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Diaper fashion

At a show in Japan, models walked the ramp wearing adult diapers.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 30, 2008 12:48 IST

The diaper show introduced a collection of 170 adult diapers and smaller pads, with men and women walking and striking a pose to the tunes of 1980s British and American pop and rock music.

The event, a new concept, was organised by Mutsukian, a private-sector group that offers information on tending to elderly people's personal needs, with the support of 70 volunteers as well as diaper makers. Kiyoko Hamada, 58, who heads Mutsukian, said she “wanted people to take a look at diapers in a cheerful manner.”

“They are necessary products and you don’t need to feel ashamed,” she said. The moderator introduced the first design, ‘Relief’, a “thin, lively type of underpant that can be pulled up easily.” “Shaped to fit elderly people’s bodies and made of soft material that feels like putting on real underwear. Also uses anti-germ, deodorant sheets,” she continued.

“Number two — ‘Profit’, slim-crotch with gathers that fit the buttocks to prevent leakage.” The show reminded the audience — caregivers, nurses and those who were looking for diaper information for themselves — of a simple fact: most people begin and end life in diapers.

“No matter how rich you are, or what high social status you have, most of you eventually need someone who takes care of what your body discharges,” a lecturer said before the show started. “It may be for a couple of days in hospital or a number of years in your bed,” said Sachiko Hanari, who had taken care of five people —her grandparents, her father and mother, and her mother-in-law — over three decades.”

“After all, elderly care is about disposing off a variety of body wastes, even if some commentators on TV say it’s about human dignity and so on,” she said. Some 4.34 million senior people in Japan needed care in their daily lives as January-end, a 50 per cent jump from six years ago, according to the country’s health ministry.