The other day I was having a conversation with some male colleagues. They were asking about the dress code at work. For women, the rule is–if you wear pants, you need to wear a long jacket, or a tunic. They weren’t sure of the point. Why a jacket or a tunic with pants and not skirts?
That is when I had to point out the obvious. Pants enhance and showcase the posterior more so than a skirt. That posterior would otherwise be known as “Junk in the Trunk” or the “Badonkadonk.” Not to create a stereotype, but as my husband says, the women of Turkey have a different chassis. The general figure here is more curvaceous than the general Anglo build. (I stress general in both cases as there are always differences within any population group.)
When I started dating my husband and I asked him how he liked my figure. He told me I had a cute “American behind.” I did not quite know how to interpret that. When I moved to Turkey I realized that “American behind” was code for tiny heiny. After I moved here and tried to buy pants I found I had to get them to tailored. They had to take out the extra fabric at the hips and behind. Thank goodness tailoring is inexpensive.
There is a term here called “balik etli.” Literally translated it means something like “with fish meat.” The actually meaning is plump, or full figured but with a positive connotation. Here women with a little meat on their bones are considered sexier than thinner women. One way to see this is the translation of thin. In Turkish thin translates as “zayif,” but it also means weak or poor. That the word for thin actually means something else with a negative connotation is very telling. When people, particularly women and children are slender they are often seen as being sickly, weak or potentially ill. Last spring, when I lost a few pounds for my wedding I was chastised quite often about my weight. I was told I needed to eat more, and gain weight. I was practically force fed at family dinners.
I have to say it is nice to live in a culture where I could gain ten pounds and be considered more attractive. While it is good to eat healthy, it is nice to know the focus is on health and not weight. It is lovely to be relieved of some the pressure and internal guilt about food and weight that is so stressed in American society. I suppose for that, I am willing to wear a jacket to cover my non-exist behind.
I love this post! I noticed the same thing when I lived in Turkey as well and had trouble finding clothes that fit without tailoring.
When I was pregnant, the first 8 months I didn’t really have a belly and wasn’t as big as a “normal” pregnant. All our family and friends were force feeding (which wasn’t bad since I was hungry all the time) but it is nice living in a culture where the love woman with meat of their bones.
Even before I was pregnant, I had lost a little bit of weight and my MIL would say “you must eat, your family will think we don’t feed you”.
Nice not to be afflicted.