Fat Shaming From Egypt

Egypt has been a lot in the news recently, thanks to its judoka’s jerky behavior at the Rio Olympics.

And still on the subject of big people from Egypt and jerky behavior..

Khadija KhattabEgypt’s state television has suspended eight female presenters, asking them to go on a diet or be taken off the air.

The decision by Safaa Hegazy, the chair of the Egyptian Radio & Television Union(ERTU) and a former television presenter herself, has sparked controversy after the eight women were told they would get a month to slim down. Many of the women have publicly expressed their displeasure for not being allowed to work.

“This is moral assassination,” Khadija Khattab, one of the suspended anchors who has had two shows on state television, told Buzzfeed News. “I have worked here for more than 15 years and now suddenly those who hate me are publicly defaming me and my career.”

But despite outcry by women’s rights groups and media commentators, state TV officials have defended their decision.

“There are standards for those who appear on television screen all around the world,” said Amr Al-Shennawaii, one of the chief managers for state-run Nile TV International, in a phone interview with BuzzFeed News. “For many years, people have mocked Egyptian presenters because of their appearance and lack of qualification, so when we are finally trying to bring reform, people are angry. That’s strange.”

If this is reform, you are doing it all wrong!

What’s more, this is the second incidence of fat shaming from Egypt within a week.

golds-gym-pear-2016Gold’s Gym is acting quickly today to defuse a PR crisis sparked by an Egyptian franchisee who created a social media post that showed a pear and said “This Is No Shape for a Girl.”

While the Egyptian location has apologized for the image, it remains in circulation on social media, with many thinking it’s an official marketing image for the gym chain.

This morning, Gold’s Gym’s official Twitter account has been responding to many of the ad’s critics.

The company says the Egyptian location “is ignoring our communications” about removing the image from its social media channels, and the corporate account assures social media users that when it comes to the message of the controversial ad, “we do not agree with their beliefs.”

Look, I understand appearances can play a part in the popularity of a news presenter, but not nearly as much as their eloquence and personality.

For instance, if they can do this

https://youtu.be/0hgFHrdrr5A?t=2m20s

There should not be a prerequisite that news presenters be a certain low weight. They are called anchors after all.

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