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| | |-+  Why South Africa's Women Want to Be Thin
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Author Topic: Why South Africa's Women Want to Be Thin  (Read 9995 times)
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Posts: 220

I am nothing with out my soul

« on: May 06, 2004, 09:30:37 PM »

Why South Africa's Women Want to Be Thin
By Rod Minchin and Jennifer Sym, PA News

Black South African women are becoming thinner because of the influence of Western culture, psychologists claimed today.

Researchers said the women were becoming dissatisfied with their body image as a result of the social, cultural and political changes that have taken place in the country since the collapse of apartheid.

Many of the women said they were following the Western idea of “thinness equals beauty” and wanted to be attractive to the opposite sex.

Other women in the study, which was compiled jointly by Northumbria University and South Africa’s University of Zululand, said they wished to wear the latest designer fashions, which are only made in smaller sizes.

The psychologists quizzed 17 women, all aged around 21, from the Kwazulu Natal-based university and the findings will be presented at the British Psychological Society conference in London today.

The research was a follow-up to an earlier study between the two institutions which found high levels of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes among black women in rural South Africa.

Psychologist Julie Seed, who lectures at Northumbria University, said societal pressure was another factor in the desire for black women to be thinner, as friends, peers and even family members would tease overweight women.

But she said “perceived empowerment” was also a factor as women wanted to be thin because they felt they could choose for themselves what size they want to be. For years, males had dictated their daughters’, wives’ and partners’ size. Weight was traditionally regarded as a symbol of prosperity and status in rural South Africa.

Last month, larger-than-life soprano Deborah Voigt was sacked by London’s Royal Opera for being overweight. The company wanted a singer who would “look right” in a black evening dress for its contemporary production.

A survey for Dove Firming found two-thirds of UK women feel depressed about their figures and have low body confidence as a result of beauty advertising.

In February, a survey found more than one in four Britons are on a diet most of the time, with women just over twice as likely as men to say they were trying to lose weight.


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.
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