N eed some entertainment for your commute? Want to switch up your music routine? Try one of these 10 podcasts that keep it real, raw and entertaining.
Ctrl Alt Delete
What it is: Hosted by the former social media editor of British Glamor Emma Gannon, this podcast mainly covers our relationship with the internet, but also covers topics like social media, feminism, creativity, health, career and everything in between. By interviewing new guests every episode, Gannon’s breadth of conversation topic is vast and always relevant.
Why You Should Listen: Our relationship with the internet is constantly changing and evolving. As we spend more and more time online, it is important to step back and discuss (or listen to discussions) about how it affects us and our mental health. Ctrl Alt Delete is also great because of the different and inspiring guests that provide varied perspectives every episode, and Gannon draws on her own experiences to discuss the online world.
Best Episode to Start With: #107: Lucy Sheridan: How To Stop Comparing And Despairing Online.
What it is: A podcast about coming of age. While Megan Tan is no longer making episodes of Millennial, it is still a wild, real-time story about growing up. Tan began making the podcast after she graduated college, and she covers topics like money, starting a creative business, pursuing a career and just general life change.
Why You Should Listen: Each episode is a wonderful story that pulls on your heart strings and urges you to keep listening. If you are a college student or an emerging young professional, this is the podcast for you.
Best Episode to Start With: #1, Welcome to Millennial. As Tan says in the beginning of every episode, you should start at the very beginning. It truly is a story, and you don’t want to skip over a chapter.
What it is: A scripted serial by NYT best-selling
author Allison Raskin. This is the first-ever comedic soap opera podcast, loosely based on the real town that Raskin grew up in. While it is a scripted podcast, Raskin keeps it real with humor and characters that resemble people we all love to hate.
Why You Should Listen: This story is so well produced that it sucks you right into the story. If you need to get away from your own life, you can escape to Golden Acres and soak up all of their drama instead of your own.
Best Episode to Start With: 1. Poly Employers.
Anna Faris Is Unqualified
What it is: Anna Faris delivers a laugh-out-loud advice podcast covering the many topics she doesn’t know much about. Faris interviews different celebrities and takes calls from listeners.
Why You Should Listen: Listening to this podcast is like listening to advice and lessons from an older sister or best friend. Sometimes we dole out advice we are unqualified to, sometimes it flops and sometimes we come across sound realizations. Plus, Faris is hilarious.
Best Episode to Start With: ep 132: Kelly Ripa
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
What it is: Nora McInerny faced multiple devastating personal losses within a very short time period. In this podcast, she speaks with others who are also struggling with grief.
Why You Should Listen: McInerny allows her guests to answer the question “how are you?” with how they are truly feeling. In this podcast, expect honest, emotional conversations every episode. Listen to this if you need some sort of catharsis, or are struggling with sadness of your own.
Best Episode to Start With: 33: Witness.
Where Should We Begin With Esther Perel
What it is: Esther Perel is a relationship therapist that brings 10 anonymous couples in search of insight before her audience. Each relationship has its own real issues for us to learn from, and feel empowered within our own relationships.
Why You Should Listen: By documenting the real problems within these relationships, Perel is the definition of keeping it real and raw. There are tears, harsh words and revelations to be uncovered in this podcast.
Best Episode to Start With: There’s You There’s Me and There’s Us.
2 Dope Queens
What it is: Hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams bring three guest comedians to every
episode and hold discussions on race, gender and social issues in addition to romance, hair journeys and living in New York. Robinson and Williams bring humor to the serious nature of these topics.
Why You Should Listen: Robinson and Williams make a point for highlighting women, people of color and LGBT comedians.
Best Episode to Start With: #37 Sitting Too Close To Queen Latifah.
Thirst Aid Kit
What it is: A love and sex podcast hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins that unabashedly describes their celebrity crushes, thirsts and desires. It is funny, honest, relatable and allows the fangirl in us all to shine.
Why You Should Listen: These women are battling society’s expectation for women to stay shy about their sexual desires. Oftentimes, the shy, meek woman holding onto a crush is what is society expects. Adewunmi and Perkins throw these expectations out the window and unapologetically discuss their thirsts. Plus, we all need to talk about how hot Chris Evans is sometimes.
Best Episode to Start With: Chris Evans (feat. Chris Evans).
By The Book
What it is: Hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer agree to live their lives according to the rules of self-help books for two weeks. Sometimes, the results are hilarious. Occasionally, they run into life-changing advice and steps. It’s where you should go if you’re skeptical about a self-help book - or want to explore its effects.
Why You Should Listen: Greenberg and Meinzer are likeable hosts, who explain the books they are living by methodically – so you are sure to know how they’re about to change their lives and why. By the Book also naturally brings societal commentary about what it means to better oneself, and what you can do to get there.
Best Episode to Start With: The Five Love Languages or You Are a Badass.
What it is: This podcast breaks down the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. You will learn about your own mind, skill, talents and how to create the best version of you.
Why You Should Listen: If you’re obsessed with learning about yourself and others, had all your friends fill out the Myers-Briggs test or just want to improve yourself – listen to this. Hosts Joel and Antonia discuss you, you and your relationships and career path, as if they know you intimately.
Best Episode to Start With: The one dedicated to YOUR personality type. They will dissect your innermost feelings.
Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.
Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.
Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.
As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success is directly linked to women's appearances, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.
Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.
So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.
Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.
For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."