Culture Feature

Dennis Rodman's 10 Craziest Looks

From a wedding dress to a silk nightgown, Dennis Rodman had a lot of wild outfits.

The Netflix documentary series The Last Dance has made Dennis Rodman one of the most talked about people in the world, once again.

The docuseries follows the story of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. While the first two episodes dealt primarily with Scottie Pippin and Michael Jordan, the third episode delves into the strange trajectory of Dennis Rodman's career. The best rebounder to ever play the game, Rodman was undeniably talented but often unpredictable both on and off the court. He was known for his bizarre fashion choices, his dramatic dating life (he can count both Carmen Electra and Madonna among his exes), and habitual partying. Fans got even more of Rodman's eccentricities in the series' final two episodes, which outline the infamous incident in which Rodman blew off practice in the midst of the Bull's final championship run in order to attend a WCW taping. After a Game 3 blowout of the Utah Jazz, he flew to Detroit from Chicago to wrestle Diamond Dallas Page alongside Hulk Hogan.

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Charismatic beauty Ashley Graham announced last week that she was pregnant with her first child, and somehow, she still looks flawless.

The model shared a candid photo on Instagram showing off her stretch marks, a further promoting her message of body positivity. The photo comes after Graham unveiled the news in an awkwardly charming anniversary video with her husband. "Nine years ago today, I married the love of my life," she wrote. "It has been the best journey with my favorite person in the world!" The photo was also followed up by a video of Graham napping in a bikini and still looking perfect. "Now that we've made a life together," Graham wrote. "Let's make a life together."

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Yet, as the internet has shown, some people still insist on being d*cks to total strangers. Many people came out to shame Graham for her body and already accuse her of bad parenting, somehow, for some reason?

Others were angry for a different reason.

While Graham was, thankfully, mostly lauded for the honesty of her post, it just goes to show that her mission to spread body positivity and stop people from projecting their own self-worth issues onto complete strangers online is far from complete. Unhappy people will always try to drag gorgeous people down into the sh*t with them. Here's hoping they won't always hate themselves so much. Meanwhile, Graham still (happily, healthily) looks like this:


Nike's Plus-Size Mannequin Shows What's Wrong with Body Positivity

Both fat-shaming internet trolls and those who shame them for their intolerance are falling for the same unhealthy message that body types are objects to be evaluated. If our culture embraced body neutrality, both behaviors would become irrelevant.

Today Show

In London, a strikingly pale and hairless woman wearing sleek, black Nike gear has caused the internet to re-think its body standards.

If she had eyes or a mouth, we'd know more about her. Sadly, she's just a mannequin, yet she somehow disgusts people for the way she "heaves with fat." When Nike London introduced plus-size mannequins in its flagship store, they stated their intentions: "To celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of sport, the space will not just celebrate local elite and grassroot athletes through visual content but also show Nike plus-size and para-sport mannequins for the first time on a retail space." While many celebrated the body positive message and inclusive representation, outspoken detractors argued that Nike was "normalizing obesity" and promoting unhealthy lifestyles. Truly, the most outrageous aspect of Nike's first plus-size mannequin is the overblown reaction on social media.

The body positive movement, with its intense push to love one's body and accept all body types as "normal," feels strangely personal to all, no matter their personal fitness levels. In truth, associating any kind of intense emotion with one's body is borderline unhealthy. As a result of our cultural push towards body positivity, people display highly emotional reactions to subjects of obesity and "plus size" clothing, instead of a healthier, "body neutral" stance. In reality, both fat-shaming internet trolls and those who shame them for their intolerance are falling for the same unhealthy message that body types are objects to be evaluated. If our culture embraced body neutrality, both behaviors would become irrelevant.

nike plus size mannequin Telegraph

"Where is the body shape between the tiny and the immense, which is where true health lives?" Tanya Gold wrote in an op-ed in The Telegraph. "Where is the ordinary, medium, contented woman? Where, oh where, is the middle ground?" It's a reasonable plea that concludes an otherwise inflammatory piece that's filled with false equivalencies, from taking weight as a direct indicator of health to assuming all obesity is the result of "addiction to sugars." What Gold finds to be an "immense" size is approximately a UK size 16 (US size 14), which is statistically an average women's size.

Gold writes, "The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast...She is, in every measure, obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement."

Fat-phobic, fat-shaming, poorly argued, and mean-spirited, Gold's article prompted a lively defense of plus-size mannequins on social media, from correcting false assumptions to personal testimonies. One user wrote, "Wow @Telegraph - nice job with the Tanya Gold click bait. I look like that @nike mannequin, and I've done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. And there's another 10k & a half coming up. If you think obese women can't run you've clearly been living under a rock."

How could a simple mannequin elicit such strong responses? In truth, it is abnormal—not as a body type, but as a feature in retail shops. Most female mannequins displayed in stores meet slim criteria: The US sizes 6-8, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 34B bra, 24/25 inch waist, and 36-inch hips (with 32 inch inside leg with a 3/3.5 inch heel), according to Tanya Reynolds, creative director at a mannequin manufacturer called Proportion London. In contrast, a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that body mass index (BMI) is not a reliable indicator of an individual's health. Specifically, the study found that nearly half of all Americans who are classified as "overweight" by their BMI (34.4 million people) are healthy; so were 19.8 million others who were considered "obese."

Still, Tanya Gold names her harangue, "Obese Mannequins Are Selling Women a Dangerous Lie," and she begins, "I fear that the war on obesity is lost, or has even, as is fashionable, ceased to exist, for fear of upsetting people into an early grave." Later on, she adds, "The word 'fat' should not be a slur. But it should be a warning. So, it worries me to see Nike, who promote athleticism, treating the obese model as potentially healthy in the cause of profit. It is as cruel as telling women that the child ballet dancer and the porn body are ideal."

Additionally, according to The Telegraph's own Snapchat poll, 55% of its readers agree that a plus-size mannequin is "not a healthy example to be setting for women." Online, some commenters agreed that a plus-size mannequin was taking the "body positivity" movement too far. One user colorfully posted, "Class from Nike showing fat customers how awful yous would look if ye purchased these items."

The reaction over a mere mannequin in the center of a store selling workout gear is a reflection of how personal and sensitive the body positivity movement has become. Despite its good intentions to validate every body type and combat media's history of promoting unhealthy thinness, "body positivity" is flawed. The movement's emphasis to "love your body" in whatever state it's in does have drawbacks (but not what Gold wastes time arguing as "fat-acceptance" that endorses unhealthy lifestyles). Namely, the self-love of body positivity encourages people to associate an intense emotion with their appearance, which can quickly become unhealthy.

Even positive fervor to embrace and celebrate different body types attaches a dangerous amount of feeling to one's body—so why not promote body neutrality, instead? Rather than loving one's body, body neutrality is a simple belief that "you have the body you have and accept what you have. It's an essential part of yourself," in the words of Joan Chrisler, Ph.D. and psychology professor in New London. Psychotherapist Allison Stone adds that body neutrality "provides an opportunity for a middle ground. It provides an opportunity for acceptance. It's simply about being. It's about being without passing judgment or harboring strong emotions about how we look." It's the "middle ground" that Tanya Gold calls for without her fat-shaming and implications that obesity is a moral failure.

Above all, body neutrality is even more conducive to inclusive representation than body positivity, since it promotes acceptance without judgment. Megan Jayne Crabbe, author, and activist, responded to the controversy on Instagram with a good-natured post that dismisses fat-shaming but acknowledges the small role that plus-size mannequins play in how far society progresses towards inclusive representation. She writes, "I thought I'd go and visit the babe responsible for thousands of fatphobes on the internet losing their shit this week...And do you know what I noticed during my death defying encounter with a plus size piece of plastic? People of all shapes and sizes were in the store. Some bigger than the mannequin, some smaller, and every single one deserves to see themselves represented and be catered for….This is a very small step in the right direction, and the reaction to it has shown exactly how necessary it is."


Sports Illustrated Model Halima Aden Wears a Hijab for Female Empowerment

Aden made history as the first model to pose in a hijab and "burkini," but online critics should remind us that inclusivity is not considered by all to be a universal good.

The Shade Room

This week Halima Aden became the first Somali-American to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.

The publication lauded Aden as the first model in history to pose in a hijab and burkini. "We both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective," said Swimsuit editor MJ Day. "We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear. Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, YOU ARE WORTHY."

The Kenyan-born model spent the first seven years of her life at the Kakuma Refugee Camp before her family moved to Minnesota. At 19 years old, she was a semi-finalist in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, as well as the first contestant to wear a hijab. She's enjoyed success with IMB modeling agency, including appearing on the cover of British Vogue and walking in New York Fashion Week. For her SI cover, the magazine said, "We couldn't think of a more perfect place to travel than her birth country, where she shot at Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai."

Aden commented, "I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don't think that's a story that anybody could make up."

The model also recognized her boundary-breaking success on Instagram, posting, "Don't change yourself .. Change the GAME!! Ladies anything is possible!!! Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It's sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings... can stand together and be celebrated. Thank you so much @si_swimsuit & the entire team for giving me this incredible opportunity."

However, within hours of Sports Illustrated's announcement, critics began questioning the implications of praising a model in a hijab and modest swimwear. While Aden "changing the game" is a positive move towards inclusivity of all religions and cultures in mainstream media, the traditional Muslim garb (a hijab, or حجاب in Arabic, simply means "cover") is fraught with controversy in America. Aside from prejudicial judgments based on anti-Muslim sentiments, the feminist implications of a hijab to many non-Muslim women are of female oppression. Writer Kira Davis lambasted SI's choice as a hypocritical act of feigned "religious tolerance" that celebrated "one of the most sexually oppressive religious cultures on the planet" but historically rejected" Judeo-Christian communities that have long suffered ridicule at the hands of secular culture."

A veteran writer of conservative perspectives, Davis challenged the public's celebration of Aden as an icon of female empowerment and religious freedom by accusing SI of implicitly condoning the belief that women's bodies are shameful. She claims that doing so is just as objectifying to women as celebrating scantily clad women as sex objects. Davis wrote in Townhall, "In the same way the model in a string bikini on the cover of SI is an objectification, so is the model in a full-on 'burkini.' It is a symbol of an idea that a woman's body is unsuitable to be publicly seen, that she is an object to be covered rather that a human to be admired. In a country like America it is a huge step backwards."

Sadly (and yet predictably), her sentiment was supported by like-minded thinkers posting similar reactions on Twitter, such as, "The Islamification of America continues," or even, "HA, HA, HA!!! NOW SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IS PUSHING SHARIA CLOTHING FOR WOMEN!!! WHO WOULD HAVE THINK IT???"

Of course, any movement towards social progress will be met with resistance, some of which is patently not worth acknowledging. But there can be a social function to haters, trolls, and even prejudice. Plainly, inclusivity is not considered by all to be a universal good. In this case, that awareness should inform our celebrations of it, whether by articulating more fully why an act is to be celebrated or simply spreading the message further. As Sports Illustrated noted, "At SI Swimsuit, we strive to continue to spread the message that whether you are wearing a one-piece, a two-piece, or a burkini, you are the pilot of your own beauty."

As for Aden, the 21-year-old spoke to Allure the day after her history-making cover was announced. She promoted her new fashion line of headscarves, which are designed for all women, regardless of religion. "I put thought into having a piece for any woman," she says. "This collection is open to all." The model noted, "Fashion and activism go hand-in-hand."

popdust halima aden Halima Aden /The National

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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Kate Upton is Pregnant!

Expecting Her First Child with Justin Verlander

26-year-old Kate Upton is about to go from model to mama. It has been reported that the stunning supermodel is expecting her first child with her handsome hubby of eight months, baseball player Justin Verlander. Looks like he hit a "home run!"

The beachy blonde beauty posted a pretty pic on her Instagram account on Saturday to deliver the exciting news to her fans. A succinct #PregnantinMiami@justinverlander 🌞❤️ was all it took for the media to instantly react, fans to congratulate the expecting couple, and the "baby bump" bonanza to begin.

According to US Weekly, the delighted dad-to-be raved, "You're going to be the most amazing Mom!! I can't wait to start this new journey with you! You're the most thoughtful, loving, caring, and strong woman I've ever met! I'm so proud that our little one is going to be raised in this world by a woman like you! I love you so much."

Not to mention the fortune this fetus will be gaining in good genes.

If you live under a rock and have no clue who Kate Upton is, first of all, find another rock with internet access. Secondly, here's a little background. "Katherine Elizabeth Upton is an American model and actress. Upton was named the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year following her appearance in the magazine in 2011, and was the cover model for the 2012, 2013 and 2017 issues. She was also the subject of the 100th-anniversary Vanity Fair cover. Upton has also appeared in the films Tower Heist (2011), The Other Woman (2014) and The Layover (2017)."

You may have seen her intoxicating image in ads for Sam Edelman, Victoria's Secret, Express, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, David Yurman, Guess, Garage, and Dooney & Bourke too. Her amazing all-American good looks, super-curvy figure, killer smile, and blonde bombshell-ness make her a standout, proving "model thin" is no longer in. Or at least there is room for a body like hers. And aside from SI, Upton has glamorously graced the pages of GQ (naturally), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, LOVE, Mademoiselle, and other top-notch fashion mags. Her look is undeniably attractive, promotable, profitable, and only gets better shoot after shoot. Surely her doting husband agrees.

Upton and Verlander tied the knot on Nov. 4, 2017, "in an ultra-posh wedding in Italy — just days after the baseball pitcher helped the Houston Astros score their first-ever World Series victory," as described by People magazine. Sure was a lucky year for that son-of-a-gun.

So, we may not see Upton posing for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for a while, unless they start to feature models in maternity wear. But a one-piece and a onesie? Maybe after she delivers, the mag will want her first pics as "mom."

Congrats to the happy couple and their growing little family. We can't wait to meet this cutie.

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G,, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.

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What Happened to the Manimal?

He's always had the talent, the athleticism, and the body. So where'd it all go?

It feels like for as long as I can remember, I've been waiting for Kenneth Faried to put it all together. At 6'-8", 230 lbs, we fell for the physical tools, the passion, the high flying hooliganism.

Every year was the year the Manimal was supposed to arrive as a star. He started on the USMNT for the 2014 World Cup alongside Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Anthony Davis—which one isn't like the rest (hint: Stephen Curry is the only MVP and is not the odd one out)? Now, with rising star Nikola Jokic taking over the starting center position and coach Mike Malone going small, starting Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari at the forwards, Faried's stock is plummeting.

League Trend:

As the league doubles down on small ball, Faried has become a floor-spacing liability. Coach Malone and the Nuggets have found success surrounding Jokic with floor stretching forwards. Cutting and passing lanes open up when they space the floor with Jokic operating out of the high post; the screen and roll with Mudiay becomes more efficient with outlets planted along the three-point line. Already undersized to play the traditional power forward role, having Faried clog up the paint next to either big in Jokic or Nurkic is suicidal. Although he shoots 54% from the field, that number drops to 40% when he steps out further than 3 feet and again to an abysmal 33% from 10+ feet out (stats courtesy of Faried doesn't need to be a knockdown three point shooter to gain value. He just needs to not suck outside the paint.


Though the league seems to be trending away from board-crashing, paint-clogging bigs, Faried still has the potential to be a high pace, small ball 5. Think back to last year's Eastern Conference semi-finals where 6'-5" Justise Winslow matched up at center. Size clearly isn't the issue with Faried at the 5; his defense, however, has been porous to say the least. For a guy with the combination of lateral quickness and vertical, Faried has never averaged more than a block or steal per game. On top of that, asking a guy who allows opponents to shoot over 60% in the paint to anchor a defense is, well, let me put it another way; if Tony Allen is your go-to-scorer, you're probably in trouble. In the same vein, Faried is hardly a defensive cornerstone despite his athleticism and his effort.

Though the pick and roll is the most basic set in an offense's playbook, stopping the pick and roll is vital for a defense trying to stay out of rotation. Watch (above) how Chicago exploits Faried's pick and roll defense. Far too often, Faried is caught in no man's land: not close enough to attack the ball handler, not deep enough to box out the roll man. If you can't defend the first look out of a pick and roll set, you'll be hard pressed to put together a functioning defense.

Nuggets' Rebuild:

The Nuggets have loaded their team with young talent from Nikola Jokic to Gary Harris to Jamal Murray to Emmanuel Mudiay (yes, even Emmanuel Mudiay, whose funky double-clutch jumper might be his most developed skill). That being said, building on those pieces presents somewhat of a quandary. They're loaded at the guard and center slots, but the forwards present an issue. Gallinari and Chandler (who's playing the best basketball of his career) are starting caliber forwards, but will they still be when the Nuggets stocks peak? Moving either Nurkic or Faried is a must, but who's going to bite? Best case scenario, Malone gives one of them enough minutes to be productive and raise their trade value to flip them for picks or an emerging wing. The Nuggets have youth and they have talent, but their rebuild is far from over.