[RENAY] Hey, Welcome to That’s When You Get a Dog, the podcast BOWFOW by old women, for old women. We’re hare with another Debrief episode and if you haven’t listened to episode 3 My Body's Nobody’s stop and go back now as this debrief is for that episode.
So obviously I like to keep track of the show’s stats and one thing I’ve noticed is that 47% of our audience is from the US, hello America. So I have a call of action to my American crew, we are currently at zero ratings on the US Apple Podcasts app, so if you’re American and listen on Apple Podcasts rate us rate us rate us because the show looks really sad and lonely with no stars. Also clearly the tell 5 friends about she is working, so if you didn’t last week and like the show go and tell 5 friends, one of the friends can be you mum, my mum loves the show.
Right Sophie’s back and we spoke about the body image episode. Here’s our chat.
[SOPHIE] Yeah this episode was interesting for me, it was probably, if I’m gonna be honest with you then, my least favourite so far.
[RENAY] Ohhhh, I knew it
[SOPHIE] Just, I don’t know what it was. I thought with body image people that you interviewed and the theme of it would actually be people being quite honest and vulnerable about their insecurities about their bodies, especially at our age where you know, we do worry about getting older and things, some of us do. But it wasn’t, it was full of, which I suppose is positive, people who were quite positive about their bodies saying I do this, I feel like this, I feel great but I missed the vulnerability of it.
[RENAY] Mmm, I think people are very fake when they come to talk about body image,
[SOPHIE] yeah, yeah
[RENAY] I think the whole body positive image, body positive movement is very fake, because people look in the mirror, we don’t love our bodies and that’s not a bad thing, we’re not blind, like we have eyes, we can see when somethings not right.
[SOPHIE] well some people are blind
[RENAY] Umm, so sorry people are blind, that’s true. Whoever’s leading this like, look a Sophie Dahl, prime example, she used to be a plus sized model loved her body, I love my curves, look at me, you can be anybody you want. Then she lost loads of weight and you know because it’s all fake, it’s just people say these things but they’re not really meaning it.
[RENAY] I want people just to be realistic, people do hate people when they look fit, people find something wrong with it, if someone looks young, they’ll blame it on plastic surgery if someone’s overweight you’ll say they’re over, do you know what I mean, it’s like…
[SOPHIE] Or they’ll slut shame them, they’ll be like look at her with her boobs out or bum out
[RENAY] Exactly you’re not allowed to have, wear tight clothing if you’re curvy, do you know what I mean? It’s like everyone’s, all the messages are contradictory and I think every, all of the voices that are pro like, you know, who get the jobs or who are booked for speaking gigs they’re all kind of spouting that fake message which just isn’t realistic. I didn’t wanna be preachy, um I liked Suzy who was just normal.
[SOPHIE] the mum?
[SOPHIE] yeah yeah
[RENAY] And Miss Lala to an extent, the body builder, because she is, you know, when you’re a bodybuilder you have to work at a thing and you’re not afraid to talk about it.
[SOPHIE] yeah of course.
[RENAY] Whereas Bangs, she exercises literally probably 8 hours a day as a spin instructor and
[SOPHIE] I found her the biggest contradiction because she was ths nonchalant, don’t care, I’m 36, I’m comfortable with myself but there were elements of it I felt were quite. There was a point where she was talking about competing with a 21 year old or not competing sorry but being like oh I’m fitter than you even though you have a better body, that felt a bit weird. And there was a particular sentence that negged on me the most and that was when she said something like oh you know when you become 30 and you start to become ignored and then 40 and you’re ignored altogether. And I found that quite demoralising’s not the word but I found that quite offensive in a way. I think for the podcast that you’re making and for you know the audience and things I think it’s not quite right to say something like that, I don’t know.
[RENAY] Well ignored is the wrong, well the reason why this podcast is only features women over 30 and is for women over 30
[SOPHIE] is because you don’t have anything for women over 30
[RENAY] No one, everyone ignores us and doesn’t target content at us. So in that sense it is true but do I think you’re ignored physically? No because obviously you’re not.
[RENAY] And it’s more, are you featured in, like other than when Dove do their beauty like, everyone’s beautiful their, the majority of the campaigns are you know, young 25s, skinny white people are beautiful, that’s it.
[RENAY] So it’s not that you’re over 40 and you’re ignored, it kind of is that but not in the way that she means because when you’re, like we’re here, we’re over 30, are we worried about being ignored in that sense?
[SOPHIE] well I wasn’t until I heard that.
[RENAY] Exactly I don’t think that’s a, I don’t know if that’s a real thing, like do people, well maybe people do?
[SOPHIE] I always remember the Daily Mail years ago, I feel very strongly about how much I hate the Daily Mail, so I’m sorry to give them any props. Don’t Google this, don’t give them any hits, don’t give them anything but I always remember it was an article saying how women felt truly invisible at 41 or something I can’t remember it was early 40s or something, that was when women truly felt invisible and fell into the void of attractiveness and that they had anything to give or that they could change careers or that they could do anything and I always…
*Ronnie starts drinking in the background*
[SOPHIE] That’s Ronnie for those
[SOPHIE] Ronnie, stop hydrating, Ronnie, stop it. But yeah I don’t know why it’s stuck with me and I’m always like, oh god, but…
[RENAY] But I think that could be true, but I think that could be true if you were in a rut because obviously the career episode is coming.
[RENAY] And that’s about women, when you hit, literally 31 there less opportunities. If you wanna change careers, there’s less support for you. Like there’s government funded programmes in England, and I’m sure across the world that will help people that wanna be entrepreneurs and startups and send you to business school and things like that, between 18 and 30, Princes Trust is one of the big ones. 18-30, so when you turn 31 they’re like no you should be there by now so then there are just less opportunities for you and so I could see you falling into the no one cares about me, but I think with body image, and I don’t know I can only go from who I know but a lot of people I know have perked up the fitness game because you’re like ah.
[RENAY] Because you realise your body, it’s not just there, you need to look after it and you normally realise that after 30s. So you might get into fitness or at least try to do some exercise.
[SOPHIE] Yeah, i definitely do more exercise now I’m 34 than i did in my 20s because I'm the same, like you said I’ve realised that my body is not gonna maintain the way it was unless I give it a bit of a kick, like I see that and I feel that and I do exercise as much as I can even though I went to the gym earlier this morning and now I’m sat here drinking mulled wine with you. So I’m just putting all that sugar back in like i didn’t burn it off in the first place. But, yeah I do, I mean I get that and also I think you exercise more when you’re in your 30s and maybe 40s because, I don't know I just have a bit more of a sensible clear head about it now, I could always find and excuse in my 20s but now I’m a bit like, come on, you know you need to.
[RENAY] I exercise because I realise I have to now, I can’t eat what I used to, I mean I can, I do eat what I used to but i’ can see that I ate it and when you, yeah it does like everyone says it changes over 30 and it really does with every year that I pass 30 it’s harder and harder so this year was my goal to like, you know, get there but then I fell off the wagon, went to New York, ate loads of fried chicken, vegan veggie fried chicken but still fried and so I can just see you can fall off the. Like it took me, so I started swimming, pretty much 5-4 times a week in January and I stopped for like a week and a half in june and i lost all that momentum that I had was completely gone. So everything is just a lot slower to work, burn off calories, it’s slower to burn, like change your body, it’s slower to get fit again
[SOPHIE] yeah, everything is
[RENAY] But I also don’t think it’s bad to do exercise because you wanna lose some weight or change your body shape. Like if I wanna get bigger shoulders or something.
[SOPHIE] One of the things that I exercise, the weird thing is that I exercise to keep my body in check a bit more. I have problems with my knees now, I sound really old, but I have got problems with my knees and sio i need to know unless i really wanna struggle when I'm older, I might get arthritis, probably will get arthritis I need to keep the muscles around them, and my hamstrings and my thighs so that’s one of the reasons that I do it. Another reason, because yes I would like to tone up and look better in bikinis and all those things. But the other benefit that, I mean this is what she did talk about and I agree with was when I exercise I’m mentally in a better space, when I exercise I feel a bit more prepared I feel a bit more easier to get up in the mornings. Even if I don’t exercise in the mornings i exercise in the evenings and I just think that that's quite important and you don’t really notice, in my 20s I was a bit like, I used to fad exercise in my 20s, I’d go and do like power plate and go and do like spinning and flipping, what’s that thing, reformer pilates. I used to love all the fads when I was in my 20s and I just always believed that there was something that, if there was a fad I could tone up in 6 weeks. Even in your 20s it’d be easier to but you can’t tone up in 6 weeks, that doesn’t happen, if you wanna tone up, you’ve gotta do it.
[RENAY] I mean you can, you can but you just have to, it doesn’t last.
[SOPHIE] You have to restrict yourself quite a lot as well.
[RENAY] That’s why I started swimming, because I wanted to choose an exercise that I would be able to do, like pretty much until I die…
[RENAY] Which is swimming, I wanted to work in an exercise, like running you know, damages your knees, puts strain on your hips and things like that and yeah older people do run, like you can’t be quite, I’m quite not heavy, well I am .heavy but like it is a strain on my knees to a little skinny person running. So I wanted some kind of exercise that I could do that could, I could just keep going no matter what size pretty much, which is swimming. Once I nail breaststroke I’m there, but like you can do it until, so i used to go every morning before work and that was pretty much the old ladies club and there were people who were in their 70s, 80s just swimming because that is an exercise you can just do, and you do it at a leisurely pace, keeps you know the blood flowing the heart
[SOPHIE] low impact baring
[RENAY] Yeah, so that’s why I chose swimming. I don't know, I
[SOPHIE] you should do a podcast for national swimming council you’re flogging that
[RENAY] I only learnt to swim last year, with Swim London, it was awesome, but like
[SOPHIE] congratulations that’s amazing to do that I think.
[RENAY] but , I just think, I don't know with body image, i just think there’s so many, you feel like you’re, you feel guilty for wanting to look good.
[SOPHIE] Okay what we should do for this episode because it wasn't in your episode and it’s what I’d really like to do and we should do it, we should be vulnerable here, so what part of your body do you not like? If somebody came down right now with a magic wand and was like I can make one part of your body perfect like click your fingers, what would it be?
[RENAY] Oh easily stomach
[RENAY] It takes a lot of work to, well I’m not there, so I would just get all the fat lipoed off my stomach.
[SOPHIE] Yeah i think i might be belly as well you know.
[RENAY] Yeah cause it’s the hardest one
[SOPHIE] Also, like arms , I’m not very good with arms like my arms are getting a bit...actually arms when you actually do try and lose weight they go pretty quickly, they’re one of the thinner parts but sometimes I’m just like, I’m like doing something for work and I’m waving my arm and I’ve stopped waving but you haven't, like stop waving but yeah I think
[RENAY] But I don't mind saying that I look in the mirror and, like I had an incident, well it wasn’t an incident but I went on holiday in January and it scared me, everyone knows, everyone who knows me knows. But I don't have a full length mirror at home, I if I’m wearing something I look down to see whether it looks alright, so I don’t look in the mirror that often neck down and there was a full length mirror in my hotel when I was in New York and I looked and there was a brown jelly rectangle facing back at me and I was like, OH MY GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED. Because I go through phases of exercising and not exercising so it was after Christmas as it was in January, I had no idea, I hadn't looked in the mirror and seen myself naked.
[SOPHIE] i need a full length mirror, I have to have one.
[RENAY] And that has like really messed me up because now i think I’ve got body dysmorphia because even when I lost weight this summer I still saw the rectangle, I can still see it, So i just don't know if it’s worth having full length mirrors because before I knew that I was happy now I’m just very conscious of this rectangle that tries to come back.
[SOPHIE] Nothing is worse than like, just hotel room lighting is not the best but just that, when you have that lighting, particularly for me the cellulite looks 50 thousand times worse. It literally looks like someone just poured cottage cheese on your body and left it there its awful.
[RENAY] But I don't mind, like all the things that are normal that everyone has like I don’t mind cellulite, I have stretch marks literally just from being alive.
[SOPHIE] stretch marks have never bothered me
[RENAY] I you know, my bum sometimes is a bit square, sometimes it’s not, that’s the rectangle, whether i’m in rectangle phase or if I’m not in rectangle phase. But like I don't mind all of that normally it was just seeing it and now I’m very conscious of my belly getting out of hand so if I could just lipo that away I’d be happy. No I wouldn’t be happy emotionally I mean I’d be happy with my body because I’ve always had big thighs, I’ve got used to that my arms are alright.
[SOPHIE] What part of your body would you not change, what would you keep?
[RENAY] My arms are good.
[RENAY] Yeah, what about you?
[SOPHIE] I don't know maybe I
[RENAY] But I went through, when I was young I used to watch plastic surgery shows all the time and so I wanted a nose job, I wanted a boob job, lipo, I was all about lipo and luckily this year my boobs grew so, I guess it’s lucky I didn't have a boob job but like all of the things. I’m used to my face now, because I just wanted to see, the reason i didn’t have plastic surgery, because it is available to everyone because you can get it on credit to be honest, it’s like the reason I didnt is because I wanted to see what I could do myself. I was like what if I just one day didn't eat all of the potatoes, you know? that's not happened yet but someday i might. I just wanted to see what my body could be like, so that's why i’m not, I’m just not bothered about it anymore.
[SOPHIE] The thing is when you say, when i think to myself what part of my body would I keep and not change. I think it’s quite difficult I don't actually mind my body as a whole i think it all works and goes together yeah it’s quite difficult as a, I mean I don't know really, it's not like I don’t like any part of my body but I think if I just kept that one part and just made a brand new body that part would look really weirdly out of place.
[RENAY] I just feel like there’s a pressure for you to love.
[SOPHIE] I’d like more toned, i think maybe I’d keep my, maybe my boobs, I quite like my boobs and I’d keep, I quite like my curves my curves a little bit. Like for years and years I didn't think those curves were right
[RENAY] Oh yeah they’re fashionable now
[SOPHIE] When I was growing up it was the thing to be very skinny and I remember thinking you know I shouldn't have curves, like an hourglass thing.
[RENAY] Yeah i think I stopped, I think I always wear baggy clothes, so at the moment now with my bigger boobs, like I just feel like i look like a tent all the time so I need to reevaluate my fashion choices because I’ve always worn baggy clothes, I like baggy clothes. I like to dress a little bit like Ron.
[SOPHIE] You need to get one of those minimiser, I’ve got a sports bra on because I’ve just come from the gym, shameless plug to myself, big up myself, and when you’ve got a sports bra on it flattens everything down.
[RENAY] Flat yeah
[SOPHIE] So i wear all of the T-Shirts i can’t normally wear because it just looks like a shelf.
[RENAY] Yeah because i feel like if you’ve got boobs it does change how you look.
[SOPHIE] Yeah i think so.
[RENAY] You have to change how you look, your style to accommodate them so you don’t look like a tent. And i also think having curves like me wearing shorts and a skinny person wearing shorts is two very different things. I don't know if that’s why I started wearing baggy clothes just kind of, not to hide my body but just to, I wanna be comfortable, I’m not necessarily, I’m not parading anything around. Like I just wanna be comfortable in who I am so I like baggy clothes but now I do feel like a tent when I’m wearing my stuff even though today I’m still wearing my baggy clothes, just because you know, they’re bright and colourful.
[SOPHIE] It’s very you
[RENAY] That’s what I like, but I just feel there’s a pressure to accept your body and not voice what you don’t like about it or like I’m going on a diet. Like I’m in this Juice fast group and they’re just encouraging us to juice basically, as in like a Whatsapp group and it’s good, you know I lost some pounds and everyone was encouraging themselves and that’s not a bad thing. Being vegan or vegetarian is not a bad thing, yes if you start preaching it to everyone, then it gets annoying but you can be healthy. I don’t know the body image thing I just found it, it’s just such an open ended, there’s so much hate around if you’re overweight, there’s so much hate if you’re just weight, you know there’s everyone if you look young, if you look old.
[SOPHIE] But there’s a pressure and prejudice against being overweight and then saying you’re comfortable with your size and then losing weight and people backlashing you being like oh you never were
[RENAY] But then they complain if you’re pretty, like Kim Kardashian is always used as the opposite of body positivity but obviously she went and had work done because people bully her and then for you the body positive people to then be using Kim Kardashian as a, or Kylie Jenner who openly admitted that she, the first time she kissed a boy he said, he was like shocked that she could kiss because she had no lips, like that comment stayed with her and made her get lip implants or whatever she’s had.
[SOPHIE] It’s funny isn’t it, has a man ever made a comment to you that's stuck with you?
[RENAY] Oh when I was at school I was called hoover nose and when I was 14 I was walking inside a building and at that time my bum, the reason I have stretch marks on my bum is because sometimes my bum gets huge, sometimes it’s normal size, at the moment it’s normal but when i was 14 it was in a huge phase and they were like WHOA look at your bum and I just remember that. So hoover nose and that whoa but in a bad way.
[SOPHIE] That's funny isn’t it when I was younger a boy saying to me, I must have been about maybe 11 or 12 a boy said to me, this is in the phase of school where everyone wanted to wear doc martens, do you remember that? It was massive and i’ had a pair, well they weren’t they were cheap doc martens because we couldn't afford the real thing, they were like cheapie doc martins and I remember having them all laced up and a skirt on and a boy came up to me and went whoa your calves are like really big they almost like morph into the doc martins. That was the first time ever in my life i had anybody, particularly a boy i suppose say anything negative about my body I can think of and it really got to me quite a bit and i always remember for a while beling quite like my calves are huge and “I hated crossing my legs because you know that thing where the claves spread out and I used to think mine were huge. And I just always remember.
[RENAY] But you always see like the neg, like i used to have a mole on my face and someone commented on it, i’ don't have that mole anymore.
[SOPHIE] What because you had it removed obviously it didn’t fall off.
[RENAY] Yeah i had it removed because i was like you can't comment on my face so that stuck with me and that was just my cousin and yeah i got rid of it and now people draw them on and I’m like I should have kept it.
[SOPHIE] but at the same time weirdly enough and it goes both ways and we shouldn’t get our self esteem and our you know from men in that sense but the compliments that men have paid about my body have also stuck and have helped me. So i always used to have a boyfriend who said that he loved my back for some reason, he thought it was lovely and long and lean, i had a boyfriend that loved my bum “i had a boyfriend that loved my boobs and my curves and because they said these things i used to even though we’re not together anymore I’m a bit like no he shall remain nameless, he loved my he thought they were the sexiest thing on earth so why wouldn’t another guy, you know what i mean so I have also used the compliments from guys to you know. Well compliments are compliments aren't they, if you’re girlfriend said god i wish “i had your boobs you’re a bit like ooh I got good boobs, so that’s how you feel
[RENAY] Yeah compliments are compliments but i feel like people are too negative they kid of mask it as I’m being active I’m supporting women but in you supporting women's bodies you're taking down another woman that’s not supportive that’s actually contradicting the message and I think that happens too much and I’ve seen it, I guess it's harder for younger people. I’m glad I’m not young. Yeah I guess there’s no right, i think we’re much harder on ourselves than we need to be.
[SOPHIE] Yeah, i think so and I think it's harder as you get older as well to not, as you get older it’s harder to not compare yourself to younger people, it is especially because you know I, well we’re both in creative industries which are full of young people obviously which is great, they are the fuel of the future and creatively are very important but young people but, we;re young, but it’s harder to not look.
[RENAY] I don’t compare myself to a young person not my body and my beauty to a young person yeah not to..
[SOPHIE] Sometimes I do
[RENAY] I compare what they’ve achieved, I’m like bloody hell, like God what have I been doing with my life but like not how I look because I’m just like you know they’re gonna get they’re gonna be my age, they will...it’s kind of ridiculous to
[SOPHIE] I know what you mean, I say that to myself
[RENAY] I’m 33 comparing myself to a 23 year old because the 23 year old will look 33 when they’re 33 you know what I mean so it's just sill.
[SOPHIE] I look at them and sometimes think you just don't know what youve got, because you just don’t at that age, you don’t really know, your power is not the right term, but you don’t really know your...how good your body is and what shape it’s in and the things you can do and the things you can achieve with it, you know what I mean?
[RENAY] But I still, I genuinely think I’ve not got I’ve not had my best body yet. I genuinely think it’s gonna be something like in my 40s and I’m just gonna really be focused.
[SOPHIE] I think my best body was 14, maybe 6 months old.
[RENAY] But I honestly think, I don’t think I have. . I think you can think, I’ve not got the fitness bug yet, I don't care about fitness, like yes it makes me feel nice when I go for a swim but do you know what I enjoy more than the swim, the sauna afterwards, and if I could just go after and just do that part I would and sometimes I do. So it’s like, I’ve not got the bug yet for it, because I do like, I enjoy food, I enjoy sitting at home watching Netflix, I enjoy just sitting.
[SOPHIE] I enjoy sitting?
[RENAY] I do so it’s like, I’ve not got there yet.
[SOPHIE] One of my ex boyfriends always used to say, I love him for it, he used to say to actually just have a nice sit down, it’s that sit down where you’re like I haven’t got anything else to do, you’ve done everything, you can just chill. So you sit down, you just go, this is it now I can be here for hours. . He had this whole thing about how a nice sit down was a thing that you could do and people always used to laugh.
[RENAY] It’s about your wellbeing, your mental health, like clearing your mind, even though actually I’ve just got to the phase where swimming can, I clear, like I can just completely enjoy it and relax,
[SOPHIE] It’s your meditation
[RENAY] Yeah that’s my, yeah I don't have to, I’ve got like a little fitness tracker thing on my wrist that i don’t even have to count the lengths anymore and I just swim and that is, I do actually find it really relaxing and I always sleep better afterwards but I’ve not got that fitness bug where I’m that conscious of where I need to eat health or that we won't just after this finish that bottle of red wine that I made into mulled wine, you know.
[SOPHIE] yeah yeah yeah
[RENAY] I’m just a normal person, that’s called binge drinking but do you know what we’re gonna do it so I’m not there yet.
[SOPHIE] but you’ve put half water and half orange juice so it’s not really binge drinking.
[RENAY] It’s got our quarter of 5 a day, Ronnie’s sneezing which signifies the end of this show
[SOPHIE] Yeah he knows the time
[RENAY] Yeah he knows, he’s like, they’ve been talking enough...
So I have another podcast for you, #AndFriends, one word, with J’na Jefferson. Each week J’na is joined be figures in the media field and independent creative communities. Sit back, relax, crack a smile, laugh out loud and enjoy as J'na and friends honestly and openly discuss the ins and outs of the entertainment industry, the latest hot takes in pop culture, and assorted film flam pertaining to this crazy thing called life. Episode one dives into the ‘sexiness’ of the music journalism world. J'na and her friend also unleash the show's favoUrite segment, "Unpopular Opinions." Follow J'na on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, and Google Play, where you can stay up to date on new episodes when they become available. FYI J’na is spelt J apostrophe N-A.
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