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Culture, Business Etiquettes

and Table Manners


Cross Cultural Understanding

Etri Annisa Yeni Purtika Nova D. Simbolon


(081222210006) (081222210028) (208121069)
Siti Aulia
Febriyanti Gracia P. Saragih
(208121076) (208121056)

ENGLISH EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT

FACULTY OF LANGUAGES AND ARTS

STATE UNIVERSITY OF MEDAN

2009
Standard of Beauty in Mauritania

Being beautiful is the biggest dream for all women in the world. They can do anything and spend
much money to make them more beautiful than before. Actually, what is the most general standard of
beauty in the world? But how if there is one country that has a completely different standard of beauty?
That’s why we bring you a country that has a different standard of beauty, it is Mauritania.

Mauritania is a small country which is located in West Africa. Its original name is Joumhouriyah
Mauritaniah El-Islamiyah and the capital city is Nouakchott. Mauritania is 1.085.210 KM2 and has
republic government system, led by a president and a prime minister. Most of the citizens are Barbra
Arabian roam, Moslem, and the areas are deserts. The national languages are Arabian and French.
Mauritania produces date palm, paddy, wheat flour, rice, and sheep. Its natural resources are copper, iron,
gip, and fishes. The well-known industry is iron industries.
We have talk about Mauritania in general. So what is the difference between standard of beauty in
Mauritania and the other countries? As we know every girl wants to be beautiful. But the way how to
reach the standard is different in each country. Before we start talking about Mauritania, let’s find out the
standard of beauty in other country.

For instance, in Japan, the skin is the key to beauty. Japanese women were to have fair and
smooth skin with no marks, especially on their faces. One of the secrets in Japan is drinking or eating
collagen. They drink a spoon of powdered collagen mixed with water daily while others in Japan eat
collagen rich food, such as beef tendons. Another way to have beautiful skin in Japan is washing with
powdered nightingale droppings mixed with face soap twice a day. Women also purchase face whitening
creams to lighten their skin. Besides flawless skin, Japanese women also want to have perfectly straight
hair without any curls or kinks. Straightening creams and irons are used regularly in Japan.

If we see in Brazil, Brazil is the biggest consumer of diet pills in the world - women want to have
beautiful bodies; whether through fitness or plastic surgery. In fact, there are 4 magazines in Brazil
focused on plastic surgery alone - and Brazilians aren't concentrating just on the butt anymore, but also
having larger breasts. Everyone in Brazil is able to get plastic surgery since clinics offer payment plans
for all income levels. Beauty is so important in Brazil; there are just as many salons in the slums as in
wealthy areas. Women don't feel happy if they aren't pretty and will spend up to half of their income on
beauty services.

Then if we travel to France, we can notice that it is hard to find clothing in size 12. French
women like to look elegant in a natural and subtle way. Feeling good starting from the inside is important,
so French women buy beauty products for every part of the body to have beautiful skin to top with
fabulous underwear and clothing. It is normal for French women to still feel sexy at 60 - it is a part of
their lifestyle.

Then what is the standard of beauty in Mauritania??

Mauritania has a very unique standard. There are three characteristics of beauty, namely fatness,
divorce, and stretch marks. Most of the countries make the standard of beauty in slimness, the light skin
and the curved body like violin, but Mauritania is totally different. The fatter you are, the more interesting
you will be in the men’s points of view, and you will be the favorite woman.

Because of that standard, there are so many women consume weight gain medicine although the
medicine is illegal or there is no license from the government. No wonder if the biggest factor of death in
Mauritania is obesity and the other diseases that caused by obesity.

So, what is the reason of the existence of that standard?

According to the native citizens of Mauritania, that standard is used because if you are slim and
not fat, the men will ask you about your health and they will consider that there is a certain disease in
your body. Because of that, girls are being fed all foods containing fat even they used some pills that we
usually give it animals. They are doing the force-feeding to be ideal in the men’s sight. Now you will
really understand the meaning of “Beauty is Pain”.

In this part, we would like to compare how Indonesian and Mauritanian women see the standard
of beauty. Of course, our standard of beauty is completely different with Mauritanian women. We
consider beauty is slimness, white skin, no acnes, and straight hair. In this case we have some similarities
with Japanese women. We are even same with Brazilian that we can danger ourselves by having illegal
surgeries like liposuction, nose job, or silicon implant.

As a matter of fact, we consider the standard of beauty in Mauritania is our standard of ugliness.
While a woman who has big butts, stretch marks and long record of divorces is being chased in
Mauritania, that kind of woman is avoided by men in Indonesia. In Indonesian point of view, slimness is
still the main point to reach beauty. For instance, there is a culture in Javanese women especially, to use
stagen which is a piece of fabric that is 65 feet long to get their shape back after giving birth. The way is
by wrapping tightly around the waist causing pressure on the womb.

Now, we have already known that the standard of beauty in each country is different. Although
they have some similarities, of course there must be a difference that we should appreciate for. So despite
Mauritanian women had a very extremely unique and strange standard of beauty that is 100 % different
with us, still we have to appreciate their culture and save it as our new knowledge. And once more, if you
have big butts, stretch marks and ex-husbands, Mauritania is waiting for you!!!

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