big bums prevent aids
My friend Sarah from Ghana who lived in my flat for a while, while she was searching a flat here in Nuremberg, was not fat, but you couldn’t denote her as slim – she got strong legs & a big (but not huge) bum – her body looked well shaped, but more in a ‘Rubens’ manner than in our meager western fashion shape girls & woman here have as paragon to look like. – Her body was strong & sound to me & you liked to be close to her soft brown shapes – if you know what I mean. –
Most white women & girls I know if they had 'that' shape would try to diet to reach the perfect slim line modern fashion paragons tell them to be desired. – Not so Sarah. – I once heard her say, that she got to eat more to get more flesh on her shoulders – I was shocked - she wanted to get bigger to reach her ideal of beauty where every woman I ever knew would prefer to diet.
Much later I found out what was behind it like here in an NY Times article::
Africa Faces Growing Obesity Problem
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- Africa, a continent usually synonymous with hunger, is falling prey to obesity. It's a trend driven by new lifestyles and old beliefs that big is beautiful. Ask Nodo Njobo, a plump hairdressing assistant. She is coy about her weight, but like many African women, proud of her ''big bum.'' She says she'd like to be slimmer, but worries how her friends would react.
''Here, if you lose a lot of weight, people automatically think you have TB or AIDS. It's not like in America and Europe where you go on a diet to lose weight,'' Njobo said…
Here also some responds to a similar article in bbc.co.uk to this theme
Growing up in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which is predominantly populated by the Zulu people, I believe that it is indeed a sign of wealth. This is a very male orientated idea as the more "fuller" your wife and children appear, the wealthier the man of the house will appear to others. I think that obesity is the least of the problems in Africa when you take into account the continuing spread of Aids, the poverty and the lack of education for children.
by Natasha Samuel, United Kingdom (Originally South Africa)
Being fat in Africa is a sign of health and wealth. Our mothers-in-law demand to see daughters-in-law who make the earth tremble when they walk (umfazi ohamba kunyakazele umhlaba). This is the sign of a true African woman. In a country like Zimbabwe where an estimated 1.4 people are suspected to be living with HIV/Aids, you just cannot contemplate loosing weight without fearing that your neighbours will start whispering that you have Aids. Man and women alike feel comfortable dating a fat/big person because they are considered "clean". Hence the colloquial name for AIDS in west Africa is "slim"
by Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Obesity is not a problem in my country. Because not everyone can afford to buy food, so when a person is "thick, healthy, solid and fat" it is considered a great sight. Men love, I mean love fat women. Whenever a man tells a woman you are fat, it is consider a compliment and ladies love to hear that. The rapid spread of AIDS is our major problem in Nigeria. Not Obesity.
by Yoknyam Love Dabale, Taraba States, Nigeria
When Rubens created his paintings Aids & Tuberculosis signs were also deeply avoided – weren`t they?
On the other hand: Would you call Rubens 'Graces' slim?
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