The way we see ourselves tremendously affects our self-esteem and, thus, our mental health. Body positivity is a movement that challenges unrealistic beauty standards set by society and emphasizes the notion that everybody has an amazing body, no matter its size, form, or ability. While body positivity may look different for different people, we can all agree that the movement is rooted in a deep need for self-love and acceptance.
I am a queer Black woman. For as long as I can remember, body image has always been an issue for me. I remember taping my breasts down in the 4th grade and wrapping my waist with a sweater to hide my butt in the 6th grade. I remember feeling like my neck was too long and my nose was too wide. I hated the gap between my teeth and closed it as soon as I was able to get braces in high school.
As I reflect and write this piece, it is not surprising that I (and millions like me) suffered, at one point or another, from low self-esteem and negative body issues. Recently, Netflix added several 90s sitcoms to their roster of programming. These sitcoms include shows like Moesha and The Parkers. While these shows are classics, they were at times toxic and fatphobic. While I am extremely happy that Netflix expanded their collection, I found myself extremely triggered when clearly petite women were deemed “fat” or larger sized characters were ridiculed and attacked. I can only imagine how I felt watching these shows as a child and how these shows affected how I viewed and appreciated myself.
For as long as I can remember, body image has always been an issue for me. I remember taping my breasts down in the 4th grade and wrapping my waist with a sweater to hide my butt in the 6th grade.
Entertainment aside, my environment wasn’t too supportive either. While I grew up in a predominantly Black neighborhood, I attended school in a predominantly white neighborhood. Every day, in a number of ways, I was reminded that I was different. My teachers would constantly ask me questions about my hair — questions that would be deemed inappropriate today. My friends called me “big boned” even though I was the shortest one in the group. Every day I was reminded that I was different, which eventually led to chronic dieting and later resulted in addiction. In 2017, I came to the realization that I would never be “pretty enough” (even though I was told I was beautiful almost every day) or that I would never be skinny enough even though I was 5’3” and weighed 135 pounds. For years, I used alcohol to overcome negative thoughts and feelings about myself.
Luckily, I was able to rebuild the way I thought about myself and others through therapy. Ultimately, I came to the realization that my weight and other physical features did not define me. In addition to therapy, I follow a number of social media accounts and media outlets that center body positivity, including some of the best podcasts.
Podcasts that focus on body positivity are an excellent way to gain perspective, overcome negative thoughts, and help one to realize their full potential. Below are six of the top body positivity podcasts. They affirm my existence and make living in a society that glamorizes flat tummy tea and diet culture a little easier. I hope they do the same for you.
1. Affirmation Pod
Josie, host of Affirmation Pod, opened me up to the importance of affirmations and self-reflection. Josie has a way with words. They feel like verbal hugs! Are negative thoughts holding you back? Then you have found the podcast for you. I highly recommend Affirmation Pod to anyone trying to be kinder to themselves.
2. She’s All Fat: A Fat Positive Podcast
She’s All Fat is a radical podcast about self-love and body positivity. Sophia Carter-Khan, the creator and host, inspires listeners to re-examine the way they think about their bodies, and encourages them to hold each other accountable in how they treat themselves and each other.
3. Food Heaven Podcast
Food Heaven Podcast is like food therapy. Wendy Lopez and Jess Jones, BFFs and registered nutritionists, supply their listeners with holistic therapeutic steps on how to live healthier, more balanced lives. Every Wednesday, the two ladies sit with different health and nutrition experts to discuss topics like culture, mental health, body acceptance, and intuitive eating,
4. Break the Diet Cycle
Break the Diet Cycle is a new podcast created by registered dietitian nutritionists Dalina Soto and Melissa Landry. As a woman who has struggled with weight and body image for most of my life, I love how down to earth and informative these women are. There are many misunderstandings about our relationship with food, and Daline and Melissa help clear them up.
5. Living in this Queer Body
As a Queer Muslim woman in recovery, Living in this Queer Body has easily become one of my favorite podcasts. Here, Asher Pandjiris (host), along with her guests, help listeners navigate through identity, disordered eating, body image issues, confining social narratives, and many more pressing topics.
6. Fat Girls Club
Listening to plus-size fashion bloggers Jessica Torres and Liesl Binx will easily give you a boost of confidence. They are fun to listen to and easy to relate to. They are my best friends… in my head! If you are struggling with body positivity and/or self-love, you need this podcast. They discuss their experiences as fat women in fashion, in the dating scene, and much more.
Depending on where you are in your healing/self-love journey, body positivity may take time to build. Be patient with yourself and know that you are not alone! You now know of six podcasts you can depend on to help you navigate through the highs and lows. You are never alone.