The New York Times reports that fat is sexy is Mauritania, where women force feed themselves to put on pounds.
A 2001 government survey of 68,000 women found that one in five between ages 15 and 49 had been deliberately overfed. And nearly 70 percent – and even more among teenagers – said they did not regret it.
[…]Other cultures prize corpulent women. But Mauritania may be unique in the lengths it has gone to achieve its vision of female beauty. For decades, the Mauritanian version of a Western teenager’s crash diet was a crash feeding program, designed to create girls obese enough to display family wealth and epitomize the Mauritanian ideal.
Centuries-old poems glorify women immobilized by fat, moving so slowly they seemed to stand still, unable to hoist themselves onto camels without the aid of men’s willing hands…