Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Booty stays in Africa, while skinny goes West

Skinny African girls may get to strut on Western catwalks but the fat ones have to stay at home.

This is the message being delivered to the 500 or so Ghanaians who have registered with the country's only international modelling agency, Exopa.

"A lot of them want to go. But not everyone has the chance to go because of the size the Europeans want them to be," says Exopa's Ghanaian director Sima Ibrahim.

As models on Western catwalks get thinner and thinner, their hungry look has sparked noisy debate about the pressure this places on girls and women to achieve perfection - even if that means "size zero".

In Africa, rolls of flesh are usually seen as a sign of wealth and status.

Few aspire to a skinny look, as those who look starved and ill are often that way through misfortune rather than choice.

But just as Africa's youth find themselves choosing between Western music and clothes and those rooted in their own tradition, they are now faced with two opposing images of beauty - the Western ideal of an ever thinner frame and the African one of a buxom and well-rounded figure.

Check out the rest of this story by Orla Ryan in The Star!

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