How Podcasts are Reshaping our Culture
Nowadays, podcasts do more than relay news and updates; through broadcasting personal accounts and stories about real, relatable people, they have become a popular medium used to combat stigma and shame on mental health and debunk assumptions about gender, race and sexuality.
Recently, two of my favorites include “Sincerely X”, hosted by June Cohen, one of the curators for the popular Tedx Radio podcast and “Girlboss Radio,” hosted by Sophia Amoruso, who is also the founder of clothing line, Nasty Gal.
The aim of Sincerely, X works to openly share ideas and stories while concealing the identities of its speakers. This podcast gives “victims, perpetrators, investigators, activists, empaths and more” an outlet to share their experiences without the worry of public judgement following them. Two of my favorite episodes from season one of this podcast were ‘Sad in Silicon Valley’ (episode four) and ‘Pepper Spray’ (episode 2). In both, the subject of mental health is put into perspective and is put in relation to technology and everyday life. We hear the anonymous stories of a CEO and an average working woman, one affected by sudden depression and another, by anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
By interviewing different, successful women who come from equally humbling beginnings, ‘Girlboss Radio’ brings forth a platform that initiates conversations and discusses issues specific to women, people of color and other marginalized groups. Two episodes worth checking out are interviews with authors and activists, Roxane Gay and Janet Mock. Gay openly shares her experiences on sexual assault and body image while Mock unpacks her journey as a transgender black woman. The two dive into deep rooted issues, showing their vulnerable but empowering selves. Throughout 'Girlboss Radio,' Sophia Amoruso and her guest speakers gradually change the narrative about how we view and attain success. As a whole, this podcast constantly motivates its listeners to be better, more genuine forms of themselves.
These podcasts have become cultural catalysts and a vehicle to propel new ideas and social reform. As noted, they are more than just entertainment— they are stepping stones for learning new lessons and reshaping our culture.
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