Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Fat Girls Are Preferred For Marriage In Mauritania
Obesity is so revered among the white Moor Arab population of Mauritania that the young girls are sometimes forced-fed to obtain weight the government has described as "life threatening". A generation ago, over a third of women in the country were forced-fed as children. Mauritania is one of the few African countries, where on average, girls receive more food than boys. Now only around one in 10 girls are treated this way. The treatment has its roots in fat being seen as sign of wealth, if a girl was thin she was considered as poor and would not be respected. But in rural Mauritania you will still see rotund women that the country is famous for. They walk slowly, dainty hands on the end of dimpled arms, pinching multicoloured swathes of fabric together to keep the biting sand off their faces. "I make them eat lots of dates, lots and of lots of couscous and other fattening foods, " Fatematou, a voluminous woman in her sixties who runs a kind of "Fat Farm" in the north desert town of Atar told BBC.