Fat liberation is their motto. Here's how they do it via Fatsopodcast.
They are partners. Not in crime but in podcast time. PODCAST - The name that's been reverberating in our lives these days. There's a separate world out there and that's called the podcast world where the host(s) touches on a wide range of topics including stories, news, interviews of people, etc. The name podcast reached many people when This American Life, a podcast version of the widely popular news radio series has received the Pulitzer Prize. People who never concentrated on knowing what a podcast was before, started searching for various podcast shows over the dedicated apps. So here we go before you, a duo, who picked up this influential and far-reaching weapon to highlight one of the biggest issues everyone is silently facing every day. to body-shaming or they are subjected to body-shaming. If not both, there is this third group, who listen to bullies shaming others and take pleasure. Whatever it is and whoever it is, everyone is directly or indirectly involved in body-shaming every single day. The tv shows create comedy content exclusively out of body shaming- pathetic - as if there's no other concept that can generate humour. People seem to enjoy and laugh their heart out at words like fatso, matchstick, coalmine and more. But how long? Does anyone really understand how much it does affect a person who is being called by names? Are we taking everyone for granted? Maybe they are laughing it out with you but deep inside, they are being left with scars - scars that don't fade away but lead them into depression and other sorts of mental illness. Serious. Isn't it? To wipe out the social stigma surrounding body fun and weight-based discrimination, two women, Pallavi Nath and Ameya Nagarajan started FatSo? - a podcast that talks about the stories of fat people and what it is like to live a fat life.
Ladies With Multiple Hats:
Pallavi Nath, an MBA graduate from IIM Indore, has worked in HR and business management for a long period of 18 years. When asked to describe herself, she says it eloquently as “fat, female, forty, divorced, business consultant, brain-based-coach, energy aligner”.
While Ameya, a multiple degree holder wrote a popular blog about dating in Delhi. She has set up the Indian Express podcast network. She also used to commission books for Penguin India. She describes herself as a “cook, cat lady, fluent Spanish speaker and always reading”.
It is these two vibrant ladies that have started and co-host Fat.So? a podcast that touches various topics related to fat liberation. “Everything about beauty needs to change. The first thing to realize is that beauty is so subjective. The second thing to realize is that our planet is all about variety. I mean, has nature not left its biggest clue in the fact that we have unique fingerprints”, says Pallavi.
The Emergence Of Fat.So?
It was 2019. Pallavi Nath was invited to host an event for the plus-size woman organised by Tithiya Sharma of Gather Around Sisters. In that event, Pallavi met Ameya and the duo soon got connected. Pallavi, who always had thoughts about working on body-shaming and the social stigma surrounding it, thought Ameya is the right partner for her to go ahead with something good. They both met a week after the event and Pallavi proposed her idea of starting a podcast about fat liberation. While Ameya readily accepted to help her, Pallavi said, "No, do it with me” and that's how it all started.
Inspiring Each Other:
Where was the actual seed sown for this thought to even germinate in Pallavi's mind? Book reading that forms Pallavi's favourite pastime introduced her to the books and articles of Tess Holliday, Gurleen Khandpur, Virgie Tovar, Whitney Way Thore, Ragen Chastain, and Hanne Blank in 2014. After reading these extensively, Pallavi could help to liberate herself out of the fat-phobic zone. Her own point of view about being fat changed. With Lindo Bacon’s book “Health at Every Size”, she understood that fat can be as healthy as thin can be unhealthy.
She also says that there are numerous role models around us and points out to her partner Ameya to be one of hers. Ameya, on the other hand, says, "You’re not alone and you don’t have to adhere to what society tells you. I suppose my inspiration for this podcast is Pallavi”. Looking at each other as the sources of inspiration shows how coordinated the duo are and this tells how best the podcast runs.
The Start And The Joy And The Response:
Season 1 of the podcast was started in November 2019 and continued till March 2020 spanning 10 episodes. A range of topics related to sex, clothes, food etc. that revolve around the word 'fat' was podcasted. They voiced about the joys and sorrows of being fat women in India, their experiences and the lessons they learnt.
“The topics we discuss are no attempt to educate the masses but to share a candid conversation about the joys and sorrows of being fat women in India. We are privileged, exposed, and have the access to resources, opportunities, and networks that many don’t. The topics we discuss are very relevant to our own lives”, they said.
Having made this podcast available on all the podcast apps like Apple, Spotify, Google, Castbox, etc., Fat.So? has been receiving an immense response from women of all ages and nationalities. Even men wrote telling them how well they could relate to the content of the podcast and how well it is helping them change their perception towards the world.
“Stories that we received made us cry. We thought to impact at least one person’s life, but looking at the response, there are so many out there – Mission Accomplished.”, says team Fat. So?
Challenges In The Way:
The biggest challenge faced by the podcast is the fatphobia that's rooted in society and the people's approach towards the same.
“The world does not take fat people into account and that is wrong, you are telling a whole section of the population that they do not deserve to exist.”, says Fat. So?
Also, the topics related to body shaming faced a lot of trolls. To this, Fat.So? says, “the only way to revolutionize anything is by being the change. No hero is waiting outside to save us. Many of us are speaking about our lives and our journeys of liberation. It’s the Internet age, and the barriers of the community are broken every day. So, find your community and be the change – even if it’s a small change in your life”.
The Season 2 of Fatso? has begun in October 2020 but was stopped because of a few concerns with their distribution partner. They said that they will post the updates on their social media platforms, @fatsopodcast.
In a world where people are going insensitive day by day, podcasts of this sort let people listen to similar stories who in turn come to an affirmation that they are not alone. Bravo ladies! May you continue to uplift!
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