I met Philipe Halsman when he was on a LIFE magazine assignment to photograph women for its yearend theme issue.

He'd enjoyed working with the beauties of Europe. Now, things were different.

In equatorial Africa, a woman's beauty was judged by her weight ... the fatter, the more attractive.

Halsman cabled for instructions. Did LIFE want beauty by the standards of the culture or by the American perception?

A two-word reply answered his question.

"Lena Horn."