In Egypt, the government directly hires reporters and controls the news. This week, they kicked eight female reporters off TV because they're "too fat."
As reported by the BBC, the broadcasters were given one month to lose weight and achieve an "appropriate appearance." Obviously TV presenters all over the world are hired based on their appearance, but damn, what do the male anchors in Egypt look like?
You're probably thinking there's a bunch of men smoking cigars in the boardroom and throwing around words like "cankles." But surprisingly, the decision was actually approved by a woman named Safaa Hegazy, who is a former state TV anchor herself and the current director of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU). Clearly, she drank the sugar-free Kool-Aid.
Apparently, the women have been given one month to slim down before they can appear on air again, which seems more like an insult than a serious effort to get these women to lose weight. Are they asking them to crash diet or just spend a month thinking about how fat they are?
Critics cite that not only does this move goes against their constitution, it contributes to the commodification of women and, even worse, is "a form of violence against women."
Despite being given the month off with pay, the broadcasters are justifiably pissed. Beyond being reduced to their body size, they've been humiliatingly singled out by name. One broadcaster, Khadija Khattab, asked viewers to watch her most recent appearance presenting news on Egypt's Channel 2 to decide for themselves if she is really "fat."
Brave, brave soul.