What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? A plus-size rom-com star who needs to take a history lesson, a competitive sport that’s enforcing “modest makeup,” and devastating news for Canadian Harry Potter fans. Here’s everything you need to know.
Rebel Wilson says she’s the first plus-size lead in a romantic comedy
THE STORY: While promoting her upcoming film Isn’t It Romantic on Ellen, Rebel Wilson said: “I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: So this might just be a situation in which Wilson misspoke, and likely, she’s regurgitating information fed to her by a publicist. If she insisted on addressing the controversy, she should have tweeted out a general, informal apology, acknowledging the women who paved the way for women like herself. Instead, she responded directly to one of her critics with this:
In situations like these, defending yourself usually isn’t the best call. Wilson’s tweet ended up getting the attention of Mo’Nique, star of the 2006 rom-com “Phat Girlz,” who took a moment to gently remind the Isn’t It Romantic lead to “know the history” before making claims that could erase the talent and work of other plus-size women.
So, no, she’s not the first—and that’s something she needs to speak to in the press tour leading up to the movie’s release. But even if she doesn’t, I still think you should see Isn’t It Romantic, because despite not being first, Wilson’s role is a monumental moment for Hollywood blockbusters. Oh, and the film looks really funny. Here’s hoping the movie is a major box office success, and that it continues to pave the path for plus-sized actresses in the future.
The International Gymnastics Federation bans heavy makeup during competitions
THE STORY: Earlier this year, Dutch gymnast Céline van Gerner performed a Cats-themed floor routine at the 2018 European Championships. She wore theatrical hair, makeup and costume for her interpretation of the popular musical—which is uncommon in elite gymnastics, but didn’t result in any penalties against van Gerner.
On Monday, van Gerner tweeted out a screenshot sharing that the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has made a rule change regarding makeup. “Face painting is not allowed,” the screenshot reads, “any makeup must be modest and not portray a theatrical character.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: “Modest”—particularly when used in reference a woman’s appearance—is a pretty loaded word in the current cultural climate. And really, enforcing restrictions on female expression seems like that last thing the gymnastics world wants to be making headlines for right now. This change in regulations comes at a time when there is heightened attention on how female athletes are being treated in the sport, with former US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar having recently been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing over 100 young gymnasts.
Besides, as Deadspin notes, gymnasts are tasked with conveying a “character” or “artistic point of view” in their floor routines. Isn’t that exactly what Céline van Gerner did with her feline-inspired performance? Gymnastics should be a space where women can express themselves creatively, and they shouldn’t be held back from the tools that help them do that.
Turns out, Harry Potter isn’t coming to Netflix Canada
THE STORY: In the days leading up to November 1, there was widespread Internet speculation that all eight Harry Potter films would be dropping on Netflix Canada. The day came and went, and it left us Great Northern Potterheads with some sad news: the streaming service only launched the movies to their site in two countries. Canada isn’t one of them.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: I mean, we shouldn’t take this too personally. Netflix is a regional service, and operates different licenses for shows and films in every country. But at the same time: I encourage everyone to LOUDLY voice their frustrations. If we made enough noise, maybe we mere muggles will get the movies next month? And in the mean time, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is officially coming to Netflix Canada in October. So at least there’s something J.K. Rowling related.