Words || Eloise Cansdell
The Michelle Obama Podcast
Following the success of her Netflix documentary Becoming, adapted from her best-selling memoir, Michelle Obama has curated a platform to channel her thoughts and worldview in her podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast. What is enticing about this podcast are the raw and open conversations the former First Lady is having with her guests. From talking about the challenges she faced growing up as a person of colour and the gritting story of her career, to stepping into the lush life of the White House, Obama digs deep and takes her listeners on a meaningful journey into the everyday struggles of women, particularly women of colour.
Notably, Obama went to lengths to break down the taboo surrounding women’s health, menopause and aging in her sixth episode, What Your Mother Never Told You About Health. It’s no secret at this point that women and girls struggle to talk openly about menstrual health and often even have reservations about confiding in others about it. Obama and Dr Sharon Malone discuss the heavy emotions and physical symptoms of menopause and how the work environment can be supportive in order to normalise these inevitable parts of life.
My personal favourite episode thus far is The Gift of Girlfriends, where Obama is joined by her three closest friends and they discuss the ins and outs of female companionship and the importance of having friends to get you through the challenge’s life throws at you. Be it adjusting to life in the White House, balancing children and work or even having a friend to listen to the ups and downs of family life, these ladies express precisely the true gift a girl pack can be.
Michelle Obama also tackles the topic of Black Lives Matter, opening up on the effects that waking up to news stories of continual racial unrest has had on her. Despite her own experience representing progress and hope in a world that was and continues to be plagued by racism, Obama expresses her upset towards the disparities in society that still don’t see people of colour as human beings.
In the eleventh episode, Across Generations, Michelle is joined by three young women from her team as they discuss navigating the pathways to success. The women discuss the self-doubt that comes with being a black woman working in this particular arena. Furthermore, their take on the notion of self-doubt that women often experience when climbing the ladders to successful and enticing careers is relatable. Women too often feel like this and it leads us to withhold reaching our full potential and we succumb to the idea that no matter how much triumph and effort we put in over the years, we are still not good enough or worthy of our positions. Notably, Obama points out how in society men often do not overlook and are not overlooked on the basis of their own capabilities in the same way women do and are.
Overall, this podcast is full of thought, power and curiosity for the listener to learn and grow with. Michelle Obama has provided a powerful platform to share her own personal thoughts and worldviews and invite others to exert their own ideas and opinions on the topics that circle our world today.
It’s A Lot by Abbie Chatfield
This podcast feels totally revolutionary to me. The positivity and goodness that exerts from the details in each episode is an absolute burst of joy and comfort. Set up as a ‘thoughtful conversation with your girlfriends over wine’, Abbie Chatfield covers topics that every vulva owner can relate to. Namely, the focus is on feminism, dating and sex.
Chatfield received a lot of backlash for her time on The Bachelor for being overt and unapologetic about her sexuality. Yet it seems she has attracted many like minded young women who crave this sense of confidence in themselves. Be that our feminism, health or beliefs, Abbie is opening up the conversation on these topics and normalising even the most closeted ideas.
A fan favourite is her episode with pal Ellie, founder of Comfortable in My Own Skin, a body positivity project that helps those with a vulva accept their labia despite the notion that there are ‘normal’ and ‘irregular’ kinds of vulva. Did you know that labiaplasty is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world? It’s a shocking and sad fact to unveil when this magnificent part of our bodies is the means by which all human beings came into existence.
Nevertheless, Abbie uncovers the truth behind why women and those with a vulva are often so insecure about their genitalia and how it can completely deplete your self-confidence and ability to maintain a healthy relationship with your body and your partner. The act of accepting your body as it is, particularly the portal from which you came, is ultimately a form of rebellion in this world that profits off us feeling ashamed and disgusted by our own bodies.
The information Abbie feeds to her listeners is the kind of thing you hear and think, “I wish I was taught this in school”. Abbie continues to break down the walls of stigmas from STI’s and even the common diagnosis of Bacterial Vaginosis which most vulva-owners will experience numerous times in their life, to deep-diving into mental health, therapy, modern relationship shenanigans and more. If you are looking for a way to explore topics that are absent from mainstream media, in your social life or even things that are hard to confront on your own. It’s A Lot is the perfect safe place to find comfort. These meaningful thoughts and ideas that Abbie brings to light in her podcast, has the power to make one feel less alone in the quirks we often feel about ourselves but don’t realise others are experiencing too.
Abbie has created a safe space to feel comfortable with these kinds of conversations that are often regarded as ‘controversial’. I especially love and appreciate this because we need women to be more honest and vulnerable about what unifies us in order to create a more equal and accepting world. It’s A Lot encourages this and Abbie sets a prime example of the confidence women should carry in owning every part of our being.
Whether you are feeling weird or uncomfortable about your body, having relationships issues or concerns or you even just want to hear a rant about whatever the media is criticising women for today; It’s A Lot is the pod for you.