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Q: fat as attractive in different cultures ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: fat as attractive in different cultures
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: barryba-ga
List Price: $12.50
Posted: 25 Aug 2004 09:48 PDT
Expires: 24 Sep 2004 09:48 PDT
Question ID: 392421
It seems that in different cultures women who were fat were considered
more attractive. I am looking for examples of this. Time is of the
essence as i need this info. for a lecture this evening Wednesday,
Aug. 25
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: fat as attractive in different cultures
From: steph53-ga on 25 Aug 2004 10:30 PDT
Hi Barryba....

I'm not a GA researcher, but I do know that in the ancient Greek
times, big and voluptious women were considered the ideal.
Subject: Re: fat as attractive in different cultures
From: tlspiegel-ga on 25 Aug 2004 11:24 PDT
Hi barrba,

Here's some information to get you started.

The preference among immigrant and upwardly mobile groups for
plumpness in women as an indication of prosperity combined with the
campaign of doctors against extreme thinness and tight-lacing corsets
to make weight fashionable among women by the mid-nineteenth century.
For a time, fat was considered beautiful.


Palaeolithic men valued larger women. Female fat was a sign of well
being, plenty and the ability to survive hard times. In the days when
hunting provided a large proportion of our food having a fat wife was
the equivalent of driving a Ferrari.


Preferences for body shape have varied over time and between cultures.
Historically, most societies have associated fatness in women with
desirable social status as it is an overt sign of wealth where food is
not abundant (Rudofsky, 1972). In many countries, obesity is viewed
with admiration as a sign of fertility, strength and prosperity, all
of which are related to human survival (MacKenzie, unpublished
manuscript). In many non-Western countries, large women are considered
beautiful and sexually attractive. It is common in African cultures
for fat to be interpreted as a symbol of sexual maturity, fertility,
prosperity, strength and wisdom (Sheinin, 1990).


But in some African cultures being plump is considered healthy. And
health in turn equals beauty. Some Asians will assume you're rich if
you are overweight, which indicates success - another attractive

It is interesting that in some cultures fat is considered beautiful
and a sign of wealth, so women are fattened up before marriage!


DR CAROLINE WEST: It's only fairly recently in history that thin
bodies have been the shape society aspires to. Fat used to be
fashionable, and in many other cultures, fat is still the desired

DR GARRY EGGER: There's one beautiful story about an African king who
used to fatten up his wives before he married them to the extent that
they couldn't...they couldn't walk. They were so fat that they had to
sit still, and that was regarded as a sign of beauty.

In Victorian times in the West, larger women were the epitome of beauty.


1890's A plump body, pale complexion, representing wealth, an
abundance of food and a refined indoor lifestyle.


50's & 60's Full-figured shapes of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield,
as well as the gaunt Twiggy look.

Best regards,
Subject: Re: fat as attractive in different cultures
From: gujo-ga on 25 Aug 2004 11:29 PDT
Hello! This is a very interesting question. I remember having read
something about force-feeding in a book about Livingstone's expedition
in Africa but although i haven't found anything about that on the web,
i did find a couple of references in modern Africa :

-Mauritania's 'wife-fattening' farm
> this article reveals that fatness was a symbol of beauty in
traditional Mauritania : "Once they are fat and beautiful they can
serve their men well, once they are fat they can be married."

-This seems to be quite true all over Africa, as shows the 2003 beauty
pageant election in Burkina Faso which resulted in a 117kg winner.
(Burkina Faso's Miss 'Large Lady' :

-According to an article from Jet, a Miss Fat South Africa beauty
contest "is held to reinforce African values and traditions of beauty
despite the growing influence of Western culture, which touts
super-slim shapes as the beauty standard."

-a medical site (!gid2=2544)
even talks about a survey of traditional cultures in Asia and Africa
that "reveals many examples of teenage girls being encouraged to eat
well and to develop a full figure, so as to become more beautiful
according to local tastes".

In fact, in Africa and India, weight is a sign of health and richness,
and as such has integrated itself as an indicator of "beauty".

In Pacific Islander cultures,large physical size isconsidered a mark
of beauty and social status. That explains why Native Hawaiians and
Samoans are among the most obese people in the world and don't even
consider it to be a health problem !

Consider also the Venus beauties of prehistoric times, they are quite
fat :
(Venus of willendorf).

You shall find a couple of interesting facts about fat bottoms in
prehistoric times and 19th century Africa at :

hopes it suffices!
Subject: Re: fat as attractive in different cultures
From: piccolo24-ga on 31 Aug 2004 17:40 PDT
I live in south Georgia and men here like big women. I'm 13 and am
dating a 185 lb. girl who is 5 foot 3 and I find here very attractive.

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