You Know What Sh!ts Me?: The imbalance of freedom

People suck. They really do.

Let’s use this scenario as an example: you’re at a party and you have one bottle of premium lemonade. A stranger comes up to you and asks you for it, saying “Please, I’m so thirsty and cannot find a drink anywhere else” (you know, despite water being readily available nearly everywhere but bear with me). Being a kind and considerate person, you give the stranger your premium lemonade. The next day, you’re thirsty and you feel like a drink. You find someone with a bottle of premium lemonade and ask them for a drink. They say no and walk away. Unfair, right?

If that’s so unfair, how does an individual try and demand freedom if they’re not willing to give it themselves?

Don’t get what I mean? Let me give you a proper example that doesn’t involve fantasy lemonade. A black man who demands racial equality but hates gays and doesn’t want them to have the choice of getting married. A gay woman who demands gay rights but hates men and anything they decide to do. A free-spirited animal activist who wants animal equality but doesn’t think people are allowed to wear whatever they want.

Equality means accepting all colours, not just the reds, oranges and yellows.

Equality means accepting all colours, not just the reds, oranges and yellows.

In other words, people who demand freedom but don’t give it back.

It just stems from the basic rule “treat others how you would like to be treated”. If you want people to respect your freedom in choice and lifestyle, then you should respect others, even if you don’t agree with it.

I had a friend who was very passionate about gay rights: he, as a homosexual man, didn’t understand why people were blocking his right to marry his partner and why he felt discriminated against for who he chose to love. Fair enough right? Well, as vocal as this former friend was about gay rights, he was also equally vocal about how he didn’t like black people and openly discriminated against them. My reaction?

This picture is so relevant to life.

This picture is so relevant to life.

My argument with him was this: “I’m sorry but how do you expect people to respect you and accept you as a gay man if you’re not going to respect and accept a man down the street because he’s black? Where is the logic in that?” His response was simple: “If people don’t respect me for being gay, I don’t have to respect black people.” It is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say – ever. It’s like saying “If I don’t want to play tennis, why are other people playing tennis?”

News flash: there are other people in this world besides you.

My point, which I am going to reiterate here, is this: treat others how you want to be treated.

I’m not going to hate someone because they like rap music and I don’t. I’m not going to ignore someone because they choose to wear baggy trousers (as opposed to the painted on hot pants that I wear). It’s just stupid.

There are so many freedom fighters nowdays that are apparently striving for equality, but some of these people don’t even know what equality is.

End rant.

– by Noah La’ulu

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

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

My Very Specific View on Marriage

Marriage isn’t for everyone. If anything has been made clear in the 21st century, it is that.

In today’s society, it is rare and almost a huge a shock if a celebrity couple get married and stay married. Divorce isn’t a weird concept anymore and rough figures suggest that almost half of marriages end in divorce.

In my sweet and humble opinion (IMSAHO, for future reference), I attribute this to one simple thing (or two if you really think about it). One thing that nearly every couple does. One thing that has been customary so no one really thinks too much of it. One thing that, when you really think about it, is not necessary to marriage at all.

This one thing is weddings (and honeymoons).

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE:  Andrew Morrell's Flickr photostream)

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE: Andrew Morrell’s Flickr photostream)

Watching wedding shows like Don’t Tell the Bride and Say Yes to the Dress have me draw my own conclusion: people are way more focused on the materialistic things of the wedding that they are forgetting the most important of any wedding… getting married to the person that you love.

In these shows – and from my other observations – it’s evident that couples care way too much about what other people think about them; therefore, they spend all this money on having the best venues and the best food and the best gowns and tuxedos that they forget that they are eternally binding themselves to one person for the rest of their lives because they are in love. Forking out thousands upon thousands of dollars for a 2+ hour ceremony celebrating two people is, to me, ridiculous and unnecessary.

Sure, there may be other problems in the marriage that may cause a couple to divorce: adultery, a different view on the future, or my personal favourite, “irreconcilable differences”, but I think that if two people are getting married for the right reasons – binding yourself to the love of your life because you want to spend the rest of your lives together – then they will last longer than the couple who are looking forward to their honeymoon more than their future of growing old together and rocking on wooden chairs holding hands.

Think about all the money that goes to weddings and honeymoons that could go to better use somewhere. A car? A house? Savings? These TV programmes that show women forking out up to $250,000 for a wedding and honeymoon are, excuse my French, fucked up.

If I were to ever get married, should I choose to, there will be no wedding. No honeymoon. No reception. No food. None of that crap. We will go to a small chapel with only the priest and a witness (if necessary), elope, and then go home and sleep in our bed as if nothing special happened. Then, and only then, will we tell our family and friends the next day that we got married.

I get that your loved ones want to celebrate your marriage and your love and that’s fine. They can just do it in their own time.

As for me, if it were to be my dream scenario? I would get eloped in a onesie. With ug boots on.

And I would be the happiest man alive.

– by Noah La’ulu