On the front page of today's Wall Street Journal, there's an article about how Japanese retailers are expanding the number of sizes they offer. Apparently, Japanese women are becoming curvier, and the retailers are adapting.
The average 20 year old Japanese woman is 3 inches taller than her counterpart in 1950. Moreover, her hips are broader, and she wears a bra two sizes larger than her mother did. Nutritionists believe that these changes are as a result of a more Westernized diet, and that the increased fat intake tends to go to the hips and breasts of adolescent girls.
In Japan, it has been common for girls to flaunt their legs, but flaunting their busts is something quite new. The WSJ writes that:
"The cleavage craze took off in 2003, when a young pop star named Kumi Koda appeared in ads around Tokyo wearing a barely-there metallic bra and not much else. In one image, she wore coconut shells over her chest. Then, two years later, she performed at the televised Japan Record Awards wearing thin tape-like gold satin straps over her breasts that revealed nearly everything when she danced. The 24-year-old star has become the champion of a new "If you've got it, flaunt it" attitude among young Japanese women."
Perhaps this marks a turning point for size 0 clothes. If the nation with the slimmest, most petite women is going va-va-voom, 32DD will trump size 0.