12 years ago, the International Astronomic Union decided to adopt an unrealistic ‘definition’ for the term ‘planet’, which caused Pluto to be demoted to a ‘dwarf planet’. It was planetary apartheid.
The term ‘dwarf planet’ is problematic in of itself, as dwarfs cannot become planets and it is a constant derogatory reminder of their own earthly limitations.
Removing Pluto from the order of astronomical bodies is erasure, plain as day. It is the same old story, time and time again: big planets are always represented in media and on the front covers of magazines like Take A Break, whilst smaller planets (which are more realistically proportioned for the Average Planet) are an afterthought and are always given sidekick roles like “the small but funny best friend” in rom-coms.
Why is it always bigger planets that are picked for catwalk shows? Jupiter, the Emily Ratajkowski of planets, gets more representation that it’s worth in popular space culture. But Jupiter is privileged, and this spatial size inequality has sparked online campaigning, including the hashtag #PlanetsAtEverySize in protest to the exclusion.
Recently, however, there is talk of redefining the word “planet” to allow Pluto to be at one with its peers. Though this will be seen as a “win” for universal society, we must ask ourselves a difficult question: why Pluto was deemed ‘not good enough’ in the first place?
We asked Pluto for comment but it has yet to get back to us.