Jessica Simpson has a new reality show on VH1 called Price of Beauty, where she visits other cultures around the world and investigates their definition/idea of what “beauty” is. One trip that had her stunned was when she visited Uganda and discovered “Fattening Huts“, where a bride-to-be goes to “fatten up” before she gets married.
As this HuffPo entry says:
In this Ugandan tribe [Hima], a full figure is considered beautiful. A plump wife is a status symbol and a source of pride for men. If an American man compared you to a cow, you would be quite insulted and likely very upset. The comparison evokes a different response in Uganda. A well fed wife and cow are a sign that you are a wealthy man and it is a compliment.
From Lost in Somewhereistan:
In Hima society, offering a chubby daughter for marriage is a sign of prosperity, wealth… in short, a fat daughter accords high status to her father. Sheila retired to a small fattening hut where for four months, under her grandmother’s watchful eye, she drank gallons of fresh, whole milk every day. She literally had nothing to do other than sleep, drink, and eat…
In some African countries like Mauritania, girls are force-fed (gavage) from an early age.
In countries where food (and fast food) is scarce, “A fat person represents health, wealth, and ultimately… beauty.”
You can also watch this video on fat-houses in Nigeria.
As for Jessica Simpson, we can see here that last year she was very wealthy and attractive:
As seen in a recent issue of Marie Claire, she is a bit less wealthy now: