I work in Japan in one of the top international universities in the country. In a public seminar at my workplace with attendees in the room and on Zoom, one of the younger male staff wanted to ask a question through Zoom. There where a few technical issues with accessing the questions on the chats, so they ended up putting the chat on the shared screen from a different account. On the screen there was something about how to ask questions through zoom, and then a comment about one of the speakers: “X you look so skinny!”. I was livid, one of the other speakers appeared shocked commenting something like “Oh my God he actually said this”, but no one else commented on how innapropriate that was, including older staff present in the room or the target of the comment.

In Japan, given that body diversity is highly problematic and there is a huge social pressure for women to be thin and small, it is shocking that these kind of comments are seen as just part of everyday life or are seen as a joke, and women just have to deal with it and get over it.