Seeing a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother got me thinking: since when did body pillows (or dakimakura as some of you like to call them) become weird?
In the episode, Lily’s husband, Marshall, leaves for a few weeks to take care of his mother after his father passed away. In Marshall’s absence, Lily decides to throw some of Marshall’s clothes on a body pillow to hug while she sleeps, but then things get weird and she starts treating it like a person. Later in the episode when Marshall’s mother is asked how she’s holding up, she replies, “It gets a little lonely. My friends suggested a body pillow, but *laughs* I’m not a lunatic.”
To me, body pillows are just as essential as a head pillow and a blanket for a good night’s sleep. I know a lot of people don’t use them, but my parents came from a place where body pillows are found in just about every bed so I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. They help keep you warm and comfortable, and they give you a sense of security, like a security blanket in pillow form. Apparently, body pillows also help with back problems, so if any of you have that, you should look into getting one.
So where did the idea that body pillows are for “lunatics” come from? Well, as far as I know, it’s because of things like this:
Yes, that last one is a bit of a shocker, but I think you see my point.
Somewhere down the line, someone turned a relatively boring object into a human substitute (in more ways than one). One of the things I’ve noticed is that the body pillows used for this purpose are flat one two sides and extremely long. They’re nothing like the body pillows I’m familiar with, which are cylindrical and not that much bigger than a regular pillow. My guess is that they aren’t cylindrical so the characters don’t look stretched, and they’re much longer to be able to fit a 1:1 scale print of a person.
I’ve also noticed that most of the body pillow covers designed to be a human substitute are not of partially nude celebrities or models, but of anime characters. What’s more, even non-anime fans are becoming aware of anime-themed body pillow covers because of shows like 30 Rock:
Now when I say I watch anime and I have a body pillow, I’m sure some people are going to assume the wrong thing.
So what do you guys think? Are body pillows just as normal as a head pillow and blanket, or are they for “lunatics” as Marshall’s mother put it?