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Overweight, Divorced Women Welcome in Mauritania

Oprah sang during her show yesterday “There is a place for us…,” as she learned that Mauritania, a west African nation, classifies beauty as being overweight. Her Nov. 20 episode featured a look around the world at how different countries define beauty in women. In Japan it was having flawless, porcelain skin; in Iran it was having a petite nose (the nose job capital of the world); in New Zealand, the women tattoo their chins and have their lips tattooed blue.

Mauritanian men and women define beauty as being “plump,” said Houda, a native of the country. From a young age, girls are force-fed couscous and camel’s milk, which is high in fat, all in an effort to make the girls gain weight so that they can find a husband. Often times, the girls are stuffed so full that they get sick, but given little recovery time before the feeding begins again. It seems the fatter the better in this culture.
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