On my ‘Friend of Marilyn’ Podcast

In my introduction post I identified as a fat activist and a Fat Studies scholar. These two roles often overlap, as the work I do as a Fat Studies scholar can easily be considered activism as well. And the work I do as a fat activist usually draws on the knowledge and resources available to me as an academic within the field of Fat Studies. I have decided to begin a new venture in my life, one that will allow me to expand my work as both a scholar and an activist.

The station manager at the local radio station, Access Manawatu, approached me several weeks ago about doing my own show. He suggested it would be a good way to share my message with more people. I suggested to him it sounded like a sure fire way for the station to garner hostile attention (‘You are glorifying obesity, which is killing people!’ ‘You are disgusting; just get off the couch!’ ‘You are costing our health system millions!’) After his reassurance that he was not worried about negative backlash, I decided to give it some thought.

A radio show would allow me to reach a different audience. And if I could podcast the show onto iTunes, it would allow me to reach listeners all over the world. Is that something I wanted? Is that something I felt comfortable committing to?

In thinking about what it could mean, I considered the many podcasts I regularly listen to and the impact they have had on my own life and research. Homage must first be paid to Fatcast. Fatcast is delivered by Marianne Kirby of The Rotund and Lesley Kinzel of Two Whole Cakes, and is the first fat acceptance podcast I subscribed to. Fatcast explores fat acceptance and body politics. I love listening to Fatcast, and it has helped me shape my own beliefs and arguments as a fat activist and scholar. Marianne and Lesley have fun with the show, and their enthusiasm and passion is contagious!

Another fat acceptance podcast is Ham Radio. Ham Radio is hosted by the writers of Axis of Fat, a fat acceptance blog out of Australia. Ham Radio explores fat acceptance and related issues as they relate to Australia. Ham Radio is relatively new, but I look forward to each new episode. One of the distinguishing characteristics about Ham Radio is that one of the hosts is Nicholas Perkins, one of the few cis-men contributing regularly to the Fatosphere.

Health at Every Size is a radio show out of Nashville that is then available as a podcast. On the air since May of 2005, the hosts Peggy Elam and Pat Ballard discuss the tenets of HAES and recent articles related to the relationship between weight and health.

Golda Poretsky offers us the Body Love Wellness podcast. The BLW podcast is usually short snippets of information designed to provide practice advice related to feeling good about your body and healing your relationship with food.

And even though it is currently on hiatus, I would be remiss if I did not mention, FemmeCast , hosted by Bevin Branlandingham. As defined on its website, FemmeCast is “The Queer Fat Femme Podcast Guide to Life is an audio newsmagazine for Queer Fat Femmes, Fatshionistas of all sexualities and Queers of all genders”. How awesome is that, right? I LOVED this podcast, and hope Bevan decides to bring it back one day for the good of us all!

After considering what I have gained from listening to others, I decided to accept the offer. I received some training, recorded some promos, and will begin airing my new show, ‘Friend of Marilyn’ from August 17th. FOM will air every Wed at 6pm on Access Manawatu 999AM, and then podcast on iTunes. (Check out the promos below)

FOM will explore issues related to fatness, fat identity, and fat activism. I hope to include discussions with fat activists from around the world, and intend to spotlight a favourite blog piece each week. I am both intimated and excited about entering the world of fat acceptance podcasts, but either way I invite you to listen along and let me know what you think: friendofmarilyn@aol.com.