yet fat is attractive in some cultureshttp://college.hmco.com/history/readers … ofwome.htm
The preference among immigrant and upwardly mobile groups for
plumpness in women as an indication of prosperity combined with the
campaign of doctors against extreme thinness and tight-lacing corsets
to make weight fashionable among women by the mid-nineteenth century.
For a time, fat was considered beautiful.
Palaeolithic men valued larger women. Female fat was a sign of well
being, plenty and the ability to survive hard times. In the days when
hunting provided a large proportion of our food having a fat wife was
the equivalent of driving a Ferrari.
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Preferences for body shape have varied over time and between cultures.
Historically, most societies have associated fatness in women with
desirable social status as it is an overt sign of wealth where food is
not abundant (Rudofsky, 1972). In many countries, obesity is viewed
with admiration as a sign of fertility, strength and prosperity, all
of which are related to human survival (MacKenzie, unpublished
manuscript). In many non-Western countries, large women are considered
beautiful and sexually attractive. It is common in African cultures
for fat to be interpreted as a symbol of sexual maturity, fertility,
prosperity, strength and wisdom (Sheinin, 1990).
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But in some African cultures being plump is considered healthy. And
health in turn equals beauty. Some Asians will assume you're rich if
you are overweight, which indicates success - another attractive
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It is interesting that in some cultures fat is considered beautiful
and a sign of wealth, so women are fattened up before marriage!
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DR CAROLINE WEST: It's only fairly recently in history that thin
bodies have been the shape society aspires to. Fat used to be
fashionable, and in many other cultures, fat is still the desired
DR GARRY EGGER: There's one beautiful story about an African king who
used to fatten up his wives before he married them to the extent that
they couldn't...they couldn't walk. They were so fat that they had to
sit still, and that was regarded as a sign of beauty.
In Victorian times in the West, larger women were the epitome of beauty.
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1890's A plump body, pale complexion, representing wealth, an
abundance of food and a refined indoor lifestyle.
50's & 60's Full-figured shapes of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield,
as well as the gaunt Twiggy look.