Curated by Allison Behringer, host and creator of Bodies
Allison Behringer is an audio producer and the creator of Bodies, a podcast produced with support from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project about the mysteries of our bodies and what we learn about the world and ourselves as we solve them. Here, she presents a collection of podcasts that look at the experience of living inside our skins.
Over the course of producing Bodies, we’ve been exploring the forces that converge around our bodies and our health. And not just genetics and environment, but societal factors like gender, race, and sexuality. Each episode of Bodies is an untangling of those threads through the journey of one person.
The podcasts on this list are shows that tug at one of those threads: “Fertility Friday” brings the (holistic) science, “She’s All Fat” brings the feminist critique. I tried to bring together a variety of formats and perspectives, from the first-person narrative of “Meat” to the live show recordings of “The Story Collider.”
Each episode is one person’s journey to solve a mystery about their body. It’s about the complexity of the human body and how a person changes and grows as they search for answers and healing. A good starter episode is the first one of the season: “Sex Hurts.” It is my own quest to figure out why sex becomes painful. It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but I do love “Other Than.” It’s about an artist who uses the horror genre to make meaning from her complicated feelings about her sexuality and the mysterious hair growth on her cheeks.
The Story Collider
Imagine a podcast that’s like The Moth, except it’s all about science. Except it’s not really about science––it’s about personal stories. Recorded live, this podcast features doctors and engineers as well as comedians and actors sharing personal stories that start with science.
Fertility Friday Radio
Host Lisa Hendrickson-Jack is a certified fertility awareness educator and holistic reproductive health practitioner. She interviews guests on topics like the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control, vulvodynia, PCOS, fibroids, egg freezing, and more. Each week, this podcast brings a topic that you probably did not learn in health class. This was a great resource for me during the reporting of Bodies.
Queer, radical, feminist: all words I’d use to describe Bitchface, and it doesn’t even cover their show fully as every episode is a different examination of art, creativity, and existence. I loved their series last year “Against the Couple Form,” which made me questions the relationship framework of couplehood that I had previously taken for granted.
She’s All Fat
Hosts April K. Quioh and Sophie Carter-Kahn are LA-based writers and friends. These hour-long episodes include fun banter between Sophie and April, their take on recent headlines, and a deep dive into a topic, often with a guest or two. I loved the recent episode “Raising A Body Positive Child.” Even though I don’t have children, I learned a thing or two about how I should be talking to myself about my body
From Jonathan Zenti, Meat is a show about “our bodies and the life we live because of them.” In the first episode, through beautiful first-person narrative, Jonathan tells the story of loving his own fat body. This piece was a 2018 Third Coast Award winner and one of my favorite pieces from the past year.
Radiolab’s “In the No” series
Inspired by The Heart’s No series from 2017, this mini-series from Radiolab explores the topic of consent and how we communicate about our bodies in the most intimate settings. When I heard The Heart’s series last year, it was all I could think and talk about. And I kept thinking to myself, “I wish I could listen to people having a conversation about this series!” Well, Radiolab delivered! If you heard The Heart series already, start with Part 2. If you haven’t (or like me, wanted to re-listen to a condensed version), start with Part 1.
Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: firstname.lastname@example.org.