What the heck?

I was in the process of drawing up a Make-a-List Monday when I went and checked the NamUs entry for Timothy Scott Parry, and on the “physical” section of his NamUs page, it says he had “Cro-Magnon eyebrows.”

Who on earth put that in? Maybe it’s just me, but I find that pretty offensive, especially given that Timothy was physically and mentally disabled. I would be offended if I was a family member or friend of Timothy’s. His eyebrows don’t even look that strange to me in the pictures, just a bit thicker than usual.

I doubt whoever put that into NamUs was trying to upset anyone. This other picture, included in the NamUs profile, is a scanned copy of a paper flier for Timothy, and it says “Cro-Magnon eyebrows.” My guess is that whoever entered the info into NamUs just copied it without thinking. But I think it should be rephrased.

It reminds me of another MP case profiled on another website, not NamUs, where it said the female MP had a “tramp stamp.” That’s a derogatory term for a tattoo on a woman’s lower back. The term, in addition to being offensive, could also be confusing for people, perhaps non-English speakers, who don’t know what a “tramp stamp” means. They should have just said she had a tattoo on her lower back. With Timothy, they could say he has a protruding brow ridge or something that doesn’t sound like they’re making fun of him.

(If you’re wondering, btw, why I sometimes talk on this blog about issues I think NamUs should fix, it’s not to make them look bad. I think NamUs is a great resource, as evidenced by how often I use it for Charley Project research. Rather, it’s because some of the people who volunteer for it don’t like me and have made this abundantly clear, and I’m afraid they wouldn’t listen to me if I emailed them privately about the issue.)

11 thoughts on “What the heck?

  1. Christy July 30, 2016 / 8:07 am

    I think that the person who originally said it meant that he has a prominent supraorbital brow ridge (a feature of the skull), which isn’t a super-common feature but it’s not rare. It would definitely be a helpful identifier to an anthropologist/coroner if his skeleton showed up, but it would be a lot better if they phrased it my way.

  2. michael July 30, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    I used to have a unibrow when I was younger and didn’t know any better.

  3. Johanne Gill July 30, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    This is indeed offensive (the “Cro-Magnon eyebrows”). Also derogatory is the expression “tramp stamp”. I’m French-speaking, I’m from Québec, I think that my command of the English language is excellent, but still I never, ever saw or heard that expression before. Outrageous! >:-[

    • Meaghan July 30, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      Even if a person knows what “tramp stamp” means, using the term could mean that someone searching for Jane Does with tattoos on their lower backs might miss that case entirely. They will of course search for the keywords “tattoo lower back”, not “tramp stamp”.

      I’ve never encountered — either in a picture or TV or in real life — a MAN who has a tattoo on his lower back, unless it was part of a larger tattoo that covered his whole back or something. I wonder if the “tramp stamp” stigma discourages men from getting a tattoo in that location.

  4. forthelost July 30, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    My favorite descriptor for lower back tattoos is “ass antlers,” but that’s not something I’d put in an official record.

  5. Kat July 30, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    Oh, dear. First off, I’ve never heard “ass antlers” before. I’m telling everyone tomorrow morning that the next time we go to the lake, THAT is what they are. I laughed for an hour. But yeah, not in the case file. “Tramp Stamp” is the way we go here, and I know WHY it got the name, but it seems like some don’t deserve it, ya know? Also, Meaghan, you need to come around here more, I’ve seen PLENTY of guys with lower back tattoos. Like I said, the lake, the beach, please pull up your pants, etc. On TV, and I hate to call him out, cause I love him, but adorkable Marcel from Season 2 of Top Chef, he had one. I remember thinking “you were already trying so hard, and daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang…”. It killed me. I feel odd because I DON’T have a tattoo, though I’ve wanted one forever and even know what I want. Then I go out and see all the bad ones……

    • Meaghan July 30, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      I admit I don’t know much about tattoo fashion; as far as I have observed, most people I know don’t have any. Nor doI spend a lot of time with shirtless men!

      • Kat July 30, 2016 / 11:40 pm

        Be thankful. Be very, very thankful. I’m not sure some of this stuff is fashion or current or whatever, I just know some of the work is very bad.

  6. diamondlil16 August 4, 2016 / 4:55 am

    I agree with you Meaghan that his brow bones don’t protrude in an odd way, as you have his profile pic. He just has very thick, heavy brows. I noticed the info you have doesn’t include if he is verbal or not. Was wondering if Timothy could answer a phone or make a phone call. Just thinking if someone may have called his house and told him to come outside and they would go for a drive.

  7. Bridget September 10, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    When I get a bad migraine my eyebrows and forehead swell up & we have all called it a cro-magnums look. I haven’t seen the picture of him so I will check.
    Tramp Stamps originating from loose girl years ago. Now it doesn’t mean anything as so many people have them even business women & men.
    I also co-manage the Florida site For Billy’s Law.

  8. Melinda May 3, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    I can see how that could be offensive. However, sometimes there is no harm intended and to some extent, society has become overly PC when deciding what is offensive and to whom.

    I have been attacked on this site by a couple of people for perfectly innocent comments that were in no way hateful or demeaning.

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