I’ve mentioned on here before that I’m a bit obsessed with podcasts. Whenever I have some downtime, I love scrolling through my feed, listening to both tried-and-true favorites and newer discoveries. And while I’m pretty easy to pleace, there are a number of episodes that stand out as some of the best. Specifically, these three below, which touch upon subjects like “slut shaming” and body image. As a high school girl (young woman? I never know what title to use), I know I’ve learned a lot from listening these episodes. My hope in sharing them is that some you – regardless of your age or gender – will as well.
+“Slut Shaming 101” Stuff Mom Never Told You +
I cannot not tell you what compelled me to listen to Stuff Mom Never Told You’s episode about slut shaming. I mean, degradation is not exactly number one on my list of uplifting topics. I am, however, really, really glad I tuned it. Besides addressing the strangely fascinating (read: depressing) etymology of the word “slut,” the episode also spends a lot of time talking about slut shaming amongst women. It sounds crazy, but a great deal of the humiliating critiques (the pod’s hosts use the word “policing”) of a woman’s sexuality are delivered by other women.
To me, this is unacceptable. Don’t get me wrong: no one should slut shame anyone, ever. But there is something especially sickening about women subjecting other women to these judgements. Perhaps I feel this way because, as a high schooler, I see girls mistreating each on an almost daily basis. Over the years, this has grown from begin annoying to downright painful to watch.
In that sense, listening to this episode was eye-opening for me: Although I did not identify with the specific scenarios the hosts described, their commentary about how women interact with each other really struck a chord with me. I guess you could say it made me think. I hope some of you take the forty-five minutes to listen for yourselves…I’d love to hear what you think.
+ “Finding Balance with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde” One Part Podcast +
Picture this: you’re not even thirty, and you’ve managed to build an entire career around the way you eat. We’re talking a mega-successful blog/brand promoting a specific diet, a diet you yourself have become the face of. Now imagine realizing that this lifestyle is posing a serious, possibly life-threatening risk to your mental and physical health.
That’s exactly what happened to Jordan Younger, the blogger behind The Balanced Blonde (formerly The Blonde Vegan). Last year, Younger created major waves she announced that she would no longer be eating strictly plant-based, a diet she had essentially become the poster child for. The reason? Over the years, her diet grew into an obsession, and Younger developed orthorexia, a dangerous eating disorder. With her health on the line, she bravely owned up to her struggles, and focused on healing both her body and mind. One year later, Younger now advocates that the key to health is not a restrictive diet, but the creation and maintenance of balance.
In this episode of the One Part Podcast, Jordan talks about everything from her darkest moments and her recovery process to her new attitude towards wellness. Regardless of whether you’ve struggled with body image/food issues, you’ll find this interview not only inspiring, both also moving surprisingly relatable.
+ “Tavi Gevinson” How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black +
Full disclosure: I have a lot of idols. Like a lot. Sometimes it concerns me how willingly I give out respect and admiration. Like, what if I spend so much time really looking up to someone, and they’re actually kind of…meh? Like, what if I made up their amazingness in my head, just because I needed something new to obsess over?
While this may be true for a number of my so-called idols, I know this is certainly not the case with Tavi Gevinson. I mean, the girl has helmed a successful blog, been a Fashion Week favorite, launched her own online ‘zine, art directed three (soon to be four) books, and starred in a Broadway play. Did I mention she’s only nineteen?
All of this is, of course, talked about through in episode of Michael Ian Black’s aptly titled How To Be Amazing podcast. But what makes this an essential listen for teen girls is not Tavi’s impressive resumé. Rather, it’s her down-to-earth demeanor and unapologetic – but never overbearing – desire to just do her thing. This kind of attitude is hard to come by in today’s world, where following the crowd is ten times easier that breaking out on your own. My guess is that, upon listening to this, you’ll all be newly inspired. After all, if there are girls like Tavi doing amazing things, why can’t the rest of us?
I hope you take some time and listen to at least one of the podcast episodes. Not only are they entertaining, but they each offer important insights on topics – from overall confidence to how we treat others – that are important for young women to hear.
Oh, and if you do take a listen, be sure to let me know what you think! Either leave comments below, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.