Casi una cuarta parte de las mujeres camerunesas han sufrido alguna forma de planchado de senos

Kenmeni, is bandaging her daughter’s breasts after ironing them. she believes that her daughter needs to grow up and have a strong body first before having breasts.

Una de las ganadoras del World Press Photo.
Es Verónica una madre camerunesa que en un intento de retrasar o disminuir el desarrollo de las mamas en las niñas, plancha los pechos de sus hijas. Es una práctica común que su madre o abuela le den masajes a los senos de las niñas con objetos duros o calientes, principalmente herramientas de cocina calentadas sobre carbón.

Casi una cuarta parte de las mujeres camerunesas han sufrido alguna forma de planchado de senos. Las prácticas toman diferentes formas de aldea en aldea, pero el objetivo es el mismo. Las matriarcas de la familia esperan que aplastar los senos de las niñas retrasará u ocultará su madurez, de modo que estas jóvenes parecerán menos atractivas para los hombres y protegerlas frente a las violaciones, matrimonio precoz o la maternidad adolescente.
Por la fotógrafa Heba Khamis


‘Banned Beauty’ is a long term and ongoing visual research, I started in late 2016 about the practice of breast ironing in Cameroon.

In Cameroon early marriage, teenage motherhood and rape are common experiences for many girls and women. Girls reach puberty much earlier than the age at which they usually marry. One out of every five girls is a teenage mother.

In an attempt to delay or diminish breast development in young girls, it is a common practice for their mother or grandmother to massage pubescent girl’s breasts using hard or heated objects – mostly cooking tools heated over coals. Nearly a quarter of Cameroonian women have endured some form of breast ironing. The practices take different forms from village to village, but the goal is the same. Family matriarchs hope that flattening the girls’ breasts will delay or hide their maturity, so that these young girls will appear less attractive to men.

There is a fundamental contradiction between the physical pain caused by the practice of breast ironing and the love which motivates mothers and grandmothers to continue the practice. For mothers, breast ironing is a way to demonstrate their love by protecting their daughters. To hurt in order to protect is a way of showing love. The complexity of this contradiction is central to my project.

Presionar sobre la imagen para verla en tamaño completo.
Heba Khamis/Mujeres juezas 
Categories: Ventana al mundo