Home‎ > ‎Uganda Blog‎ > ‎

Traveling While Fat, Part 2

posted Jul 13, 2012, 10:00 AM by jj pionke
So, I went from countries, home and otherwise, that value thinness in their people to a country that values weight.  Apparently, especially in Western Uganda, large women (of which I am certainly one), are considered incredibly attractive.  Also, stretch marks mean that you are "juicy" (interpret that however you wish).  I find this change in status to be just as unsettling as being ignored and actively chased by health nuts.  It's in the stare.  I originally thought that people were staring at me because of my skin color.  However, knowing that this might not necessarily be the case has been interesting to say the least.  Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it), I don't speak the local language so when people are talking around me in Luganda or Swahili or any one of a dozen other languages, I can't understand a word.  Most people seem to speak at least a little English, "Hello, how are you".  I have definitely attracted the attention of two different men.  One who tells me that he is going to be the next Tiger Woods and another who is definitely not the kind of man that I would ever talk to.  Luckily, both of these guys have only walked with me on the road and considering that the police and military presence has increased quite a bit because of recent attacks in Kenya, it won't take much to get the attention of anyone to come to my aid if need be.  That said, it's a bit of a weird to be viewed in such a way.  I mean, there are people at home who find me attractive, but I have to seek them out.  It's not the same as getting the Ugandan equivalent of a wolf whistle as you walk down the street.  That said, I don't feel threatened by this attention, it just feels a bit weird.  At least I know what thin and "attractive" women experience on a daily basis now.  I'd flaunt it, but honestly, I got no flaunting clothes, and I can just can't be bothered really, besides I've never really been the flaunting type.