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Chicken Hips: Essay Analysis
Transcript of Chicken Hips: Essay Analysis
By: Catherine Pigott
Essay Analysis By: Subana, Zuna, and Ariana
"The women of the household clucked disapprovingly when they saw me. It was the first time I had worn African clothes since my arrival in tiny, dusty Gambia, and evidently they were not impressed. They adjusted my head-tie and pulled my lappa, the ankle-length fabric I had wrapped around myself, even tighter. 'You're too thin,' one of them pronounced. 'It's no good.' They nicknamed me 'Chicken-hips.'"
Everyone's perspective of beauty is different in every culture.
"Just a few weeks after I had worn a lappa and scooped up rice with my hands, I was climbing into pink leotards and aerobics shoes."
"Women I once would have envied appeared fragile and even ugly."
"They had no hips."
Point of View
The author writes in first person.
Also partly affectionate and disappointed
Pigott's informal writing is helpful
uses lots of imagery
What is the definition of beauty?
"I felt uncomfortable trying on clothes that hung so elegantly on the mannequins."
"I began to believe that Africa's image of the perfect female body was far more realistic than the long-legged leanness I had been conditioned to admire."
"These women ate with such relish, such joy. They pressed the rice into balls in their fists, squeezing until the bright-red palm oil ran down their forearms and dripped off their elbows."
The entire essay consists of a series of short anecdotes.
"I dreaded the thought of people saying, 'She's let herself go.'"
"The language of sin is not applied to food."
"Women do not battle the bulge, they celebrate it."
"My perception of beauty altered as my body did."
"...and in my country, we deny ourselves food in our pursuit for perfect slenderness."
targeted toward young woman
people who are insecure about their appearance
What is Beauty?
Beauty is a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses.
"The women of the household clucked disapprovingly when they saw me." Onomatopoeia
"...carry weight on the hips and thighs, to have a round stomach and heavy swinging breasts." Imagery
"There was no sense of panic, no shame, no guilt-ridden..." Anaphora
"They named me Chicken Hips" Metaphor
"One needed to be round and wide to make the dance beautiful." Generalization and Diction