Frankly, I don’t understand how anyone does it. Us women have more on our plates than ever before and we’re now expected to be Superwoman. Between the hectic work schedules, household chores, social obligations, and beauty routines, we simply can’t keep up with everything going on in the world or indulge in an afternoon of recreational reading without dropping some other ball. There’s not enough time in the day.
So, how do we make every second count? We multitask. Cram information into every available nook and cranny. Turn a quick shower or that long commute to work into something productive with an arsenal of podcasts that’ll help you sound like you had time to watch the news that morning.
If you should find yourself eating greasy pizza and drinking PBR at your local dive joint you’ll probably find a few intellects who’d love to discuss the evils of capitalism. A few episodes of Freakonomics Radio is plenty of prep to help you hobnob with the intellectual crowd. Yes, the writer of Freakonomics has his own podcast, and it isn’t for the faint of mind. Dubner and his band of well-trained and witty experts dispel many of the commonly held misconceptions about how health, political issues and other topics affect the capitalist economy. I personally have to be in the right mental space to truly absorb the posed problems and speculative solutions covered in every episode.
You have no idea what’s going on in the Middle East, or the latest advancement (or setback) in women’s health and rights? No problem! I rely on NPR News to keep me apprised of major national and international news and you should, too. The NPR network prides itself in being a highly credible and unbiased news source, something you don’t find in many other American networks. In the time it takes to wash your face and brush your teeth you’ll be up to date on the day’s issues and ready to face the office know-it-all.
TED Radio Hour
The TED Radio Hour is the best way to blow the socks off any beatnik who scoffs at your perfect manicure and killer loafers. Guy Raz guides you through the best clips from the TED stage, exploring mind-bending topics such as the impact of failure, the power of design and the fundamentals of beauty. It’s a really great way to gain insight into some of the most perplexing and amazing concepts in technology, engineering and design.
A Few Things with Claire and Erica
This marvelous podcast, from the exceptional curators for Of A Kind, discusses the type of fashion and beauty issues I imagine the typical Upper Eastsider struggles with on a daily basis. I know that conjures the image of spoiled rich ladies who brunch and complain about finding good help these days, but that’s totally not the case. While these women spend more on jewelry, floral arrangements and shoecare than I do, they’re advice comes from a genuine effort to share their tips to a life well-lived. If you believe in indulging in the little things, they have a great episode on winter legwear that inspired me to continue wearing dresses through this next winter.
I was born a die-hard beauty fanatic. My first hard-earned dollar was spent on a Nars Orgasm blush and a stack of teen beauty books. I no longer have the time to binge-watch 15 smokey eye tutorials and perfect my winged liner every day, but weekly Fat Mascara episodes has renewed my interest in the liberating and transformative powers of the beauty industry. Every episode leads to copious notes and frantic Google searches on my lunch break. I mean, these are the beauty editors of Teen Vogue and Marie Claire… they know what they’re talking about.
Pop Fashion is the fashion equivalent of Fat Mascara: thoughtful, timely news about the mergers, trends, and emerging designers. As a consumer and future fashion/beauty professional, I find all aspects of the industry endlessly fascinating. Lisa and Kaarin manage to pull together some of the best tidbits on how fashion influences pop culture, the economy, politics and society. This podcast manages to hit that sweet spot between marketing and consumerism. If you’ve ever caught yourself looking at an ad and saying “I see what you did there… that was pretty smart,” you’ll love Pop Fashion.
On a more flowery note, there are podcasts that are just… fun. Still Buffering is an amazing podcast about how teenagers “teen” through the ages. Rileigh Smirl is currently wading through the choppy waters of teendom while Teylor and Sydnee, her two thirty-something sisters, reminisce about what it was like to be a teen years ago. I was born in the early 90s, which was a perfect time to experience a lot of the fashion, technology and pop culture from both eras. For example, I remember having a trapper keeper and a binder full of CDs, but I also remember being too cool for backpacks and and illegally downloading music onto my first iPod (which was a second generation iPod nano).
Seriously, adding a few podcasts into your daily routine will aide in everything from finding random historical facts that turn you into the coolest person at a party to keeping up with the latest trends. Turn these amazing podcasts on when you have a spare mental moment (doing laundry or the dishes) and you’ll have plenty of fodder for your next human encounter….whenever that may be.