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Houda, a woman who grew up in Mauritania, says her father is a doctor who sees the negative effects of the country's big idea of beauty. "My father deals every day with women with serious, serious health issues such as high blood pressure," she says. Even though the problems associated with obesity, like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are prevalent, Houda says that doesn't deter women from wanting a big body. "When you're skinny, you're even considered as sick or there's something wrong with you," she says. "Women that are fat, they're really happy."

Thick ankles, plump arms and a big butt are considered the most beautiful parts of a woman, Houda says. And don't worry if you have a few stretch marks—the men in Mauritania love 'em!

Not only are extra pounds considered sexy—Houda says being divorced will win you extra points with the men too! "In Mauritania, you just get divorced and there's a feast, a party—and the more you get divorced, the more you're seductive," Houda says. "That means that a lot of men want to be with you."

"So if you are divorced with stretch marks and a big butt, Mauritania is calling your name!" Oprah jokes.
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FROM: Beauty Secrets from Around the World
Published on November 20, 2008

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