Jamaican Beauty Trends Complicated and Risky

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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. (Image: Davia Nelson for NPR)

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. (Image: Davia Nelson for NPR)

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.

The trend began in the ’90s – and took people by surprise.

“Women take the chicken pills to get broader hips and bigger bottoms,” says Carol’s son Jason. “In our Jamaican culture, we love a girl that has a lot of shape.”

“Most males, they love to see women with big bottoms. The whole idea of Coca-Cola bottle shape,” Carol says. “‘I don’t want a meager woman,’ that’s how the men would speak… They’re figuring if you look meager, you look poor, in the sense that you’re not being taken care of.”

Read More and Listen: Taking Surprising Risks For The Ideal Body: NPR.

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Comments

  1. Yet another case of women putting themselves in real danger to try to conform to male standards of female physical beauty…sigh. Who knows what these pills will do to their long term health.
    Another point of view maybe???…how about… imagine a field full of wild flowers in full springtime glory…does any one flower seem more beautiful than another? or do they all have their own unique qualities? Do all the daisies feel bad because they are not red clover? Is not the field more beautiful for having such a diversity of flowers that makes a whole picture of Natures magnificence..
    we need to learn to celebrate the diversity of our female beauty and not place one type over another…encourage each other to be confident on our natural form.

  2. I don’t understand how you interpret “chicken pills” or something but it seems to me that this issue is similar to synthetic female hormones mixed with chicken feed to help them grow bigger faster and lately I heard for tropical countries they mix synthetic male hormones to chicken feed for the same reason.. Isn’t this just like taking birth control pills where your skin, breasts and butt changes because of hormones?

  3. I’ve heard of the concept of young girls developing breast at a much earlier age due to the hormones that are fed to chickens in order to grow them bigger for the food industry. I’m wondering if these chicken pills that the Jamaican women are taking contain similar hormones. Are they dangerous? Only time will tell, right?

    Gary
    my blog: Hip Hop Abs Reviews

  4. Chicken Pills? Any idea what’s in them? I fear they might be doing themselves long term damage, not knowing what’s in them.

    thanks,

    Jon
    The Social Media Guy

  5. I don’t really care if women have broader hips and bigger bottoms or not. You should be content with what God gave you. Besides, you’ll never know if those chicken pills have long-term side effects or not. They’re intended for chickens after all.

  6. I also have never heard of this practice of taking these “chicken pills”. How do they know what the long term effect may be?

    I still think attraction comes from what you say, how you say it, and how you move. You don’t need the chicken pills!!

  7. “Women take the chicken pills to get broader hips and bigger bottoms” Wow this is new to me.

    Women who are curvy are much better looking than aneroxic-looking girls… but taking chicken pills? l wont do that myself but its interesting to know.

    thanks
    Leanne
    my blog: Luminess Air