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 The Black Widow

Who’s Gonna Stop Ronda Rousey?

I will happily admit that I am definitely not the person. Not because of my gender either.

I’ve always kept my eye on UFC, finding MMA an intriguing sport as, in my own words, it was “like boxing but kind of, like, not”. Watching a bunch of men beat the living shit out of each other in a cage was entertaining, sure, but it wasn’t until UFC introduced the women’s bantamweight division – their first women’s division EVER – that I truly fell in love with the sport. Again, watching men beat the living shit out of each other in a cage was entertaining, but watching two women do it was sensational. We’re talking proper let’s-get-it-on-and-smash-each-other fighting, not mini-skirt-high-heel-catfight-scratch fighting.

There's a lot to be said about a woman who looks this good and can beat you up with her eyes closed. (SOURCE: Ronda Rousey's Facebook)

There’s a lot to be said about a woman who looks this good and can beat you up with her eyes closed. (SOURCE: Ronda Rousey’s Facebook)

Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion and total all-around badass Ronda Rousey is undefeated in pro MMA bouts for a reason. If she hasn’t got her opponent down on the floor in a tightly sinched armbar to make them submit, she’s punching them fair in the face and then laying into them to knock them out.

A few of Ronda Rousey’s accolades include:
[x] First and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion
[x] Therefore making her the first UFC Women’s champion ever
[x] Undefeated professional record of 10-0-0
[x] Blockbuster star in The Expendables 3 alongside Sly Stallone, Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren, just to name a few
[x] Multiple awards in 2013 for “Female Fighter of the Year” from different organizations
[x] The first woman to score a medal in Olympic judo for United States of America

In a similar fashion, Ronda Rousey’s victims include:
[x] Alexis Davis, an impressive fighter who was knocked out by Rousey in 16 seconds
[x] Miesha Tate, Rousey’s well documented rival who has fallen to her twice via armbar submission (but was the first woman to take her past the first round, so kudos to her.)
[x] Sara McMann, whose first loss was at the hands of Rousey
[x] Liz Carmouche, who nearly took Rousey to the second round but just fell short

I could go on and on listing what Rousey’s done in her career and who she’s beaten but the fact is simple: Ronda Rousey is outstanding.

And it seems as if she’s running out of competition…

If recent reports were to be believed, that might not be the case for much longer.

Solstice Satisfaction has decided to choose a few women who might have a shot of taking the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship off the woman who seems mighty freaking unstoppable:

Gina Carano
The one female MMA fighter who has made as big a name for herself as Ronda Rousey is none other than Gina Carano. As beautiful as she is deadly, the recent reports alluded to previously have suggested that Garano might make her presence known in UFC if Dana White can strike a deal with her. It’s been rumoured that if she is signed, she would shoot past all the UFC women’s bantamweight contenders and challenge Rousey for the title. The two biggest names in female MMA? Hell yes!

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino
The only woman to have defeated Gina Carano in professional MMA is the Cyborg, a name aptly given to the woman for her freakish strength and freakish, like, everything. Marred by controversy for having a win reversed into a no decision for testing positive to an anabolic steroid, the Cyborg might be the woman who could take Rousey to her limits.

Cat Zingano
Also currently undefeated in professional MMA fights, Zingano is one of the best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world. The no#1 ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world? Ronda Rousey. She was the first woman to win a “Fight of the Night” award (along with Miesha Tate) and was also victorious in said fight, so that’s saying something. It would be interesting to see both Zingano and Rousey put their undefeated streaks on the line to fight each other.

Well, until Rousey is defeated – and I personally hope that takes a while because I may or may not have the biggest idol crush on Rousey – it looks as if the Rowdy one is going to take full charge of women in MMA.

Unless the new strawweights have anything to say about it.

– by The Black Widow

Women’s Woes

Being a woman is hard. We can parade around in overalls and headscarves chanting anti-testosterone bullshit all we want but the reality is that we are biologically hardwired to struggle more than men.

Germaine Greer, if you’re reading this, please let me explain before you start throwing things at me. I agree that women can be physically stronger, taller, fitter and smarter than men. We can run our own businesses, buy cars without a man’s help and fix the dripping tap in the bathroom without having to call a plumber but in the end, the oestrogen is our major downfall.

I haven’t done the research, but I’m pretty sure the only reason women fought so hard to join the workforce was because staying at home watching daytime television left us in constant danger of drowning in our own tears every time an advertisement with a talking puppy tried to convince us to buy a different brand of washing powder.

Unfortunately, while women have evolved to be arguably the more superior sex, we still haven’t quite worked out how to turn off the hormones and get stuck facing challenges like these on an everyday basis:

Tearing apart your wardrobe in a hormone driven rage because you can’t find anything to wear that doesn’t make you look too fat/thin/tall/short/smart/dumb/etc. Guys don’t get it. You just throw on jeans and the closest t-shirt that doesn’t smell like feet and you’re good to go. Shoes and underwear are apparently optional. Our underwear have to match, fit perfectly, give support and sit invisibly under out clothing or risk looking like one of those old women who have given up hope of ever looking good again.


Apparently Kim Kardashian has evolved past this and threw on the nearest couch cover instead…

 The genuine fear that every stitch or bout of the hiccoughs is potentially fatal. Hypochondria is not a joke. It’s an illness as real as the aneurysm we diagnose ourselves with every time we get a headache. Panadol doesn’t cut it in times like those- we need brain surgery and we need Doctor McDreamy to do it. Stat!

Crying while watching life insurance advertisements on several occasions and not just because of the terrible acting. That old couple enjoys playing tennis and walking on the beach at sunset? Holy shit. I enjoy playing tennis and walking on the beach at sunset! I might as well be old and old is nearly dead and BAM! Cue waterworks.

Ads where the toddlers talk. I don’t even like using fabric softener but that little ginger-haired kid with a lisp was so damned cute I bought a bottle of it even though it just sits in my cupboard. Well played, Cuddly Soft… well played.

Brooke and Ridge just had another fight. Seriously, you know they’re perfect for each other, every woman in the world knows they’re perfect for each other and yet they still leave you heartbroken after 26 years. We wish we didn’t care, but secretly we all do.

You honestly feel that every attractive woman you walk past is out to get you- because you are the most important person in the world obviously, and everybody’s life revolves around you.

All we want is chocolate, but chocolate makes us fat. So does the bread we really want to eat, the cheese we love, the beer we drink but fuck it, we’re going to eat it anyway and then blame the closest man for letting us do it. Why? Why the hell not.

Disney films. Women don’t grow out of Disney films. Ever. We’re all searching for a Prince of our own and even if we find him, we’re searching for a talking fish or a pet unicorn.

Every other film. Since we’re on the topic of cinema I should probably admit that women will cry during just about anything. I cried watching Die Hard because just for a minute there it looked like Bruce Willis wasn’t going to save his wife at the end. And also a little bit because Bruce Willis is amazing and women are constantly forming irrational emotional connections to celebrities.

Sobbing uncontrollably when you see small animals. Don’t judge. Just bring tissues and appreciate how cute this duck is with me.

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So men can laugh and roll their eyes when the nostalgia-induced tears from a Backstreet Boys song interrupt our train of thought,  but they should consider themselves lucky. They have been blessed with testosterone and can thus enjoy a stable, emotional-breakdown free existence while we, the unfortunately fairer sex, are busily typing symptoms of our stubbed toe into Google to prove we have gout.

– by Blaire Gillies

A Feminist Against Feminism

Now don’t let the heading fool you.

I am a pretty chilled (male) feminist. I believe women should be paid the same amount as men for doing the exact same job. I think women should be allowed to wear whatever they want without men feeling the need to sexually assault them. I even sometimes have issues playing a video game where you are forced to be a male because really, I’m pretty sure a kickass female could do the same job just as good if not better than Michael, Franklin and Trevor from GTA V.

In saying that, there are some times where feminism just gets absolutely ridiculous. This type of feminism is sometimes referred to as “radical” or “extreme” feminism. Whilst looking at cute pictures of Prince George – who could possibly rival the total cuteness of my nephew Drake – I stumbled upon this image which made me laugh because: A) It was so stupid that there was no other way to react and B) I didn’t think people thought like this anymore. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the ridiculousness:

Like really?

Like really?

The cute little baby hasn’t done anything to anyone (besides be a freakin’ adorable baby)! His parents are full of class and poise and are doing a pretty solid job as their role as “Aesthetically Pleasing Royal Couple of Cambridge”. They haven’t done anything to women. The matriarch of the commonwealth is a woman for sobbing out loud. I don’t understand why people would have an issue with the Royal Baby being a male.

I was listening to a radio show a while ago (actual time length not determined) and the radio DJ was interviewing a feminist whose name has left me at this point in time. My interest sparked because, being a feminist, I like to listen to other feminists speak strongly of their beliefs. However, I was majorly disappointed. She had a problem with women wearing skirts and would snidely refer to them as “skirt wearers” and she also felt that women who shaved or waxed their body hair were “unnatural” and “were only doing so to please men”. Oh, and she felt that pads/tampons were unnecessary and thought women who wore them were subjecting themselves to be slaves to men or some crap like that.

I did not think that there were people like this still out there but apparently there is. I’m all for freedom of speech and people should be able to express their opinion without being absolutely shat upon for saying what they believe, but when opinions are this close-minded and come off as, quite frankly, stupid, I lose a tiny bit of hope in humanity.

If a man said half the things that these extreme feminists have been saying, they would be lynched immediately whilst insults such as “misogynistic pig” and “sexist fuck” would be thrown at them. The media would have a field day and would turn that man into a criminal. An extreme feminist says these things? Sure, people will think bad of him/her, but that’ll be it. No lynching. No coarse insults. Just a few bad thoughts.

In 1968, extreme feminists protested a Miss America pageant by throwing typically feminine things into a garbage bin to “represent freedom”. Women fighting against other women to demand equality. Yeah. Nice logic. How dare people live their own lives?! I don’t have a problem with a woman who wants to participate in a beauty pageant as much as I don’t have a problem with a woman who wants to be a scientist or a police officer. Let’s get serious, everyone.

I want women to be equal to men but some of these extreme feminists act is if they want to live on a planet called Amazonia where men are put in prison if they look at a woman wrong. Yes, that was a Josie and the Pussycats reference. Quite frankly – and I hope I don’t offend anyone by this – I think these extreme feminists are ridiculous.

– by The Black Widow