Senegalese Culture –Round and Beautiful

“You have hardly eaten anything. Eat!”

It sure is important to eat well and to eat a lot in Senegal.

Especially for women, being fat is considered something beautiful. It shows strength, personality; it shows that one is a real woman. It also gives one status. Being fat means that one eats well, which means one has money.

And.. It is true that many men like women with a ‘full’ figure! A big bum is very ‘sexy’…

Many young women who are skinny try to gain weight in order to ‘enhance’ their beauty.

Of course there are some people who prefer the skinnier type, be it male or female, but overall it is roundness which triumphs over all. I have to agree that roundness truly suits Senegalese women. It is beautiful. But what is it with white people, is it because of our culture, our clothes or our body structure? I have to say: roundness does not suit white people.

Do you know why?

Because our culture does not embrace this trait as positive.

I myself wouldn’t feel comfortable being fat and prefer losing weight rather than gaining some, but I wonder how the western world would be if ‘roundness’ would be seen as beautiful?

On the other hand, in the time of Leonardo Da Vinci, it was something positive. The nude paintings of the past we so admire nowadays show fullness in its greatest form.

What is wonderful about Senegalese culture, is that as a woman, you never feel this pressure, this pressure which we unconsciously have to confront every day in our western culture. It is an intrinsic feeling to thrive towards the beauty of a slim body.

Without knowing it, we are influenced so much by our society… I want to say that I don’t care how other people are, that I can be ‘myself’ for a 100 percent, but after living here for 3 months I have realized that we cannot help but be influenced by our surroundings.

If your family, your friends and the media around you fixes beauty as slim, as fit, then that is what one will thrive for. Because no matter what we say; we as humans are always doomed to be narcissists.

How interesting is it to think however, that the definition of beauty is actually defined by society, by culture, but even by time itself?

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5 thoughts on “Senegalese Culture –Round and Beautiful

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  1. As an American I always find it interesting to see different cultures. For women in the states, we are pressured to fit the ideals of those around us that in all reality can be unrealistic, instead of embracing not just what we find beautiful but who we are. This creates a myriad of self confidence issues that spill into everyday life, as it is harder for one to appreciate their own beauty when comparing oneself to everyone else or being compared by others. I hope that one day our society will be able to flourish in diversity through the empowerment of self-worth and self-appreciation, regardless of what the most vocal opinion of beauty is. It would solve more problems than one might believe.

    1. Thank You for your message! I totally agree – society influences our confidence far more than we think!
      It would be interesting to see if in the future, society develops as more accepting of individual beauty rather than thriving towards a societal ideal.

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