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Does a Place Exist Where Women are Not Fat Enough?

It does and it's hard to imagine. I recently read this article on MSNBC and it just reiterates that the grass is not always greener...

There are no fast food restaurants in Mauritania, yet one fourth of the women there are obese. That is because in Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa, bigger women are considered better. In fact, force feeding girls and beating them if they vomit or refuse food is not uncommon to make them bigger. Obesity has long been the ideal of beauty in Mauritania, providing a visual for a family’s wealth amongst poverty.

Those that are not big have been known to try using foreign-made appetite-inducing pills (I didn't even know such a product existed) and use veils to cover-up their thinness. The government has since launched a TV and radio campaign highlighting the health risks of obesity to stop the harsh treatment to women and girls. This combined with the rising popularity of foreign soap operas featuring model-thin women, has helped the decline, but it is still present.

Can you imagine? The women of Mauritania must think that our country's obsession with thinness is completely bizarre, while I can't imagine telling a woman that she is not fat enough. What do you think?

Join The Conversation
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
wow, its amazing how different cultures see things so differently and yet force feeding and starvation are both so very bad, I wonder when we'll learn
andaman andaman 10 years
It doesn't mean they are straving though. Their diet isn't oily or meaty.
andaman andaman 10 years
I met a few people from africa (it's a massive continent i know), i think every single country has a different diet. I know in nigeria they use a lot of tomatoes but in etiopia they eat a lot seeds and white onions. I think it's to do with what you can grow. I was told by an etiopian that most people are very slim there.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
wackdoodle, that's true, I never thought of that with the tanning.
SU3 SU3 10 years
That is sad! Force feeding 14 gallons of milk to a 4 year old girl to the point where she vomits is dangerous! After hearing about this from the news, I read somewhere that they even have 'fat farms' where they force young girls to eat fattening foods. Sad...
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
That's not a new concept. I remember first year art history class was a real eye opener. The first ancient goddess and fertility statues were of obese women. Obese bodies after the ice resided were the ideal (as they will be again, that's the purpose of fat storage for times of crisis). Then in Anthrology class we were informed that a fat body on a female meant she was a good hunter and gatherer and fertile and someone an alpha male would want as the best mate. It's much like this tanning business there was a time when a tan meant you were low working class and the very wealthy were very pale. Times change. What was I talking about...
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
Funny, an e-friend of mine was just talking about this after hearing about it on BBC. I think that our countries are total opposites and that we could both inch towards the middle a little bit more. My friend said that they TRY to make stretch marks by doing all kinds of rituals, too! And also that the men are supposed to stay thin. Oh, and they take animal steriods, too. Blech. But WTH? FORCE FED? To the point of VOMITTING? Hello, they don't see that as being maybe harmful?
Michelle_S Michelle_S 10 years
thats so horrible. Is nobody aiming for a happy medium?!? its either pushing to be skinny or pushing to be fat? this is so wrong and unhealthy! ghaa
Luxury-Diva Luxury-Diva 10 years
I seen that story on tv and I was blown away!It's kinda crazy what women would do for men! When are the men going to do sumthin'to please the ladies???lol
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
Just to reiterate: Recognizing and respecting different cultures is important. But I don't think that this particular custom of force-feeding women to make them fatter is a healthy idea.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
That's interesting how cultures have different body issues. They are probably very isolated from American cultures and attitudes towards health and body shapes.
krisua krisua 10 years
missnomi missnomi 10 years
is this true? or just a media hype slow news type of story?
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
i read this story the other day, it was so sad. :( i couldn't imagine force feeding your child like foie gras...sick. :cry: i know that's not very culturally sensitive but it just doesn't seem right to put your child's health at state. could you imagine if a parent were to starve her child to make her thinner? people would be outraged.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
:jawdrop: this is just ridiculous! force feeding is as bad as starvation IMO
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