Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Portion Size

That time when Rihanna, Taylor Swift, a portion-size plate and I were all in a room together


Back in my previous life as a lifestyle journalist, I was invited to gifting suites. Picture this: You walk into a room (usually a conference room at a fancy hotel), where tables and booths are set up with products and brands that range from footwear to jewelry to beauty products, tropical resorts and tons more. And those who are invited get to walk to whatever stall they want and take whatever is on offer. No joke. Often you get a large duffel bag as you walk in so you can fill it with all the swag. It’s a way for the brands to get their product into the hands of a celebrity (or influencer or media person) and hopefully they’ll get some publicity in return.

One of the more memorable gifting suites I went to was timed with the Grammy Awards (they coincide with big Hollywood events). It was February 2009, the day before the Grammys, and this suite wasn’t very busy when I was there. In fact I only remember myself and two other guests there: an up-and-coming country artist that I was already a fan of named Taylor Swift (there with her mother) and Rihanna (I don’t know who she was with). Interesting trivia: Later that night the Umbrella singer was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown and didn’t appear at the awards show the next day.

I still recall some of the loot I hauled home from this suite, including a gorgeous silver necklace I frequently wear ($1,500 value, thank you very much) and an umbrella and rain boots from däv that I use to this day.  One of the other items, which I didn’t take but do recall, was a portion control plate. The man who created the plate made a smaller-than-average dinner plate because he noted how enormous our plates are these days and that we feel the need to fill them, and not usually with leafy greens (which would be fine in my book—5 cups of leafy greens a day keeps the doctor away!). I do feed my husband piles of food most nights because he’s been on the farm all day and needs fuel for the next day. Those of us not cleaning troughs and mustering animals on steep hills? Prolly not.

And what about portion sizes in cafes? Ginormous! But what can you expect…with high rents, cafe owners have to make a profit and it doesn’t make much difference to their bottom line if they cut a massive slice of cake that they sell for $6 instead of a small, reasonable portion for $3. They won’t make ends meet by only selling $3 cakes. 

Next time you’re serving up a meal or ordering at a cafe, take note of your portion size. Is it a massive brownie that could really serve two? Split it. Take half home for another day. And when you load up the dinner plate: Make veggies the prominent occupant of the space and accessorise it with the starch and protein. 

Image: Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash