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June 9, 2022 38 mins

Jess Weiner is a cultural thought leader who has worked with thousands of individuals and advised companies such as Unilever, Mattel, Warner Brothers and Nike. She has been behind culture-changing moments from Dove’s campaign for “Real Beauty” to the evolution of Barbie. 

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
I'm Sam Edis and I'm Amy Nelson. Welcome to What's
Her Story? With Sam and Amy. This is a show
about the world's most remarkable women, their professional and personal journeys. Together,
we'll hear from gold medalists, best selling authors, and leaders
of the world's most iconic brands. Listen every Thursday or
join the conversation anytime on Instagram at What's Her Story Podcast.

Jess Weiner is a cultural thought leader who has worked
with thousands of individuals and advised companies like Uni, Lever, Mattel,
Warner Brothers, and Nike. She's been behind culture changing moments
from Dove's campaign for Real Beauty to the evolution of Barbie.
What is the part of your career that you're most
proud of. That's a hard one because all the things

that I've gotten to be a part of Amy have
come at very different parts of my life, so they're
connected to certain kinds of memories or moments for me. Right,
So maybe there's two I think that really stand out
because I've seen the impact largely in culture. Right, So,
when I started talking about beauty and stereotypes in the

media and the impact of that on the confidence and
self esteem of girls and women. I think one of
the programs I'm obviously most proud of is helping to
build the Dove Self Esteem Project and the curriculum work
that we've done now to over eighty two million girls
around the world, like Doves become the largest distributor of
free self esteem content in the world. And so that

changed me and shaped me because I got to see
the power of the scale of the work, right and
you know, I was one person as a playwright and
as an educator doing this work well before I ever
fell into the brand space, and then with a partnership
with the brand, and it's been on now for seventeen years,
so it's not was not a one and done relationship.
I'm still working with them this many years later, longer

than my marriage. And so I think the other thing
I'm most proud of is, you know, changing Barbie's body
and working with you know, companies like Mattell or Disney
on changing the way we see Princess and the way
we see Barbie, because they were such lightning rods for
conversation and culture and rightfully so, there was a lot
of not great representation in those brands for young people

and That was a harder relationship for me to enter
into because I was questioning how much impact I could
really have. And then I've seen some tremendous growth come
from that, you know, in changing the doll and changing
the conversation, but most importantly maybe changing the way kids
see themselves in the work, which is always my goal.
I work on behalf of the you know, people consuming

the messages. The partners that are brands are just that
for me, their partners, but my real my real client,
um are other people talk to us about how you
sigh yourself as a kid. Well, I think that's a
big impetus as to why I do this work, Sam,
because I loved media as a kid. I grew up
in Miami, Florida in the A, so everything for me was,
you know, just a frame that the moment was Miami

Vice and blonde, bouncy beach babes. And you know, it
was the eighties so waterfall bangs were really in and
I had like this crazy jew frow that didn't do
much and I was like really struggling with my ethnic
ambiguity and like how I you know, how I showed
up in culture. So as a little kid, I loved TV.
I even loved commercials. I was obsessed with who got

to be on TV and who made those decisions, like
who got to tell those stories, because I've always been
a storyteller as a kid. But I had a real
rough intersection of loving the medium and then also being
very well aware that like girls like me didn't show
up in that medium, not in the magazines they read,
not in the TV that I consumed, you know. And
I grew up at home with a mom who also

very eighties, was on every diet known to humankind, and
was had been also indoctrinated with her own you know,
body image messaging. So I got that passed down to
me as far as like an emphasis on thinness and
beauty and a similating to kind of popular culture views
of beauty. And so I struggled quite a bit as
a kid with reconciling this insane creativity and curiosity I

had and then trying to figure out how I could
put it out in the world. And so much of
being a girl in the world still is about being
validated on your attractiveness and your appearance, and so, you know,
then it was just a lot harder because I didn't
have any framework to know what was going on. You
wrote about this time in your book A Very Hungry Girl.
It was a very dark time for you a lot

of that era. Can you share with us what it
was really like, because I'm sure also a lot of
our listeners have children that are going through challenges. Now.
I really had a very close relationship with my mom
growing up, but I think within that closeness there was
a lot of amishment around the things that she had
struggled with as a young person and then as an

adult and hadn't done a lot of work on herself before,
you know, and as she was raising kids. Just wasn't
that generation that went to therapy that really looked inwards.
So I absorbed a lot of that messaging. Like I
grew up in a family where we did group diets,
you know. My dad was on a diet, my mom
was on a diet. We had a little chart, you know,
in our bathroom where people logged their weight publicly. But

it was so normalized for me. It was just what
I thought you did, and I thought when you got
into puberty, because this was the big message for me. Right,
I wasn't a kid who grew up with a weight problem.
That's the irony of this, and that's maybe why I
would say sam I wrote that book first was to
kind of talk to both parents and kids and say,
what you maybe innocently thinking is good advice for your daughters,

if it's not examined on its own merit of health
and wellness, like, can be very damaging. Because my mother
didn't want me. She was overweight as a kid. I
was not, but she didn't want me to go through
what she did. So it was this preventative measure right
from her to say, we're going to start you on
a diet. When I started to develop hips and breasts
and like started to put on a little bit of weight.

But I look back at those pictures and I think,
oh my god, I was just going through puberty. I
wasn't like you know, and and even if you do
have an obese kid, or you've got a kid who
carries extra weight on their frame, like, the manner of
the conversation was never an affirming one about my body
image and navigating my hunger and my puberty and my growth.
It was all this very intense shame around being heavy,

taking up space, wanting to be accepted and approved of
on the outside world. So I think for me, UM,
I started you know, developing and eating disorder late middle school,
high school for sure. That lasted you know, well into
my twenties, and um, you know, was a result of
a lot of this messaging both at home and I

think obviously out out in the world. UM. And it
wasn't until college that I went into like recovery for
it or treatment for it, that I actually really had
a framework of understanding how much I had absorbed from
my mother's unmet needs and unmet pain around this shoe.
And it's really hard because for many years I wanted
to just you know, blame and I think we all

go through this period where you have an awareness and
you want to keep it on our parents. And I,
you know, I've been in therapy for quite some time.
I've done a lot of healing around it. Still have
a lot more to do, but I get it more
now that she was coming from a place that she
could only come from, and that was you know, her
own misinformation and pain as a kid in doing that.

So I think that fueled for me why I want
to work on the systemic change, not just broadly out
in culture, but in how we engage in our families too.
What is your relationship to your body today? We've gone
on such a journey together, me and this beautiful body
that is now in full blown perimenopause, y'all. So here's
the beautiful part of it. Is, like I'm talking to

you all about like my puberty days, which now are
like so far in my rear view mirror, and I'm like,
holy crap, nobody prepared me for like late forties perimenopause
and all of the shifts that are happening there. But
I will say that I'm the healthiest I've been both physically, emotionally,
mentally spiritually that I've ever experienced in my journey in

this earth so far. And that's come from a long
fought battle with like both the mental unwellness of an
eating disorder and the long lasting effects of diet culture
in this country, and also new things that get to
pop up when you unpack something like inn eating disorder.
You know, it's not just about what you're eating or

not eating, or obsessing about weight. It's a it's a metaphor,
it's a euphemism for so much more. And I it's
like women, it's we're not allowed to take up space.
That's very still very scary, still very damaging. And even
though we've got lots of raw, raw confidence messaging, which
I'm highly aware of, at the end of the day,
the world doesn't reward confident women. They just don't. Still

it's still a liability to be a confident woman. Even
though we tell our girls that's what we want them
to be, the world is still not set up, I
think to fully accept and embrace the complexity of a
woman who loves herself and who takes up space. And
I think those are the things I now grapple with
as I have age and wisdom under my belt. Is

you know, reassigning my values like learning to heal and
let go, but also learning more what's really important to
me and taking up space and being seen is really
important to me. But I had to do that for
me first. When I was a kid. I did that
with regard to like a physical facade, like if you
complimented me, then I felt seen on these very surface

kind of symptoms. And now I'm I'm interested in a
different kind of relational piece and all of that, I
guess goes back to the question about my body. Because
this is the suit of which I walk through the
world in. And you know, and now I have a
different relationship and caring for me and as such, caring
for my for my body in different ways and for
different reasons. How do you start from a very early

age instilling a love of your body at an says,
I think that comes from being living your own healing
at any stage of which you're at as a parent.
It's if you haven't started looking at it yet, then
let this conversation be the wake up call for thinking
about that. It doesn't mean you have to parent from
a place of perfection. We know that that's impossible and

and unnecessary even in this conversation. But what I wished
I would have had from my mother was transparency in
her real journey about where she was at. My mother
just wasn't hadn't done any exploration about the diet messaging
and the abuse that she had put her body through,
and was parenting from that place. And so I would

say the biggest advice is, you know, get conscious of
your body beliefs and your body biases. You know, if
you proposed to have at home this like body free
talk where you know you're not talking about weight with
your kids, but you're in the car with them and
you're talking about wait on the phone with your friend
that they're overhearing, or you're commenting on a stranger passing by.

Like they pick up on all of it, not just
the direct messaging. And so I would say it requires
a real sense of awareness and grace because I do
talk to tons of moms every day who are like,
you know, want to be better for their kids, and
I'm always like, be better for you. Your kids will
pick up on what that means to do that right,

and I think that's most important. So for me, it's
about starting conversations, not having the perfect conversation about body image.
Is it possible to go from insecure two super confident?
Do you think that's something we can do? Yeah, but
I I do. But I also think those are not
like stations for arrival their manners of traveling. I think

everybody has moments of insecurity and moments of confidence, So
I would I would encourage us to not think about
them as stationary elements of being, Like, right now, you
might be in an insecure faces in your life, whether
you're you know you're twelve or your forty two, Like
insecurity is a natural human experience and doesn't have to stay.
And I think and confidence can also be a natural

human experience but doesn't always stay. So I love to
talk about emotions as energy in motion. They move through
your body, they move through your life. It's like they're
not stationary, they're fluid and flexible. And I think if
we could develop a emotional literacy around that, amy it
would be helpful for us to recognize that these moments

they happen, they're real, we can feel them, we can
experience them, and then we can move on from them,
so we don't stay stuck in that label. So when
you ask can you move from insecurity confidence, I mean
I could do that in one day. I could do
that in one morning, like depending on the circumstance, you know.
So I think it's important to know it's all within us.
All of it is within us, and none of it

is based on external things. We might think it is right,
We might think, well, I'll be confident when I have
this or reach at or have this goal met. But
you we all know this, We know incredibly successful people.
That does not guarantee their happiness or confidence. So it's
really an inside job and now a quick break. Are
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you have basically been an entrepreneur throughout your entire career,
starting in your twenties, and you've reinvented yourself and your
direction many times. What have you learned about entrepreneurship and

and what are your sort of thoughts on entrepreneurship today?
You know, I wish I had a community like the
both of you. When I was twenty one and deciding
to start a business. Without even knowing the term entrepreneur,
I just knew I was a highly I was a
highly educated person who didn't like any of her job
prospects like I was a creator who had three degrees

from university that guaranteed me literally to make no money
because they were all liberal arts degrees that I loved,
and there wasn't a career path forge that was like
combining theater and women's studies and social issues. So I
was like, how does one make this? And what I
will say is the solo entrepreneur journey for me, which
started at twenty one and I'm now forty eight, so

I've been doing this my entire career. I've never worked
for anybody else, um, except for a retail company I
worked with for four days selling clothes and then I
had to I had to leave that job. But that
was my only experience like four days. And here's the
story I don't often tell. That was at a company
called u ner and you know, which was then owned

by the Limited, and I was selling clothes. But I
was a terrible like floor person because I was in
the dressing rooms talking to women who were having breakdowns
about their bodies more than I was out on the floor.
And while I was in a dressing room with a
young girl and her mom during back to school shopping,
somebody stole four leather coats off the floor. What I
wasn't looking, and so I think my career in retail

was going to be limited no matter what, because my
heart was in helping in a different way than selling.
I mean, turns out they actually bought a lot of
clothes after our confidence pet Hawk in the dressing room.
But I was not destined to be a store manager
in that way. But I you know, what I learned
about entrepreneurship is that it's really lonely if you don't
tap into community. And I know, for me obviously, because

I was doing this in the you know, early nineties
and two you know, and and didn't have like we
didn't have the Internet. I didn't have the connection to community.
I didn't have a framework of entrepreneurship. And what I
was actually doing was quite brave and awesome. I did
it as a survival technique. I mean, I I've always
figured out how to make money doing what I love.
I will find. I understood the relationship as like finding

my audience, figuring out how to you know, that transactional
experience of like what's the need? And so when I started,
I started as a nonprofit theater director and I made
up that company by getting a grant for five thousand
dollars from a pharmaceutical company who had like issued an
arts grants program, and I I applied, I got it,
and then I started a company on five thousand dollars

and had no idea like how do I that you
should match it, that I needed to raise more money.
I just started doing it and figuring out as I went.
So I think three big things would be it can
be really lonely, and sometimes it still is really lonely.
I think, you know, I'm captain of my own ship here.
I have a really wonderful team. But as you said,
I reinvent all the time, and that can feel so

scary and inconsistent, and and I'm always questioning, am I
you know? A good leader? Am I supposed to be
this way or that way? So there's a lot of
lonely and is there? But the other two things I'll
say is there's incredible I love the excitement of the
hunt of being an entrepreneur and onto innovating and creating
and the freedom and flexibility to do that. And then

the third piece I'll say is I'm a problem solver,
and entrepreneurship lets me experience that. Like I like to
continue to explore ways to be part of the solution
when I see something that's there. So it's a it's
a mixed bag, you know for me unfortunately, like I
don't think there's anything else I'm really designed to do.
But um, you know, even knowing that it's it's still

you know, it's an up and down journey, as you
both well know, how do you build your life independent
of expectations or the way other people do it? Or
you know, how do you avoid falling into that trap
over and over again? Whether or not it's it's about
falling into thinking I need to do it in a
certain way that people do it. For me, it's more
about what level of success and what kind of success

am I really like looking to create? Eight? What does
success look like for me? Um? Because I can tell
you at a time in which my company was the
most profitable, I was the most miserable personally and having
the deepest health crisis mentally, because I was building a
business that looked great on the outside to other people
and was shiny and had all the attributes that got

the accolades, But it was not born from where this
work is born from for me, which is relationships and
problem solving and being creative. I had lost that and
so no amount of money I've now discovered is worth
that kind of feeling. And now I've redesigned the company
and I'm out of space again where I am incredibly
aligned and profitable and growing. And it's different because I

grounded it in values that were important to me, and
I did things that the old entrepreneur and boss and
me would have never done, Like permanent half day fridays
for us is just one example that happened, especially during
the pandemic, where we were just like we all needed
two and a half day weekends. It's minor, but it's major.
When you're a small gamen, you're at the beck and
call of big clients, like choosing that was important, or

putting mental health and wellness first and designing my business
around what that meant for me and then there for
my employees. So those things now are my guide posts,
and I think that's what helps me amy stay more
centered on my definition of success versus blindly sort of
going out there and trying to emulate a model that's
not mine. I have an I P business. I'm not

selling gidgets and gadgets like that's not my my main
UM connective point, and so in order to protect that
i P, I had to protect the body, the life,
and the world at that i P lives in. Talk
to us about your journey to romantic success. Well, Sam
knows my amazing partner in life that I didn't marry

until I was forty years old. My husband's name is
Philippe and UM. I met him in my late thirties,
and so my journey to UM, to the romantic partnership
of my life is UM. It's such a great journey
because ultimately, I would say to anybody listening, UM, partner
did not come in the package that I had thought.

You know, my partnership would come in as we hear
all the time, and in some ways, I feel quite
like a cliche. I had been in love with other people,
I'd been in long term relationships, and I would always
hear people's health stories about the moment they knew they
were in love and like boo, like you know, and
I was like, well, I've loved people and I've been
in love, and then I had that moment with my husband.

We we knew each other casually. I was actually engaged
to somebody else for a very short period of time
on the path to becoming a step mom, and really
discovered that I loved the kid more than I loved
the guy, and so had to extricate myself from that
because that's not a fair scenario for anybody, And was
of course heartbroken more for the girl than the person,

and was in this space of real um reclamation of myself.
So I took a year off from dating and took
a year to do all kinds of things. I took
pole dancing classes and writing classes, and I was in
a ladies rock band for a minute, Like I did
all the things that were like, you know, my new
renaissance of being. And I had known Felipe casually for
a couple of years and um, and then we came

back into contact together and never thought about him in
that capacity. My husband is a beautiful woodworker and artist,
and we went he came over and made dinner, and
I remember sitting at the table with him and I
had that loves moment. I had that moment where he
was talking and I had all these feelings that were
very unfamiliar to me, even as a thirty seven year

old woman who had been in relationships before I was like, Oh,
my god, is this it is this what people are saying?
And then fast forward we eloped six months later and
uh and indeed was a Now we're we're going on
nine years of marriage and and it's incredible. And my
you know, the thing I'll say to my husband's from Mexico.
English is his second language, and he married a professional

communicator in this language. And there is nobody better who
can speak to me with me uh and connect h
than my husband. Even with the language differences that we have.
He is so supportive and your relationship is so strong,
and I've seen you to in action. I think one
of the things that when you just said he didn't

come in the package expected or he wasn't the package,
I was, can you elaborate on that, because I think
that so many of us get caught up in the package. Well,
I mean he, first of all, you know, we have
wildly different you know background, So he, you know, grew
up in Mexico, had been in this country for about
almost eighteen nineteen years by the time we met, you know,

worked at a completely different industry, had just had different
life experiences like he. I think, you know, if if
my if my socialized way of thinking about relationships would
have had it, I wouldn't have been looking for somebody
who we weren't in the same industry together, Like I
would have imagined that we would have had nothing in common, Sam,
Like what would we pass able get to connect on?

And then what's interesting is because I love people and
I love talking to people. We've always maintained this. The
first time I ever met him, we had this beautiful
spiritual conversation about sage and energy and saging a room,
you know, and I'm definitely into all that, you know,
great wu wou stuff, and and he asked me questions
about it. We had this beautiful conversation, and I remembered
that when we got reconnected again, that there was something

that was just delightful to be curious about with him,
Like he just kept surprising me. And I remember, like,
you know, I will say one thing about my husband,
although now the situation is different. I was, you know,
I was already pretty successful in my business and he
was starting a new one and we were financially not
on the same level. And I remember calling, you know

and talking to my dad about how I wanted to
marry and like, you know, I was just so crazy
about him. But you know, I think I was feeling like,
oh my god, should like he have more money? Should
I be like, you know, is that a concern for me?
And I remember my dad saying, you know, this is
like life changing, So shout out to Michael Weener. But
what he said was a man's bank account is mutable

and changeable, but his character is not. And he said,
you know, if he's a good person and a kind
person and you love him and he's your partner, his
bank account can change over time, but those other qualities
are much harder to change or shift in a person.
And what it did was give me perspective, and I think,
in some ways permission. And I don't mean that in

like super patriarchical sense, but I do mean it in
a sense of like social expectations to kind of say, yeah,
we're gonna we're gonna enter this life together. And we're
on so many levels compatible, but we're not compatible financially.
And now we're much closer to that piece together and
his business has grown wildly. But it was, you know,
I felt like, oh my gosh. You know, it's always

been so forced down our throats that we need men
to save us, save us financially, provide for us in
all of these ways. And my husband and I have
very flipped under rolls at home, like he is the maker,
the baker, the cook, the cleaner, the you know, I
am the finances and the negotiating of home stuff and

like other things. And we work incredibly well like that.
Nobody wants to see me cook and I don't want
to see him do our bills like that. It's like,
you know, and but like and that is also why
I knew he was my partner, because we could design
a life based on our strengths as people and not
fall into those gender roles. And now a quick break,

talk to us about your decision not to have children.
I've known for quite some time. I think that being
a mom was not on my to do list. There
were lots of things that I dreamed and aspired to be.
But and I love kids. Obviously built a whole career
talking about youth issues and caring about kids. And I think,
you know, for me, I got clear on that when

I didn't marry the guy, I thought I would make
a great step mom because I want to, like, I
want to get in there and co help and coach
and love and support, but having that be a predominant
identity for me was not of interest. And there's not
a lot of places that you can talk about that
without getting either a lot of judgment or a lot
of grief for a lot of pressure, and so I

think I just have avoided having that conversation. And when
I met Philippe, Philip based five years younger than I am,
and I knew and you know, he came from a
culture and a family that has a very big emphasis
on children. And I remember saying to him on our
first date that night where all the love bells went
off for me, like part of those love bells was

I said to him, I just want to tell you upfront,
like I'm interested in being a global parent. I want
to have access of wealth and resource and love and
energy to give to lots of kids. I don't want
to raise my own. And I don't know how that
sits for you. And I remember he said like he
kind of looked at me and was silent for a minute,
and I was really scared that that was a deal

breaker for him, And he said, I never thought I
would meet somebody who said that in the way you did.
I feel the same way. I love my nieces and nephews,
but I don't want to be a parent. I want
to be giving back up, but I want to live
my life in a certain way. There's some healing I
want to do, There's some things that I want to do,
and so we've really anchored our relationship around that global

parenting philosophy. We have a girls school in Guatemala that
we're deeply engaged with for indigenous youth, and we give
a lot of time and resource and energy there. We
have ten nieces and nephews who get to be doated
on and spoiled like crazy. I get to show up
and buy cupcakes and bake goods from your kids and
love to support all these kids like that energy and
resource for me has been such a beautiful part of

my life, but has also had the shadow side of, Uh,
you know your credibility as a woman, you know your
place in this culture. And I think now we have
more conversations around child free and auntie supremes and all
these sorts of phrases, you know, But early days I
remember being like, oh, I definitely want to be more
like Oprah than I do any of my you know, parents, friends,

with regards to her ability to have resource, and I
remember Oprah very candidly saying there's no way she would
be the Oprah we know if she had children of
her own, and some of those gender roles around marriage
and raising kids like that sort of issue can be prohibitive.
And so I love where I'm at now. It's been

a huge journey to get there and to feel comfortable
saying it without apologizing for it as a person. I mean,
I think I even did that a little bit when
I was like, and I love kids like somehow, I've
got to make sure people know that my choice and
not have kids doesn't mean I don't like them. It
just means I know, for me, I am better suited
to be a support system to kids broadly than I

am to individually raising humans. Oprah always it's kind of
like the world Mother, right, Like it's it's very similar
ethos to yours death. But that upset a memory for me,
which is that you almost became the next Oprah. I
still every time I'm around you, I still think you
still could be well. I love that Sam has definitely
been my one of my earliest and most fervent champions,

and for that I will ever be ever be grateful.
I mean, Sam and I got together in my mid
to late twenties when I wrote my first book and
and and got to be on Oprah, which was obviously
a dream come true. And you know, and I did.
I wanted to be the love child of Oprah and
Donna Hue, and in many ways I still do. I
like being a provocateur of conversation and dialogue. I think
a lot of things have happened over the course of

my career. Technology and media has changed quite a bit
from the days that I grew up watching Oprah and
Donna Hue. Certainly the talk format has changed, so you're right,
podcasting is bringing me back to the closest like degree
that I can of of of a talk show, of
of a community of conversation. I would say, outside of
just having a podcast, one of the spaces I'm really

excited about right now is combining all of my brand
strategy work with podcasting. So I've been able to launch
a couple of branded podcasts, one of them with Shonda
Rhymes and Shonda Land that was connected to Dove and
the work that we do on self esteem there. We
just launched the American Girl Podcast Network, which will be
the first time a kids content company has their own network,

you know, and and be able to bring that I
p to life for girls. As part of my work
as a strategist, I review people's campaigns and scripts and
movies and TV shows all the time, and I would
be lying to say, I don't still have the itch
of how do I put my own work out there?
How do I get back to developing my own voice.
I've been behind the scenes for quite some time in

some of the biggest campaigns, but I miss I miss
being in front of them. And it's scary because it's
very easy to critique somebody else's work and helps drive
something strategically, then to risk and put things out in
the world on their own. But I'm at that intersection
of taking that risk right now. So we developed a
production company. We're producing you know, branded podcasts and shows

that I think will be hopefully um opening up conversations
in the way that I first intended when I was
at Playwright trying to sell close at the mall and
not you know, not not finding that hit there. I
think talking to people and using the technology that's available
now is is what I'm really excited about exploring. Sam.
Should we go to the speed Round? Sure? Go ahead.

What book are you reading? I just finished Molly Shannon's
Hello Molly Autobiography and it was bab I didn't know
anything about her personally, love her obviously as a performer,
But what I loved about Molly in that book was,
and I hope I'm not giving I don't think I'm
giving anything material away, but she just talked about an
attitude and a philosophy of raising her kids and teaching
them about how you respond to a situation is really everything.

And she tells this great story of responding to something
that could have gone one way very differently, and in
turn kind of taught her kids about the adventure when
things don't go your way and how that's actually more
of an adventure than like a downturn. And I swear
to you that has stuck with me. I think about
it because I think it's not just a great herating attribute,
but for me, it was just a great reminder of

like the things that you don't think, you know, the
disappointments that you have, don't have to be disappointments. They
could be Adventures onto the Next So I love that book.
Who is the client that you haven't worked with but
you're dying to? I like the challenge of like a
really historically male dominated space. So I'm going to say
auto maybe like the car space I think is really

interesting because cars are not typically designed for women or
women's bodies. So I would love I probably that's a
that's a space to to explore. Who leaves you starstruck?
I would say maybe the closest has been Barack Obama,
Like I think that kind of energy. Maybe I've been
in a room where he is and like I think

that maybe was the time I was like a little
bit of a gawker. What's your morning routine? So a
big part of my mental health journey has been this
health transformation that I've had in my life. I've gotten
really more fit and connected to exercise as a way
of of self preservation and and well being. So I

work out almost every day doing a couple of different things.
But I'm a boxer and I love boxing. I've done kickboxing,
but I'm really training and boxing and I'm I don't
know if that I'll ever do, Like I don't know
that I'll ever go into a ring actively, but I
do boxing a couple of days a week, and that's incredible.
So I do that at like really early in the morning.

I wake up very early, probably like four or five AM.
That's when I get a little bit of my own
meditation and regrouping time. I've got animals, so I take
care of them. I love a good morning cup of
coffee at five and then I'm working out and then
I go jump into the day. Well, Lou Burns has
been listening to our conversation and he comes in at

the end of every episode with the male perspective. So
my own person at journey, my my daughter recently admitted
that she struggles with her own confidence past her beauty. Right,
um and uh. And I was literally left flabbergastic because
if one, I'm a male, and I don't I don't
struggle with those things anymore. But I know that sometimes

the application for a male is not always trans transferable
to a female. So how would I how should I
navigate that? How old is your daughter? She should be
fourteen in a few days. So one thing we might
want to talk about is better understanding her relationship to
the compare and despair that kids at that age have,

especially from social media. Um, I don't know if taking
it away completely might solve that because she's gonna get
There's also then the reverse kind of fomo of it all,
where that's a lifeline for community for kids right now,
whether we understand it or not as adults like that
is their currency of connection, especially during COVID. So just
something to park and think about for a second is

just like how might you be able to integrate it
in a healthier way. But the thing that I would
say is regardless of social media, because that's only an
effect of a bigger symptom, right The bigger symptom is
there's something inside of her that feels like she's not
enough or not good enough or is And I think
what could be interesting is to explore for her, if

you have not already, like what she thinks beautiful? Is
what are the attributes of people that she finds beautiful?
You know? And don't be afraid to get curious about that.
You know, if she says, well, I don't know so
and so at school is beautiful, okay, tell me more
about why? What is it? Tell me is it? You know?

And then let it be less about you solving her
problem and more about you exploring with her where her
point of view is coming from, where her view of
herself is stemming from. I just find sometimes girls talking
code at this age right there, emulating things that they've heard.
They're repeating to you things that they feel, but they

might not fully understand them themselves. So instead of reacting,
which I know parents want to do because we want
to fix and solve and heal and stop that, let
the door open for the feeling to be there for
her and don't try to fix her, but try to
understand that. And I know kids don't love to be
asked a lot of questions. And I don't know your daughter,
so it might need to take a couple of ways

to get in there with her. But I think one
thing I would say is um is get curious about
why she might feel this way versus taking it at
face value. I think there might be more learning you
could have about her by hearing why she's feeling and
struggling with her appearance. That was a refreshing talk. I

love talking with Jess. You know amy fun fact, when
I had my personal branding firm a bazillion years ago,
Jeff Weiner was one of my first clients, so I've literally, yes,
I have known Jeff forever and her family forever. And
I will say the first time I ever met her,

she walked into the room and just give everyone a hug,
and no matter who you were, you fell in love
with her. And I think she just has that gravitational pull,
that it factor that is so rare. I could see
that I would love to meet her in person. Her
energy is kind of infectious. And I loved hearing her
story about love because I think, you know, we don't

often get to hear those unconventional, unexpected moments happening to
women post that like traditional, oh you're twenty eight or
thirty and met your husband and had three kids, right Like,
it's there's so many variations of a story, and hers
was beautiful. Yeah. I loved hearing what her father said,
the advice he gave her, and I love the fact

that she said he didn't arrive in the package she expected.
And I think so many people, especially women, cling to
that package of what they think it should look like
when love hits them, and it's a lot more messy
and unexpected than that. And I think the more you
leave yourself open to that, the more likely you are
to find that love. Thanks for listening to What's Her

Story with Sam and Amy. We would appreciate it if
you leave her review wherever you get your podcasts, and
of course, connect with us on social media at What's
Her Story podcast. What's Her Story with Sam and Amy
is powered by my company, The Riveter at the Riveter
dot c O and Sam's company, park Place Payments at
park place Payments dot com. Thanks to our producer Stacy

Parra and our male perspective Blue Burns
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