The representation of physical beauty to the Samoans is that of a larger build. It represents strength and wealth to have a little meat on the bones. Also the Samoans diet consists of lots of fatty foods, and they tend to eat more as part of the daily routine.
The large size of Samoan people is not actually a historic trait of this people group. The influences of modernization on the Samoan people is what has created this appearance of a larger body style among the entire people group. This modernization has caused an increase in obesity among Samoan children and a lack of physical activity. Samoans historically actually have quite small, light weight body styles. This has simply changed over time with modern food and health practices.
It is a common stereotypical perception that Samoans are generally larger than other people. It is true that Samoans have a high population of obese people. At the same time the ideal body size is percieved as slim and there are a lot of body dissatisfaction, probably because of Western cultural influence. As bmalc889 mentions the Samoans traditionally venerate large bodies. Studies have shown that Western industrialized societies different from Samoan communities because there is an absence of a negative view of obesity as there is in Western culture.
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