Millions of people listen to podcasts: Fifty-one percent of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast at least once, according to survey data from Edison Research and Triton Digital, and 32 percent have listened to a podcast in the past month. While there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts to choose from, I am particularly fond of personality-driven podcasts hosted by fat people that center around our myriad experiences, from going to the doctor to dating to flying to sharing an Uber with a straight-size passenger. While there are lots of podcasts that fit this criteria, these five are my favorites because they effortlessly pack in humor alongside their insights.
She’s All Fat
Since August 2017, comedian and TV writer April K. Quioh and freelance writer Sophia Carter-Kahn have been bringing the funny to She’s All Fat, a podcast about fatness, feminism, and radical self-love. Quioh and Carter-Kahn have an electric chemistry that flows through every episode, even when they’re discussing serious topics like surviving holidays with fatphobic relatives or raising children to love their own bodies and respect those of others. Though She’s All Fat is now in its fourth season, I still return to older episodes to soak up all the wisdom its hosts offer week after week.
Fat Girls Club
What is it like being a fat person in the fashion world? The duo of plus-size fashion blogger Jessica Torres and Liesl Binx, owner of plus-size fashion brand Ungra8tful, aim to answer this question and many others on Fat Girls Club. Torres and Binx have cohosted this very relatable and honest podcast since June 2018; in that time, they’ve covered a lot of fashion-related ground, including interviewing Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton about being a plus-size fashion designer; talking to Refinery29’s Laura Delarato about her videos on fashion, health, and relationships and exploring the ins and outs of the plus-size fashion world with model Reese Thompson. Fat Girls Club also examines everyday experiences for fat women, like dating, emotional eating, and watching shows with fat protagonists.
Why Won’t You Date Me?
Nicole Byers is one of the funniest women on the planet. It doesn’t matter if she’s hosting Netflix’s Nailed It!, starring on Facebook Watch’s Loosely Exactly Nicole, or laying bare her dating life on her podcast Why Won’t You Date Me?—Byers always knows exactly how to keep us holding our sides with laughter. Her podcast is just what it says in the title: Byers is gorgeous, funny, and speaks candidly about giving good blowjobs, so why is she still single? Why Won’t You Date Me? is a raucous rollercoaster that features guests—ranging from Cameron Esposito and Rachel Bloom to Shangela and Sasheer Zamata—sharing their own dating histories (and, sometimes, their Tinder messages) and helping Byers to navigate the very rough and very confusing modern dating terrain.
Woman of Size
Jana Schmieding, a Lakota Sioux writer, performer, and consultant living and working in Los Angeles, is a real gem—and so is her podcast. Each week, Schmieding invites a guest to discuss what it’s like to live, love, and navigate an oppressive society in a fat body. (Full disclosure: I appeared on the Woman of Size podcast in August 2018.) While Schmieding and her guests discuss some difficult topics—including fatphobia, the fetishization of fat bodies, and disordered eating—each episode also intentionally mixes in some joy, such as discussing favorite pop-culture moments, like watching Shrill for the first time.
The Fat Lip
The Fat Lip has a frank, straightforward, and unapologetic mission: It is a podcast for and about fat people, full stop. Since it debuted in December 2018, Ash, the show’s host, has been deliberate about creating a space where fat people are seen, heard, and affirmed. Sometimes that comes in the form of episodes about being a plus-size rideshare passenger while other times, it’s about dissecting pop culture imagery like Shrill’s now-iconic pool-party scene, but in all ways, the Fat Lip remains true to its focus. Fat people deserve exclusive spaces like this where we can truly be confident that the guest, the hosts, and the listeners, share common ground.
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