Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big Bottom

One of the biggest myths about body image issues perpetuated by the media is that these are only the anxieties of Western women who are obsessed with staying thin. But this BBC story from the Ivory Coast in Africa proves otherwise, showing that different concerns with body image exist in every culture. The article describes a new popular body "enhancement" inspired by a dance craze called Boboraba (Big Bottom):

Bobaraba dancers

A national dance craze in Ivory Coast has spawned a black market in treatments claiming to increase one's bottom size.
The dance in question has been inspired by DJ Mix and DJ Eloh's hit song Bobaraba, which means "big bottom" in the local Djoula language. When it plays you can be guaranteed that the dance floor will be packed with people shaking their derrieres.

The message seems to have been taken on board - so much so that some women are now going in search of a "bobaraba". In the sprawling Adjame market just north of the city centre in Abidjan, women sell "bottom enhancers". "You need to inject this liquid into your bottom once a day," says a market trader, showing a vial of coloured liquid labelled "Vitamin B12". Each vial costs $2. The label claims it is made in China.

Not a long way from Sir Mix-A-Lot, is it?

Ivory Coast's Big Bottom Craze [BBC]

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