All Articles Tagged "west africa"
Historically, it has appeared that the residents of many countries in Africa preferred the more voluptuous, curvy woman over the slim and slender-figured woman. However, lately, preferences appear to be shifting, sparking many public debates among residents of the Ivory Coast, regarding which physique is more desirable, reports the New York Daily News.
“Being thin is synonymous with being sickly and malnourished in African society,” Micheline Gueu, a candidate in the Miss Ivory Coast beauty pageant, regretfully admitted.
Slim-figured Ivorian singer, Princess Amore, however, is encouraging slender, small-breasted women, whom she refers to as “lalas” to embrace their figures.
“I noticed that some girls were embarrassed to have small breasts and felt like they had to fake it by stuffing their bras,” she told AFP.
Her use of the term “lala” is actually in reference to the word “lolo,” which is commonly used to describe curvy women. In 2000, Ivorian musician Meiway released song, “Mrs. Lolo,” celebrating the curves of voluptuous women. At a concert last year, he yelled out to his audience:
“You White people, you like your women flat and thin. Here, we like them big, with curves.”
Despite the widespread celebration of the “lolos,” the Daily News reports that there are certainly more “lalas” being showcased in the Miss Ivory beauty pageants.
Victor Yapobi, President of the Miss Ivory organizing committee suggests that thinner women are more easily marketed than fuller figured women.
“Our beauties comply to international standards: minimum height 1.68 metres (five feet six inches), 90 centimetres (35 inches) around the hips,” said Yapobi.
It appears that statements like the one made by Yapobi are one of the reasons that curvier African women argue that their beauty is also underrated. In 2009, Abidjan organization, Roundly Beautiful surfaced. Spearheaded by Djeneba Dosso, the organization aims to “rid big women of their complexes.” Although the group celebrates curvy women, organizers also encourage Ivorian women to make healthier choices, as many of them ”don’t exercise and eat badly,” says Dosso.
Artist Augustin Kassi, who frequently paints images of full-figured women, disapproves of the beauty pageant, which he refers to as ”voluntary denigration of African beauty.” As a promoter of diversity, it appears that Kassi finds the constant debating to be trivial.
“The world is made up of different things. It’s a rainbow,” he says.
What are your thoughts on the thick vs. slim debate?
This young chocolate hottie is one of West Africa’s finest. Originally from Sierra Leone, Salieu Jalloh was discovered on the streets of New York in 2008. Since then, the young model has sky rocketed to the stars, booking several jobs under Red Model Management.
By Charlotte Young
West Africa’s Guinea Bissau may be small in size, but it’s big on the market for drug traffickers.
Originally intended as the crossroads for Africa’s drug trade, a Christian Science Monitor reports that the country’s capital “has become a place to sling crack and hook users.”
Regional Representative Alexandre Schmidt for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says there’s been a huge increase in cocaine addiction throughout West Africa. According to the UN, West Africa partook in about 13 metric tons of cocaine in 2009. That’s about “$800 million snow worth,” which also equals the entire gross domestic product of Guinea Bissau.
Those tons weren’t originally intended for the region. The UN believes they represent a third of the 35 tons of cocaine headed to Europe that were unloaded on the docks of Guinea Bissau. Amine Michel Saad, Guinea Bissau’s Attorney General calls them “other people’s problems that have been loaded onto our backs.”
And other people’s problems have now become a huge public health concern for the small country. While the cocaine addiction continues to grow, a rural clinic run by an elderly priest serves as the country’s only treatment center.