Chicken Hips

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“Chicken Hips”

In the article, “Chicken Hips,” the Canadian narrator, Catherine Pigott gives us the different cultural views between Canada and Africa; mainly the societies’ views regarding beauty and image. In the early 1980s Pigott goes to Gambia, Africa to experience a new culture. Pigott faced trouble when she first went to Gambia because she had many problems adjusting to a new society and new people. When looking around at everyone, she saw that everyone was “big.” Men and women had thick legs and big bellies. The women in the house where Pigott was staying, thought that she was ill because she was too skinny. Her hips stuck out to where you could see her hip bone, so the women called her “Chicken Hips.” Every day the women tried to “fatten” her up because in Gambia people think bigger is better. Gambia’s people think large breast, round bellies, wide hips, and thick legs are beautiful. The bigger a person is, the more beautiful they are. In Canada, skinnier is better; skinny is beautiful. Over Pigott’s years in Gambia, she had grown into their culture and had gotten bigger. Pigott felt liberated experiencing a new culture, but when she returns home she feels that people are talking and making comments about her weight, and judging her body’s every moment. She didn’t like the way she look. She wanted to change herself, so she would be accepted by others. Each culture has their own views, and every individual in each culture has their own opinion and preferences.
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