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Popped: Podcast Transcript

Susan 0:00

Hey, I'm Susan, I can leave you a little message about, um, the bad acne that I had.

I had cystic acne until, like, I was 40 or something and my skin had scars. I always my whole life joked you know, I look really good in low light. Really tried to keep the focus on like other parts of my body I felt good about but I, like, covered my face. It was really hard. It was really hard, it really affected who I thought I was and the value that I had as a person.

And I also will say to, like, in movies, nobody was, like, pockmarked skin. They're never, like, the good guys. They're always, like, the bad guys. Theyre always the people with, like, moral problems or character defects.

Scott Lew 0:53

I did feel like having acne made me lose some confidence. And I felt this embarrassment and fear of being judged for my appearance. You have this world telling you that if you look good, you feel good, and so on. And for me, I kept looking around at my, my family, my friends, and none of them had acne as bad as I did. And you begin to lose hope because of that, because it's just like, "Why am I the only one?"

Luckily, I was eventually able to break out of it, and I gained more confidence in myself as a person. I knew that my self worth was more than just my appearance. And you hear a lot of people say that like very often. But I honestly believe that people who have had severe acne are the most mentally resilient people that can actually live by that.

Anita Rao 1:44

That was Susan, then Scott, and this is Embodied. I'm Anita Rao.

My family didn't get a TV until I was in fifth grade. And even then, we never had cable. So my experience watching commercials was pretty limited until I got my own TV in my mid 20s. One of the first things that hit me aside from just how bad cellphone commercials are, was how many ads I saw related to acne.

Acne Commercials 2:14

Choose any supersize StrideX pad for simple pimple control. Dude, I need your help fast. Well, Clearasil's fast. Yeah, but is it this fast? Fix breakouts fast with Clearasil Ultra.

Anita Rao 2:28

Digital renderings of pores being cleaned out, celebrities now blackhead free, and dozens of people whose lives were radically transformed after starting to use x product. The message was clear. Your skin imperfections are a problem that you can and should solve. Your skin is everything. But what most people don't realize is that the healing actually starts when you realize that you are more than your pores. Take it from content creator Lavinia Rusanda.

Lavinia Rusanda 3:01

I used to really think that I would hate my scars forever that were left behind and I kind of, you know, grieved the skin I once had. But the more I think about it, you know, the scars remind me of the battles that I fought and that I've won, and I've been able to come out stronger at the other end and I think that's a really great model for anything you're going in through life.

Anita Rao 3:23

The term acne technically spans everything from one or two pimples to deep cysts and nodules that leave lifelong scars. The mini version of your skin science lesson is that acne starts when a hair follicle gets clogged by some combination of dead skin cells and oil, leading to bacteria growth that causes inflammation. When the wall of the clogged follicle finally breaks down, you get the acne lesions, which can look like a whitehead or blackhead or a deep cyst. There is no singular cause for acne, although hormones and genetics do play a part. While it's one of the most common skin conditions, it can have a major impact on someone's mental health and self esteem. Acne is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and social isolation. While we often talk about it as something that afflicts teenagers, the reality is much more complicated.

Patsy Chem 4:14

I had never experienced acne to this degree in my entire life, and around this time I was about 23 years old. So yeah, whenever I first started getting cystic acne, it was very, very new to me.

Anita Rao 4:25

That's Patsy Chem. Today, she's a UK-based skinfluencer and acne positivity content creator. But if you told her five years ago that tens of 1000s of people would see photos of her acne-ed face online, she would have been mortified. In her early 20s, she was navigating lots of stress and a hormonal roller coaster caused in part by surgery for ovarian cysts. In a matter of months, her acne got more and more intense.

Patsy Chem 4:51

I stopped recognizing myself and I had a lot of what you might even call like face dysmorphia. I had just kind of started a life kind of single and I moved in with my friends. So I definitely wanted to like really live life to its fullest. But at the same time, I actually just started experiencing cystic acne for the first time. And I remember not- just not recognizing myself in the mirror. I would kind of wear makeup every single day, like, to go to the shop or to see my friends or literally anything, I would always be covering it with layers of makeup because I just really couldn't accept what I was seeing. And when it came to take off my makeup at the end of the day, I have, like, vivid memories of kind of trying to make it nice for myself, like, lighting a candle and listening to music, because I just really couldn't bear seeing my face in the mirror with the, like, harsh bathroom white light. And I actually, yeah, I just really stopped recognizing myself without makeup on at that point, which was really difficult to deal with mentally.

Anita Rao 5:49

You mentioned that you were in a pretty social environment living with roommates, and in a relationship. How did your acne shape how you were showing up in those connections in those friendships.

Patsy Chem 6:00

I mean, it definitely made me a little more isolated. Like, I definitely said no to a lot of plans. I think I have tendencies to be introverted, but I'm also like a really sociable person. So that for me was super difficult, because I just really didn't feel like myself. And I felt like anytime I would go out, I think without realizing people sometimes do just kind of stare, even if they're your friends, or they're your relatives. Their eyes just kind of go there when you're talking. And sometimes I would like lose track of what I'm saying because I can just really feel them staring on my face. So sometimes I did just prefer to kind of spend time with my most closest friends, or even just by myself.

Anita Rao 6:00

You know, you were experiencing this very suddenly, a lot changed at once. And I know that you went on a journey of trying to understand what led to this. You experimented with so many different kinds of products and approaches to clear skin and your acne would get better for a period of time, and then things would change again. What was it like navigating that kind of roller coaster of something getting better, and then things really changing? How did you do that?

Patsy Chem 7:04

Well, I was definitely experimenting with a lot of different things. I think there came a point after like about two years where I sort of decided, like, listen, I'm gonna stop chasing this kind of idea of what I think my skin should look like. And just start really just trying to live more healthily on a more stress free lifestyle, and stop placing so much like emphasis on the actual condition itself. Because, you know, the truth is, sometimes people that are predisposed to acne will have acne for the rest of their lives.

And I think it's a question of like managing the acne, rather than trying to work against it all the time and trying to make it go away as such. So I think when I realized that it definitely became a lot easier, because I was less focused on, you know, getting rid of something, and I was just actually more focused on adding to my life rather than working against myself all the time. So I think that was what really helped me in the end.

Anita Rao 7:57

You also started a secret Instagram account in that period that your friends and family didn't know about. Tell me the story of creating that account, how that came to be.

Patsy Chem 8:06

Yeah, I mean, I think whenever I first experienced acne is when, I mean, kind of like anybody, you know, you'd really just run to the internet for answers, because I felt so isolated, and so alone. And I kind of remember discovering this, like, little community on online that would share, you know, their acne journey and things that helped them and tips and just kind of, like, a positive attitude towards acne. And that really resonated with me and actually really got me through a lot of tough times, because I realized that by following creators that talk about these kinds of things really kind of made me feel less alone.

So after a while of kind of trying to figure out what I'm doing with my acne, I thought it might be useful for people to kind of hear from me and get to, you know, share my journey with me. But I was also quite scared because I didn't want anyone, you know, finding out about this because I was obviously going to be putting myself out there quite a lot. And it was a really scary sort of thing to do for me. And then after a while, you know, more and more people kind of started to follow me and we kind of created this little community. So having this little pocket of, like, reality on the internet, it just was very, very wholesome for me.

Anita Rao 8:11

I know that when you first started posting publicly about your acne, you are especially nervous about how it might be received by your friends and community in Bulgaria. You're Bulgarian, but have lived in the UK since you were six years old. Talk to me about that fear and where that came from.

Patsy Chem 9:30

Beauty standards are quite high across the board, but I've definitely experienced a different kind of scrutiny back home. I think people maybe view acne in this way that's kind of, like, well, if you have acne, maybe you're lazy or maybe you like don't wash your face or maybe you're not feminine. And often I remember thinking I really didn't — I really wasn't comfortable with, like, talking about it with my friends and family. But whenever they did find out they were actually extremely supportive.

Anita Rao 10:04

Patsy's friends and family in Bulgaria showed up for her and what she was trying to do online. And while she hasn't seen a lot of other Bulgarian creators posting unfiltered images of themselves, she's found plenty of other folks. A few years ago, when she was scrolling on Instagram, one image started showing up everywhere. It's a close up portrait of YouTuber and influencer, Nazhaya Barcelona. She has visible acne on her cheeks and forehead. And while the photo has the lighting and aesthetic of a model glamour shot, you can tell that it's her real skin. Pores, scars and all. The person behind the lens, Peter DeVito.

Peter Devito 10:44

Back then there was basically no pores. Everything was very, like, smooth and unrealistic. So we wanted to create a beauty image that showed skin that was not retouched at all. And, like, even the makeup we didn't retouch in the image either.

Anita Rao 10:58

That photo is part of a series called the acne normalization project. It stemmed in part from Peter's own experience navigating on again off again acne starting in middle school. He remembers being told that acne is a puberty thing that he'd grow out of. And when he didn't, he started to wonder if there was something wrong with him in particular.

Peter Devito 11:18

I started that series when I was still in college. I started it when body positivity was huge, because I was so inspired by seeing how so many people were beginning to embrace how they look, despite whatever society standards were. And I just wanted to create some way that it would help people with skin conditions also feel empowered. So that was one reason I started it. And then the second reason was because I was working in the fashion industry. And I was noticing how a good number of models also struggle with acne. But you'd never know because so many images are heavily retouched. So I want to somehow bring that into it as well.

Anita Rao 12:00

You decided to post unedited photos of your own face as part of this project. What was that experience like for you to kind of turn the lens on yourself?

Peter Devito 12:10

Yeah, so I did that at the beginning because it was very hard to find models to participate in a project like that. Because it is something that's so vulnerable. So I mainly did it with myself, just to give them some examples of being, like, this is what the project would be like. But I was surprised it was very empowering to do it myself. And then to share it and find, like, a sense of community.

Anita Rao 12:35

There is this movement online of acne positivity and Patsy, you do use the acne positivity hashtag on your Instagram, but I've also seen you use the hashtag acne is okay. Which to me has kind of a different a different tone. I'd love to know more about the acne is okay movement and why you choose to use that.

Patsy Chem 12:54

I think when I first started posting, there was definitely a lot of, like Peter was saying, a lot of body positivity on social media and with that, obviously acne positivity. But sometimes I feel like with the positivity movements, they can definitely push this kind of narrative of, like, you have to be positive, like, 24/7. And I think that's quite an unrealistic standard in itself. Because when you're dealing with something that is obviously very, like, troubling to you mentally, if you're not positive 24/7 that can also feel like you're a failure, or you're not doing something right.

So whenever I post I kind of triy to be more mindful of that, because I remember around the same time, some people started using this kind of hashtag, I think it was actually neutrality. And that also resonated with me a little bit more because I thought, "Yes, okay, this kind of gives people the space to acknowledge that they have a condition, but also not hate themselves through it." So I kind of developed my own one, which is, like you said, acne is okay. And sometimes it's just okay. And other days I feel great. And other days, I feel not so great. So I think that's what I really wanted to kind of highlight with acne as okay.

Anita Rao 14:00

There is a lot of this kind of advice and unsolicited advice that people who post photos of themselves with acne get. Patsy I know that's been something that you have experienced. Talk to me about those and how you react to them.

Patsy Chem 14:12

When it comes to hate, like, I don't really respond to that, or it doesn't really make me feel any type of way. But I think I respond to ones that are, like, kind of trying to give me some sort of advice because it just feels like it's coming from a place of shame rather than help. And it's always this kind of, like, personal responsibility angle that is pushed on people with all types of conditions, but specifically skin conditions because they're so visible.

And I think people don't really realize that actually, a lot of the times skin conditions are just genetic or they're from stressful lifestyles or factors that we can't control. So I think those kinds of comments definitely make me feel some type of way because it's definitely not as simple as just putting one product on your face or changing one thing about your diet. Or, you know, it's the definitely like a much bigger issue that you want to address.

And oftentimes, like, addressing the issue itself is very costly and very difficult for people in different circumstances to actually be able to even afford to treat their acne. So I think a lot of the time, all of these kinds of things are forgotten about when people with acne are judged. So yeah.

Anita Rao 15:21

Yeah, I think that's a really interesting point, that kind of starting with the root belief that it is your responsibility really shapes how we treat people that are experiencing acne and how people with acne kind of think about their own role in finding a solution. Peter, how has your own thinking about that evolved? You've had acne in so many different stages of your life. Where are you with how you think about that now?

Peter Devito 15:46

Yeah, I've always thought it was kind of unfair. But, like, as I've talked to more people that struggle with acne, it just makes you realize how unfair it really is to put it on them personally, because you don't know the situations they're going through. Or, yeah, you don't know what their situation is.

Anita Rao 16:07

I know Patsy, you are now in the skincare influencing world and you've really seen it evolve from being a space where, you know, there isn't any representation of people with acne to now, where there is. But I'm curious about how you kind of, I don't know, like, deal with your own sense of power in that space. Do you have any reservations about being in the skincare influencing world as someone who knows just how different folks skincare needs are?

Patsy Chem 16:34

Yeah, I definitely feel like there's a lot of responsibility when it comes to people who are like myself in the skincare community, but also in the acne community, because there's so many products out there. Of course, a lot of them claim to do certain things but can have, you know, not the best effect. So I think whenever it comes to me, anyway, I always try to talk about the products that actually helped me, rather than following trends, and following, like, complex skincare routines, etc. Because I think that can do a lot more damage than good.

But I also think it's really important to go on websites like there's, like, a cosmetic analyzer website that's a free tool. And you can go on it and just analyze your own ingredients, and learn more about them. Because then you can really make like educated choices. And also, like, I think skincare companies, they also have, like, this responsibility on an even greater scale. Because a lot more companies nowadays, they do use models with acne or skin imperfections.

But I think we just have to be careful and realize that it is, of course, first and foremost, to make money. So we still have to be more critical of skincare companies in general. But I think what you can do for yourself as a consumer is definitely educate yourself. And I also think, like, less is more definitely with when it comes to your skincare routine. That's what I would say.

Kendra V Daniels 18:06

I have a tight knit circle of friends and family. So when I started dealing with hormonal acne, I only shared my struggle with a select few, which was my mom, sister and my boyfriend.

Despite the challenges, they were very supportive, they were always there to listen if I wanted to share. My boyfriend stood by me through the continuous breakouts and hyperpigmentation. We actually met the year that I started dealing with hormonal acne, so he hadn't known me before then. I thought it was really incredible how he was able to see the entire journey play out.

Lavinia Rusanda 19:02

Anytime that you have an insecurity that you view yourself as different from others, it affects how you see the people around you. And then in terms of relationships, it's always made me kind of nervous because think, you know, what is my partner gonna think of me? Are they still gonna find me beautiful? And kind of just taking down that boundary. And I would say, you know, with more time I've realized that, you know, the right person, the person that really loves you for you is not going to care about what your skin looks like. I definitely have come a long way with my relationship there in terms of how my acne has affected my exterior relationships.

Anita Rao 19:40

The struggle to get comfortable showing a partner your bare face is a recurring subplot in the stories of people living with severe acne. I read blog posts about elaborate routines people went through, from sleeping in a full face of makeup to showering on the other side of the house, so that there weren't moments where their naked face would be visible to anyone but themselves. This kind of secrecy is familiar to Cassandra Bankson.

Cassandra Bankson 20:04

You know, I can still count every single person that I've kissed on one hand, because of some of the things that were said to me by people that, you know, I liked when I was younger.

Anita Rao 20:09

Cassandra is a medical esthetician and model who has been creating videos on YouTube for more than a decade. She calls herself your acne big sister.

Cassandra Bankson 20:24

When I was growing up, I remember my first experience with acne, it was in the third grade. A classmate of mine named Carolyn pointed to my nose and she was like, "What is that? Is that a wart? Is it contagious?" So I went home that day. And I asked my mom, "What is this growth on the side of my nose?" And my mom said, "Don't worry, honey, it's not contagious. It's just a pimple, it'll go away." And little did she know it would take over, you know, my face and my social life.

Going throughout middle school, I was called names like freak of nature, pizza face, the walking infection. And I still get emotional talking about that, because I started to feel that that was my identity. But I also only was able to make friends with the few other people who had pimples. I wore a trench coat to school, even on 90 degree days just to hide my back acne. And it wasn't until I was older that I was able to realize this is normal. And it's okay to embrace and I don't have to hate myself for it.

Anita Rao 21:17

Your journey to being known online in the way you are today started with a YouTube video that is still online about you, you sharing your makeup routine to cover your acne. And you posted this at a time when you were simultaneously struggling with body image and trying to make it in the modeling world. Tell me about the duality of that moment in your life.

Cassandra Bankson 21:38

I believe it was the duality that caused me to post that. You know, on one hand, I had just gotten out of school and I was struggling with my skin. I hated myself in the mirror and I would pick at my acne until it scabbed and bled. But then I would cover it up with makeup. And in esthetics school, I learned techniques that made me so good at it, that people couldn't really tell that I had it. So I had this fake sense of confidence that I could kind of put on, you know, like an outfit or a coat when I left the front door every day. And in the modeling industry, it's no secret that there's lighting and Photoshop tricks. But I started to feel so uncomfortable when I would look at a magazine or a billboard, and people were calling me beautiful. But then I would look in the mirror and hate my face.

And I realized at that time, like, this makeup is what gets me through every day. And at the time, it was the only reason that I had confidence and that I was literally alive. And I thought if this was what helped save my life and helped give me hope, I'm sure there's someone else out there who's struggling with this. Doctors always told me other people get this, I don't see them, But maybe they're here on the internet. So I posted that video stripping down my skin kind of bearing everything in hopes that it would reach people who needed to see it. And I had no idea how many other people there were out there who were struggling with the same thing.

Anita Rao 22:57

How did being public about your acne shape your career as a model? It was something you were worried about when you posted that video, how did it turn out?

Cassandra Bankson 23:04

It was something that terrified me. And to this day, I say that it was the best and worst decision I've ever made. It actually ruined my opportunities in the modeling career. And I was so insecure about posting it that I had actually filmed a video before that, basically trying to do the video for the first time. And I deleted it because I couldn't bring myself to post it. So the video that's currently live, and that ended up getting nearly 30 million views, that was the second one I had ever filmed. And it took me six months after the first one to actually post it.

Now, not every single casting agent or photographer ended up seeing it. But those that did didn't want to book me. They were like, "Wait a second, we saw this online, is this you?" And then I would be dropped from gigs. And at the time I thought this was the worst thing ever. I thought I had ruined my chances of ever making it in the industry. And that's when my perspective started to shift. And I realized if this is the way the industry treats me and other people, is this really an industry that I want to be a part of? Or can I use this acne, that I just can't get rid of, and do something else with my life?

Anita Rao 24:13

That something else that Cassandra pursued was growing a platform to share her hard-earned beauty and skincare knowledge. After seeing more than 20 dermatologists and doctors and not finding lasting solutions for her skin, she had enrolled in beauty school to become a medical esthetician and learn more about biology and skincare on her own terms. Cassandra started posting videos to YouTube to share some of the things she learned in the classroom with a wider audience. But the deeper she got into the YouTube and content creator world, the more she started to notice an emerging trend.

Cassandra Bankson 24:49

Some of my other favorite content creators would start to use video filters. And to me it almost looked as if the video was Photoshopped. And I didn't know how to conceptualize it at the time. And that's kind of when I started to realize, oh my gosh. Of course there are filters in video just the way that photographers used to Photoshop me. And I personally see evolution as a good thing. And I think that any Photoshop or video editing or filter is a tool. But any tool can become a weapon if it's misused.

And so now where we have new social media platforms like Tiktok, where you know, there are filters basically built in, they can be a way to get creative and have creative expression. But if we're using them to modify our appearance, or rely on them for competence or self-esteem, that's when I do think it can become toxic. And I think that the best way to combat that toxicity is speaking about these things, respecting them as a form of art when necessary, but also showing real skin, showing real people with real struggles and how they have overcome those. Just so that we can help normalize those conversations and realize that humans by nature are not perfect, and that's okay.

Anita Rao 25:55

There isn't a lot of research yet on how filters change how adults see themselves. But the results are in for teens, and it's bleak. A 2021 survey of 200 teens aged 13 to 21 showed that folks who use filters weekly are more likely to want to have cosmetic surgery and alter their skin color. And 61% of the respondents said that filters contributed to negative body image thoughts. The fascinating thing is that even when we're fully aware an image has been altered, it can still negatively impact our self-esteem. One person who's helped Cassandra and embrace herself without filters: Peter.

Cassandra Bankson 26:33

I remember I was actually walking through New York City one day, and I ran into Peter. And honestly, Peter, you were one of the first photographers maybe out of 10 that actually took photos of me with my acne and with my skin and didn't retouch it, at a time that I was so used to being Photoshopped to smithereens. And for me being able to be celebrated in my skin and its natural beauty, realizing that, wow, my face and my scars have texture, just like a tree and its bark does. How can I hate that? And I think that education is so important for the youth. And for those who are any age in their life who are struggling with their skin. And being able to combat that through sharing reality is probably the best thing that we can do right now.

Anita Rao 27:17

Peter, you met Cassandra on the street, I'd love to hear your side of that story and what it was like to kind of create a safe space for someone to be photographed, who had long been Photoshopped, and her image had been treated in a certain way.

Peter Devito 27:30

It was extremely lucky. I was doing lots of research trying to find different models like with acne and people who were comfortable. And like I remember I saw a video of her removing all of her makeup. But when I looked her up, it said she was based in California. So I just ended up never reaching out to her. And then flash forward. Probably not even like a week later, I was walking to college because I went to college in New York City. And I was walking on my way to class and I saw her and I was kind of like taken aback because it was this weird, like, I see you on the computer screen. You're not a real person. But then I realized I went up to her. I talked to her like I told her exactly what I was doing. Like I showed her some samples of my work. And then we exchanged information instead of a shoot, I think for that same week. Yeah.

Cassandra Bankson 28:21

Oh, yeah.

Anita Rao 28:22

Cassandra what was it like for you to be photographed by a photographer that you knew was looking at skin and was looking at his own skin differently?

Cassandra Bankson 28:30

I mean, it was exhilarating. Even when Peter shared with me that he had had his own struggle with acne. I don't know if you noticed this, Peter, but I started to get a little choked up. Because I do feel like for those who have struggled with acne, there is that unspoken bond of knowing what it's like to feel judged or insecure.

And I remember Peter started taking out these stickers when we were shooting. And he specifically put the word retouch on my nose with a line through it. And that was so empowering to me, because it was literally speaking up about how it felt to be retouched as a model and how I didn't have a say over the way my final image was produced. And honestly, Peter, that was one of the defining moments for me, along with a couple of others that led me into being able to share so openly what I was going through online, and actually step away from the traditional modeling industry and step into, you know, the artistic industry in a way that actually embraces skin.

Anita Rao 29:24

So Cassandra, I know that you no longer post retouched photos of yourself, you've kind of posted a lot of these like before and after showcasing you know the difference and what that can look like. But you do still share tips for clear skin online. And I'm curious about how you draw the line between kind of promoting certain beauty standards and advocating for body acceptance as someone who has been in the throes of struggling and looking online and and seeing kind of how the online dialogue can kind of spiral.

Cassandra Bankson 29:52

I think this is such a great question that I and the teams that I've worked with have struggled with for so many years. You know, I've worked with doctors and dermatologists who help people with their skin conditions and diseases. But at the same time, they're trying to reassure people that they look good and support the fact that they don't need to have clear, perfect skin, you know, to be able to be successful in life and relationships and friendships.

The way that I started to approach it is I realized 16-year-old me wasn't online searching for how to love my skin, how to embrace my acne, how to love my scars. I was searching for how to cover this pimple, how to have clear skin, how to get that perfect glass skin. And I realized, I almost need to walk a fine line here of titling things and the ways that the algorithms of the internet will promote them. So that when people are searching for these things, they can find it from a trusted source who has gone through the research on the study. But then I can give them that information that they actually need, telling them that it is okay.

And if you are struggling with your skin, or your acne or your body, or your hair or anything else, I don't think it's a crime or an issue to want to change those things. However, I do think that we need to have a healthy relationship with our bodies and with our products, if we are consuming those things to make a change. And I believe in informed consent, meaning that somebody should have the information they need to make a choice for themselves, and consent to what they're putting on their skin or in their body.

And I will say there are still days where I struggle with wondering, "Am I giving unsolicited advice, am I really doing something good here?" But at the end of the day, I'm the person who has to go to bed with my head on the pillow at the end of the night. And there's a huge responsibility in that. And I keep reminding myself that this is what I wish 16-year-old me would have heard and it's packaged in a way that 16-year-old me would have been searching for. So for now, I hope that it's doing more good than harm.

Anita Rao 32:03

Embodied is production of North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC, a listener-supported station. If you want to lend your support to this podcast, consider a contribution at now. You can find out more about all of the guests we talked to today in the show notes of this episode.

And a special thanks to everyone else who contributed to today's show, including Susan, Lavinia Rusanda, Kendra Daniels and Scott Lew.

This episode is produced by Gabriela Glueck and edited by Kaia Findlay. Paige Miranda also produces for our show, Skylar Chadwick is our intern and Jenni Lawson is our sound engineer. Amanda Magnus is a regular editor and Quilla wrote our theme music.

Thank you for listening to Embodied, and as we near the end of the year, I want to thank you for spending some of your 2023 with us. If an episode we've done this year has touched or moved you in any way. it would mean a lot to us to know about it. Leave us a voicemail or send us an email right If you like the show, please spread the word in your own networks. Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to support this podcast.

Until next time, I'm Anita Rao, taking on the taboo with you.

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