Debu! Tongtonghan! Chubby!
A new film released August 2nd in Korea centers around a thin top-model who decides to gain weight after she discovers that her crush, a photographer, prefers chubbier girls. Getting fat for love, the Korean media proclaims. It’s a twist on the classic plus-sized love story, from “Bridget Jone’s Diary” to “Shallow Hal,” this time the transformation occurring in reverse. Korea’s own last fat-romance flick, “200 Pound Beauty,” featured a heroine who undergoes full body plastic surgery to make herself slim and beautiful. “Plump Revolution” offers a fresh take.
Available sources don’t reveal much about plot, but the little that can be gleaned tells how one day a fortune-teller informs stick-thin model Do Ah-ra (Lee So-jeong) that her love interest (Lee Hyeon-jin) likes chubby gals. She then resolves to stuff her face until she’s plump enough to get his attention. Diet films are a thing of the past; now it’s time to fatten!
If you’re like me, it sounds too good to be true. A guy that likes plump women, stuffing galore, flesh spilling from ill-fitting clothes, and even weight gain! What motivated director Min Doo-sik to create such a film?
“I wanted to address the social prejudice against plus-size women, not in a direct way, but through a story about finding love,” he stated at a press conference.
“Growing up, my family members were all quite substantial in size. When I came home, I often found my mother late at night eating bibimbap [mix vegetables and rice] and in my eyes, this scene was very comforting and nice.”
Okay, he’s getting his point across, if “not in a direct way.” But if he’d spoken bluntly, it might have sounded something more like this: I love chubby girls; there’s nothing sexier than a girl eating. Am I wrong?
The best part is that Min Doo-sik wanted actress Lee So-jeong to gain weight the old-fashioned way. No CG, no silicone prosthetics. Just fried noodles and milkshakes, which Miss Lee says she drank like water.
Min Doo-sik, you sly dog, bringing to life your own sexual fantasies under the guise of “director.” If he were anything like me, I bet he was hopping off to the bathroom every hour of filming to rub one out.
Film star Lee So-jeong was also intrigued by the idea.
“There are a lot of stories about a fat girl getting prettier but there aren’t any stories about a girl, who was always taught not to gain weight, becoming fatter,” she said.
Reports claim that Lee So-jeong piled on about 20 kilograms in the course of two weeks, an all but impossible feat unless she succeeded in stuffing herself with over 10,000 calories a day. But 20 kilograms or not, she certainly gained something, and that’s satisfying enough. My secret hope? Miss Lee did in fact successfully gain the full 20 kilos, but production chose to hide any promos and clips that revealed her highest weight. When the curtains open, it’ll be a real shocker to see how much she blimped. We can only pray.
“Plump Revolution” is perhaps the most mainstream representation of curve appreciation and “chubby” girl love yet created. It has implications for the community at large. A girl doesn’t need to be stick-thin to be attractive, or in all probability, most guys actually prefer a soft, curvaceous form. Yada yada yada… You’ve heard it all before. But for some, this film touches us in a special place. The weight gain aspect itself is enough to drive someone of my sexual sensibilities wild. To some of us belonging to FA/WG (Fat Admirer/Weight Gain, for those of you unfamiliar) fetishist communities, this movie is maybe the closest our fantasies have come to the big screen.
It’s no denying, of course, that the film materializes women and reinforces the idea of physical beauty as the penultimate concern of romance. But hey, at least this time around she’s not putting herself under the knife or torturing herself to slim down to an impossible weight. South Korea has plastic surgery rates higher than any other country. Celebrities and the girls that idolize them are under intense pressure to keep slender. Korean women have a history of subjecting themselves to all sorts of grueling pain and mutilation for the sake of beauty. It’s nice to see the tables turned here.
So… Point is, even if the actress only gains 10-15 pounds in actuality, she’s still gaining weight because her man thinks it’s sexy. Never before has FA/WG fetishism had such a major outlet, and to think it comes from maybe the thinnest developed nation on the planet! Maybe we really are in store for a “plump revolution,” and it’s coming from the most unexpected of places.
However, it should be kept in mind that in Korea a girl of 120 pounds is often considered on the verge of grotesque obesity. Even if Lee So-jeong gained the full 20 kilograms, she wasn’t exactly beginning with much. Reports put her at 49 kg or 108 lbs at the start of filming. There’s still a long way to go. But if even a 100 girls give in to their cravings for the ice cream bar they’d normally resist, if just a dozen let a few extra pounds slip on because of this film, I’ll be smiling. Korean girls, let’s see you flaunt those curves with confidence. Let bellies hang over your tight jeans and your soft rumps bulge from under those snug dresses.
I can’t wait to see it!
Info, Pictures, & Trailer: