Beauty canons vary throughout the world, but most women consistently try to match them. In traditional societies, where the well-being of a girl often depends on male attention, appearance is especially important. What are the sacrifices of girls that native mothers make to go, believing that it will bring daughters only good, - in the material “Tapes.ru”.
In Cameroon, many women understand how important a good education is for their daughters, quotes Rambler. Mothers are ready to go to extreme measures, if only their girls are not married in adolescence, as they once did with them. Even outright cruelty. According to the UN, 24 percent of girls in the country were subjected to the procedure of burning the chest with red-hot stones or iron. 58 percent surviving the procedure girls suffered at the hands of their own mothers.
Girls of the ages of eight to 16 are usually subjected to this torture in the hope of saving them from annoying male attention, rape, and early pregnancy. The fact is that in the country it is believed that if a girl has breasts, she is ready for marriage and the birth of children. As a result of the procedure and the lack of proper scar treatment, girls may develop cysts and may develop breast cancer over time. With the birth of a child, other problems are revealed: for example, the absence of breast milk. Moreover, studies show that cauterization does not help to combat violence. Many Cameroonian men did not even suspect the existence of the practice until journalistic materials began to appear about it.
A similar tradition is also common in Chad, Togo, Benin, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Since 2010-s, along with immigrants from central and western Africa, the custom has spread to the UK. Girls often believe that it is necessary for their good and do not want to lose their mother, so they do not admit to others about what happened. They carefully hide the scars, in schools they refuse to undergo a medical examination and change clothes for sports. After the procedure, the girls often withdraw into themselves, but do not name the reason because of shame.
Psychotherapist Leila Hussain, who works at a clinic in north London, claims that five of her clients had chest burns. They all had British citizenship. “One of them told me 'I have a flat chest like a boy's', and there are scars! But no one has ever examined them or asked about it. And this is in the capital! ”, - the woman is indignant.
Jennifer Mirage, who worked as a nurse in hospitals in the cities of Glasgow, Broomfield, Birmingham and London for more than ten years, noted that over the years the number of women with disfigured breasts has increased. She personally met 15 adult women and 8 girls with burn scars on their breasts.
“I once took care of a ten-year-old girl who had an infection. The disease appeared after several years of cauterization of the chest, ”she admitted.
One of the women described the painful procedure to reporters: “I took a stone, heated it and started massaging my daughter's breasts. The stone was hot. When I started the massage, she said: "Mommy, I'm hot!" The unfortunate mother was interrogated, warned her and released from the police station. Although material on the practice appears regularly in the British press, no arrests have been made so far. It is not even necessary to talk about Cameroon in this way.
Member of the House of Lords, Alex Carlil (Alex Carlile) called on the police to actively combat the spread of cauterization. “It’s time for the police and prosecutors to pay attention to the problem and begin to fight it decisively, considering how it affects the young victims and their environment.” He was actively supported by the Committee on Children and Gender Equality.
However, Nuyudjevira, who lives in the UK, who was once disfigured by her mother in this way, only shakes her head. “The British are so polite when it comes to what they consider to be cultural. But if children, little girls, who are secretly mutilated, suffer because of these “peculiarities”, then this should not be considered normal. "
While women in the Western world, under the influence of gloss, continue to diets in the hope of losing weight, in Mauritania and Nigeria full ladies are considered the standard of beauty. Especially beautiful men call stretch marks. To increase the chances of daughters for a happy marriage, mothers give them to the so-called wet-nurse since the age of five. They have to make even the thinnest girl recover, so that she will cease to be a “disgrace for the family.” The custom of force feeding is called lebluh.
The nurses feed girls with huge plates of fatty couscous, breadcrumbs in olive oil, figs and lamb, make them drink about twenty liters of camel milk a day and eat fat from camel humps. If the girl cannot finish the meal, she is punished. The feet of the child are placed between wooden sticks and placed on top of gravity. The nurse thinks that vomiting is "a normal and natural reaction of a growing organism." Wet nurses do not allow wards to move so that they do not accidentally lose weight. At eight years old, girls weigh about 140 kilograms, adult women for extradition - 200.
“The girls are sent to the nurse on school holidays or during the rainy season, when the cattle gives a lot of milk, and they do not explain anything. They suffer, but they are told everywhere that only fat women will be happy, ”explains human rights activist Fatimata Mbaye.
20 percent of women in Mauritania, according to WHO, suffer from obesity. Overweight men are only four percent of the total population. When girls grow up, they suffer from numerous diseases: obesity, hypertension and heart disease.
The younger generation believes that the tradition should be left in the past. “We must put an end to the tradition that threatens our lives. I know so many innocent girls who have been made to grow fat against their will in order to marry, and most of them suffer from diseases, ”says 25-year-old Mariam Mint Ahmed. “Mother started fattening me when I was 13. She beat me to eat more. Each time it seemed to me that my stomach was about to explode, ”recalls Selekha Mint Sidi. The woman said she was not going to fatten her daughter, no matter what.
“I believe that it is necessary to fatten the girls. Thin daughters - the shame of family and tribe. Yes, and men are unlikely to look at them, ”- says 55-year-old Acetu Mint Taleb. The woman considers herself an excellent mother: she gave her two daughters to the nurse for two years at the age of eight.
“They were incredibly cleaned up, quickly got married and gave birth to 17 years. My daughters run the house and come to me for the weekend. I am very proud of what I did for them. In Mauritania, the size of a woman shows how much space she has in a man’s heart, ”she admits.
Mar Hubero Capdeferro, UN representative on gender and demographic issues in Mauritania, explains that beauty standards have historically shaped: “Usually, if a woman is fat, her family has money to feed her. They are not poor, they have money for food for little girls. So fat women have become the standard of beauty: the more luxurious you are, the prettier you are. ” But the situation, she said, is beginning to change. Many young women no longer want to fatten their daughters. If before women were sitting at home, now they go to work, go for a walk, play sports. Many people look after their health while looking at the older generation: Moorish women in 40 and 50 have been struggling for years, suffer from diabetes and heart disease.
However, those who continue to fatten their daughters resort to more and more extreme methods. Some girls are given chemicals instead of camel's milk, which are used to make cattle grow fatter. The women who have grown up on hormonal preparations for animal women have a disproportionate body: huge breasts, stomach and cheeks, but thin arms and legs. These women are more likely than fattened on natural food, suffer from heart and hormonal diseases and infertility. Some go crazy.
Dr. Wadel Lemin from the metropolitan hospital noted that every day several girls suffering from eating disorders go to the hospital. Many of them go to doctors not the first time - parents refuse to follow the recommendations of doctors and continue to feed them.
As a rule, parents are cool to meet the intention of teenage daughters to get a tattoo. Indiana Gita Pandey from Uttar Pradesh, on the contrary, from childhood was trained to have several tattoos, as well as pierced nose and ears, like those of her mother and grandmother.
The fact is that in the community where she came from, all married women should have tattoos called Godna.
“The family explained to me that if I don’t have a tattoo, then no one in my spouse’s family would take food and water from my hands. I will be considered unclean, untouchable, ”explained Pandey.
Her mother was getting married in 1940's, when she was about to turn 11. A few weeks after the wedding, an old woman came to her and tattooed her. Of the tools, the old woman had only a needle, which she heated in a fire, and a black dye.
They did not give anesthetizing to the child, the old woman did not have any ointments either. “I cried all the time and pinched the old woman. In the end, she complained to my grandfather and called me a problem, ”recalled Pandey's mother in conversations with her daughter. Scar healed for about a month. The figure depicted leaves and flowers.
According to anthropologist Kei Pandi, women usually make tattoos with floral patterns, the name of the father or husband, the name of the village, a totem, a symbol of the family, or an image of some of the gods. Over the years of research, she has seen millions of tattoos from village women all over India. Only sometimes tattoos were made by men. “This is a symbol of identification, both in our world and in the afterlife. It is believed that after death, a person will be asked where he comes from, and he will be able to show a tattoo and answer this question. ”
The people of Baiga from the state of Madhya Pradesh have been tattooing girls for more than two thousand years. “As soon as the girls became teenagers, they got their first tattoo on their foreheads. Then, over the course of several years, most of their bodies were covered with drawings, ”said Pragya Gupta, who had visited their villages for several years as part of a program to provide the country with clean drinking water. According to her, all women of the people have tattoos, but more and more young girls refuse to apply them. Baiga beat tattoos to girls exclusively in the forest, away from men's eyes. This is due to omen: if a man sees a woman in the blood in the morning, his day will not work out. The drawing is scratched with a bamboo stalk, and then it is beaten with needles with a dye from the Abyssinian seed.
Gupta connects this with the establishment of communications: the construction of new roads, the advent of television and mobile phones. Children of the people of Beiga began to go to school and found that not all women have tattoos.
“I met 15-year-old Anita. She had a tattoo on her forehead, and she said that it hurt so much that she would never allow this to happen again. And her mother, 40-year-old Badri, has tattoos covering almost her entire body, ”the woman said.
Badri supported her daughter's decision. “I was illiterate and completely obeyed my parents. And Anita goes to school, and if she doesn't want a tattoo, then I agree with that, ”explained the Indian. However, for the sake of such an indulgence, Anita had to promise that she would stay at home from time to time: prepare, clean and look after her younger brothers and sisters while her mother works on the farm. Attendance of the girl fell, and she may have to stay for the second year.