MY TOP BODY POSITIVE AND BODY IMAGE PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS OF 2018
I love a #bopo podcast. I listen to them all the time so I thought I'd help cut through the sheer mass of listening material out there on the Body Positive Movement and give you a top 5 list of some recent podcasts which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Credit: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket
Anyone who follows my Instagram Stories will know that I do love to prance about naked as much as possible. Annoyingly every window of my flat faces onto the neighbours windows and it depends how I'm feeling that day as to whether any of them get a peek or not.
And if you have been following me for a while then you may remember that I went along to the Glasgow Continental Skinny Swim a few months ago to get my baps out in public! I'm not really an exhibitionist, I was mostly curious about how comfortable I felt being naked in public dressed only in my new found appreciation for my body.
I also posed for a life drawing class for a fun collaborative evening organised between All The Young Nudes and Spirited Bodies but that's a story for another day although you can check out a drawing of my bum here and here. (I know you clicked those links. Cheeky!)
Back to the naked swim: Arlington Baths is magnificent! This gorgeous private Victorian swimming pool and Turkish bath house in Glasgow, which you can only normally access if you are a member, is taken over by Scotland's Naturist Society every Sunday night for 3 hours. And the Society open it to the general public so non-members, like me and you, can go along and frolic naked!
It was great! Totally loved it and have been meaning to go back but it's not as easy since I live in Edinburgh now. Obviously the grand Turkish baths bit with its decorated starry roof is gorge but it's also a lot of fun watching the few naked peeps channel their inner Tarzan and fling themselves across the pool swinging from one wooden hoop to the other or trying out the trapeze. Flying penises!
I also quite like the fact you get to wrap yourself in a toga like sheet and swan about the place like the Queen or King that you are. Oh and everyone is rather friendly, even more so when you are in the skud as there ain't no barriers there... so that made me feel right at ease. I met some nice folk.
They've just started putting on naked yoga because the swim was getting so popular that the pool was starting to look like human naked soup. I asked how that would work because I'm pretty sure naked yoga could be quite 'eyeball invasive' but it turns out that you all have your backs to the wall and face into the middle of the room. Phew. Not quite ready to give that a go but maybe some day... Gives new meaning to the yoga term: Cat/ Cow #uddersout
Anyway... back to the podcast recommendations... I was told to have a listen to a BBC World Service Documentaries podcast because it discusses the impact that regular nakedness can have on your own body image... and not only that... it delved into the claims that "those of us who are naked in public are more likely to be happier not just with our bodies, but also with our lives more generally." I am 100% onboard with that statement, just don't do it along Sauchiehall St in Glasgow as you'll most likely be lynched and that is proven to have a negative effect on your life more generally...
Have a listen...
BBC World Service: The Benefits of Nakedness
Now, if you follow any of my socials (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook) you may be aware of my deep, almost inappropriate, infatuation with activist, author, expert and lecturer on fat discrimination and body image; Virgie Tovar.
She is real, she is blunt but she is also so damn adorable. As an example of her sort of chat, this is one of her most recent pieces for the Guardian about how to avoid fatphobia in every day life. Follow her on Instagram here.
This is defo a podcast to subscribe to for all future episodes but for now I really recommend listening to episode 132:
Fearless Rebelle Radio: Diet Culture’s Impact on Womxn – interview with Virgie Tovar August 2018
It had so many 🤯 moments. The conversation between them really helped me see some of the correlations between sexism and body image. In fact, it boiled my blood. Since then my feminism pants have been firmly pulled up. Turn it on and digest.
This lovely podcast just recently wound up and it makes me sad because I only just discovered it (you can listen to their very last farewell here)... but I am pleased there are 173 episodes in their back catalogue for my ears to feast on.
It's a podcast about a range of subjects lead by Cheryl Strayed (she wrote the awesome book Wild: remember the film with Reese Witherspoon?) and Steve Almond (he is a writer too) but I'd recommend you all listen to this particular episode from June 2018:
‘Dear Sugars’: Trust Your Body — With Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant
It's poignant and informative and conversational and has some ace guests in the shape of Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant from Be Nourished. I shed a tear at the very end while listening as Cheryl talked about how her daughter was so enamoured by her own body and was sure her mother felt similarly.
This podcast made me sad but not in a 'I give up' sorta way. It made me sad that so many people feel so awful about their body, to the point that it affects them every single moment of every day. It holds them back from achieving what they are very capable of achieving. It used to be me too, and now it's not anymore, but now I clearly see that way of thinking, everywhere I go.
It makes me sad and it makes me angry. So listen to this podcast because I think we should all be getting sad about the collective waste of time and energy that body image issues are having and we should all be getting really very angry about why it is happening.
As much as I love Oprah (she's my Birthday twin which automatically means we are best buds #obvs) I don't love her massive endorsement of Weight Watchers (booo diet culture).
It made me giggle a lot listening to this podcast because Geneen must've been gritting her teeth hard whenever Oprah mentioned Weight Watchers. Weight Watcher's dictating to you about your food intake because in their eyes thin is better than fat... is at complete odds with Geneen's approach. But hey, nobody's perfect, not even Queen Oprah.
Geneen is an author of a tonne of books. Probably her most successful one is called: "Women, Food and God". I do get a little put off by her 'God' chat. It doesn't float my boat but I'm yet to read her books so you never know... Perhaps she is on to something and I bet it appeals to her mostly American (God-fearing) audience.
In this podcast she gives some of her top tips for being present in your body and respectful of your body and how to approach food. Something that I've been continually trying to practice ever since I realised how awesome my body really is and recognising the burden it is not.
I loved all her chat about moving the focus from 'being in your head to being in your body'. It really helped me and now I use that approach in some of my workshops as the start to one of my exercises to try and re-connect us to the basics of what makes us animals: our muscles and bones and organs. It has helped me and my workshop participants get right back to basics. It's a method and a mindset which helps strip away all the extra rubbish our conditioned brains tend to place on our wee unsuspecting bodies.
Oprah Super Soul Conversation with Geneen Roth
One thing: listen out for the many, many times Oprah repeats 'tweetable' comments. It's hilarious the way she does it. Like she is making it really clear just how poignant and profound her guest is being. Interview technique of dreams!
I know Geneen is on the 'eating' side of body image and I'm really interested in learning about Intuitive Eating at the moment so I'll do another blog at some point about the best Intuitive Eating podcasts to listen to but that's it's own wee world in itself so I didn't want to confuse matters. In that blog I can waffle on about Laura Thomas and Isabel Foxen Duke and Christy Harrison to my heart's content etc.
Let's not forget about the dudes. Obviously body image issues are more prevalent in women and girls because our whole basis for success is measured by the way we look (thanks patriarchy) but men are speedily and unfortunately for them, catching up with us (thanks media and shitty capitalism). So I thought I'd give a shout out to this info filled episode 28 of the Appearance Matters podcast.
Appearance Matters is the official podcast of the Centre for Appearance Research - a world leading research centre investigating body image and appearance psychology research, based at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. How I'd love to go and sit in on a few meetings there!
This podcast focusses on how body image affects men and talks about mental health stigma, the differences in how the issue affects straight men and minority sexuality men, the differences that men face in comparison to women and a lot more. It is fact filled and draws on tonnes of research papers. There is a lot in there and I had to rewind certain sections to make sure I had taken them in correctly but that could have something to do with the fact I have the attention span of a gnat (thanks social media).
A great one to listen to if you have sons or brothers/ friends or if you just want a better scope of how everyone in society is affected by body image issues...
Appearance Matters: The Podcast. Episode 28: Male Body Image
And that's it! Five great podcasts to keep your ears and brain engaged for the next little while. If you have any other podcast suggestions or you dare to disagree with any of my suggestions then send me a note by email. Always love to discover something new!
And if you are interested in hearing my perspective (and my radio voice) then listen to me here on @thesnashpodcast being interviewed by the awesome Jennie Cook about how to alleviate the pressure society puts on our kid's bodies and our own.
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