In the African nation of Mauritania, girls as young as 5 are once again being subjected to leblouh, the ancient tradition of force-feeding preadolescent girls to fatten them up for early marriages. To achieve the desired roundness, girls from rural families are brought to "fattening farms," where they are tortured into overeating and forced to consume their own vomit if their bodies reject all that food and beverage.

"In Mauritania, a woman's size indicates the amount of space she occupies in her husband's heart," said Aminetou Mint Ely, head of the Association of Women Heads of Households.

Click here
for more

Hot Bod, Cold Heart

    Alex Rodriguez This skanky Yankee came under fire for getting cozy with a stripper at a Las Vegas Scores (ew), and was rumored to be cavorting with Madonna before the ink was dry on either of their divorce papers. Jerkometer rating: 7

    Getty Images

    Mario Lopez Who knew that A.C. Slater was such a dirtbag? The buff "Dancing with the Stars" stud reportedly cheated on one lady friend with a Hooters girl, and his two-week 2004 marriage to Ali Landry ended when she learned of his bachelor party antics. Jerkometer rating: 8

    Barry King, WireImage.com

    Jude Law He may be gorgeous, and nobody can resist that accent. But you know what we can resist? Sleeping with our nanny. Jude? Not so much. He and then-fiancee Sienna Miller eventually broke up, obvs. Jerkometer rating: 7

    Sony

    Matt Damon In 1998, Matt Damon told Oprah Winfrey during an interview on her show that he was no longer dating Minnie Driver. According to Driver, that was the first she'd heard of their breakup. Jerkometer rating: 2 (He gets points off for good behavior since.)

    Universal

    Hugh Grant In 1995, Grant was infamously pulled over by L.A. police for lewd conduct with prostitute Divine Brown. Girlfriend Liz Hurley forgave him and even appeared on his arm at the premiere of "Nine Months" days after his arrest. Jerkometer rating: 9 (extra points for dragging Leno into it)

    Dave Hogan, Getty Images

    David Beckham What is it with married celebrities and the hired help? Although he has always denied it (and OK, so there's no proof), Becks was accused in 2004 of sleeping with then-personal assistant Rebecca Loos. Jerkometer rating: 3 (That shirtless picture inspires our goodwill, OK?)

    Milk Processor's of America

    Chace Crawford We know two things about the "Gossip Girl" boy: He's a total hottie, and he dumped Carrie Underwood via text. US Weekly reported in April, 2008 that the pair "mutually" parted ways via cellular phones. Jerkometer rating: 1 (hey, we've done it too)

    Mark Von Holden, WireImage.com

    Charlie Sheen Among other lowlights, Sheen "accidentally" shot ex-fiancee Kelly Preston, spent thousands on madam Heidi Fleiss and symbolically took a chainsaw to his wedding portrait with Denise Richards. Ew. Jerkometer rating: What comes after infinity?

    E.J. Camp / CBS

    Ethan Hawke We were sad enough when this brainy babe's artsy-smartsy marriage to Uma Thurman ended. But to then shack up and have a baby with the nanny to his kids? For shame! Jerkometer rating: 4

    Mirimax / Everett Collection

    Ryan Philippe Although never officially confirmed, rumors still swirl that Ryan Philippe's divorce from his all-American wife Reese Witherspoon had a little something to do with an on-set affair with actress Abbie Cornish, now his girlfriend. Hmm. Jerkometer rating: 6

    Frank Masi, Paramount




After fattening, a 12-year-old should weigh approximately 175 lbs. To remain fat as adults, women turn to animal hormones or prescription drugs with appetite-enhancing side effects.

However, others deny that the "fat ideal" is back. According to political scientist Mohamed el-Mounir, "Fattening is something from the 1950s. Yes, Mauritanian men like slightly round women. But there is no way we want them obese."


Old Tyme Medical Treatments for Women

    Aloe for constipation: Being bound into your corset would be even more difficult if you were bound up. Fortunately, aloe not only heals burns; when ingested, the slimy stuff from inside the leaves works as a laxative (blech).

    Manual stimulation for hysteria: In Victorian ages, hysteria was blamed for everything from anxiety to irritability. But what may actually have drawn women to get treatment was the "manual massage of the vulva by physicians." We'd pay out of pocket for that.

    Paraffin for small boobs: Paraffin, a waxy substance, was injected into flatties in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, the stuff would clump, harden and fester. Docs also tried implants made of ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, ox cartilage, wool and polyester before settling on today's saline and silicone.

    Getty Images

    Horse saliva, horny goat weed, etc. for low libido: In Egypt, women drank milk and stallion saliva to cure their low libidos, while the Chinese ingested ginseng, Gingko bilboa, and horny goat weed (seriously!) to get the blood flowing down below.

    caragana25, Flickr

    Weed for cramps: Marijuana was often prescribed as a treatment for menstrual cramps during the 19th century. Reefer was thought to relax tense intestinal muscles and ease the pain of perioding.

    AP Images

    Assorted animal parts for infertility: In Ancient Egypt, women would go to their dealers for a nice little mixture of honey, animal testicles and powdered placenta ... a great snack to help kick-start the babymaker.

    Tobyotter, Flickr

    Memory Lapses: For memory issues not related to hard nights of drinking, garlic was often prescribed as the cure. Eleanor Roosevelt was said to take three chocolate-covered pills of the stuff every morning to help with her retention.

    AP Images

    Chastity belts for promiscuity: While there is some debate over whether or not these steel underpants even existed, chastity belts are said to have been invented for the wives and girlfriends of knights who wanted their women to stay faithful while they were off fighting dragons or Romans or whatever.

    Getty