February 18, 2021
Liz speaks with Refinery29's Global Editor-in-Chief, Simone Oliver, about her new role, why she always gives people the benefit of the doubt, and how going to an all-girls school and then attending Howard, a historically black college, shaped her approach to her career and motherhood. She also offers tips on maternity and postpartum style, talks about her postpartum body, and explains why it is so important to embrace the transformation of motherhood through fashion.
Liz Tenety: You know, I have found before and after motherhood, that the kinds of things that I feel good in are totally different. Before I became a mom, I had a tiny waist. I was always curvy on the bottom, but I had a tiny waist and I gravitated towards figure hugging tops that show that off. And after I became a mom, I noticed that my body didn't actually go back to the way that it was before. I had this idea that I would go through pregnancy and then I would go through postpartum and then I would go back.
But your body changes and everything I was wearing also needed to change because I was breastfeeding. So, I was looking at clothing in a whole new way. And I distinctly remember after my first child was born, one of our very first outings was to TJ Maxx to find breastfeeding-friendly clothing in a larger size that made me feel good.
I was actually going to go back to the office while I was on maternity leave. And I wanted to find something that I felt good in when my body had changed. And what I picked out was this cowl-neck sweater. I could pull it down to breastfeed my son, if I needed to and it kind of draped in this perfect way. Although it's not like my favorite piece of clothing I've ever owned, it was the first time that I kind of made peace with the way that my body changed and felt good. I think clothing can be a metaphor for the new ways that we live, the new ways that we fit into the world when we're mothers.
Liz Tenety: Hey mama. Welcome to The Motherly Podcast where we have honest conversations about modern motherhood. I am Liz Tenety, the co-founder of Motherly and I am a mom of four myself. Today's interview is with Simone Oliver, Global Editor-in-Chief of Refinery29. A mother of two and a stepmother of one, Simone talked about stepping into her new role at Refinery29 in the middle of a pandemic, how thriving at an all-girls school and later at Howard University shaped her approach to motherhood and career, and why she always believes in giving people the benefit of the doubt. She also talked about how style is personal and how mom can all have more fun embracing the transformation of motherhood through fashion.
Simone Oliver, welcome to The Motherly Podcast.
Simone Oliver: Thanks for having me, Liz. I'm really excited to meet you and talk to you. This is a good moment.
Liz Tenety: And there's a little noise in the background of both of our houses today. It's school break. So, thanks for making the time. I'm sure it's a really busy week.
Simone Oliver: Oh my goodness. Yes. I think, you know, every day, even just working during COVID, like, it's hard to find any quiet. So forgive me. I feel like I found the most quiet place in my house, but you're probably going to hear some kids and noise in the background.
Liz Tenety: We get it. So, what do you think makes your approach to motherhood unique?
Simone Oliver: I would say, my anxiety. I don't know how unique that is… but I would say that I've a lot of questions and just naturally I'm a driven person and I aim to be conscientious. And I think it's that swirl of just sort of things always being present on my mind and obviously wanting to pump out some good humans. That anxiety, I spent a lot of time thinking about that. I'm just like, what does it mean to raise a person who is contributing to society, but just a good global citizen, right? Like what does that mean? Especially now where you just have so many messages and forces, you know, in the picture?
Liz Tenety: How have you learned to actually cope with your anxiety? I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety. I am a naturally anxious person as well. So, I'm curious how you found over your tenure as a mother. What practices help you put that anxiety into perspective? Or how have you coped with it?
Simone Oliver: That is a journey. I would say I've got goals in that department to date. I try to write everything down because if I'm not able to visualize it and then eventually mark it off of a list, then I'm not able to manage it very well emotionally.
But then, in terms of what I could do better, man, like I need to start doing yoga on a regular basis. I went back to work in February after being on mat leave. And it was lower back pain that just drove me to like finally go on YouTube and be like, okay, postpartum, lower back pain. Like all this Advil is not a good look, you know, for too long.
So I noticed that for me, I have to get to like this no- so-great state before I take action. And I'm trying to evolve past that.
Liz Tenety: You're mother to a seven-year-old, a one-year-old and a stepmother to an almost 18-year-old. And, you know, you're a very driven person. I'm wondering what you think motherhood specifically represents to you in the narrative of your life.
Simone Oliver: It's the most important job. And I think that goes back to what I was saying about sort of the exciting, but overwhelming responsibility to raise good humans. And so, as far as that narrative, when I look back, I would like to go down in history as is helping to put out three good humans and having an important role with that. Even with my stepdaughter, she doesn't live with us, but I always aim to be a positive and constructive influence in her life. So, I have other jobs, I teach. But for motherhood, that's the thing where I'm like, am I focusing too much on work? Or, you know, again, when it comes to that balance, I think a lot about that, but that's where it fits the narrative.
Liz Tenety: There's a t-shirt actually that like a lot of moms have this idea of raising good humans. "Raise good humans" is definitely in the air of our generation of parents. In fact, motherly does an annual study called The State of Motherhood survey and it's a massive study of American mothers and the number one value overwhelmingly that they want to cultivate in their kids is kindness rather than, you know, values that I suspect might've been more present in the past, like self-discipline, for example. And I am wondering, what does that mean to you to raise good humans on a daily basis? How do you think about that?
Simone Oliver: Yeah, the kindness thing is very front and center in my household, especially when you look at everyone in the world is coming from a different experience, right? And there's that notion of just giving people the benefit of the doubt and not walking into situations, conversations, experiences, with preconceived notions. And it's very hard to do that, right? Because some of it's just like hard wired into your brain. And it's not very conscious, but if you start with kindness,, like that's something that you can't unwire your brain and you walk into a conversation, but you can be responsible for. You can say "I'm going to try to be kind."
If someone says something to you and it turns you off, you can try to pause and be like, am I being kind right now? Or if you're on your own, like my daughter, the seven-year-old, she's alpha-female, very focused, very driven, very outspoken, very articulate, and really intelligent. So her mind when she sees something, she goes straight for it.
And she's very vocal about it, but sometimes it can be very much tunnel vision. And then there's that like, age-appropriate narcissism, that's attached to that. And there's times when she speaks to her peers, even to us, it's like, it's not what you're saying, honey. It's how you said it. Or even if you're talking to your peers, you know, you may be giving good advice, but are you being kind? What you're saying is good, yes. The words themselves. But how did that make your classmate feel? You know, how did that make your cousin feel and just take it back to, it's not being right or wrong. Are you being kind? And so we just try to keep reinforcing that on a day to day and then internalizing it ourselves because the stresses of the day, like even couples can go at it and then we struggle with like, are we being kind, it's a good reset button.
Liz Tenety: lt is. I personally like that idea of going into meetings, going into parenting, going into your marriage with the notion of assuming the best in other people that they have the best intentions, not the worst intentions. That is good advice. I will definitely be internalizing that myself. I know you went to an all girls high school and then to a historically black college, you're a proud Howard University alum. And I'm curious how you think that these kinds of environments, an all-girls environment, all female environment, and then one focused on higher education for black students, how did these environments shape you?
Simone Oliver: My God. That's such a good question. And my mom would probably want to dial in and be like, "well…" So, with high school, I definitely did not set out to go to an all-girls high school, especially at that age. I was very much about the boys and my mother, she knew that my personality type, I was very social and easily distracted.
And so, my parents started looking around for smaller schools where they felt like I could focus and sort of attached on a social level to more constructive groups. And so, again like that was devastating at the time, but I ended up thriving in all girls school. And they really focused on empowerment and being very confident in, again, like being a global citizen, but as a woman and knowing that not every woman on earth has the same opportunities and we're not always viewed the same as our counterparts.
And so I think, especially before going away to college, I think that sort of reinforced some of those early values that my parents had instilled in me, the feeling of sisterhood. That was another thing. Where it was like, I didn't join a sorority while I was in college, but I kind of had the junior version of that in high school, just because the sisterhood was so strong and was really a fabric of our high school education. Then for Howard, that was amazing because Black people are not a monolith and there's some Black people who need to be taught that. And so it's an interesting experience when you go to a place where you're around, people who look like you all day long, but are very, very different. And people know this, but I think the experience overlapped with young adulthood and coming into yourself and independence, you know, and sort of like finding your place in the world and like who your tribe is, right? It's a good part of your development. And so for me, you know, I kind of found my true self.
Liz Tenety: Is there a kind of freedom that comes from being in that environment, especially as a Black woman and for those who might look at HBCU and say, why do we need that? Like, how do you answer that question? And is there a freedom in being with people who look like you and have had similar experiences that black people don't get to have in a majority white culture?
Simone Oliver: So, there is a freedom because when a black person and I'm generalizing, I'll preface everything I'll say, you know, is a generalization as well as just my experience. You know, when you are a black person in America, specifically, you kind of have to put on different faces, right? Like in a way you are making the world more comfortable with you. And that is a lot of work, right? And it's a lot of work from the time that you are self-aware as a child. And when you are in Howard's campus, you are focusing on your education, you just get to be a person learning as opposed to a Black person learning. And if there's still the celebration and the education of Black history, and it's not without that, that's always there, but freedom is a good word because you are just there. And, you know, you're navigating adulthood as a person, as a student.
Liz Tenety: To me, in a way, I am a white woman. And that is one way of looking at what white privilege is, because I just get to go in a space and be a person. But you, through that HBCU experience, that's where maybe some of that freedom was found where you can just focus on school.
Simone Oliver: Yeah. Yeah. And it's a blast, you know, because you do realize when it's graduation time that you are about to exit the bubble, you know, and that bubble, you'll never, I'm getting chills… I'm like, you'll never have that experience again, in life, especially to be that young too. And those relationships that you make, whether it's a classmate that you did a project with, or, you know, sort of your crew that you may still talk to today, or a significant other that you found, maybe along the way, those relationships will always sort of represent that moment in time.
Liz Tenety: I'm getting vibes of your Howard commencement speech someday. I'm just saying… I'm feeling it's on its way for you.
Simone Oliver: For sure. Love that!
Liz Tenety: You have already had quite an illustrious career from the New York Times to Allure, to Facebook. And now as Editor-in-Chief of Refinery29. Was there a single mission or purpose that drove you from the beginning of what you were trying to do through your work and career? Or has it evolved over time?
Simone Oliver: In retrospect, I would say it kind of comes down to my love of storytelling and stories. And I think my parents for that, but was there a mission that I set out with? It's definitely been an evolution. There were a couple of moments where things clicked for me. And a lot of that was towards the end of my academic career at Howard, where I came in as an English major and wasn't sure what I wanted to do, like a lot of liberal arts majors. And then, you know, I started writing for the school paper and started editing papers as a side hustle. And then, I learned about the New York Times student journalism Institute. It was their inaugural program. It was like part internship, part bootcamp. And that was a pivotal moment for me where things clicked. And I was like, oh, journalism, this is what I want to do.
Liz Tenety: A lot of your career has focused on fashion and style. And I'm curious what that means to you, right? It's easy to look at it and be like, well, that isn't serious stuff, but the way that you have covered it, for example, your criticism and writing about maternity wear and style, like there is a depth to these things that might seem on very surface-level. So, why have you been drawn to that kind of coverage and beat?
Simone Oliver: So, frankly, I see style as self-expression. I prefer to talk about style rather than fashion. I respect the fashion industry, you know, the global industry, that it is, and I respect the marriage between creation and commerce. I think that is fantastic.
But I think like from a personal level, you know, you can have a look come down a runway and that's one person's vision, right? And then you have to look on the mannequin and a storefront, but how Liz puts it, on how Simone puts it on, you're going to have different looks, even if we're all rocking the same sweater.
And that comes from inside. And that to me is what I will always cherish in myself and others even more. So, sometimes other people... I'm one of those goofy people who... I'm sitting at an outside cafe and someone walks by and they're just striking. I'm like, just the way you put those colors together, whether it's your cobalt blue eyeshadow or it's your top bun, but the tendrils hanging down, I will stop people and just say, "You look great."
Like I'm that person, you know? And hopefully I can spread joy in your day, but I feel like reciprocal because they gave joy to me in their self-expression.
Liz Tenety: Can you go back in your mind to having your first child? Yeah. I don't know about you, but it was only eight years ago for me, but it feels like who was the person before? Right? I don't recognize her in many, many ways. Where were you in your career when you decided to have a baby?
Simone Oliver: Well, I was at the New York Times at the Styles desk and kind of smack dab in the middle of leading its digital evolution. And that was a big moment within media, because everyone was sort of just understanding that digital's important. It's here to stay and let's pivot, right? But there were a lot of us who had already been on that track. So there were a lot of cultural shifts, which means my head space... I was working, you know, 80 hours a week, especially during fashion weeks. And my husband and I, we were open to having kids, but weren't necessarily in a rush.
And let's just say, like, when I figured out I was pregnant, I thought it was mercury poisoning. So, I was definitely still on my fashion week grind, you know, I was working hard, partying hard and doing it again, rinse, repeat, and then came the nausea. And then fast forward babies here. And like you said, you're a different person, but I think that's the slower evolution where first you're like, Oh wait, this is a baby. What do I do with it?
And then as they become a toddler and then a preschooler, and you're like, wow, like my priorities have shifted. You know, what I think about first in the morning, when I think about in the middle of the night has shifted. We're complex creatures off the break. But when you add that layer of just being responsible for someone who can't be responsible for themselves. There's like the practical part of that. And then there's the part of who do you imagine yourself to be? Lik, Simone is the woman, Simone is the person. This is the first kid, so I was like, wait, who am I? Why am I frustrated and angry that there's drool all over me for like two days straight? Right. And like, meanwhile, I was the person that was like, okay, should I make my eyelash appointment for Friday before my meeting or pre-happy hour so it dries while I'm walking in the street, you know? And like now the level of detail is like, do I order the diapers before at like, should he go up to the next size? Or is there a sale? Do I use the coupon?
Like, it's just different. And it doesn't mean that I'm still not the person who was like, man, I would love to get my lashes done right now, but it just, it's just another layer. You know, how I navigate compartmentalizing. All these sides of myself is a constant personal journey.
Liz Tenety: Okay. I want to specifically talk about maternity style. You wrote a widely read piece in the Times about the evolving maternity style. We're talking here in 2021. Even since I first became a mom in 2012, what is available for women is so much, so much more stylish, right? So looking at it from the lens of the cultural critic, why is it that you think that maternity style was so drab and so outdated for so long? And why, today are we kind of living in this evolution of fashion and style when it comes to pregnancy?
Simone Oliver: I think that trends are different now, right? Like the news around us as the trend, but even pre-COVID and pre-2020, even the way we think about style has become more transparent. Right. So people are aware of what's interesting.
And like what ideas are out there, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what do I feel good in? I think, also, there's a lot of brands that have popped up in the last few years that understand, okay, like this is a temporary state. You have nine months, sometimes a little bit shorter, sometimes a little bit longer.
Your body's going to go through a bunch of changes, but your style and your interest in style and wanting to kind of feel good and whether that's in a pair of sweats or whether that's in a off-the-shoulder sequin thing, right? Like it's personal, it's very, very personal and women like options that can make you feel really good. And so, I think there isn't one idea of what looks good. And I think that a lot of other up and coming brands or other brands that are kind of, you know, fiddling around in and experimenting with maternity style, they acknowledge that. And I think one thing that for me, I've always found really interesting and helpful is if you're going to spend money on, you know, maternity style to me, it's like, what can you translate to post-maternity? Either through like, you know, when your body's continuing to go through a bunch of changes after you've had your child, and your hormones are out of whack, who knows what your body is going to be like after, but does it still make you feel good then? Or can you belt it? Is it, you know, something that you layer? I think there's a lot of fun in that transformation and making that transformation more fun.
Liz Tenety: What about for you personally? Seeing your body just change. I think of it like this accordion, you know, and then you're going to shrink down again. But your change, what was that like for you psychologically? Did you struggle with it or was it something you really felt proud of and really central to your identity, but specifically about the ways that your body changed?
Simone Oliver: Man, accordions a good word.
Liz Tenety: That's what I feel like at least.
Simone Oliver: I think, you know, when you were talking about like the woman you were before you had your children, I think it's, for me, this is a nod to that because you know, you've got your college body and that's different for everyone. I liked my college body. I liked my post-college body and I will also be really transparent and say that there was more that I could do to exercise on a regular basis. To probably get to where I would personally, like for me, it's more about health than like how I look, right? But I also like to look good in my clothes.
I like dressing. And I like for my clothes to fit a certain way, I don't want them to be too big or too tight. And so the journey of like the shrinkage and, you know, I think for me, it was two things. The stomach flab that you have after the kids, like I can't stand that. It was already hard to get that to be where, you know, I wanted it to be, but that extra pouch.
And like I had two C-sections. So like, those muscles will never be the same. And it feels weird every day. I don't like that loose skin just hanging out. I have tone above it, but it's just like, "Hey, I'm here. And I'm here to stay, get used to me." And like, I struggled with that. And then the breasts. I breastfed for a short time, both kids. And then now they're like two little sag things. Yeah. And I'm like, what is this situation about? Like, it's depressing to me.
Liz Tenety: I've gone through the same internal dialogues. And I think, well, when I have looked at my mother's body and when I've looked at my grandmothers, you know, when you're a girl, when I was a girl, I thought what happened there?
Like what, what happened there? And yet postpartum and just being a mother and living in the wake of pregnancy forever. I'll always be in the wake of pregnancy. Now, there is a softness, a new softness that was not there. And for me, I am trying to tell myself and tell the world a different narrative about sexiness and sensuality and aging and changing is a part of the journey. I can never go back to the college body. I wish I took more pictures of my stomach then, but, you know, I did it because we all thought we were chubby then, or it wasn't what we wanted then even, right? So that's another lesson, but I don't know. I look up to my elders, my grandmothers and the women that I admire and think that is their journey. And one of our grandmothers had the softest, the biggest and softest breasts. And we would like cuddle a lot of them. They were like human pillows, you know? And I don't know, it's just also accepting that this is a new kind of sexuality and sensuality and comfort in our bodies that we're often told by our culture that is like, bad or wrong or not sexy. And it's just not true.
Simone Oliver: Agreed. Agreed. And at Refinery, we celebrate body neutrality, right? Like, because even body positivity has a negative connotation. You know, we don't want people to ever feel like they need to graduate to some sort of ideal. And that's something that I try to internalize just every day with myself, because, you know, I'm like, yes, I have this ideal of like a flat tummy, you know? And then it's like, look at my little Kool-Aid pouch and bottom, and okay. but I love my kids. And some people are like, "Oh, that's a badge of honor." And I'm beginning to see it that way every day. And then the same thing with my scar, where I'm still gonna rock this bikini at the beach, but it took me a while to get there.
You know, I did like the gel stuff that you order and you wear it. You know, I tried all the different scar things and it helped a little, but it's not obviously like the smooth skin that used to be there, but that's okay. Like, again, two cool humans came out of there. So here we are.
Liz Tenety: You mentioned Refinery. I wanted to talk about your new role. You became Editor-in- Chief of Refinery29 last year, but you did that in the wake of allegations at Refinery around a toxic workplace. And there was especially conversation about how women of color felt working there. When you joined, you wrote that you wanted to push even more on giving new and diverse voices and not just race and gender, a seat at the table. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Simone Oliver: These four plus months have been really, really amazing. I think the biggest challenge that I've had is I'm not in person like the team needs support has needed support. And it's different when you are leading a team, that's been through a lot, right. For an extended period of time and are continuing to go through a lot.
And so not being in person to lead the team is really, really hard, especially because we're in different regions. But for me, I focus a lot on fostering trust. And transparency because a lot of that, you know, unfortunately it was broken. And so I wake up and my goal, my priority is to continue to build that trust with the team across the globe.
And the way I try to do that is through open communication. We have such a talented group of just creative souls across the team, and they love the brand. You know, they love her finery and I see it as my responsibility to ensure they know where it's going.
Liz Tenety: You recently wrote a piece about the election of vice president Kamala Harris and what she represents for all of us. There is this line that she's used a lot. It's become a meme in its own, right? Where she explained that her mother used to say to her, Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you're not the last. And then she's repeated this idea over and over again. I might be the first, but I'm not going to be the last, I'm curious what that line means and represents to you.
Simone Oliver: Yeah, it means open the door for others behind you and acknowledge the strides and successes that you have made. And your support system has helped you to make, you know, and it's that same sort of philosophy where. Yes, you have had these accomplishments, but always give back and give back in a really active way, meaning opening the door for others.
Liz Tenety: What does that look like in practice for you?
Simone Oliver: For me, it means when I get a DM or a LinkedIn, someone is like, "Hey, I'm in grad school at such and such, or I'm a junior communications major, you know, at the state of blah, blah, blah. And I've been following your career. And I really just want to understand how, like, I don't even know if my major is going to get me anywhere anymore. I'm really confused." You know, even just the conversation like now we don't even really have the time to do full on coffees with everyone that reaches out. But to have a conversation with someone on a DM, I try to do that as much as possible.
And then there's a lot of women that I have just mentored along the way. I never really saw myself as a mentor. I was just like, oh, like you're young, smart, cool. I see your hustle. And you came to me because maybe I helped you with an opportunity or I helped open a door for you. And I see it as my responsibility to do that.
And like, why not? Like there's enough room for all of us here, you know? And so, yeah. I believe in that deeply. So to me every day, that means that you can lend an ear. You can share advice, help people navigate, especially in the media industry for women of color, it can be really challenging. So I've always tried to be a part of other people's support.
Liz Tenety: Speaking about the election, you also wrote about how with every milestone we need momentum. And that word momentum is a really interesting one, especially at this moment when so many people, especially mothers feel like they're hitting this wall in the pandemic, right. And yet historians weighed smarter than I have explained how great change comes and big leaps forward come from times of turmoil. Like the one that we're living in, whether we're talking about the pandemic politics, the crisis that mothers are facing, the Black Lives Matter movement. How do you think we can seize the momentum of this moment? Even when it feels like we can't go on.
Simone Oliver: That I think is one of the biggest challenges, right? Because to even do an assessment, you know, this is like from a personal perspective, right? Even to do an assessment of your passions or interests, that means that you have time to pause, right? And allow your mind that brain space and that quiet to even just let your mind roam.
And so on a very, very practical level, that's like step one. Because, you know, and I, I have a lot of friends who they're single parents and they're professionals and they're raising a kid or kids. And like I can't complain and I have a partner, you know, who's a great partner. And they're like, I was going to be writing this book, but now I can barely go into the next room and have a quiet thought or not cry.
You know, everybody's trying to figure it out. And so when I think about momentum, carving out that quiet moment, I still see that as momentum. We're literally at the point where it's one foot in front of the other, I think this idea of like, we're going to jump off a mountain and soar right now. Like some people are doing that and more power to them, but a lot of parents out there in particular are just like, if I can get through the next hour, success! You know, and that is important momentum.
And then, you know, when you keep sort of taking it one foot in front of the other, then when you find that again, even if it's five minutes of like, I'm going to stand here and I'm going to breathe, I'm going to set my timer. I'm going to breathe in and out. And I'm going to pray during this five minutes of the baby, doesn't wake up because my timer doesn't wake him up, you know, but I'm going to breathe in and out and you leave space for that creativity and that inspiration to bubble up. And maybe it's just one idea that you write down on your phone and next thing you know, the baby's up, you got to change the diaper or whatever it is, right. You have a Zoom call. So, I see that as all momentum and I see that as carving out space for you and for you to grow and make it through.
Liz Tenety: And it's also about priorities too. Nobody has margin right now. So, are there things that we can not worry about or we're not going to do in order to make space for the stuff that really does matter. Like that radical prioritization is just the way forward right now? I agree.
Simone Oliver: I agree.
Liz Tenety: At Motherly, we believe that motherhood brings out our superpowers. So, really just otherworldly forces within us that maybe we didn't even know were there before we became mothers. So, Simone, what do you think is your superpower?
Simone Oliver: I think if I have one, I think it's really fast reflexes. Strangers will comment on it. I'm sure other moms can identify, but I also stupidly want to be a Ninja and stuff, so it might just be like me trying to like, you know, sort of make this happen, like come to fruition. But I do know that I have them. Secondly, this is a little controversial because there's a lot of studies that say that this is not good, but my ability to multitask again, a lot of parents can. I identify with it. And I used to pride myself on it. But then, like I said, a lot of studies came out saying that it is not good for your brain and your focus to be multitasking. But at some times you really do need to be thinking about what one kid is doing, what the other kid is doing... their safety. Are they learning anything and did the other one pick up a pair of scissors while you're also working on a work thing, while you're washing the dishes like… you have to be spinning all the plates. And I think because of my ability to compartmentalize, I'm pretty good at it. Not pretty good. I think I'm badass at it. How that's going to affect me and my ability to do puzzles when I'm 80? Well, we'll see when we get there.
Liz Tenety: Simone Oliver, thank you so much for this delightful conversation and joining us on The Motherly Podcast.
Simone Oliver: Thank you. Thank you so, so happy to be here and honored to be here. Thank you, Liz.
Liz Tenety: James, do you want to be on my podcast?
James (Liz's son): Yeah!!
Liz Tenety: You do! And what pajamas are we going to put on now? Now? Mickey mouse. Do you like to wear your Mickey mouse pajamas?
James: Yeah. Yeah! Mow, mow, mow!
Liz: You want to see Mow? Yeah. Okay. We're going to go see now. Okay. We're going to put on your Mickey Mouse pajamas!!
Liz: Well, that's it for our show this week. Thank you so much, Simone. And thank you for listening to our podcast. We have a few more incredible guests that we'll be speaking with this season. I can't wait for you to hear our upcoming episodes as always. We would love it if you spread the word about The Motherly Podcast.
If you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts takes 30 seconds. I promise. And it really helps other mothers discover our show. And I read all of your feedback. So thanks for leaving it.
The Motherly Podcast is produced by Jennifer Bassett with editing from Seaplane Armada. Our music is from the Blue Dot Sessions.
I am your host, Liz Tenety. Thank you so much for listening.
Most Recent Episodes
February 26, 2021
Black Women's Health Imperative President & CEO, Linda Goler Blount talks to Liz about her accomplished career, why the health of black women is at a crisis-point, how her grandchild motivates her, and why scientific data matters when it comes to improving maternal mortality outcomes and other health disparities for black women.
February 11, 2021
Liz speaks with Raquel Roxanne Nowak, the founder and creative director of Matrescence, the first clean skincare line developed especially for motherhood. Raquel tells Liz about the shock she experienced post-pregnancy and how her desire to help other women navigate the transition inspired her to become a certified holistic nutritionist and prenatal health coach. She also talked about how her relationship with her mother and how her upbringing in the Carribean influenced her career and life choices.
February 04, 2021
In this special episode, Liz talks with Gabrielle Union, Valerie Jarrett, Nic Stone, Meena Harris, Harmonia Rosales, Jurnee Smollett, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, and LaTonya Yvette about the state of black motherhood in America. They tell her how they talk to their kids about racism, what makes them excited about the future, and how they are working to change the narrative for black mothers everywhere.
Liz speaks with Woman's Day Editor-in-Chief, Meaghan B. Murphy, about her new book, Your Fully Charged Life, which gives mamas concrete tips on how to inject more positivity and energy into their daily lives. Meaghan also talks about how the tragedy in her early years inspired her to take a more optimistic approach to life.
Hosted by Liz Tenety
Liz is an award-winning journalist and editor, and the co-founder of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she thrives on all things digital community + social media strategy. She's passionate about helping to provide women with more support, (and way less judgment), on the journey through motherhood. This podcast is an extension of her commitment to hosting honest conversations about modern motherhood. Liz resides outside NYC with her husband, two sons, one daughter and one amazing au pair.