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You’re quite fat. Will you marry me?

Diets, recipes, exercises, liposuction and every kind of supplementation, the roads to a slim body are often extreme for millions of women in the western world. In Africa? Losing weight is probably the last thing that would occur to an African woman as a response to: “What would you like to change about yourself?” African ladies often wish to look more like European or American ladies, but mainly in regard to straight hair of various colors.

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And so they fulfill their dreams with fake hair, which they entangle into their own. The main difference is that their target market, African men, like their women busty. In this culture, a larger woman is a sign of fertility and health, as opposed to a skinny woman. If we look at it from this point of view, it is obvious why sexual preference is towards the bustier. A sentence: “You are really fat!” sounds like a terrible insult, but see for yourself what it means in Africa from the following situation, which I had managed to save into my memory.

It’s 5pm and I am entering a taxi in the village of Bambui, which lies approximately 10km from where I live, Big Babanki. The capacity of personal vehicles is almost double of Europe and a Toyota Corolla can easily fit around 9 adults plus a baby or two.

I take a seat in the front with the driver, next to two, well-built, young ladies. The driver is not here yet and so we can fit without a problem. There is eight of us, three in the front and five in the back. The driver arrives in 5 minutes and starts to squeeze into his cockpit. Lifting the steering wheel as high as possible and trying to close the door, without any success.

“God, you are so fat.” He says towards the young lady sitting next to him.

The young lady smiles, but says nothing.

“Move over, damn it!” He continues with a slightly elevated tone, “You really are quite fat!” The lady tries to squeeze further into her companion, but my body has already disappeared like in a foam mattress.

The door still cannot close. I open my window and let my head, torso and right arm escape for some fresh air. This has created just the right amount of space for the drivers door to close and we finally head out. About five minutes later, it starts to rain. Heavily. I squeeze back in and close the window, creating a chain reaction of squeezing all along the front row. This all happens to the joy of the driver, who now has to change gears by putting his hand between the legs of the ladies and squeezing his shoulder into the woman’s bosom.

“I love fat ladies, but you have to move a bit, cause I can’t drive like this.” The driver compliments one of the ladies.

The whole car is entertained by the straightforwardness of the driver, who continues: “Will you marry me?”

“Nope,” says the lady closest to him.

“But I love you.” The driver doesn’t give up.

The lady is not surprised and promptly responds: “Love must be developed, you cannot just jump into it.”

“But I am developing it!” The driver exclaims and quickly adds: “and this white man will marry the one next to you!”
“A double wedding, then?” I ask all three of them.
My future bride smiles, but I think it is more of a polite-disagreement-type of a smile.
We are home, in the centre of Babanki. We exchange numbers and once more I confirm that love not only passes through the stomach in Africa, but is mainly about kilograms. The more, the better.
I attach a memo for unhappy, chubby women worldwide.
Women of all sizes, there is happiness waiting for you in Africa, if you haven’t already found it somewhere else.
-Your happiness development NGO.