Price Of Beauty: Jessica Visits Ugandan "Fattening Hut"


Last night’s episode of The Price Of Beauty involved Jessica Simpson and her friends visiting a village in Uganda, where the Hima — a “tribe” of people in Eastern Africa — believe that a beautiful woman is a fat woman.

Let’s just get this out of the way: Uganda does not represent all of Africa; it is one country on a huge continent — and next week the pals will be in Morocco — but I couldn’t help but wish that producers had shown the group landing in the bustling capital city of Kampala. Because viewers who don’t know much about Uganda, or Africa, will probably echo Cacee’s sentiments that going to Africa means “carrying toilet paper into the woods.” There are so many misconceptions about Africa, and Jessica’s show could have busted the myth that everyone lives in huts by showing some scenes of Kampala.

But back to the standards of beauty: Upon learning that the Hima believe that “looking big” is desirable, Jessica said, “I’ve never known men to really seek out fat in a woman.” It’s fine that she has never heard of the BBW subculture, or men into BBW, but she didn’t have to travel to Uganda to find men into big, beautiful women. Carole Shaw, who launched BBW Magazine in 1979, lives in Nashville, TN, and there are BBW dating groups — in which men actively seek out plus-sized women — all over the United States. Framing it as something “exotic” that a tribe in Africa is into is unfortunate.

Still, it was interesting to learn about the Hima’s fattening hut, and the bride, her mom and auntie looked really happy and proud.

Later in the episode, Jessica and CaCee were bridesmaids at the beautiful wedding, where the bride was hidden from her groom with umbrellas, veils and scarves. It would have been interesting if someone had pointed out that keeping a bride’s face hidden from the groom is a common theme all over the world — even now, in the United States, wearing a veil is traditional (though these days it is more a symbol than an actual cover). But you know, I always expect just a little too much from this show.

I don’t know why I expect more, though: During a scene about homemade deodorant, deodorant was spelled wrong.

And even though there was a lots to talk about, in terms of how a woman’s weight is perceived and what is expected of a bride and so on, producers allotted time and footage to Jessica’s freak-out over a moth.

Earlier: Price Of Beauty: Jessica Says India’s People Are “Comfortably Beautiful”
Price Of Beauty: Jessica Meets An Anorexic Model
The Ugly American: Jessica Simpson’s The Price Of Beauty

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