This video is absolutely shocking to me. I had no idea there was such an issue.
In this video, shot by Al Jazeera, girls in Mauritania are force fed to cause obesity as it brings on puberty earlier. There is also a perception that larger wives are treated better by their husbands. There is much denial in the country that the tradition is still being practiced but this video shows othewise.
Initially I was glad to find a country where we curvy women are considered "in." After watching the video, one can't help but be appalled that there is yet another archaic practice forcing women's and girl's bodies to conform to a societal standard. It confuses me that there is one country in Africa where some are force fed and so many others where people do not have enough to eat.
Of course, we Americans know that if Mauritanians want to be overweight, all they need is a McDonalds on every corner. No need to force feed when customers are lured in by the promise of fries and a cute toy in each happy meal. It's also quite interesting that there remain countries that have not been effected (yet) by the western idea of beauty. The end of the video suggests that this might be changing.