Jul 8, 2007

Now This is Just Dumb

Head of Hatshepsut or Tuthmosis II New Kingdom, circa 1479-1425 BC

As noted here the mummy of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut was recently identified. It's an exciting discovery for archaeologists and Egyptophiles like myself. This morning I opened the Huffington Post to read this idiotic headline: "Mummy Reveals Legendary Egyptian Queen Was Obese, Balding And Bearded." Number 1: Who cares? Number 2: The beard was a false one, and was affected to represent her pharaonic authority. Number 3: Can no woman in history escape objectifying lookism?

Huffington Post is not primarily at fault, here. The headline derives from the source material; an article on Live Science. And it only gets worse from there.

Turns out, Hatshepsut was no Cleopatra. Instead, she was a 50-year-old fat lady; apparently she used her power over the Upper and Lower Nile to eat well and abundantly. Archaeologists also claim that she probably had diabetes, just like many obese women today.

Hatshepsut also suffered from what all women over 40 need—a stylist. She was balding in front but let the hair on the back of her head to grow really long, like an aging female Dead Head with alopecia.

This Queen of Egypt also sported black and red nail polish, a rather Goth look for someone past middle age.

Got it? Hatshepsut was a "Glamour don't." Why this matters roughly 3500 years after the fact is a mystery to me.

Letting alone that Cleopatra's legendary beauty is a subject of some dispute, this article is wrong-headed from the outset. I can't believe it was written by an academic, and female one at that. She does allow that Hatshepsut was extraordinarily successful, but implies that it was in spite of her homeliness. What it was in spite of was a culture that did not allow for female rulers. How ironic that all these years later her memory must still battle a sexist, objectifying standard.

1 comment:

lusmila1 said...

you got to be kidding me? you know the woman who wrote it is probably JUST as homely looking as her. Methinks there is a touch of latent jealousy with that woman...perhaps she was a slave to Queen Hatshepsut taking out her angst on her 2000 years later.

past life regressions can come out at anytime, neh? ^__~