April and Sophie, the voices behind the “She’s All Fat” podcast, speak in vibrant tones that envelope you in pop culture-heavy conversation. It’s like getting invited to join the insider’s club at the corner of a party you feel a little too uncool for.
As their conversations flow from Disney’s “Lizzie McGuire” (a mainstay for any early-2000s teen) to Netflix gems, and real, unabridged conversations about body image, being fat, and being feminist, you’ll find yourself shaking with laughter — and then, seconds later, frowning with intrigue.
This might be the first time you’re hearing about radical self-love, from fat and feminist women. And perhaps, through the strength of their voices and whip-smart banter, you’ll become better at understanding it, too.
Speaking with sass and sincerity
Through the power of storytelling, April and Sophie deliver the gift of their narratives, opinions, and insecurities. They give light to the world of fat women, in ways that Instagram, Facebook, and other blogging channels cannot.
And they do it with sass.
“Hi. I’m April. I’m black, I’m fat, and it’s literally all I talk about,” says April K. Quioh, a comedy writer in Los Angeles, California.
“I’m Sophie. I’m fat. I like television, history, and trash TV. I’m white, and I don’t like to talk about it,” freelance writer Sophia Carter-Kahn adds.
In the first episode, “Fat Narratives,” April and Sophie are frank about their podcast’s mission.
“We created ‘She’s All Fat’ because there’s not a podcast like it. We noticed an increase in fat visibility (shout out to all the fat babes on Instagram!), but a lack of spaces for fat women and femmes to tell their own stories in a conversational setting. A place to literally hear our voices,” says Sophie.
“Both of our self-love journeys were heavily inspired by the images we saw on Instagram, so it’s important for us to note that the work activists are doing on that platform is essential. Our goal, however, was to expand conversations beyond the physical images of fat people enjoying life in their bodies. We wanted a space to share our real, personal fat experiences and to create a community that is dedicated to intersectional feminism and body positivity,” April tells Healthline.
These conversations are in real time, in real space.
"There’s editing, but there’re no filters." Their goals — to create a space where fat women are respected, where they love themselves totally, without being told they’re “glorifying obesity,” where they respect women of all sizes, and where they fight for the liberation of all marginalized bodies — sizzle in each turn of phrase, in each question and answer.
They consider self-love a form of rebellion — and wow, are they fighting for it.
Self-love bleeds over into strong, empowering female friendship
Healthline recently touted the health benefits of strong female friendships. In times of stress, women don’t only experience “fight or flight” responses. Rather, they release oxytocin, which can compel them to “tend and befriend” and make real, meaningful connections. They reach out, rather than running away.
April and Sophie’s connection bleeds over the podcast airways, making me almost envious of the way they learn from one another — the way they see each other so clearly.
When asked to describe one another, they say (in pure poetry):
“Sophie has a kind face that reminds you of the school nurse who gives you a maxi pad when you bleed through your jeans in the seventh grade.”
“April’s like having the right comeback ready to go and not stuttering when you say it.”
April also tells Healthline, “Sophie’s incredible willingness to listen, learn, and be uncomfortable in order to grow as an ally constantly surprises me.”
Their narratives — black and white, both fat — find ways to intersect and trod new, undiscovered paths. Instead of fleeing the heavy work of conversation, they dive right in with an unheard level of bravery.
The power of self-compassion and radical self-love
Like many of us, April and Sophie are no strangers to bullying. Leaning in, they tell stories of elementary school teasing, of past insecurities, of times people have straight-up wronged them.
A recent study tells the story of cyber bullying and its effects on young women’s perceptions of school and learning, finding that out of 160 females around 12 years of age, most were adversely effected when involved with bullying — even if they were the bully themselves. Young men didn’t have the same problem.
But of course, beyond building empathy in the youth, there’s the entire world of bullies to consider.
“Too often, the punchline is ‘isn’t it funny that someone would ever love a fat person,’ and we rarely are shown to be real people who lead interesting, fulfilling lives,” April says.
“As soon as I realized how much of a boon it would have been to me as a little fat girl to have role models and characters to love who were like me, who weren’t constantly trying to change themselves, who liked themselves, I knew I wanted to help create them,” Sophie says.
But there’s hope.
Another study told formerly, currently, and never depressed individuals to regulate their emotions by simply waiting a while, feeling self-compassion for themselves, accepting their emotions, or reevaluating their situation. Across all groups, the people who enacted self-compassion were the least depressed of all of them — even in the people who never experienced depression.
Self-compassion and empathy may be the keys to a better, more peaceful and prosperous future. And April and Sophie striving toward radical self-love is a treasure map for all of us.
We deserve so much more than the loneliness of grappling with our insecurities, our strange, amorphous bodies, and our past mistakes. April and Sophie are voices in a darkness that we haven’t allowed ourselves to see.
Now is the time to be better, or, for perhaps the first time, try.
Allison Krupp is an American writer, editor, and ghostwriting novelist. Between wild, multi-continental adventures, she resides in Berlin, Germany. Check out her website here.