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Overweight people promote plus-size fashion in China

(Xinhua)

10:25, October 20, 2012

HAIKOU, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- At a height of five-foot-seven and weighing in at 220 pounds, 30-year-old Zhong Yun is a bit bigger than most Chinese, but he has never failed to present himself in a fashionable way.

Donning brown aviators and a denim shirt tucked into faded jeans, he looks like he might've just come from a photo shoot.

Zhong is a Chinese entrepreneur who seeks to help other overweight folks look and feel stylish, despite a lack of clothing tailored to their specifications.

"I want to help fat people become fashionistas," he said.

With the rapid development of Chinese society and economy, the wide availability of fatty food, increasing car ownership and less exercise have all had an effect on the body size of the people.

Statistics show that every one out of at least five among China's 1.3 billion people is overweight, and 120 million are obese.

At 198 pounds, 30-year-old Wu Nan is the heaviest "official model" for Taobao, a Chinese website equivalent to eBay. Nicknamed "Pangpang" (fatty in Chinese), Wu is a professional plus-size model.

However, she said she used to isolate herself because of her weight.

"I gained 70 pounds after giving birth to my son. I felt totally distorted," she said, adding that she quit her job as a French translator and locked herself indoors at home. "I was afraid of meeting friends. I didn't go to clothing stores, because they didn't offer my size."

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