Natsuko’s her older sister’s perception is dependent on the perception of others around her: if she’s around younger woman who’s body might not look the same as hers, she might feel insecure about what she looks like. She seems to be uncomfortable with her body—“my sister doesn’t seem to give a toss and waltzes right in with hers still hiding all her bits.”—and may even feel this societal pressure to keep her body ”youthful”. Is she staring enviously at the people getting in and out of the baths? Or is it a stare of attraction?
And then there is this reversal of Midoriko’s wants for herself. She says that she does not want her boobs to get bigger, she would like to stay the way she is. Is this because she has witnessed her mother obsessing over her own breasts that makes them seem undesirable? Her mother’s internal projections and insecurities as well as her body dysmorphia has a great effect on her daughter’s image of herself and this could lead into generational distortion of body image (obviously this might not even be true and this is guess work). But it becomes serious so much so that Midoriko wishes that hadn’t been born since her mother constantly complains that having a child ruined her body so much so that she wants nothing but to return to this ”normalcy” which is a fantasy of many mothers today. I think there was an interesting take brought up in class where Midoriko might be expressing an asexual or trans desire where she does not want breasts and she does not want to conform.
In the final section when the sisters are discussing the pinkness of nipples, it is interesting. In class we talked about this section alluding to global anti-blackness, which I didn’t pick up on. They talk about different skin bleaches that would lighten the nipples and even speculates how younger women might keep theirs pink. Later on, she looks at her own and worries if they’re too dark which could feed directly into this anti-blackness. Makiko wants them to be lighter, for her nipples to be lighter. Does she seem to be interested in achieving the European beauty standard? She is when her sister tells her that her nipples are not pink or not close to being such.