Dainty Mouths & Big Burgers: Liberating Japanese Women

Ochobo level: Achieved

Japanese Burger joint Freshness Burger had a problem. Their largest burger, the “Classic” was a huge hit, but only among men. What was going on? Well the burger is enormous and in order to eat it you have to unhinge your jaw and get a little (a lot) messy. According to the campaign video, this was a deal breaker for Japanese women:

“For Japanese women, having “ochobo,” a small and modest mouth, is regarded as attractive. In public, a large open mouth is regarded as ugly and rude. It is therefore considered good manners to cover the mouth when opening it. This means they are denied the wild pleasure of taking mouth sized bites of this big tasty burger freely in public. Freshness burger decided to challenge this convention.”

How? By introducing the “Liberation Wrapper,” which covers a woman’s face with the image of a smiling closed mouth, allowing her to get down to the business of burger eating without looking unladylike. According to Freshness Burger sales of their Classic Burger have gone up 213% among women since the introduction of the Liberation Wrapper.

This campaign is getting buzz because it hits an internet trifecta, clever advertising, yet another bizarre thing Japanese people do (it’s officially filed under “weird” on msn), and gender politics. To the first and second I say yes and, what is “weird” anyway? To the third, obviously it’s troubling that women are hiding themselves behind paper masks to conform to expectations about “dainty” and “demure” mouths while men are free to scarf down burgers as messily as they like.

Maybe the Japanese just need a role model to teach them that ladies can eat burgers without shame. And no one makes a better role model for burger eating than America.  So let’s check in with some liberated American women to see how they eat a burger. Ladies?

Kate Upton for Carls Jr








Okay…not exactly what I was looking for but at least her face isn’t covered I guess. Let’s try again.

Still from Carls Jr Pulled Pork ad









Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 10.16.39 AM








Well obviously this just isn’t a burger ad so there’s no problem with…

Paris Hilton for Carls Jr










You’ve got to be kidding me.

Clearly Carls Jr is the problem here, I’m sure if we check out some ads from other…what’s that? Burger King too?












Surely Arby’s, (home of the roast beef sandwich ®), would never…











Bun-boobs? Really?!? I give up.

2 thoughts on “Dainty Mouths & Big Burgers: Liberating Japanese Women”

  1. Lolled. Clever. But is your contention that this kind of advertising exists at all, or that it is common and has a large impact on women? Woman ads comprise a tiny minority of fast food advertisements. And I imagine a tiny minority of Japanese burger wrappers as well.


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