Sudanese Women Seek Slimmer Figures

Despite cultural norms that favor thick thighs and hips, more Sudanese women are hitting the gym.

Posted: 05/15/2013 10:44 AM EDT
Sudanese Women Seek Slimmer Figures

For Sudanese women, the prevailing idea about body size used to be “the thicker the better,” but now, as media images of thin women become more pervasive and attitudes about health change, more and more women are starting to seek a slimmer physique. 

In the country’s capital, Khartoum, nearly 30 gyms have sprung up in the past few years catering to the Sudanese woman’s new desire to slim down. BBC reports:

"Married women, young ladies, all ages come," she [fitness trainer Amal Ahmed] says. "They love it."

Obesity is a big — and growing — problem in Sudan, and health concerns are one motivation for women to work out.

"They don't want to be fat so they don't get diseases. They are afraid of arthritis and back pain," says Ahmed.

But there has been a shift culturally too. "In Sudan, fat has become not wanted. Sudanese want to be like the people outside," she says.

...

When you turn on the TV in Sudan, you're bombarded with adverts for weight-loss products, with images of svelte Lebanese and Egyptian women flashing across the screen, and this undoubtedly has an effect, says [Nafisa Bedri, a professor at Afhad University for Women].

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: GettyImages)

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