Four women have 'The Talk' about their body image on new TV series

A new series, called The Talk, lands on the RTÉ Player this week
Four women have 'The Talk' about their body image on new TV series

Jen Morris and Justine Stafford , participants in The Talk, which lands on the RTE Player next week

BODY image can be a big issue for young people, particularly in this month of resolutions and health fixes. It provides a fascinating theme for the next episode of The Talk, which drops on the RTÉ Player on Tuesday, January 18 at 7am.

The series aims to discuss real life issues from a personal perspective, with no presenter or media personality to ask the probing questions. Instead, two people have ‘the talk’ – an open and honest conversation about an issue that’s close to their hearts.

In next week’s episode, four young women discuss how they feel about their bodies. From childhood diets to dating and bullying, this is an honest and emotional insight into the impact of body image.

Brenda Mangwandi and Jessica Cinelli in The Talk.
Brenda Mangwandi and Jessica Cinelli in The Talk.

First on the agenda is the topic of growing up. Curvy Dublin model Jess Cinelli recalls a desire to diet at the age of eight, and the power of the word ‘fat. She has since taken the power out of the word, saying: “I call myself fat all the time now. I’m like – I’m fat – and what?!”

Comedian and content creator Justine Stafford, from Nobber in Co. Meath, details the school bullying that spurred her to lose more than half her body weight in three months.

Beauty content creator Jen Morris, of Clonmel, also describes her wish to lose weight as a child.

“I vividly remember thinking, like, if I could just get a little bit sick. Like, if I could get some kind of disease, that I would be sick enough that I wouldn’t die, but that I would be skinny. Because that’s all I cared about – trying to be small and be like all the girls and everyone I was seeing.”

Plus size model and blogger Brenda Mangwandi discusses the worst things that have been said to her, describing an ex-boyfriend who constantly compared her to a slimmer friend.

She says: “The peak of it was when he said, ‘I am tired of defending dating you to my friends because they are saying, why am I with this fat person’.”

Jen recalls the embarrassment of being cornered on a train by an elderly woman who recommended a diet to her, saying: “When you’re bigger, people just feel like they can tell you anything. They feel like they are helping you.

“I just feel you should never comment on someone’s body… Just don’t say it. It’s none of your business, you know, it’s not your body. Just back off.”

Social media is the next topic on the table. Jen talks about her work as a beauty content creator and explains that no matter how hard she works in her industry, she feels she will never reach the success of her slimmer colleagues.

Brenda describes being accused of promoting obesity after winning a beauty pageant. But rather than discouraging her, she used her platform to promote a positive body image and to inspire others.

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