MARIE CLAIRE - Nov 15 - Is skinny really beautiful? Not in Mauritania, in Western Africa, where big is beautiful and stretch marks are sexy, young girls are brutally force-fed a diet of up to 16,000 calories a day--more than four times that of a male bodybuilder--to prepare them for marriage.
Rolling layers of fat are the height of sexiness. Big women are back in vogue. The ultimate sign of beauty, however, is silvery stretch marks on the arms. [Two Mauritanians] inspect a photo of a bikini-clad model in a glossy magazine from neighboring Morocco. "She looks ill," they agree, clicking their tongues at her jutting hips and clavicles. Then they turn to an article about liposuction, and laugh so hard the walls seem to shake."
The full article was originally published at Marie Claire, but is no longer available.