Why I Don’t Like the Term “Plus Size”

TL;DR version: plus size is as defineable as what water tastes like.

One of my best mates happily remarked on how a department store had a plus size (female) mannequin. Thinking that this was a step in the right direction for the way women are influenced when shopping regarding what is “the look”, I asked her to send me a picture of this mannequin. Looking at the picture, however, the “plus size” mannequin in question wasn’t that plus size at all; in fact, it was probably a size 12 at most. It was noticeably fuller than the other mannequins, but the point remains the same.

I wouldn't even say these models are plus size. They're just how they should be. (Image via Marden Plus Size Facebook page)

I wouldn’t even say these models are plus size. They’re just how they should be. (Image via Marden Plus Size Facebook page)

That left me thinking… if a size 12 is considered plus size in today’s society, what happens to those women who are a size 16 or 18 or even bigger? Are they made to feel worse about themselves because they aren’t even considered to be plus size? What are they considered then… double plus size? Triple plus size?

If you rewind it even further, why is it even called “plus size”? The term kind of implies that it is a normal size plus a little bit more. I’m sorry but who is this ultimate power deciding what women’s size is normal and what isn’t? Why is a women’s size 8 completely “normal” but a 14 isn’t?

I remember having a discussion with a friend of mine and she told me that nearly every if not all marketing ads you see in shopping malls or kind of subliminal messages to tell you how you “should and shouldn’t” look. You see the ads where there a group of “normal looking” models wearing the clothes that are sold in the store, but what are you meant to do if you don’t look like them? Imagine there was a short, chubby girl with a brown bob cut looking at a picture of a leggy blonde with a perfect tan and perfectly-toothed smile wearing a floral playsuit. Would that brunette girl think that she isn’t allowed to wear this floral playsuit because she doesn’t look like the girl in the picture?

With so many ads and marketing tools in today’s society telling us what we should look like and how we should feel about ourselves, why isn’t anyone telling us “Hey, if your health is fine and you’re happy with who you are and what you look like, fuck everyone else. Go ‘head wit’ yo’ bad self.” If you’re content being a size 6, all the power to you! If you’re pleased with your size 14 figure, all the power to you! If you’re happy to be at the gym 7 days a week – or if you’re okay with never stepping foot in a gym and living off Nutella – I say all the power to you!

In the same light, just like there is nothing wrong with being a size with a higher number, there isn’t anything wrong with being a size with a lower number. Don’t be a Meaghan Trainor and skinny shame “them skinny bitches”. People were made to be different. It’s time people really embrace that.

– by Noah La’ulu

Men can be sexually harassed too?

The following scene is fictitious and did not happen in any way.

A male TV show host named Jacob is chatting backstage with a female contestant on a reality show… let’s call it “The Widow’s Web”. This female contestant named Brittany just beat out three other contestants for an immunity to elimination and Jacob is looking to get her thoughts on her win. Brittany is wearing a crop top and yoga shorts with Air Jordans.

“Now,” Jacob says, looking her up and down, “do you wanna train me after?”

Cue the shock and horror gasps from the many in the audience. How dare Jacob say something like that? It objectifies not only Brittany but women everywhere… right?

The following scene did happen and it happened just recently.

Matt Cooper, NRL great and former premiership winner with the St George Illawarra Dragons, participated in the final episode of this year’s season of Dancing With the Stars  as a kind of support for fellow contestant, Lynne McGranger. He was dressed in a cop outfit. Now, for everyone who knows Matt Cooper will be well aware that he won Sexiest Man in League for obvious reasons.

Irene is under arrest apparently.

Irene is under arrest apparently.

Edwina Bartholomew is wrapping up her post-dance interview with Lynne and turns to Matt, in his cop outfit best, and says “Are you doing hens parties now?”, implying that he looks like a stripper or is a stripper. Matt Cooper goes along with the joke and everyone laughs it off.

He even posted the above picture on his Instagram page with the caption: “My cameo appearance locking Lyn & Carmelo up for there last dance of the night.
I’m taking bookings for hens nights for those who are interested? Haha
#magicmike @dancingau”

I’m glad Coops can see the light side of the situation and am happy he wasn’t offended (or wasn’t aware of the implications made by the comments).

Wait a minute… a female show host just made a sexual joke at the expense of a male contestant, so why aren’t people up and raging about it?

There’s always a stigma that comes to men being sexually harassed or assaulted, especially if it is at the hands of women; men like to think that they are masculine and dominant and that no one can undermine their sheer manliness. So for a woman to objectify them and take advantage of them in a sexual manner is emasculating, or at least appears to be. Men don’t want to appear hurt by these advances to keep up their bravado facade.

I wish this stigma would just disa-fucking-ppear.

I don’t know about you but sexual harassment and/or rape is what it is, and it should be equally viewed in all aspects: a man assaulting a woman, a woman assaulting a man, a woman assaulting a woman, etc. No one deserves to have their sexual rights stolen and their bodies taken advantage of.

Just like there’s a stigma saying that men sleeping with a lot of people are “legends” but women who do the exact same thing are “dirty sluts”, this stigma targets old gender stereotypes that have existed for centuries. But they didn’t have the internet, or books, or any other type of education where information can be used to broaden people’s minds and open them up to labels other than “male and female”.

Now, I think Edwina Bartholomew is a fantastic journalist and she may have made that comment in the heat of the moment; I’m not blaming her or 7 for the comments made. I just think people, especially those in the public eye, need to be more wary of their words.

Because men can be sexually harassed as well.

– by Noah La’ulu

Defending People’s Right to be a Slut

And also their right to give the impression that they are a slut when they aren’t.

Superstarlet Bette Midler has come under fire recently for making a controversial remark about lil’ ol’ Ariana Grande, pretty much saying you don’t have to be a “whore” to get ahead in the showbiz world. Slutshaming like woah.

Is the way she touches her head slutty as well?

Is the way she touches her head slutty as well?

If we’re to play the literal game, she is saying that Ariana Grande has offered her sexual services to others for money as a way to move up the ladder. As a whore is another word for prostitute.

In this situation, I can see both ends of the spectrum: Ariana is evidently not a whore or a prostitute and is of the age and in the generation when she can do pretty much whatever she wants. I will always defend the right for people to do whatever they want, when they want, however they want. One cannot exclaim “Freedom!” if they’re not going to allow others to have it.

In saying that, Bette Midler is Bette Midler. If she told me to put pants on, I’d say “how high”… or however that saying goes.

But it all comes down to this… why do people have an issue with others sexual lifestyles or choice of clothing? Why does wearing short shorts and a midriff top automatically make someone promiscuous when in reality, they could be the complete opposite?

I recently had a falling out with a former friend of mine because he made a comment roughly saying “If you wear short shorts with boots, it’s fair enough that people think you’re a slut”. Umm… what? No, that’s not how it works. I thought that living in a country as free as Australia where many people are free to follow whatever religion they choose and drive whatever car they want, I’d be allowed to wear whatever I wanted as well without people emblazoning a red “A” on me. Apparently not, because no matter what you wear, people will judge you.

Sure, I understand that the way you dress is a reflection on you, but why does that reflection necessarily have to be negative, or said in a negative way? Maybe wearing short shorts and boots makes someone “wild and unpretentious” as opposed to “slutty and easy”. Maybe wearing platform boots and black skinny jeans makes someone “dark and mysterious” as opposed to “gothic and weird”.

If a man or a woman chooses to fornicate with a lot of different people at the same time – whether it be all at once or over a certain period of time – how does that make them a bad person? If you’re the type of person to wait until you’re married to do the deed, good for you; if you’re the type to sleep with a different person every night, good for you. There’s a famous quote from Eminem that is so appropriate here… “I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that.”

Just like you would respect someone for having a different religion than you, you should respect someone for having different life standards than you. Everyone is different.

Let sluts be sluts.

– by Noah La’ulu

Why I Don’t Support Kim Kardashian

Last week, Kim Kardashian attempted to break the internet with a couple of naked pictures. Little did she know, my internet was working fine with no faulty connections.

If you ask me in person whether or not I like the Kardashians or anyone commonly associated with that family, I would express my feelings with very colourful language and the fact that I do not like them will be made very clear. As this will be published online, however, I do have to express myself in a more calm and fair manner.

From my limited marketing knowledge, Kim Kardashian as a brand is successful. Her face is plastered everywhere, her products are doing swimmingly well, and she makes it on the front page of tabloids for merely licking an envelope. However, Kim Kardashian as a person, I don’t believe she can claim any success whatsoever.

Did anyone's internet actually stop working?

Did anyone’s internet actually stop working?

To my knowledge, she was first introduced to the world of celebrity for being Paris Hilton’s lap dog and part-time slave, and then her and Ray J (who, if you asked me what song he sung, I wouldn’t be able to name one) decided to make a sex tape complete with horrid fake noises, and then her and her family decided to make a reality show of their drama-filled lives which I personally do not envy in the slightest, and then there were “those pictures“.

With all of the things that I’ve mentioned above – granted I have missed out portions of her life – where does “talent” come into play? For me, as a journalist-in-the-rise, the only way I would want to be a household name is if it were attached to my skill as a writer or a content producer. Not because I’m really good at taking my clothes off, or I dated someone who was famous and now all of a sudden people are following me.

In that same vein, I can’t put her husband in the same boat. As much as I dislike Kanye for his attitude and superior God complex, the man is talented. As heck.

I don’t see the talent in following a hotel heiress around, doing everything she asks, and I don’t see the talent in recording a sex tape. (Unless you manage to hold the camera for the entire duration and not make it awkwardly shake… that would be talent.)

We as a society have gone from idolising true legends of cinema like Grace Kelly and awe-inspiring musicians like Elvis Presley, to girls with nice bodies who take nude photos for a magazine. If this one sentence doesn’t illustrate the entire point of this article, then I have failed as a blogging journalist.

I’m not trying to shade those who do support Kim Kardashian. I say “to each their own” and have at it. I would just prefer to use my time idolising someone who is great at what they do and is also a decent person like Brisbane Broncos’ Corey Parker, for example, than someone who’s in the spotlight for no apparent reason other than she is Kim Kardashian.

Let’s not beat around the bush. If you had to list four talents Kim Kardashian has shown during her time in the spotlight, you’d be hard pressed to name even a couple. It’s kind of sad how society’s views of admiration are diminishing so that seemingly pointless celebrities like her are gaining a cult following.

Oh well. I’ll just sit here and quietly admire the likes of Elvis Costello and Billie Piper. Y’all can have the Kardashian family.

– by Noah La’ulu