OFF TOPIC: Fat Mummy NOT funny!

July 15, 2007

So, I was surfing TV Guide to find something to watch this weekend. Without football, the pickings are rather slim! I’m a big fan of educational shows, so I decided to check out the History Channel and Discovery. That’s when I ran across a special they’re running today that completely pissed me off — and I had to post about it. It’s WAY off topic, so I apologize up front. I’ll be back to my normal Broncos ranting tomorrow — Promise!

Line Break

Way Too Skinny

“Yo Mama’s so fat, she’s taller lying down!”

“Yo Mama’s so fat, she’s got more Chins than the Hong Kong phone book!”

OK seriously, we’ve all heard the ‘Yo Mama’s so fat’ jokes…. But this weekend the Discovery Channel is taking it one step further. Not content to simply B-slap your mama, their scientists are ripping on a 3000 year old mummy. And this is not just some junky 3000 year old mummy. This mummy is Egypt’s greatest female Pharaoh — Hatshepsut.

Hatshepsut, for those of you who missed this chapter in 18th dynasty Egypt, was the favorite daughter of popular pharaoh, Tuthmose I. She ruled for over 15 years and left behind more monuments and works of art than any Egyptian queen to come. She has historically been considered a beautiful and charismatic leader with a very keen political intelligence.

So, why would the Discovery Channel choose to pick on this powerful Pharaoh? …well, it was discovered recently that she was fat.

“First of all, the mummy was not just overweight, she was obese.” — Donald Ryan, Egyptologist

“The picture emerging from the mummy is not only unflattering, but would indicate rather poor health.” — Gino Fornaciari, professor of forensic anthropology at the University of Pisa

Huge and pendulous, Hatshepsut’s upper girth immediately caught the attention of mummy experts.” — Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Wow… I’m surprised they didn’t throw in “Yo Mummy so fat, she had to super-size her sarcophagus!”

The Discovery Channel commentary on their upcoming show actually reads:

“Egyptian scribes often described Hatshepsut, the ‘Foremost of Noble Ladies,’ and the most beautiful woman in the land.

Reality might have been rather different, at least during the last years of her life. Bald in front but with long hair in back, the mummy of Hatshepsut shows an obese woman just over 5 feet tall, with rotten teeth and perhaps a skin disease.”

Wow – – That’s harsh!

I’ll just note that this woman was over 50 year’s old when she died (which was VERY old for that time), that bad teeth were more common than lice, and that the ‘skin disease’ they’re referring to has been debated heavily among experts (as several mummy show skin discoloring that might be from the mummification process).

So, why mention all that along with her height and weight? I think it’s simple. The Discovery Channel thinks that Americans love to make fun of fat people.

Hey, you can’t blame them. Watch The Biggest Loser. Watch Norbit, or Shallow Hal. Watch reruns of Jerry Springer (who features skinny men fighting on stage with fat ladies every week). America is obsessed with seeing fat people (preferably women) making a fool of themselves… it’s kinda sick really.

I mean, when did it become OK to ridicule a person simply for the way they look? When did it become acceptable to mock a person with a blood-sugar disorder (as they are claiming she had)? Aren’t these people scientists? Aren’t they students of history? Don’t they know that, until VERY recently, being ‘full-figured’ was a sign of beauty?

And while I understand that the Discovery Channel is doing this for the ratings, I think it’s utterly stupid to apply modern aesthetics to ancient culture. Humans have had different standards of beauty throughout the ages, and it’s ridiculous to think that 3000 years ago, those Egyptians had Hollywood’s attraction to rail-skinny women!

I’ve always been a big fan of educational programming, but both Discovery and the History channel have both been sliding toward more sensationalized trash than truly educational shows. And I think the Discovery Channel making rude comments about a important historic figure based solely the fact that she doesn’t look like Cameron Dias is going too far.

Call me crazy, but I’ll take a big beautiful woman any day of the week over a skinny Hollywood stick that looks more like a walking skeleton than a real woman.





  1. i am so with you on this.

  2. i also believe that egypt has been so misrepresented in general; egyptian wisdom is unparalleled, imho, and the egyptians were black. but we are really digressing now.

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