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Taking Surprising Risks For The Ideal Body

January 2, 2012

The Jamaican vision of beauty keeps evolving. "Most of the young girls now coming up — they don't want fat no more, they want slim and trim," says farmer Kadesha Abrahms (left) at a feed store in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

Every culture has its idealized woman — a standard of beauty that is sought and valorized. And everywhere around the world, women are altering themselves to achieve the look that is celebrated, from cosmetics to liposuction.

In Jamaica, women have come up with some of their own unique, homegrown beauty enhancement techniques.

“Some girls, in order to be more attractive to the male, they get themselves into the use of chicken pills. Chicken pills are the same pills farmers give to make the chickens grow faster,” says Carol Turpin of St. Catherine, Jamaica, who is the head of the 4-H Club.

Listen to the 8 minute audio story here

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 6:43 pm

    amazing listen thanks for the post Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe. It’s amazing because just last Sunday I was at the beach with my boyfriend’s niece and I was amazed to learn that at only 11 she already connoted dark skin with ugliness. When I asked here where she got that from well the discussion was a long one. I honestly would not of thought at this point in time people were still thinking that way. It got be back to thinking about myself at her age and I had to admit I felt the same way, it’s sad that not much has changed. Being dark skin I was a bit embarrassed to ask her if she thought I was ugly, I did though and she said no, but a part of me thinks she was only trying to be polite. I wasn’t upset that she would think I was ugly just saddened that her mind was already so tainted.

    Didn’t want to come off as a teacher so I spent much of the discussion just listening to her logic and she got into a whole speech about white and black people. Believe it or not white was associated with every thing rich and glamorous and black people in her mind were obviously not white.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective permalink*
      January 5, 2012 11:04 pm

      It is so frustrating that this mentality still exists. But when you look at the women who are described as beautiful in our societies you can see why… i mean chemically straightened hair is still the norm in caribbean communities. And i know the music video discussion is played out but between those, movies, commercials…you are hard pressed to find a dark skinned woman much less one who is embracing the entirety of her natural beauty… you rock the shit out of your beautiful natural hair Ms.Kizzy. So you operate by example no need to worry about comin off as a teacher.

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