Skinny Buddha vs Fat Buddha

I think most people are familiar with both versions of Buddha, the skinny and the fat one.  The original Buddhist image depicted is of him being skinny or of an average body type. It actually has always bothered me that mainly in the western world I’ve always seen the “fat” Buddha or “laughing Buddha.”  The reason why the fat version of Buddha is called the laughing Buddha is because in the images and statues depicted of him he is usually laughing or smiling. However this Laughing version of Buddha was actually first introduced in China. This is because in traditional China, being chubby signified good health and fortune. Therefore it made sense to create an image of someone so enlighten like Buddha to be chubby and smiling.  However in the Chinese Buddhist religion there is a monk by the name of Budai who has been depicted as looking like the “fat buddha” so there might have been confusion in some point in time. If you go to India, Thailand, Korea or other countries in the eastern hemisphere you will find that Buddha is depicted in statues and images as skinny, which is how he was seen originally.


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2 Responses to Skinny Buddha vs Fat Buddha

  1. Pingback: In Light With Buddha; What I Learnt From Buddhism - The Nomad Settler

  2. ayp5187 says:

    This is very interesting. I was always confused which Buddha meant what. My brother went to Thailand last year and he brought me back a small Buddha charm. It was the skinny one when I was expecting it to be the fat one. This explains why.

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