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Issue 3, 2019

Issue 03 – Nō hea koe?

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News

  • The H-Word

  • Stay Healthy: Fresher Flu is Back

  • Māori and Pasifika support services: New phone, who dis?

  • A Gay Old Time: Wellington Pride Festival 2019

  • The Party Line: MMP 5% Threshold

  • Piki Brings Four Counsellors to Victoria, One to Massey

  • Complaints of Inappropriate, Drunken Behaviour from Uni Hall Staff

  • University to launch sexual harassment policy

  • Features

  • Preya Article

    Ka Tangi Te Tītī, Ka Tangi Te Kākā, Ka Tangi Hoki Ahau, Tīhei Maui Ora

    One day, I asked my Te Reo tutor what the difference was between a mihimihi and a pepeha. Thus began the biggest existential crisis of my life. A mihimihi is a short speech given to introduce yourself at a hui, a meeting. Basically what your name is, where you’re from, what you do, that sort […]

    by

  • I Lift My Eyes

    There is only one dream which has ever truly frightened me. I cannot tell you how frequently I have this dream, only that it is often enough that if I think of it while I am trying to sleep, I feel sickened and unsettled. I am alone in a desert. The sand goes on, and […]

    by

  • Home Feature2-01

    Where are you from?: A Loaded Question

    “Where are you from?” has always been a loaded question for me. If the people who knew me in high school (yikes) are reading this, they’ll definitely think that I’m back on my bullshit. Truth is, I never got off my bullshit—at least not this specific strand. I just internalised it because of the fear […]

    by

  • Preya Article

    Ka Tangi Te Tītī, Ka Tangi Te Kākā, Ka Tangi Hoki Ahau, Tīhei Maui Ora

    One day, I asked my Te Reo tutor what the difference was between a mihimihi and a pepeha. Thus began the biggest existential crisis of my life. A mihimihi is a short speech given to introduce yourself at a hui, a meeting. Basically what your name is, where you’re from, what you do, that sort […]

    by

  • I Lift My Eyes

    There is only one dream which has ever truly frightened me. I cannot tell you how frequently I have this dream, only that it is often enough that if I think of it while I am trying to sleep, I feel sickened and unsettled. I am alone in a desert. The sand goes on, and […]

    by

  • Home Feature2-01

    Where are you from?: A Loaded Question

    “Where are you from?” has always been a loaded question for me. If the people who knew me in high school (yikes) are reading this, they’ll definitely think that I’m back on my bullshit. Truth is, I never got off my bullshit—at least not this specific strand. I just internalised it because of the fear […]

    by

  • Arts and Science

  • Fashion and Haute Tea

    Flaunting confidence in the form of a heavily self-curated swimwear pic is one thing. But as I recently discovered: doing so when you’re half-naked in front of a production team, is a whole other thing.

     

    If I’m being totally candid, up until very recently, the Body Positive Movement had meant little to me beyond a hashtag.

    My physique fluctuates between thicc-thin and thicc-thicc—depending on how far into exam season I am.

     

    I’m not sure if it’s because I have a body type that can easily be moulded into an hourglass-figure, regardless of mass. Or whether my parents just really sold me with the whole “most beautiful girl in the world” shtick growing up. But most days I don’t have too much trouble mustering the kind of confidence an only-child is often afforded.

     

    Recently, however, I was invited to model for Wellington underwear label Nisa Women. This presented the challenge of walking the walk when it comes to supporting the fight for more inclusive representation of bodies within media. Retweeting a body diverse editorial is one thing, but could I get my (currently size 16) booty into a set of tummy-exposing separates for a shoot that would be shared in a series of Facebook and Instagram campaigns?

     

    Cheeks, collar bones, and cleavage contoured, with every cosmetic I own stuffed into a duffle bag, I nervously loitered around Willis Street, waiting for someone to let me into the studio.

     

    Sunday Night Club is a shared creative space with sculpted ceilings and gorgeous lighting. Three brand team members, two other models, and a photographer already occupied the space. Coffees were offered. Garment samples were assigned. Before I knew it, I was wearing a pink-and-red high-waisted brief and bra, staring down the barrel of an intimidatingly large camera lens.

     

    The cotton pink fabric of this underwear set was accented with contrasting maroon elastic details. I was presented with a beautiful pink rose and placed in front of a white wall. No studio lights. No textured terrain to melt nervously into. No promises of the power of airbrush. It was just me, a forced positive self-talk looping internally, and a little bit of shimmer powder.

     

    I can’t be certain if it was the caffeine, the security of a flower to cling to, or the affirming words of the production team. But within the hour, I found myself balancing one foot on the windowsill, my weight suspended mid-air. One arm clinging to the window frame, I was racking my brain for every little nugget of advice I ever saw Tyra Banks dish out on ^America’s Next Top Model^. “Smile with your eyes.” “Think long neck!” “Clench and release your hands to make them look natural.” I may have literally been climbing the walls, but I was feeling anything but helpless.

     

    Naturally, behind-the-scenes images of the photoshoot were shared. No more than two hours later, I checked my phone to find 28 private messages on my phone from women I know, expressing their appreciation to see a full-figured underwear model. It wasn’t that I needed the validation for my own confidence—though I would be lying if I said it wasn’t nice. A few hours of teetering at the edge of my comfort zone might actually have value beyond some racy new content for my ‘gram.

     

    This is your aspiring fashion-lover, with dreams of Ashley Graham-style modelling grandeur, signing off before this column digresses into bumper sticker wisdom. But I will leave you with this: I believe the collective effect of actions as small as an exposed midriff, displayed with confidence and intent, might just one day amount to a culture where everyone feels empowered to wear whatever they damn well please.

     

    Wishing you once again: styling serendipity and head-to-toe sass,

    by

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    He Tāonga

    :   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this