By Leah Berger
This ground-breaking podcast hosted by Jameela Jamil is a fiery mix of hard truths and laughter. It emphasises that what you weigh shouldn’t be based on kilograms and pounds, instead we should focus on all the things that make us who we are. Every guest ends the show by telling the audience which personal attributes make up their ‘weight’. For example, Roxane Gay, the writer of the New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist said: “I weigh an amazing circle of people that I am honoured to be a part of, I weigh a lot of opinions, I am very opinionated. I weigh seeing the importance of laughter even when the world is falling apart. That’s what I weigh.”
The episodes are real, raw, inclusive and incredibly educational. Jameela Jamil is shamelessly open to learning more and making mistakes. She shows that the only way to progress is to make mistakes, own up to them, learn and then try to be better. She interviews incredible, talented and diverse guests and asks them the questions everyone else is too afraid to ask.
One of the main themes throughout the series is shame and what that word meant to so many people who were ashamed of who they are. She has so many insightful conversations with people such as iconic feminist Gloria Steinem, stylist and host Law Roach, writer ALOK, activist Scarlett Curtis, actress Reese Witherspoon, singer Demi Lovato, gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter and so many other talented people. Her conversations with them are deeply emotional yet incredibly funny. She speaks to them about the shame they felt about their bodies, their sexuality, gender identity, disability and how they’ve stood out from society. She highlights what they have done in their careers and what they are doing now to try to make sure no one has to feel the shame they felt for most of their lives.
It shines a light on feminism, body positivity and fatphobia, toxic diet cultures and eating disorders, LGBTQIA+ equality, disabilities, and mental health. It may not be appropriate for younger audiences as it contains swearing, discussion of suicide and other violent events and discussions about sex. There is also a trigger warning that comes with this podcast as it may not be suitable for people who are affected by eating disorders as they are discussed in detail throughout the podcast. Suicide is also a triggering topic that comes up in some episodes. It is not suitable for all audiences as some may find the content explicit, but Jameela makes sure to warn listeners at the beginning of an episode if there are any triggering conversations ahead.
Overall, there are many technical flaws in this podcast such as mistiming breaks and adverts that randomly cut off guests while they are speaking, uncontrollable bouts of laughter and often content that, in most other podcasts would have been cut out. But this could be a part of what makes this podcast so endearing and honest. It is real conversations with real people about relevant problems and that is why it is a great listen.