The Ideal Mori Girl


One of the links that refer to my blog most often is one from Vanillery Garden, from a blog post titled “Am I too fat? Weight Issues In The Mori Girl World“.

While this might not have been Natalie’s intention and she merely (mis-)interpreted something I wrote back in 2011 I thought I might as well write down my thoughts about that. This is about the title of the post mostly, not the content (which is about the same as in this post, actually). Because it’s that headline that I always see in the referring links, and it’s the headline that bugs me.

When I wrote the words Natalie quoted on her blog I merely wanted more examples of Mori Girls that weren’t model-like girls with androgynous bodies, of white, perfect skin and wide eyes, long legs and pretty hair. I wanted diversity. I wanted everything, from body shapes and skin colours to hair cuts and colour schemes.

I am not fat.

It’s a fact.

I’m not even chubby.

Believe me, there have been people trying to make me believe this, and trying to make me believe it makes me somehow less worth than others. But I don’t. It still distresses me that they tried, because not everyone has enough self-esteem and body consciousness to disbelieve.
I’m curvy. Or bootylicious.
I’ve got an E to F bust, and it runs in the family. I’m quite muscular, but I’m short and broad-hipped, so it doesn’t show. I’ve got a rugby girl silhouette, not a ballet girl one. I do have a belly that’s visible, but actually, I don’t care that much, I actually like it. My figure is that of a Renoir or Mucha model, not a Warhol one.
I can deal with that. Not always, not everyday, but everyone has these days when they don’t like everything about themselves. But most of the time, I can deal with that.
There is no f***ing need to be ashamed.

This was never about me feeling too fat. I just wondered why all the Mori pictures I ever saw featured a certain stereotype. Where are the dark-skinned people, the marshmallow girls (I love that term, it sounds so nice and warm and fluffy and lovely), the power grrrls, oh, and where are the boys, or any other gender besides female? Is being a demure, thin, pale girl all that there is to being Mori? Is it not okay to differ from the ideal?

By now, more than three years after the post that sparked Natalie’s post in return, I’m not anxious anymore. I’m okay with my body and I know I look good in Mori. There are more examples, more forms, figures, skin tones, genders, hair styles, styles in Mori kei, even. Still, it’s just a small percentage. Search for “mori girl” (because it’s the original term and more often used than the gender-neutral Mori kei) on tumblr, or even on Google, and you’ll still have the same skinny, ethereal girls in floaty dresses I saw three years ago.  And maybe there’s a person, just like me back than, who feels underrepresented. Or left out.

And I don’t want that.

I think Mori can be more than a fashion. It can be a community. With influences from everywhere. Yes, even from willowy pretty white girls in floaty dresses.


4 thoughts on “The Ideal Mori Girl

  1. Stiller Mitleser möchte auch mal was sagen …

    Interessanterweise kann ich mich an den Blogpost den du ansprichst noch erinnern. Wundert mich selber.
    Und ich denke ich habe ihn damals genau so verstanden wie du ihn jetzt auch wiederholst. Aber das ist halt das Problem mit Worten, dass man sie auch anders interpretieren kann …

    Im übrigen kenne ich ja Bilder von dir, und ich habe dich niemals auch nur ansatzweise als … “dicklich” empfunden. Kräftig, stabil – ja, nicht zerbrechlich halt.
    Mir kommt gerade ein Zitat einer ehemaligen, auch eher gedrungenen Kollegin in den Sinn. Diese meinte beim Anblick einer großgewachsenen, gertenschlanken Dame einmal:

    “Das ist halt ein ganz anderes Baumodell, als wir sind, gell?”


  2. Skinny white girls seem over represented in everything as photographers usually use models for their pictures and they are usually thin. I am always disappointed not to see many persons of colour in faery pictures.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with being skinny, curvy, etc but more diversity would be great!

  3. Hi Ari,
    How do you think about short girls shouldn’t wear midi dresses or skirts, other rules and so on?
    I’m a Vietnamese that just start getting into Mori. And I’m short, below 153 cm I believe. I’m wondering that wearing loose clothes and others can make me look shorter. Even though I like it. Therefore I feel a bit disappointed about those high models.

    1. I think short things on short people (I’m “only” 160cm myself) make them look even cuter, and I think that’s a good thing. Don’t let anyone regulate what you should wear or not, especially in your own free time. Personally I like my skirts to end just above my knee or around my ankle because it suits me best, but I think that’s more of a body type/taste thing than a general rule.

Any thoughts?

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