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Monday, July 26, 2010

From Female Circumcision to Breast Ironing - The Plight of an African Girl

It’s quite amazing, though at times baffling, what some women or ladies would go through in this world to become or remain attractive.

While there’s consensus that a woman must always be beautiful, this beauty of course lies on the eyes of the behold-her. And this beauty is not only measured by facial appearance, but more besides. Right body size, extraordinary body shape, must be curvaceous or hourglass - model-like height, a stylish hair and a drooling ‘chest’ for want of a better word are just but a few of factors to consider when looking for a spouse or girlfriend.

I remember a period when a woman’s hips was the in-thing. I was only in first grade then and from the moment this became an obsession in the world of attractiveness, I started encountering women around the village who had developed big hips overnight!

However, it didn’t take long before word started doing rounds in the village that the owners of these hips had fixed big heaps of cotton wool around this area of interest to give it that extra ammunition.

That was at the start of the millennium. Since then, other issues have arisen and today, most women, if not all, are aspiring to own celebrity and model-like figures which are simply unattainable for most.

God is famed for working in mysterious circumstances. If he gives you a big buxom, he can as well ‘bless’ you with a close to nonexistence bottom. And since he offers no room for negotiation, you are either left to live with it, or consult science to add it to you, of course with side effects.

What if He gives you more than you would have wished for? Do you iron it down?

 

Well, this is what they do in Cameroon, as far as breasts are concerned. For the ignorant, Cameroon is a country of central and western Africa. It boasts of having produced one of the most deadly strikers in world football today in the name of Samuel Eto’o.

Cameroon is in the news for subjecting girls to a very weird and excruciating exercise, in the pretext of cushioning them from being sexually attractive to men at a tender age. A very tender age indeed if 9 years can’t add enough weight to the word am looking for.

It is called breast ironing, a traditional practice perfected in major villages in the country. When the little ones are growing up, the parents “use hot objects to massage (read massacre) their breasts, to press them so that they don’t grow,” as a lady in this video I watched explained to her young students in class.



To the mothers who subject their children to this uncouth painful torture without showing any slight sign of remorse, the route to a girl’s body is their breasts. The bigger the breasts, the more mature and sex-ready a girl seems to be. So in order to protect them from the prying eyes of men and also prevent early pregnancy, their breasts are ironed twice a day and in every two months to prevent them from growing.

Are you still with me?

Saying that the result of this leaves the victim’s breast look like pancake would be an understatement.

I wouldn’t want to start ranting here saying that these mothers are abusing the children, thanks to ignorance and lack of proper education and the social detachment between the government and her people. Or compare this to female genital mutilation. And before you laugh at this, remember that these kids need help and you can’t provide that help by laughing. 

One thing that I know for sure is that my wife wont come from Cameroon. I can’t just imagine being in the company of… May God Bless Africa.

And That’s thesteifmastertake!!