribs noticeably stick out–and I still had a butt. Can you order Levis online from Amazon? When I lived overseas family and friends mailed me things that I needed and couldn’t get. Just ask!

  4. Frederick // 5 March, 2016 at 10:24 am //

    Good post, Grace. I had a buddy from Asia and he was 5’4″ or 5’5″. We were in college attending a formal event. He didn’t bring his suit from from Asia so he went to a mall trying to buy one. He came back very embarrassed saying he had to go to the kids section because, despite his height, he was considered very skinny, about 115 pounds. There is no suit on the men’s section he could hold up. Poor fella.

  5. Hello Grace. I’ve just discovered your videos due to dreaming about visiting Japan in my 3rd year of studying for a degree that has nothing to do with Japan. As you do ;) I also like the look of your comics so came here to check out how to buy one.

    But I found myself needing to add to the comments here. I know you’re not “fishing” for compliments and I really like your openness and honesty but…I wish I looked like you!

    I’m turning 40 this year. I have no idea how that age crept up so quickly as I still tend to think of myself as a 20 something in my heart. It’s cool though. I’ve been able to experience many great things and I am married to a lovely man. I nearly have the degree that I put off studying for for so long.

    I was never thin but never overweight either until the last couple of years. I had great skin though and a great butt. Like you. I’ve lost my great butt but you are slim and in great shape and your skin glows with youth! Make the most of that. Please. Or you’ll kick yourself on the eve of your 40th birthday and go “why didn’t I listen to that weird commenter from New Zealand all those years ago?”.

    There. That’s the last blog comment I’ll be making this year hopefully :)

  6. Grace, I love your butt and I love your physique. I wish I can marry a woman with your butt and your physique. I hope you continue to maintain this beautiful figure of yours. Kudo to Ryo for being so supportive

  7. You are by all means very beautiful and your figure is just enviable, to say the very least.
    It hurts my heart to hear that you had to suffer so much for not fitting in those clothing which are actually meant for asian women, that are noticeably smaller and thinner than western countries women. I hope you take all these positive (and sincere!) comments inside your heart, because it IS true, you are absolutely awesome, inside and outside, you’re smart and beautiful, and your videos and posts are so cool and inspiring and I hope you just keep going with them! I like them a lot!! Have a great day!!
    a fan from Spain :-)

  8. Hi, Grace. I’m much older than you – 56 to be exact – and I have not worn foundation since my early 30’s. Once in a while I’ll wear lipstick but, generally, I’ll wear only mascara and eyebrow pencil. It takes me 2 minutes to get ready. I think it looks a lot more natural and it definitely looks better in pics. IHO foundation ages the skin because it clogs the pores and weighs the skin down – regardless of what makeup companies try to sell us. There are very few 20 year old women who have my complexion and I’m regularly mistaken for someone in their late 30’s to early 40’s. My son is 35 and 2 weeks ago my husband son and I were at the vet’s office. I stepped out of the room before the vet (new to us) got there. When I came back in he was there. I sat down and he stared hard at me for quite a while. Then he turned to my husband and said, “We’re still waiting on your wife, right?” I say this to tell you to stick to your guns. Your skin will thank you for it down the road.

    Once in a while, I’ll get a blemish (due to stress). If that happens, I cover it up with green cover stick using a brush applicator or a Q-tip – nothing else. (Green neutralizes red.)

  9. We are saying that you are strong not because we expect you to never brake down or cry once in a while, but because you refuse to let the those situations change the way you approach life, Grace. The way you work with a shitty situation instead of fleeing from it. The way you are able to never forget to hold on to what is important to you and what/who is your anchor in life. Because you always try to find a way. That is emotional cleverness, Grace. That is being strong.
    You keep up being wonderful, ok? :)
    Lots of love from Germany,

  10. Dear Grace I know it doesn’t help but your absolutely beautiful jeans be dammed! They don’t deserve to go on a perfect size perfect as you are you.

  11. Chrisitna // 8 December, 2015 at 5:22 am //

    Interesting fact, Asians are considered overweight if their BMI is over 23. Every other race is considered overweight at 25. This is because the complications associated with weight start at a lower weight for Asians. Your BMI is only 20.2 so you are not overweight for either standard :D

  12. A few months ago while visiting Japan we had dinner with a friend of my wife. Her daughter is studying in NYC and was looking forward to buying new clothes there due to lower costs and more designs. But she found out that she is too slender for most US clothes and now buys most clothing at NYC’s Uniqlo!

  13. The breakdown happened, for sure, due to the cultural impact. Asian girls’ ideal body type is a really tiny, skinny one. You shouldn’t let it get to you though! You’re body looks amazing, and c’mon, what’s better than having a nice butt? Regardless of what you’re being told, you should actually be proud of your body image.

  14. Uniqlo men’s jeans. I used to buy those in Korea. Not ideal, but wearable.

  15. I think you have a beautiful figure! And I think you are a very beautiful person, body and soul. I love your videos and you are a unique. Don’t let anybody try to tell you any different. :D

  16. Anonymous // 27 August, 2015 at 4:11 pm //

    Your butt is awesome, girl ^^b
    Don’t fall into the Japanese dieting fashion, ok?

  17. Oh my dearest Honey Bunny, you’re beautiful!! Don’t let some men tell you what you are and what you aren’t! Smile and show them hips off lady! We all think you’re wonderful! :)

  18. I’m Japanese, and I have body image issues because I have a flat butt. When I was overweight, I gained weight everywhere else but the butt. When I did butt workouts, I got a toned flat butt LOL. I’d do anything to have your body type and I think many Japanese girls will agree with me on this! Meanwhile I wish people would say flat butts are beautiful too X(

  19. Girl, you look amazing. There’s nothing for you to change to look better. Just know that thanks to that booty you’ll rock a pair of jeans better than most Japanese girls. Also, at 5’6″ and 125lbs you’re nowhere near fat. Anyone saying that is just mad that you’re married and thus unavailable.

  20. Girl, people would die to have your bod! There aint nothing wrong with having a little booty. Nothing wrong! And I know how you feel about shopping, it’s not your fault. I shop a lot on yesstyle (Asian site that sells clothing) and I have to be picky with what I buy.. I know it’s because the brands are catered to Asian women, who are smaller than me. I’ve never bought bottoms at all, Hehe, only shirts and dresses xD. Not everything is one size, but I have bought things that fit and only one item I have was too small.

    Chin up, Buttercup.

  21. H&M.
    Problem solved.
    I’m 163 cm and things are a bit short for me, and 63 kilograms wearing H&M slacks *right now*. Good luck!

  22. Anonymous // 19 June, 2015 at 11:41 am //

    I’m a guy, I think you look very pretty(respectfully). Remember, in the end only your husband’s opinion should really matter to you. I hope you will always be comfortable with the way you look

  23. Grace! Can I just tell you, first of all, how much you make me laugh? I came across your videos after randomly coming across Rachel and Jun because their channel was somehow connected to a Chonunmigooksaram video which was connected to the buzz-feed video about K-pop dancing that started the whole charade (grad school leaves me with a lot of time on my hands to procrastinate). Secondly, I feel you giiiirl! I have the same issue with clothing whenever I go back to Europe to visit my family because well, Italian and Croatian pants don’t fit my but. I have a size 0 waist and size 4 hips and even in Canada, that can sometimes make me want to crawl into a ball in most change-rooms and give up pants for all eternity. Try looking for jeggings in Japan! and just repeat after yourself: My butt is sexy, my but is hawt! My butt makes me who I am! or you can sing yourself the song my mother made up (and laugh): I am a woman short and stout, here are my stretchies, here is my butt!

    All the best!:)


  24. Mariana Sánchez // 2 June, 2015 at 8:31 am //

    Hi Grace, reading your post made me smile so much. I suffered from an eating disorder (anorexia) at age 16-19 and to tell you the truth i went from those exact feelings: not worrying about my body image to falling to tears everytime something didn’t fit (and i was never overweight).
    Obviously what happens is a cultural thing, i’m mexican and as a latin country, women tend to have curves, butt, boobs and hips. And even though in our culture that’s considered as femenin and beautiful, we are constantly receiving slimmer images of models and actresses (specially american ones) as an example of the beauty ideal. And that was rough for me.
    But after my experience with an eating disorder, i want to let you all know that everybody is different. As you are taller than me, i get curly hair when somebody’s a redhead and so on, And because we are different, that means that a size 0 is not meant to fit every single human being! As we can see, japanese people tend to be more slim than american or mexican people but that doesn’t mean that we are fat. We have to accept the body we have and embrace it, we all have special features from our body but specially we have better ones in our heart.
    Thanks for posting this story, you are beautiful and all us readers are too!
    Hugs from Mexico

  25. To be honest, I don’t understand this thought process.

    As you never had an issue in the US but did in Japan, surely you must have realised its a cultural thing? westerners are bigger than asians on average. That’s how it is. I’ve had the same problem, as an asian guy, going into men’s stores and looking at the minimal selection of their smallest sized suits and shirts and jackets, compared to the larger size selection. Makes me feel small in the same way it makes you feel fat in Japan.

    I imagine for Asian women in the west and white men in the east, the clothing range, whilst difficult for them, must make them feel top of the world. But surely that’s a problem in itself? That women are somehow better if they’re smaller, and men are better if they’re bigger? That’s a societal condition.

    • I was having a similar thought. It cuts both ways, and I dread when posters start writing things like “ignore tiny Asian people!”
      I am 5’9″ and 140lbs, and it is a bit demoralizing to have to go to “Boys” section for clothes or “Women” section for shoes in the US stores. Even when a “S” or “M” size shirt “theoretically” fits me, their armholes and sleeves are so wide that I would look like a walking windsock! I gave up on buying clothes in the US long ago, and now I binge-purchase them when I visit Japan ;-)
      I also think we tend to discover what we believe to be commonplace in the foreign environment, while missing those don’t fit the stereotype. Many have said: “ALL Japanese women are thin!” “They ALWAYS wear makeup.” “They ALL wear high heels and designer-brand clothes.” Of course that is FAR from truth–even one short train ride should dispel the preconception, but, instead, we keep finding the examples that confirm our preconceptions. I have to keep telling my father when he visits us in the US–no, dad, not ALL Americans are huge!

      • That is absolutely true. Thank you for bringing that up.

        I was reminded of this recently when I had a friend from the states visiting me. It’s difficult to pick up on these things when you’re in your “home” environment – and easy to pick out differences when you’re in a “foreign” environment.

  26. if it helps any, they have the regular U.S. sizes at H &M for clothing there, or at least that’s what i’ve heard, and i understand your pain on not being able to find the right pants sizes due to butt size ^_^

  27. For me it was my bust! Butt I guess we bust out! Ja.Actually You do not have a large derriere at all! : )

  28. Oh my! I wonder how it will be for my son, a fellow Texan who is 6’3″ and wears XL shirts. He is going to Japan in a few days for a college course. He also has very curly hair that frizzes in the humidity of Houston. The professor told them to “dress native”. Hahaha!!

  29. Schwarze Katze // 15 May, 2015 at 5:58 am //

    Hi Grace!

    I can feel with you so bad..
    I had the same thoughts-but reason for me was developed an eating disorder when I was at beginning of 20.

    Now after many years, of lies to myself, hate, feeling ugly, dispaired and pain I´m over it.

    I´m tall, 178cm, even for german Girls I´m belong to the “taller one section”.

    So I´ll visit Tokyo in October too see my Japanese friends again.

    And I´m so excited about it.
    I´m so happy about it.

    And I´m so freaking scary about it.
    I´m scared to can not buy a single clothes..
    – to be the tallest person in public.
    -to get some freaky stares at me.

    Please help me what sould I do?

    I love Japan. I want to visit the country so bad, but I´m afraid.


    Schwarze Katze

  30. You are perfect the way you are! I think you’re amazing and size of clothes NEVER determines your value :)
    You are absolutely beautiful
    I’ve had the same problem with some outlet stores myself when it comes to pants in general. Friends say I’m thin and assume I fit in those 2 and 4 sizes, when really I have a lot of hips.

  31. Have you heard of Plumprino? Apparently it’s a new clothing line in Japan that caters to larger-than-average-for-Japan sizes. Promoted in a magazine called la farfa, which is aiming to challenge body stereotypes in Japan. Check it out here:
    Only thing is I don’t know if they’d deliver to where you are… :/

    I know its says ‘plus-sized’ which you definitely are NOT – 56kg, I can only dream of that up here at 80kg (trying my best to slim down by eating well and exercising – aiming for a nice healthy 60-65kg which would fit my 5’4 frame better.) But hopefully it might mean you could get some cute clothes without being made to feel like ‘the fat girl’, which you’re not!

  32. Taysukidesu // 12 May, 2015 at 8:03 am //

    Have to you tried Uniqlo? I’ve found they have a pretty big stock in 28-31 size jeans, at least at the few I’ve been to. I fit into my usual size (28) perfectly fine. I’m 5’4″ and weighed 130lbs at the time. Currently at 140 but trying to lose weight before I move back in three months… If people think you’re fat, I don’t want to know what they think of me… LOL

  33. I understand your feelings. That is because you are different. You are different with your butt, eyes, loud voice and own style. This is how Grace it is and people should just accept that, that’s it. You are perfect as yourself, sometimes everyone feel the same way. We just can’t stand those things. But don’t forget that, people like you as “Grace”! Not just Ryosuke, I love you too! You don’t know me and i don’t personally know you but I’ve been watching your videos since you had 7-10 videos. This is the first time that I write such a long comment to you, I am happy ^ω^. Please keep your bright smile! There so many people who dreams of a butt like yours(yeah, that’s me)! I hope one day I can meet you in Japan. You would be happy to find a girl who is louder than you~ And I hope to by your books in summer but dollars are so expensive for us!(I am from Turkey, by the way) I hope my comment doesn’t sound rude or something, I just tried to be natural. I am looking forward for your next videos,please take care~ ^^

  34. here is some honest outside validation ;) :
    I think you look absolutely FABULOUS!!!! You got boobs and an awesome butt and you’re still skinny and fit! That’s what I aspire to! :D
    I think this cultural obsession (and maybe a little bit of closed-mindedness) in Japan concerning “beauty” is not healthy… Especially for us westerners, who just have a different body shape that we can’t change (in a healthy way!).
    Please keep in mind that you are GORGEOUS (for western beauty standards at least)!!! As long as you are healthy and comfortable with yourself, who cares what Japanese society thinks?!.

  35. Preach it, girl! You’re gorgeous inside and out :D

  36. I’m just visiting Japan for a couple of days and already feeling pretty crap from all the pressure of needing to keep up appearances. I’m 5’7, 56kg, loud, geeky, don’t usually wear makeup AND to top it all off, Asian. The terrible thing is I don’t get the mandatory “exotic gaijin” status I’ve read all about before visiting. Its a strange country when the people you ask for directions look at you and think you MUST be Japanese too, but just awkward, rude and don’t wear makeup. Thus you must also be lazy and from the backwaters. This all seems to happen in the span of a couple of seconds, before I get to speak a follow up word. *sigh* gorgeous country though…

  37. Isn’t the whole problem here just that Japanese people are little compared to Americans?
    I mean, Grace, you’re slim for an American, and about average height for an American woman.

    By the way, you were very pretty at 14, too.

  38. Anonymous // 11 May, 2015 at 12:00 pm //

    Try the Gap or Uniqlo. I have had good luck there!

  39. So many foreign women here in Japan, me included, went through this misery of thinking we’re oversize and then getting miserable about it.

    You’re a little taller than I, and I also wear 26 cm shoes.

    My proportions are also athletic so pants and skirts fit poorly. Jackets cut to Japanese proportions fit me perfectly.

    Some points – you can get stuff that fits if you shop around. Gap, H&M, Natural Beauty Basic, Orihica have clothing in a wider range of sizes.

    Get something you like that fits big, and then have it tailored. All my suits needed fitting.

    Shoes – I get comfortable shoes at Oriental Traffic and Marui Model. For casual shoes, I wear geta, sandals or sneakers.

    The problem isn’t you, or Japan, for that matter. It’s the fashion industry and shops that market to narrow ranges of customers – stick-figured girls under 30. There are Japanese and other Asian women shaped like you, and with bigger booty. They also think they’re not beautiful.

    My guy is also Japanese, and tells me I’m hot :-)

  40. Audrey A. // 11 May, 2015 at 3:15 am //

    Also, I just noticed in your photo the slippers that you are wearing are similar to a pair of mine that I bought at a Daiso in California. The only difference is that mine are pink, but it has the same checker print :)

  41. Audrey A. // 11 May, 2015 at 3:12 am //

    Hi Grace,

    I understand exactly what you went through. I recently went to Japan back in March and decided to try on a couple of shirts in hopes of buying some to take back home to the U.S. I knew the sizes where going to be different but I didn’t know there is an extreme difference on sizes in Japan and the U.S. I ended up not buying any clothes because none of the shirts fit me well and I felt a bit embarrassed. Last year when I was in Japan visiting the country for the very first time, it was also the first time that I felt “big” compared to everyone else. Here in the U.S. I am considered small/petite but boy, in Japan it is completely different.

  42. I feel ya. I’ve had a similar experience here in India. My poor husband had a heck of a time a time getting me out of a dressing room once after I had a meltdown about not being able to find jeans to fit after about five stores. Now I buy my pants from the states and pray I don’t need more until I get back, lol. Who needs jeans anyways :)

  43. Struggling with an ED and thinking about going to Japan… This post gets me really worried! Does everyone really view anyone slightly larger than themselves as disgusting?? Would I not be able to make any friends because of my large size? (I too am 5’6 but have about 15 pounds on you, mainly in my bust and hips/thighs.) im glad that you have an amazing support system in your husband; you are very beautiful!!

  44. I feel your pain – but you have an amazing figure! I have at least 8 kilos on you and my boobs make it difficult to wear flattering shirts. I usually go to stores like Zara, H&M and Gap for my clothes. Even Levi’s back home didn’t fit me properly (da thighs). Moving to Japan has made me more conscious of my lifestyle choices for sure. Everyone’s different, and you have great support in your husband (lucky duck)!

  45. In America, I am not fat. I am average. In Japan, I am fat. I tried to buy a skirt here once and went to about 15 stores before I gave up. I just couldn’t handle walking into another one-size-fits-all store and seeing rows and rows of size small. What I don’t understand is that I’ve seen Japanese girls of all sizes. I often want to stop those girls and ask them where they got their clothes, but I know that’s rude. Anyway, I usually shop H&M, Forever 21, GU, and Uniqlo. I’ve never bought jeans here. I’m still wearing the same ones from America. I never hated shopping but living here there are times when I really hate it.

    • Me too!
      That’s what blows my mind! There are plenty of other (well, not plenty…) girls my size – I have NO idea where they shop. I mostly just go to Uniqlo and Shimamura now (le husband makes fun of me for Shimamura – apparently it’s the store for “poor/big/old ladies.” But I love it).

      • Its just the culture. They eat small servings compares to U.S. but if they came over I bet its the same for them, or anyone on fact in any country. Just embrace who you are. For your height, you are probably at a good weight so don’t feel so self-conscious about it. I know its hard with all the stares in Japan but at some point you might get used to the stares but sometimes its difficult. Bit because you are in a foreign country and chose to live there, you are strong. You have a loving husband and don’t think that every single person in Japan will think the same about you. Some of the stares might be admiration haha tho that almost sounds creepy. I bet there r a few kind people and there always is in any country but the majority just follow along what the norm is. Just hoping you don’t feel too down since you’ve got a ton of supporters.

  46. Same here, no body issues until adulthood and my body changed. It’s bad enough shopping in the states, I can’t imagine in Japan. :(

    Once you find a style and size, find them on Amazon and check for sales! Or the Levi online store ( Good jeans are worth the price and will last you a long time so It’s not too horrible to spend a bit more on them once in awhile.

    Good luck! Still fighting my own clothing demons myself and just ordered my first StitchFix (US only :( ) to try and get help with it.

  47. Hi, i know how you fell, when i move to usa (i from mexico) i came to live in houston tx, my mother want buyed some pants and tshirts , we just go to memorial mall, in that time i was teen age and i was size 12 in usa, but for any reason any store dont have clothing for my size, all store have just 10 or less size, the xl was to short for me, i cry for 10 minuts hate everything and myself, but in the end i find a store call torrid ,its a plush size store but i call normal size, that make my day, the ladys in the store was so niece and make me fell like nothing is bad in me, i am beautiful and every woman in this world :).

  48. You look great! It’s just weird seeing it from another filter. Here, have my story from traveling to Malaysia:

    Me: “I’d like to try on this outfit, please.”

    Saleswoman: *eyes me very dubiously* “You?!?! Noooo. So big! I don’t think we have anything that big.” *calls two other sales staff over. “She wants to try our clothes.”

    Staff: “Oooo! No. But she’s so big!” *huddle in group staring at me

    Me: “Never mind, I…”

    Staff: “Hold on.” *rummage in back* *bing out outfit that clearly had been used for dusting* “This is big…”

    Staff from other stores are ambling over to take a look at the huge foreigner who wants to try on clothes. I was a size 4-6.

    I didn’t go shopping in Malaysia again. :D

    • Uggggghhhh. Noooo. That sounds so awkward. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

    • Anonymous // 10 May, 2015 at 9:32 am //

      I live in Southeast Asia and people sometimes assume that I’m much bigger than them because I’m white, not because of my actual dimensions. I’m a size 2. Salespeople often insist on bringing me their largest size and tell me it ‘looks beautiful’ when it hangs like a sack. When I ask for a smaller size, they get this worried look in their eyes like I’m going to break everything, and try to convince me I don’t need it.

      Similarly, my colleague, who’s a shorter British guy, plays football here. Everyone tackles him and plays much rougher with him because ‘he’s the foreigner’, even though he’s not actually much bigger than most of them, and they often end up hurting him.

      These assumptions don’t seem to have much basis in reality, and have more to do with clinging to preconceived notions about all Westerners being enormous white elephant people. It’s such a silly, ignorant way of thinking that it has no effect on my self-esteem, only my patience and temper seem to get affected by it. I hope you didn’t take your experience personally.

    • Oh my I am sorry that you had this kind of bad experience. I am malaysian and absolutely bigger than average. In malaysia, you can also easily spot people who is bigger than size 4-6. So I hope you can understand that the rude attitude of those staff doesn’t represent malaysian, it is actually a really rare case.

  49. Anonymous // 9 May, 2015 at 7:59 pm //

    1,68m and 58kg!! I wish! You’re underweight, girl ;)
    I guess I would end up in a freak show with my cup D breast…
    You’re gorgeous, beautiful and have a great body figure. And hey, thus isn’t just female compassion, my husband says that too ;) Although he prefers bustier women :p I guess he would be very unhappy in Japan…
    Keep going! Kisses

  50. Hi Grace! As most other comments have said you are beautiful and awesome, ignore tiny Asian people! I’m actually quite petite and still find a LOT of clothes that don’t fit me! And I live in the UK, where people aren’t that small! I especially find problems with Uniqlo sizes. I quite like the jeans (especially the jeggings, so comfortable!) but when it comes to shirts there there isn’t a good size for me because of my chest size! Apparently Asian girls are tiny and bare-chested haha.
    Just buy a lot of clothes next time you’re in the US ;D I do that whenever I go back to Portugal :P

  51. I echo the Uniqlo recs. I am 1.76 with serious hips, and even I can find well fitting jeans there ^ ^

  52. Agreed! I actually went back to France with an empty suitcase and bought clothes there last year. It is so depressing to shop in Japan but I recommend Old navy in Odaiba. They had up to size 12. I think uniqlo, next , hm and zara should have clothes that fit your curves too!

  53. Reminds me of buying shoes here…I dread it because at 26 centimeters (US size 8) there’s rarely shoes in my size. I wear the ones I have until they get holes and the heels break off haha because I absolutely hate how shoe shopping makes me feel.

  54. Viet Lee // 9 May, 2015 at 5:57 pm //

    Japan is the land where the Native Americans shipped the fountain of youth to hide, and everyone seems to drink from when foreigners aren’t looking. Then for a bizarre reason, they have an extra side effect where they have low body fat.

    Anyways, you’re skinny compared to most women in America, it just Japanese people has a freakishly easy thin body and long life span.

  55. Bookspread // 9 May, 2015 at 5:09 pm //

    Slightly off-topic, because as lots of the commenters said you are really pretty, slender and athletic – but I live close to Paris, another capital of the unearthly bony, and a lot of the outlet stores only carry extremely small sizes, because those are the sizes that nobody can buy (even the notoriously petite French women couldn’t fit them over their skinny butts). These are European and American brands made for Western bodies, mind you.

    It’s the same in outlet stores in Spain too – they have crazy sales because you would have to be Arrietty to fit in the stock they carry. As a result, you see a lot of 8 to 10 year’s olds impeccably dressed in adult clothes from Comptoir des Cotonniers, Maje, Bimba&Lola, Custo…

    So maybe (maybe!) the selection of sizes that you found was already distorted, because all the normal sizes were already bought up by normal sized Japanese women, much of which do have hips and butts and SOME OF THEM EVEN EVEN MUFFIN TOPS.

    • I actually never thought of that. That’s entirely true~ Hahaha.

    • Good point. At outlet stores, and when clothes are on sale at the regular stores, I can seldom find clothes in my size. Either it’s a common size, so other people have already bought all of them, or it’s an uncommon size, so they didn’t have many to begin with, but either way, none are left by the time the clothes are on sale.

  56. nagarazoku // 9 May, 2015 at 4:56 pm //

    Oh God, I feel you -.- I hate shopping here in Japan, it makes me so depressed … BUT have you ever tried to buy jeans at uniqlo? I always buy my jeans there and I am taller and heavier than you, so if they have jeans that can handle my butt, you should have no problems finding something there as well ;) I saw that they have sizes up to 30 and everything is nicely stretchy! I also got the tip to try buying jeans in the men’s section. Haven’t tried it yet, though.

    • I have! I like uniqlo. I haven’t been able to find a pair that I love, though. I’m very picky when it goes to jeans. Generally I like Levi’s because the jeans are so durable (and I don’t have to worry about them ripping if I’m doing outdoor work).

  57. Oh, Grace! i just remembered how my granny used to buy clothes! She would always carry a measuring tape with her. Of course she would know her measurements, and where to measure. This must have saved her a lot of frustration.
    But i have a better idea: next time just take a pair of pants that fit you well/ nice and compare them to the ones on the rack: too small: forget about them.. too big? maybe they have a smaller size? ;)

  58. Claire // 9 May, 2015 at 4:25 pm //

    Grace, I’m so sorry to hear this! I lived in Japan for 3 years and adored it, but decided very early on that I was never going to be able to wear Japanese fashion. It wouldn’t suit my swimmer/viking build, and frankly, I never found anything that slightly fit other than men’s button up shirts. So I didn’t let it get to me and I didn’t try. I bought my clothes when I visited friends and family in the US or Australia. So that’s my advice- don’t try to shop in Japan!

    All the best, hope you’re feeling better.

  59. You’re so pretty! Always remember that we are not them and that we are our own person. I know how it feels, I currently live in Korea and I stress out over clothes and how I look everyday. Especially as a college student, you’re constantly critiqued and being a foreigner doesn’t help. I am also considered overweight even though I weigh 145 and am 5’6″, compared to you I suppose I am but I think your stats are healthy. I also can’t even find shoes or jeans and rarely if I’m lucky I can find a shirt that isn’t too small for my chest. Even though I deal with the negatives everyday,we just have to remind ourselves that we are not them and that we are our own person and that we come from a different background. I’m glad you found your jeans~ ^^

  60. I know what you are going through…I am almost 6 feet tall and quite curvy. (I love my body and all the curves that come with it :)

    Multiply your problems by ten for me. Your measurements make you petite in my eyes… I tend to stay away from everything that is not H&M because I know that I will end up in a ball too. It is stressful and I don’t like stress so I stick to the stores I know will have something for me. I also have a first name relationship with all stores that ship to Japan from the States.

  61. You rock Grace. Don’t worry about it. I gave up shopping for clothes in Japan about 15 years ago. Nothing fits me right no matter how hard I try to find something.

  62. Wow I’m honestly jelly of your butt >.<
    I hope that the differences in Japan wont affect you anymore! hang in there~
    p.s If you have any secrets about getting a nice butt please share <3

  63. Wow, I am speechless…

    Thanks for sharing your story and I´m really shocked, cause you´re anything else than ugly and fat… It´s crazy, that you thought that even for a second…

  64. I’m overweight even for western standards and I have it on my mind all the time. According to your height and weight you are not overweight. I think even perfect proportion. But… Ausian standards are didifferent, because majority or people are smaller and way skinnier to the point of being boney, liteliterally. And it’s not because of your butt. Do like me always buy clothes one or two numbers bigger then in USA because essentially it’s the right size for you. And btw your butt is awesome!

  65. At first I was like yup Japan will give you a complex if you go shopping. I’m single, 167lbs with broad hips and an ass (things that people in my town exclaim over because they’ve me at seen such curves before, yes my town is that rural. I have no outlet malls). I’m a size 12/13. But then I the thought this is Japan. The land of the uber small body sizes, going out to shop for anything can be compared to an army rescue mission. Tips are difficult, bottoms are down right impossible but they are out there. The major thing you did wrong at Levis and I’m guessing the other outlets malls is that you dared to try on sizes that you know were too small to fit even if you were in the States. Come on now, I’m a size 12 (32/33 Japan size) I’m not going to look as anything on the 20s and be like oh let me try this on. That wasn’t a smart move. I’m my mind you broke down because one you were tired of having to look (in Japan you don’t have the choice like you do at home, you go out to hunt and I mean hunt start off with that in mind). 2 you have this expectation that since it’s a world based brand that they must have you size (wrong, the brand’s here cater to their body based i.e. tiny Japanese women and me). So yea, you set yourself up for a fail and to ‘develop a complex.’ Don’t blame Japan for that. Our body types are way different from theirs heck I can’t even find shoes here that fits unless I shop in the men’s sections. If you are going to live here you have to accept that it not like home and work you way around the size issues. I have friends who are big girls and if they can find clothes then it means us smaller (average, western sized girls) can find something that fits too. You have a support system in your husband which is even better go you. Be calm and get over it.

  66. Likin’ the butt.

  67. Come to China. Yes they’re small but there are other options as well. I was depressed because I lived in south where everyone only reaches my armpit, both men and women, shoes are impossible to buy and clothing in the markets, nope. So I found my ways. Buying online is one of them, searching for bigger sizes if necessary or going to H and M.
    Anyway, I feel more sad when you say that you’re big in Japan because I’m much bigger than you, don’t think I would ever like to go there now.
    Anyway, interesting story, hope you enjoy your new pants :)

  68. frenchinjapan // 9 May, 2015 at 9:25 am //

    Interesting. But I would say there is nothing to worry about. Japan, or Asian market has its own products : I bought French brand glasses in Japan, which actually were specially designed for the Japanese market. The nose part was totally different, and the shop’s staff was telling me that everything you could buy in Japan were tailored for the Japanese market. And as you know, Asian body proportions are different from western proportions. So, you are not fat in Japan, you just don’t fit in in the Japanese market. I don’t know you but you look great, so don’t panic on that

  69. Paulina // 9 May, 2015 at 9:24 am //

    I’m more or less similar size like you and I don’t have trouble to buy things in Japan. I live in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Pref. I go shopping to non Japanese brands though (gap, banana republic). Sometimes in Sano Outlet. I wear jeans from Zara shop which I bought from their online shop. Maybe you should come to Tochigi Pref. sometimes… People are bigger/fatter here compare to Tokyo. Cheer up.

  70. I cried in a changing room while looking for jeans a few weeks ago too. I have another 10 cm on you and i seem to have bigger than standard thighs so jeans are always too short, too tight around the thighs and loose on the hips. It’s awful, I wish there was a way to have custom sized jeans made, would make everyones lives soo much easier. And You are supper pretty. and not very awkward.

  71. I was an exchange student in Japan in high school. I remember feeling depressed because I was too big for the clothes there and at the time I didn’t have much money–I was there on a scholarship which didn’t cover expenses. I finally found a cute, reasonably-priced pink dress that fit me at a local market stall, which I proudly took home to show off. My host mom took me aside to explain that I had purchased a maternity dress.

  72. Anonymous // 9 May, 2015 at 7:34 am //

    My friend lived in Korea for a few years and it was the same for her. She would have to buy extra large clothes even though she wore a size small in the u.s. It was hard for her because even though she’s girly girl, the women over is s.k dressed up more glam than what she was used too. Maybe ask friends and family to send over some american clothes. You are awesome just the way you are, curves and all. You have won our hearts not by what you look like but by how real, funny, and cool you are. I know its hard sometimes to not feel self conscious about our bodies at times but its great when we have friends and family and that someone special who loves us for who we are.

  73. I don’t think you are in any way.. overweight at all.. Japan is funny like that.. cuz the vast majority (like anywhere in Asia) have incredibly thin/petite demographic. I’m about the same height as you but i’m probably about twice your size, i’ve managed to get tops and dresses.. but i know there’s no way in hell i’ll get pants/shorts.. XD

    i think it body image problems hits even the best of us.. when you’re at the point where you just want an item of clothing and can’t fit them.

    much ♥ to u.

    yes, u have a butt, a very pretty butt.

  74. Anonymous // 9 May, 2015 at 3:48 am //

    I totally feel for you! Despite being born Chinese myself, I was raised and live in the UK, so naturally there was more access to bread and milk and cheese and the overall environment had a huge effect on me while growing up.In the UK, I’m small, but buying jeans in China? FUHGET EEET. My ass isn’t even close to being big and in China girls are thinner, have less thigh fat and are overall petite. But me? Calcium rich diet ahoy! I totally get you. Stay strong!!!

  75. I really love how honest you are on your blog, Grace. :D

    I’m not exactly sure what I should tell you.
    We’re not that different as I’m 172cm and about 59kg (sorry no idea about American measurements). I never even tried to find trousers in Japan because I knew I wouldn’t fit in.
    I don’t know if they would have been too tight as I never tried them, but just by holding them in front of me I could tell that they ALL were way too SHORT for my long legs. XD

    And shoes ….. all my male (Japanese) co-workers had SMALLER feet! All of them!
    My shoe size is 27 … it was absolutely impossible to find shoes (other than slippers) in Japan. IMPOSSIBLE!
    There were all these cute shoes …. and I could never ever wear them.

    Whenever I had to go to weddings and stuff … I had to wear ugly shoes … the only pair I brought with me from Germany ….. so frustrating.

    I never had the feeling I was overweight. NEVER. Actually everybody in Japan told me how slim I looked (and that despite eating so much *g*).

    I also never felt really ugly (but also not beautiful). I think it’s because I didn’t care much and because I pretty much NEVER tried to compare myself to Japanese women.
    And luckily there were rarely any non-Asian women around me in the Japanese countryside. ;P

    Though when I was your age (before moving to Japan) I did compare myself to others a lot. When I was a teenager I even tried to stop eating. Not because I wanted to lose weight (in fact I hated how skinny I was), but because I heard someone else in our class was doing it and I was just curious if it was actually possible not to eat at all for several days. I know, sooooo stupid! XD …..

    Don’t let Japan brainwash you. I know it sometimes happens.
    You ARE beautiful. Can I have your blue-ish eyes, please? ;P
    You ARE slim!
    And you have one of the BEST husbands out there.

    P.S.: YAY FOR BUTTS!!!!!! ^______^


      Thanks. I really enjoy reading your blog too. It’s nice to see other people’s experiences.
      I’ve mostly given up buying skirts/shorts here too, because my legs are rather long. These days, I just find a pair of jeans I like and cut them into shorts. It’s the only way I can get something that’s not a scandalous length.

  76. Your butt looks fab and so do you! But I get falling apart and feeling enormous because nothing fits. It’s how I feel shoe-shopping (size 11 American). Hooray for internet shopping.

    When I play volleyball with women from Japan, it’s great to tower over them and block hits (though they have amazing defense). On the other hand, when we go to Hawaii for weddings, most of the guests are Japanese and I tower over them. I feel like a giant freak. I think its easy to lose perspective and confidence when you’re a fish out of water.

    There is no chance that any store in Japan ever would have clothes that fit me. Unless they have an off-the-rack option for Sumo wrestlers.

    I commend you for even trying, let alone succeeding!

  77. Anonymous // 9 May, 2015 at 3:25 am //

    Same thing happened to me but at an outlet store in holland! The biggest they had was a size 27!!

    • In Romania, outlet stores will never carry a wide range of sizes. This is where they sell clothes from past collections and seasons that the brand releasing them was not able to sell. Much like the discount season, lol. well, maybe i overreact a little. maybe some of them do have more sizes to offer.

  78. Well, you are awesome and that’s what ordering online is for :)

  79. I can’t believe YOU can’t find clothes in Japan, you’re so tiny! I totally understand feeling fat in Asia though. When I was in HS and visiting my Asian relatives, they automatically steered me straight to the men’s section — HAHAHA — because they knew I wouldn’t find anything even remotely close to my size in women’s. Even then, I had to try on the largest sizes they had in men’s. It was depressing as a high-schooler but now I think it’s hilarious and tell the story all the time.

  80. Monkey // 9 May, 2015 at 2:39 am //

    I remember my Japanese cousin once visited me in Germany and was very excited, cause she felt so normal there. She’s approximately 1,80m tall and slightly overweight. She and her friend (who was about 1,75) also bought a lot of clothes during her trip… :D

    • Haha, totally understand!
      I always had to buy my shoes and trousers in Germany because they didn’t have my sizes in Japan AT ALL! ^^;

      • Yeah. Shoes are rough. I’m 25.5 – 26, so I’m left mostly just buying men’s shoes (which works rather well because men do have cute shoes). I just miss buying high heels!

  81. I understand how you feel. I have read that Asian people have other Body Mass Index and that’s why they are skinnier than us, so what is healthy for them is not healthy for us.
    When it comes to culture, it’s is incredible how society values can affect us about the way we see ourselves and how it makes us think we ought to be. It’s like we are all fighting our personal wars to be able to be ourselves; to love ourselves.
    XD My height is 162 cm and my weight is 56 kg, and I think that’s good. And it’s what doctors consider healthy : not underweight nor overweight. Sometimes girly other times tomboyish. :)

  82. You have an amazing looking butt ;)
    i have a girl friend who has the same problem as you with the pants/ jeans. lol. add to this problem about 10 cm in height and some 10 kilos in weight… we live in europe,,, and if you thought that stores like zara or HM are the solution for her.. they’re not, lol. not always >.>
    maybe she should learn how to make her own pants? they would definitely fit her better, then? lol

    i hope you relaxed some, and welcome back. :) you should take a longer brak once every few months. you’ll feel better :) [i hope?]

  83. Helena // 9 May, 2015 at 1:57 am //

    Hi Grace!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I really like it! It makes me happy, sad, excited,… it’s just so full of life with all the struggles and happy moments! I want to thank you for that :) Please let me tell you a bit about my experiences. I am about the same height as you, but I weigh more (about 8kg actually). I lived in Japan for a year and I actually didn’t even start to compare my body to the one of an average Japanese girl. When I approached Japanese fashion I just thought that probably a lot of clothes won’t fit, because I’m larger and body proportions are just so different, but decided to give it a try anyway.
    And surprisingly I found A LOT of clothing that fit! So here are my おすすめ!
    No. 1: UNIQLO for jeans! The bigger stores have lots of different waist-length-combinations! (it’s also a good place for skirts that fit a Western butt!)
    No. 2: GU for shorts/jeans/shirts. (Again, fits Western butts)
    No. 3: just go and try it on and if it doesn’t fit, don’t blame your own body! :) I even own ‘free size’ tops from a fancy place in Harajuku. (I guess they look different on me than on the average Japanese woman, but who cares, they look good!)

    I think you look really beautiful, so I hope you can feel good about your body!
    Lots of love from Germany,

    • Harajuku has some awesome stuff. Tops are usually not a problem, but shoes and trousers are for many.
      My shoe size didn’t even exist in Japan (27, German: 42), so I always had to stock up on shoes when I was visiting Germany. *g*

  84. What? That pic of you ay 14, I think u you look wonderful.

  85. I have an old Buddha in my home that I fished out of a dumpster. The paint is peeling off, it’s pocked with holes, the lotus flour in his hand is broken off. (you can see it here if you want: ) It’s my favorite thing in the world because of what it reminds me: You are made more beautiful by your flaws.

  86. Jackie // 9 May, 2015 at 1:18 am //

    Well, crap. I don’t know what to say.

    To most of the world, you are petite, slim and have a lovely hourglass figure. It sucks that you’re not perceived the same way in Japan. I thought your hourglass figure would be desirable over there but obviously, I’m out of touch. You’re so very pretty too and absolutely charming. From reading your posts, you’re intelligent too, the perfect young woman.

    When I visited my relatives in Japan for 2 months (I’m Haafu) at 23 years old, I made some adjustments in my normal routine to accommodate the Japanese culture and please my Japanese mom. I wore a little more makeup and wore comfortable sporty skirts almost everyday, no jeans. In my community in the US, my Japanese look would’ve been considered casual-Friday-at-the-office but almost too casual in Japan. My relatives forgave me because I was an American and didn’t know better. I don’t believe that my external appearance is representative of who I am. I think of how I drape my body as costuming so I have no problems tweeking my look to accommodate where ever I go. I dress differently for L.A., Seattle, Morocco, Miami, Ecuador, etc. These clothes are not me, they’re just costumes. My values and behaviors reflect who I am, not what I choose to wear in New York.

    I was a personal trainer back then and even at 5’4″ and 17% body fat, I was HUGE! I found only one large department store in Hiroshima that carried fashionable pants which were large enough to fit me. I didn’t even try on shirts because I knew my broad shoulders would never fit into anything over there. Once, one of my uncles openly talked with everybody in the room about how curious it was that a woman can be so large and have a flat stomach at the same time.

    Back then, I gathered a lot of attention over there. My aunts and uncles loved it. They felt they received better treatment when they had me with them. One cousin got a crush on me, asking me to link arms when we were out so other men would be jealous. The rest of my cousins didn’t want to be seen with me because they were embarrassed by all the attention. You are so absolutely lovely, I’m really surprised that you’re not having the same experience. Do you think maybe you’re not noticing? Walk with your head balanced comfortably between your shoulders. Show them you’re proud of your hour glass Victoria’s Secret bod with your gaze straight into their faces. No doubt, you are HOT!

    Your husband loves you just the way you are. At the same time, you’re REALLY feeling the pressures of a country that you visually don’t seem to fit into. I hope what I wrote and what everybody else wrote will help you figure out what is best uniquely for you. I have just one last thought to share:


  87. You’re back!!!! Thanks for sharing this personal post, I admire how forgiving you are with yourself, keep being awesome! (And taking breaks so you don’t burnout again XD)

  88. Shirley // 9 May, 2015 at 12:41 am //

    125lb? isn’t that considered skinny in America? xD and the good thing is, is that when ever you come back to America, you can stalk up on some jeans while you’re there :)

  89. OMG, I’m super fat! I’m 172 cm and 66 kg and I feel your pain about clothes and especially about jeans… And my shoes size is 26.
    You are not alone, Grace!

  90. Amandine // 9 May, 2015 at 12:32 am //

    I understand too well what you are going through ! My in laws are chineses, and I once heard my mother in law say that I was a little bit fat. I was a shocked because I am doing a lot of sport, I am thin and always felt good about my body (and my mom find me too skinny). But for them, whith my round butt and (average for a caucasian) boobs, even if I am fit in France, I will always be a little overweight for them… They are always comparing me with my sister in law, who was still skinny and thinner than me at her 8 month pregnancy (except for the belly of course ^^). It seems that they don’t understand that I really can’t get that thin, because of my family genes. The only way I can get that skinny (no hips, no butt no boobs) would be stop eating, this is totally impossible, so I guess I will have to hear that kind of comments from them for the rest of my life… Maybe that’s just sneaky comments from women ? ^^

  91. You definitely live too close to Tokyo ;) I would recommend visiting the countryside for example in Kyushu, because you will find much much more ‘normal-sized’ women there (from a ‘western’ point of view), – though I can’t tell you, were they buy their clothes, either^^; But yes, I am a little bit taller than you and have quite long legs (and I am not thin for Japanese standards), so I have the same problems regarding finding long trousers in Japan, actually…

  92. Michael // 9 May, 2015 at 12:28 am //

    Sounds like you feel a certain pressure to adapt to local lifestyle. I also experienced (men) clothes too thin and too short although I am considered underweight in Europe. So best thing is to do your shopping in US and accept that you will always be a gaijin, with all its negative and positive (being forgiven many smaller fauxpas) aspects. Be self -confident ;)

  93. Have you tried Rakuten? Stores like Yume Tenbou carry larger sizes of a lot of their clothes. I find it hard to believe you cannot find clothes in your size. I’m a little smaller than you but definitely not “average japanese woman” small and I can manage to find stuff here & there. Particularly at stores like Axes Femme and Yume Tenbo. Also hey listen, UNIQLO should have your size. We have a ton of them in America but when I was in Japan and I ran out of clothes to wear, I was able to find a lot of stuff that fits at Uniqlo! So honestly I think it’s just your inaka stores that are full of tiny people clothes, but if you take a trip to the city I’m sure you can find something to fit you! :)

  94. OMG! My height and weight are the same as yours but unlike you I have lots of body image issues! Used to weigh around 48-52kg but gained some and have been super conscious about it. Haven’t worn any Japanese clothing items since I gained weight, but even back when I was 48-52kg, I had a hard time fitting my butt into most their pants :| Funny thing, people see me as underweight at where I am currently and I even had a nutritionist tell me I need to gain 2kg to be considered healthy!
    BTW, your butt looks much better than mine! I have a huge one TT____TT

  95. This is why I bought oversized things at the online Rakuten store. I have a hard time finding clothes in America, let alone Japan. There’s absolutely NO WAY pants will fit me at a storefront in Japan. I luckily found that I could fit into some trendy, cheap, shorts from the online Rakuten shop, so you could always try that because YAY free shipping. Things that are oversized dresses and falling off of Japanese girls will usually just barely fit me as shirt.

  96. That’s an interesting perspective. Whenever I, as a guy, couldn’t find pants or shoes to fit me in Asia, it was almost validation that I was taller and bigger than most people. Thus, no sting attached. I didn’t really think about it from the other side (with the exception of horror stories from my friends in Korea being on the receiving end of “NO BIG SIZE”).

  97. Annikca So'Jhin // 9 May, 2015 at 12:07 am //

    OMG I’m now size 14 in Aus (way, way bigger than you), Two babies later and my boobs and butt (that were my only problem clothes-wise here in Japan before kids) are overshadowed by my gut. I was a size 6 (US2???) when I met my Jhubby and still had trouble getting in J-clothes, just shaped so differently. I can remember not being able to find maternity clothes and trying to steal hubby’s, only to find I couldn’t fit his either…so depressing. I ended up shopping in the “baachan” shops to find things to fit, but that got too depressing as well. Im also a size J26 for shoes so can never find anything for my clodhoppers. And underwear…forget it! So I feel your pain and more sometimes. I just moved back to Jland, so brought a whole wardrobe with me, but when that starts to die I plan to go online, save the soul…or if I can swing it a holiday to Guam and Ross Dress for Less for a whole new wardrobe(found that store in the US last year and am totally in LOVE).

    Love that you can post this on your blog, you aren’t alone and others get to see that they aren’t too!!! Plus regardless of your size – there are a lot of random people who you don’t even know that really enjoy your presence in their lives.

  98. Blah, I don’t know if I wanna go to Japan anymore. I’m tall and busty, they’ll think I’m disgusting for sure. :(

  99. Anonymous // 8 May, 2015 at 11:51 pm //

    everybody has a bad body day, but you really ARE beautifull! I dont say that just to console you, I think it every time I see your photos or videos :) you are beautifull and skinny :) I mean, Im the same hight as you but I weight 72kg (trying to lose weight to 65 though) :P but nobody calls me fat, cause I have a small face and when in doubt I let my blue eyes work their magic ;) that said, I would never even try to go to a japanese jeans shop cause I know that they wont have anything that would fit my pear shape (my butt is twice your size) so the only places I buy pants are Uniqlo, Old Navy and H&M. those are stores where I dont always have to search for XXL sizes, but fit into Ms or even S sizes :) You really dont need to lose any weight and you have a great butt :)

  100. I knew Japan, and Asia overall, had smaller clothes but a size 2-4 is the largest rack size?? I guess most women are a bit shorter, but I’ve also heard many younger people are a bit taller now. Is that true? I’m 5’3″, live in Canada and I’m considered short.

  101. I’m 161cm and when I was in Japan I gained weight – I was 63kg at my worst (am now thankfully back down to mid 50s!) and yet somehow I didn’t have this problem… I felt absolutely fat and terrible about myself but not because clothes didn’t fit me, they actually still did (and my butt was embarrassingly way too huge), just because I was constantly comparing myself to those around me. Japan was terrible for my body image issues, I feel ya! Now that I’m back in Australia I (mostly) feel perfectly fine about myself again, it’s a really interesting mental phenomenon really…

  102. You go girl! Your really are the perfect size and shape. You have the best personality in that you are honest and sincere. Just keep it up, because your amazing.

  103. I am a Texan and I love your blog. I think your are beautiful! I am so willing to send you new clothes if you’d like – just remember the average size here is totally different than japan! I used to have body issues too so I feel yah! I about a size 6 now and really happy because I finally lose weight without worried and have an amazing boyfriend too. I used to order one size clothes from overseas so I know how you kinda feel. Sending love

  104. leximus_reximus // 8 May, 2015 at 11:18 pm //


    To think that someone would even vocalize such rude thoughts to you and even your husband is unthinkable to me! You are much more than your jean size and anyone who matters knows it already. Stay strong and know that you are truly valued by many!

    Best wishes ;)

  105. Dear Grace,

    You’re not alone in this struggle! It’s been one month now since I’ve started living in Japan (Kyoto) and I’ve already experienced all of this insecurities.
    You should really know that there’s nothing wrong with you! You’re perfect ;D
    I’ve been following your channel and blog for a while and I have actually thought I would never see a post like this because you’re thin and good looking. I was surprise to read this blog entry! I guess the general japanese standards are a bit unrealistic. I mean, I don’t want to starve just to fit in some trousers : / (even if I did, my well-dotted portuguese hip would still be large, that’s how I was born, no way around it;).
    And it’s ok to go through this as a single person : ) Self-confidence is the key! (either single or taken ;))
    Anyways, do not despair Grace-san! I also feel like give in to this crazy japanese standards some times, but I think some things are not worth the effort!

  106. Ugh, I am so sorry. I think you have a really great body shape if it’s any consolation! Lol I am trying to slim down right now so I feel better when I visit Japan again. Maybe if you have any friends living near American military bases they might be able to get you a couple pairs of hard to find items?

  107. Daniel Hindson // 8 May, 2015 at 10:52 pm //

    Ive met you in person and you are tiny and beautiful and fun.
    In Australia youre considered “petite”!
    I have always struggled with said issue for years and it is heartbreaking so i completely understand.

  108. Anonymous // 8 May, 2015 at 10:52 pm //

    Grace you are beautiful and you are right – why let this country defeat you when you have a gorgeous butt? Haha I am 168 cm and 54kg and this can’t be overweight. If they say this is overweight then damn I’m gonna live overweight!! I’m not gonna change just coz some standards say so. Skirts it is!! You are beautiful and just be yourself :)

  109. You are amazing.. Japanese are a bit smaller n i dont know why.. Thats the reason why ryousuke loves u haha..

  110. Popeline // 8 May, 2015 at 10:36 pm //

    Grace, I think you have an amazing and very healthy looking body and DAMN THAT BUTT. Skinny and bony as I am, moving to Japan might not be as challenging in terms of wardrobe, but I wish I would look as good as you because you are awesomeeeee !

  111. ohhh~ look at the body.. Girl, you look gorgeous! ^_^

  112. Puolukka // 8 May, 2015 at 10:34 pm //

    You should feel very lucky that you´re married to a man like Ryosuke (I know you are, but you know…). A few weeks ago, I was told by my Japanese boyfriend that he´d appreciate it if I lost some weight, because it would make me more beautiful.

    I am the same height and weight as you, so as far as I´m concerned, a million miles away from even being chubby, let alone overweight… but apparently that is not true in Japan.

  113. Grace, seriously that is why their is on line shopping. If your “fat” in Japan and I use that word for lack of a better one then I must be HUGE as a size 14. God bless Japanese women that they are that thin but it’s just not in your genes girl! Your fine. Actually your more then fine! Your awesome. No go online and buy the jeans or have your mom send them from the states.

  114. Grace, you look awesome, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

    You have scared me a little though, I’m a bit of a chubster and visiting Japan in June, I hope they aren’t mean to me :( If they I are I shall give them side eye whilst wiggling my lovely butt as I walk away!

  115. Go Grace! When I was in China I used to buy men’s clothes or ask my mom to send me supplies because I was too tall and too fat for all those supercute girly clothes they sold there too…but i guess that prevented me from spending too much money on clothes, so it wasn’t completely a bad thing

  116. I gots the booty too, Grace! Thankfully, stores in Yokosuka are more accommodating to Western sizes. Unless you’re looking for shoes. Then you’re f**ked ;)

  117. Anonymous // 8 May, 2015 at 10:25 pm //

    Omg, people consider me skinny in Europe and guess what? I have the same proportions as you! :D(I’m a little taller and weigh a little more but same proportion.) Honestly, you seem perfectly healthy/ skinny. I can understand it sucks, but in the end your body works differently. If you had their proportions, you would be severly underweight :/ I heard from another J-vlogger that she buys her pants at her home country :’D

  118. Aaah. Shopping Hell. I have no hips to speak of, so I am a bit jealous.

  119. Can’t you order more of your new jeans from Amazon? I know it’s boring to have jeans all the same, but it is better than working yourself into a depression.

  120. Erni D. // 8 May, 2015 at 10:15 pm //

    So glad that in the end, you realized it wasn’t you but the industry. A lot of stores only carry up to a certain size. We have the problem in the U.S. It takes a few dozen pair of jeans till you find one in the end.(^▽^)

  121. Oh I know this situations so well. I have same problem. I´m absoluty not fat just I have a butt and hip. But always in the stores when I ask for bigger sizes the shop assistant stare on me like I´m a sumoringer! It´s very depressing, especially in my country I´m very close to underweight.

  122. Girl, I feel you! I’m going to have to bring my entire wardrobe with me to Japan, cause I just know that nothing’s gonna fit me there. Also, most of the Japanese people I know have relegated me to the “boy” section because I’m not “feminine” enough (people actually said to my face that really, I was a guy). I’m loud, I horse laugh and I’m chubby (wayy chubbier than you btw). And you know what, I think I’m really cool like that.
    You are an amazing person, I really love your blog and your channel. You make me want to start my own!
    And here’s some validation: YOUR BUTT LOOKS AMAZING!!


      Hahaha. I totally brought several suitcases of clothing when I moved to Japan. But that was like 3 years ago, so they’re starting to fall apart and I have to replace them AND I DON’T WANT TOOOO.

      • Alexandra Wagner // 8 May, 2015 at 11:18 pm //

        Can you have some family or friends in north america send you some jeans to avoid the stress? Just an option?

  123. Aw, Grace. You are freaking awesome the way you are. Never forget that.

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