Calling Body-Posi Sisters!
Created by April K Quioh and Sophie Carter-Kahn, She’s All Fat is “the podcast for body positivity, radical self-love, and chill vibes only.” Thus far, they’ve tackled issues like being asked, “Where do you get your confidence [as a plus-size person]?” to a whole episode dedicated to hair.
We sat down with April and Sophie to learn more about the podcast, their creative process, and, of course, fall fashion trends.
Why did you start She’s All Fat?
AKQ: Soph and I talk about fat politics and fashion regularly in our lives, as friends, and we both love podcasts. We created the podcast because we wanted to share the political and day-to-day aspect of the body-positive movement.
I was actually listening to another podcast by Franchesca Ramsey and another listener wrote in and asked for body-positive podcast recommendations. Francesca didn’t know of any, and that’s when it clicked. I texted Soph from a Whole Foods and said, “Hey, weird idea, no big deal if you don’t want to. Do you want to do a podcast?” And she said, “Absolutely, come over tomorrow.” And the next day we started a podcast.
Follow-up question: Why do you use the word “fat”? For a lot of people that’s a negative and hurtful word, but you two have reclaimed it.
SCK: Fat is just a descriptor, same as skinny, tall, short, and everything else. We don’t believe that being fat is bad, so we don’t think fat is a bad word.
We're so excited! She's All Fat premieres on September 7th on iTunes (and wherever you get your podcasts). We can't WAIT to cover things like the body positive movement, radical self love (we believe these are different), and fat representation in the media. There will be awesome guests, personal stories, and a TON of fun. Get in fatties, we're doing a podcast! ??? #effyourbeautystandards
What does the creative process look like? How does one even create a podcast episode?
AKQ: When we started, we sat down and wrote down everything we could think of that we would want to talk about, so we have 3 pages of that. When we’re starting a new episode, we pick a new idea, and partially script it, but mostly outline it. We pick our obsession of the week, a listener question and we’re ready to go.
SCK: We rely heavily on our backgrounds. I’m a freelance writer and April is a tv writer, so we both use our backgrounds to create a solid narrative arc. The actual creation of the content is the easiest. It’s stuff like figuring out business expenses and behind-the-scenes production that’s the hardest part.
What’s most surprised you about doing the podcast?
AKQ: That we had so much growth so fast. It’s so surreal that we get fan mail. People literally write in, “Dear Sophie & April, You have changed my life.”
SCK: I’m surprised that it’s working! [Laughs.] So many creative projects don’t pan out. You mention it, you meet twice. And so it’s crazy that we’re so invested and we keep getting better at it.
What creatives inspire you?
AKQ: I’m a TV writer, so Shonda Rhimes, obviously. I also really look up to Diablo Cody and Issa Rae. Anyone who is like, “I have a marginalized voice, and I’m going to find a creative way to get around the system. I’m going to tell my story, and you can’t stop me.” There’s so few people who are allowed to do that, and the ones who do I’m super inspired by. Also, Retta, a comedian and fellow Liberian-American.
SCK: I’ve always looked up to Ann Friedman, Ijeoma Oluo, and Lindy West as current freelance writers, as well as the women who wrote my favorite childhood YA fantasy novels – Tamora Pierce and Madeleine L’Engle. My screen queens, Nancy Meyer and Nora Ephron. My justice mavens, bell hooks and Angela Davis. My favorite poets, Sylvia Plath, Lydia Davis, and Mary Oliver. I’m loving Anne Helen Peterson’s new book, as well as working my way through Octavia Butler’s work. Some of my favorite creatives working today are, of course, other podcasters! I love the Nancy team and Gaby Dunn and Code Switch and Janet Mock.
Talking about political stuff on the internet can be terrifying. And talking about plus-size and fat politics can make you a real target. How do you handle online bullying and harassment?
SCK: We knew it would happen. Especially because some of the people on Instagram we follow get terrible comments. I get those as a writer too. Every so often a Breitbart twitter farm will pick up one of my articles, and I’ll have to turn off notifications.
But, unfortunately, online harassment comes with being a woman in the world, especially being a woman creative. And being a fat woman creative just adds to it. If we let fear of what people would say stop us, we’d never leave our houses.
AKQ: Like, sometimes people see me on the street and yell at me for being fat. Once we started talking about it, we just decided we’d deal with the haters. . We joked about this when we first started, being like, “Are you ready for the death threats? They’re coming.”
SCK:We have a section on our website dedicated to archiving the hate mail, because we want to show that it’s happening without putting it all over our followers timelines or dignifying it with a direct response.
One of the things you made space for talking about is race. Can you talk a little bit about why you chose to include the “It’s Okay, You Can Ask” segment on every episode?
AKQ: It freaks me out how there’s a pushback on talking about race in fat-positive and plus-size spaces. It’s like people expect me to say, “On this day I’m fat, on this day I’m a lady, on this day I’m black.” I’m all of those things every day. As feminists, we need to use our intersectionality muscle to talk about race.
Plus, we’re so different, it would come up anyways. Like, I’m black and Sophie is white and this informs our experiences. Also, Sophie loves buttons and I don’t own a single button.
SCK: They’re PINS.
I love that SAF is showing that you can care about politics and fashion. So, let’s move into the latter. Who were the first plus-size or body positive bloggers you followed?
AKQ: The first blogger I ever followed was Gabi Fresh in 2007, when I was in Jr. High. She was cute and black and I really looked up to her. I basically only wear her swimsuits.
SCK: For me, it was Nicolette Mason, which is why we are so obsessed with Premme.
How would you describe your style?
ACK: Fat Solange. Whatever Solange would wear, but on clearance for 80% off. I only wear bohemian comfortable stuff, and African stuff whenever I can. I never wear heels. My priority is comfort first, sprinkled with some style.
SCK: I would say Kitsch Witch who likes to read. I like bright colors and just having fun with fashion, and imagining what book I could be fitting in on a certain day
dying at @shesallfatpod's April asking Sophie about WTF SQUARE DANCING IS!!!! omgggg
— Fat Girl Flow (@fatgirlfreedom) October 2, 2017
What fall fashion trends are you obsessed with?
SCK:We live in a seasonless city (LA), so we have to go with makeup trends or we’d die of heatstroke. I’m a skincare nerd, so I’m riding the waves of Glossier and Vintner’s Daughter.
AKQ: I love dark lipsticks for fall. Sin by MAC is my favorite, it’s a vampy dark color.
You can check out She’s All Fat on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and lots of Android apps (Po
cket Cast, PlayerFM, and CastBox).
Thanks to Marie for supporting other creators, we’ll catch you on Instagram using #TCFstyle!