How is it that we are not taking action regarding the eight female TV anchors who were suspended because they were “overweight”? They were not suspended because of a disagreement or some form of unprofessionalism. No, they were solely suspended because they were seen to be overweight.
The decree came from the former TV anchor, Safaa Hegazy, who is now the newly-appointed head of the ERTU. The women in question were asked to go on a diet during their suspension, in hopes that they’ll come back with a more “appropriate appearance”. Safaa Hegazy also went on to say that this could not be considered discrimination against women, as the head of the corporation was a woman herself. While many seem to disagree with that, it is apparent that she believes this to be okay.
“The media should not teach women that even if you are good at your job, the way you look and how much you weigh will always matter more.”
It is so easy for women nowadays to hate their bodies, or be forced to feel ashamed of how they look. We preach self-confidence and tell women to be their true selves, but the moment they start becoming anything out of the demanded beauty standard we bash them for it. It is integrated into our minds that our worth is based on our beauty. If we are not beautiful, we are nothing. We pressure girls into thinking this from a very young age until it becomes a vicious circle. Many of us grew up having our mothers telling us to cut down on food, because God forbid we grow up to be anything but skinny and have everyone mocking us. We exchange “advice” with our best-friends on how to lose three kilos in a week. We are taught to hate food and the feeling of a full stomach. It’s not easy growing up being taught not to take too much space, when our bodies demand more.
So, as much as I appreciate Safaa Hegazy saying this is not discrimination against women, only rules put down by every media corporation and news channels, I do not think this is what we need to teach young girls. The media should not teach women that even if you are good at your job, the way you look and how much you weigh will always matter more. Unfortunately, it did not end there. Al-Ahram writer Fatma al-Sharawi went on to support Safaa Hegazy, saying this policy should be applied all over local TV stations.
“Self-love does not come easy after a lifetime of hating your body. I hope we can learn to be more accepting of other body types and looks”
It saddens me that more girls will grow up thinking that they might not be good enough because of their looks. Self-love does not come easy after a lifetime of hating your body. I hope we can learn to be more accepting of other body types and looks that might not be in our comfort zone. Recognize the fact that we are all trying so hard to find ourselves and become self-confident. It does not do well to add a judgmental society to that list. Be kinder to yourself and to the people around you.
Manar Zakaria hopes to smash the patriarchy, and fight misogyny with a perfect bejeweled nail-polished hand. And yes, she thinks your sexist jokes are boring.