If there is one thing that makes life worth living, it is the variety it offers. Figure this out: While in Europe, size zero models, which is the other name for perfection in modelling terms, are a rage, in Africa, plus-size models (a politically correct way of saying that they are well-endowed) are getting all the attention. This is because in Africa, the starved look is not always about choice but rather about deprivation. But since we don’t exist in a flat world, and markets dictate our choices, modelling agencies in Ghana have made it clear to aspiring models that if they want to make the grade on the catwalk in Europe, they will either have to shape up or sashay out.
But this could prove a big problem. In many parts of Africa, size does matter. Thin is not in, for example, in Mauritiana where girls, as young as four, are sometimes force-fed to make them obese. Sometimes, women who want to lose weight are threatened with divorce if they do so. Yes, being fat does have its attendant health problems, but then being reed thin is no great shakes either.
The good news is that across the world, women of substance are not looked down upon as they were earlier. In fact, there are specialised stores catering to the well-endowed. And the good thing is young women, whether in Africa or elsewhere, are not afraid to celebrate those few extra inches. The Kate Moss brand of heroin chic is no longer such a sought-after look. So let’s weigh in on the side of variety, and forget about the scales for now.