When I was a child, I remember hearing a myth that if I pushed down on my sister’s head, she wouldn’t grow taller. (She never liked when I acted on this hunch…) Of course, it made no sense. If people are going to grow, they’re going to grow. There’s really nothing I could do to stop it.
Looking back, that was harmless teasing.
This, however, is just frightening.
Girls as young as 9 have their breasts ironed as soon as they start to develop, which is happening earlier and earlier as nutrition improves. According to CurrentTV, half of young girls under age 9 who develop early suffer from the practice. Not surprisingly, breast ironing causes numerous health problems, such as burns and abscesses — to say nothing of the psychological damage it must do.
The purpose is to make young girls who develop early less attractive to men.
If you’re able to stomach it, watch this (NSFW) video:
Ironically, while breast ironing is all too common in Cameroon, female genital mutilation is rare there.