Acculteration in Catherine Pigott's "Chicken-Hips"

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ENG4U-B: Key Question 3 A)

Acculturation is a process in which one transitions from one culture to another, adopting new cultural traits and social patterns. When people of third world countries migrate to North America, acculturation is almost necessary in order for survival and acceptance. The author of “Chicken-Hips”, Catherine Pigott, experienced acculturation first hand after visiting Africa. Catherine is used to a culture where having a slim body style is ideal. When Catherine arrived in Gambia, the other women thought her to be too frail, and thin, and as a result, nicknamed her “chicken-hips”. The women of Africa believe that being curvy and thick is more attractive. Catherine is also used to her own culture where it is considered unattractive for women to over eat. The African natives frowned upon Catherine’s lack of appetite, as she could not keep up with their meal portions. They eat an abundance of food because they do not know when they might run out of food to eat. One way, Catherine’s identity changed was her perception of beauty in Africa. She gained weight and felt “transformed”. Catherine adapted to their ideals of beauty and changed her appearance to what their society deemed acceptable. In conclusion, this essay by Catherine Pigott shows the desire for acceptability that everyone yearns. Catherine adapted to a new culture in order to be accepted and attractive and once she returned home she started the process of acculturation all over again in order for acceptance.
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