I am of the idea that the fattening room is both advantageous as well as disadvantageous to the community based on several observations. To expound, based on Simmons’ ideas, it is evident that the time spent inside the room exposes the teenage initiate to depression. For example, Margaret Bassey Ene – the initiate – has limited avenues for entertainment save for the crude soda bottle instrument she constantly hits. To compound the initiate’s boredom, they are forbidden from receiving visitors in the room. The preceding discussion proves that Ene experiences untold loneliness while undergoing fattening inside the room. Such a secluded life is likely to make the initiate to become depressed considering the 3 months she has to spend in this situation.
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In addition, the increased eating activities that go on inside the fattening room are bound to expose Ene to various lifestyle ailment such as obesity and heart diseases. Simmons mentions this possibility in her article. The author notes that modernity and the associated enlightenment is forcing some people to abandon the fatten exercise. This is another real threat that faces the teenage girls who go through the procedure. For this reason, I am not very appreciative of the fattening room activities.
I should however note that Simmons indicates that spending time inside the fattening room enables the initiates to acquire some important life lessons. The author notes that thanks to the efforts of the matrons, the initiates are taught about various social issues such as cooking, cleaning, proper wifely etiquette, and child care (Simmons). It is also indicated that the Efik people produce the best cooks in the whole of Nigeria because of the fine instructions the girls receive inside the fattening room. For this reason I am of the idea that the fattening room and its activities have beneficial effects on both the initiates as well as the larger community.
Based on the foregoing discussion, it is clear that I cannot take a definitive distance regarding the usefulness or the pointlessness of the activities that occur inside the fattening room. I therefore recommend that the Efik people employ moderation in the execution of the fattening procedure. This way, the merits will be enhanced with the demerits being diminished.
In the American society, there are some beauty practice that compare with the Efik people’s fattening process. For example, thanks to the contemporary fashion notions that view thin people as beautiful, some American girls resort to desperate measures so as to remain thin. For example, anorexia nervosa – self-induced vomiting after meals – is a popular practice among teens. Further, some young girls apply chemicals that ruin their skin as they seek to induce certain changes to their appearance. It is also currently professional for variso American youth to tattoo their bodies in a bid to improve their physical looks. The foregoing practices compare with the Efik fattening practice because they introduce health complication to teenagers. For example, while anorexia nervosa harms one’s digestive system, the fattening practice exposes initiates to food-related health complications. Similarly, ruining one’s appearance by the misuse of certain chemicals poses health risks to the teenager, for instance, cancer attacks. Further, just like fattening exposes the initiate to social problems such as depression, tattooing may make a youngster to attract negative appraisal from their collogues in society. For example, most people view tattooed people as rebellious. This is a social problem that can make the tattooed person to be depressed.
Simmons, Ann M. Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty. 1998. Web.