WANTcast 059: On Being Fully Yourself (No Matter WHAT) with Author, Speaker + Photographer Karen Walrond

WANTcast 059: On Being Fully Yourself (No Matter WHAT) with Author, Speaker + Photographer Karen Walrond

the WANTcast

Author, speaker, photographer and blogger Karen Walrond is the kind of person you just want to know. You just want to soak in some of her light and magic, because maybe, JUST MAYBE, you can use it to help make your own. As someone who has worked extensively with Dove Real Beauty and as a leader in Brené Brown’s Daring Way training, Karen is in the business of helping you shine your unique light, no matter WHAT the world throws at you or tells you you need to be.

When I take a new step, I ask: how can I take all of the people I've been in the past WITH me? - @chookooloonks Click To Tweet

In this episode we talk…

  • Losing everything (yep, her entire house and all her belongings) in Hurricane Harvey and how she got through
  • Having multiple career titles (she was an attorney!) and weaving them all together
  • Fighting against beauty standards and a beauty industry that is highly unrealistic (and predominantly white, thin, and privileged)
  • Adoption as a first choice, not a “backup plan,” and creating a family based on your OWN values

…and so much more.

(Fun fact, Karen and I spoke on a panel together back in 2015 – my very first speaking gig with WANT. I could not have asked for a more loving, empathetic person to sit right next to me. I have been in awe of her work and in love with her spirit ever since!)

WANT Karen:

Even in the worst moments, gratitude came through...because I was used to going, 'What was good about today?' - @chookooloonks Click To Tweet

Show notes:
The Beauty Of Different
The Female Quotient
The Girls Lounge (recap on WANT)
Brené Brown
Daring Way

This is the FINAL interview of Season Three. Our finale will be a solo episode!
Email me at katie@womenagainstnegativetalk.com or find me on instagram @katiehorwitch to let me know your questions and topic suggestions to end this season STRONG.

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WANTcast 045: On Switching Gears + Embracing Your You-ness with Rachel Winard of Soapwalla

WANTcast 045: On Switching Gears + Embracing Your You-ness with Rachel Winard of Soapwalla

the WANTcast

Rachel Winard is the founder of Soapwalla, a indie skincare brand based in Brooklyn that prides itself on being pure, effective and trustworthy. The all-female company is based in Gowanus in a converted canning factory – so cool. After discovering that she had systemic lupus (an autoimmune illness that led to skin irritations), Rachel started creating products that wouldn’t irritate her skin. Today Soapwalla is a globally sold and recognized brand, and truly one of the OGs when it comes to the world of natural beauty. Soapwalla is proudly an LGBTQ-run business, an active advocate of gay and women’s rights, and works on getting customers involved too.

In this episode we talk about Rachel’s crazy and unexpected career journey from the arts to where she is now, how to advocate for a more inclusive and just world in both business and life, our mutual love for kind of unexpected things (like dinosaurs) and so much more. She is such a calming force and at the same time, so bright and effervescent – a friend of mine likes to say that certain people are like the “bubbles in champagne” and that’s definitely the case with Rachel.

WANT Rachel:

This Episode Is Sponsored By:
4 Weeks To Wellness

The 4 Weeks To Wellness program is a plan that ditches quick fixes and helps set you up for long-term wellness success physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s all about finding – REALLY finding – what works for you, putting your wellness puzzle together, and finding a way to do right by your body without giving up your life. It’s for anyone looking to make healthy changes (but lacking the framework and structure to actually make them happen) is gonna love this. Added bonus, Phoebe has personal experience with autoimmune diseases, thyroid issues, SIBO, Hashimoto’s – so if you do, too, Phoebe might be the accessible coach and cheerleader you need. It all happens online and is completely up to you how fast or slow you go.

Enrollment is open from now till April 20th, so go to thewellnessproject.com to sign up – use the code WANT for 15% off, AND be sure to enter The WANTcast in the How Did You Hear About Us section.

Rachel’s dino office
Call Your Representative
4 Weeks To Wellness

If you liked this epiosde and everything WANT is throwing down, be sure to head on over to the site and SUBSCRIBE to The GOOD Word, WANT’s weekly email love letter where you’ll get all the posts and pods delivered directly to your email doorstep, plus first dibs on events, workshops, and the stuff I’m WANTing each week that I think you’ll love too. Also head on over to iTunes and subscribe, and leave some stars and a review to spread the WANTcast love, I apprecite it more than you know.

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5 Badass Female Cartoonists + Illustrators You Should Follow On Instagram

5 Badass Female Cartoonists + Illustrators You Should Follow On Instagram

Community Tips + Tools

One of the many joys of my childhood was coming downstairs for breakfast on a lazy Sunday and seeing the newspaper parceled out for each family member. My dad got the front pages – the major headlines and serious stuff. My brother always started with the Sports section, which he split with my mom between bites of cereal or an Eggo waffle or a big fluffy cinnamon roll baked fresh from the Farmers Market.

And me? I got to start with the Comics.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Calendar section for Arts news and the “Lifestyle” section for the op-eds. Chris Erksine’s weekly column in the LA Times was a staple in my repetoire, and the candor with which he and other columnists (in what I deemed the more “cool” and “down-to-earth” sections of the paper as a young reader) wrote about their small yet mighty life experiences was for sure an influence on my speaking and writing style.

But I found that my tween-ish mind could learn way more from the Comics section than any other part of the newspaper. In just six or so pages of newsprint, I could dive into different worldviews, laugh at jokes that I might not have been deemed “marure enough” to understand IRL, and – my favorite – watch characters, in bite-sized vignettes, put words to what every single adult around me was thinking and not saying. As a highly sensitive person and an empath to the core, I could often feel what adults around me felt. I just wasn’t always able to put it into easily understandable terms. How could I, if no one else around me was even validating that these feelings existed?

What’s more, *I* felt those feelings, too. Stress. Loneliness. Awkwardness. Through comics, I could watch these characters morph and evolve week after week right along with me. They helped me wrap my head around a world that was sometimes a bit overwhelming, and even got me seeing – laughing – at the absurdity of so much of it. 

When I think of “The News” migrating from the page to the screen, I always feel a pang of sadness. Yes, of course, because of the value of the printed word…but also because of the immense pleasure of the Sunday comics and the parceled-out paper sections at the breakfast table. The newspaper, and particularly the Comics section helped shape me as not just a writer and artist but as a full human being.

Which is why when I started to discover the vast amount of cartoonists and illustrators on Instagram, my heart felt like it had been reunited with a childhood bestie. But better – because the bulk of the cartoonists I was finding myself drawn to were WOMEN.

The one gripe I have about the Comics section of my youth is how male-dominated it was. Baby Blues, Zits, Mutts, and Momma were my go-tos. When Calvin and Hobbes ran its last strip, I cried. But rarely did any characters look like me sans a token mom or female sidekick – and very rarely was there a woman in the byline. If I wanted a female point of view I really only had Cathy to turn to (who was a badass. for the record).

Today, there are countless female cartoonists and illustrators on Instagram creating witty, poignant work that is HIGHLY relatable whether you’re a woman or not. Their bravery to use their art to tackle mental health issues, take a stand for causes they believe in, and help their followers understand the nuances of what makes each person unique toes the line between art and activism. Their boldness helps me, and others like me, be bold by boiling things down to images that make us FEEL.

I might not have a breakfast table decorated with parceled-out newspaper sections and words and ideas just waiting to be discovered, but I love that social media has allowed the Comics section back into my life – and, what’s more, a brand new Comics section that looks a lot more LIKE my life.

Here are five female Instagram cartoonists and illustrators I’m loving – and think you will, too:


Marzi from Introvert Doodles is the one that started it for me. Her cartoons are always a high point in my day, and get me shouting out “ME TOO!” more times than I can count. But silently, because #introvert. Unless I’m alone. Then out loud. I honestly don’t have adequate words to describe how much I love Introvert Doodles…so go check her out yourself to see what I mean.


Hannah Daisy of @makedaisychains is a mental health activist who uses her #boringselfcare series to remind us all – whether we’re struggling with an illness or are feeling down in the slumps – that no act of self care is too small. She’s helped me “just clean the dishes” or “just do the laundry” multiple times. Because sometimes, those “justs” can feel a lot more than that.


I’m obsessed with Mari’s adorable, quirky, uber-positive (but never saccharine) illustrations. Every time an illustration of hers pops up in my feed, I’m reminded of how many little things there are to smile about – and how many of those little things aren’t really so little at all.


The comic strips that Sarah Andersen of Sarah’s Scribbles (aka @sarahandersoncomics) draws remind me the mosts of the comics I LOVED as a kid – but even better. Sarah tackles anxiety, periods, dating, and the thoughts we’re all thinking but rarely say out loud. And…her comics make me snort-laugh. Which is very important.


Okay, so Kimothy Joy’s work isn’t so much cartoons or comics as it is illustrations and art. But I love her so much, I couldn’t leave her out of this mix. Her gorgeous paintings and drawings are the perfect merger of art and activism, sharing the wise words of women along with artwork that will make your heart sing. New writing goal? Write something worthy of a Kimothy Joy quote illustration.


What other female cartoonists, illustrators, and artists are you loving? Who else should our WANT community be following on Instagram? Tell me in the comments below!

Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement:

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The WANT Women: Jessie Kahnweiler On Being Loud, Honest, And Here

The WANT Women: Jessie Kahnweiler On Being Loud, Honest, And Here

Body WANT Women

To those of us who have struggled with eating disorders, disordered tendencies, whatever you want to call them – many times the portrayal of eating disorders on tv and in film can hit closer to fiction than reality. They’re shown as what people think they’re like instead of what they’re actually like. They’re danced around and treated like cardinal sins, when in the moment a, say, binging episode, feels less like a stop-the-presses plot moment and more like a reaction akin to laughing or crying. Hell, from the outside, it can even look humorous.

Jessie Kahnweiler is at the front of the pack when it comes to the marriage of brutal honesty and brazen humor – a brilliant juxtaposition giving a voice to women’s experiences and issues normally pushed under the table.


In her Sundance-acclaimed short series The Skinny, Jessie plays herself, telling her own story of a fledgling YouTube star suffering from bulemia. Written and directed by Jessie herself (plus produced by Transparent/Six Feet Under’s Jill Soloway and Refinery29, where the entire series is available…nbd to all), The Skinny is darkly comedic and brutally honest.

As someone who’s struggled with eating issues, it’s like a deep, refreshing exhale to see them portrayed as a “normal” part of someone’s life (although in reality it’s anything but) instead of one uber-dramatic scene/plot point after the other. Lord knows when I was restricting, binging, portioning off 1/2-cup bags of All-Bran in my dorm room, etc, none of it felt like a dramatic climax. It felt like a routine part of my life. And eventually, like I life I realized I so desperately wanted to break free from.

And that’s what Jessie does: she depicts the life of a woman whose “normal” has gone so awry, it’s started to affect who she is out in the world. 

I am terrified to fail, but I do it anyway - on a daily basis. - @jesskahnweiler Click To Tweet


Some parts of The Skinny are hard to stomach – no pun intended – but strangely enough (or not?), most of them aren’t the ED parts. They’re the parts when she’s dealing with her mother who knows needs mothering herself, when she’s getting torn apart by potential brand partners for being “too real” or being side-eye’dly told how “out there” her work is, when she’s hoping to be accepted and loved and it goes downhill fast. Because these feelings of self-consciousness and longing to be loved are universal: it’s just that someone with an eating disorder like bulemia deals with them differently.
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What I love about Jessie is that she is somehow able to do the undoable. She is able to infuse wisdom and humor into tough topics without tearing down others or shutting people out in the meantime. She walks that fine line between self aware, self righteous, self sacrificing, and ever-so-slightly self deprecating so incredibly well, making her sketches and short films able to resonate on a level that sticks with you for the long haul. She tells her stories with humor – because as she noted in this awesome interview with Indiewire, her reality 100% includes humor.

Three words to describe me: Loud. Honest. HERE. - @jesskahnweiler Click To Tweet

She does not discount the seriousness of the issues at hand – rather, she brings a reality to them that might, in other hands, seem more like an over-dramatization. What Jessie does as a filmmaker and feminist is the exact opposite of over-dramatization: she uses humor as a gateway to shine the spotlight on issues we usually, as a culture, dance around. She’s telling the story not of her suffering, but ultimately of her road to recovery. And yes – humor played a part in that.


The more of us willing to be bold and tell our stories without giving into the temptation of shame, the better off we are as a whole. Girls. Transparent. Heck, most of us forget that even Sex And The City was shocking at the time! Some of these stories might not be easy to watch or easy to understand – but the point is not for it to be EASY to understand. The point is that these are stories of real women – women who differ from the mainstream media image of what a woman is, who most all of us are not but most all of us at some point think we should be.

These are women whose stories we’re all better off for hearing – and ultimately, with the help of women like Jessie opening the door to the work of radical empathy, better off for really, truly, deeply understanding.


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Name: Jessie Kahnweiler

How you’d know me: Filmmaker, Feminist, that loud chick you sat behind in Hebrew school.

What I love about myself (and why): That I’m not afraid to fail. Well…I am terrified to fail, but I do it anyway – on a daily basis.

What is your definition of “positivity?” Self-acceptance. Keeping it real with yourself and giving yourself a break.

When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” When I got into recovery for my eating disorder and realized that I am not the center of the universe and that perfection is not human.

How/where negative talk shows up in my life: When I feel overwhelmed with work and boys. When I don’t get enough alone time.

When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… Telling myself that I am not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, sexy enough, chill enough – ENOUGH.


When others talk negatively about themselves… It’s frustrating because it hits close to home. Does not make me want to go on a second date.

It baffles me that women still… Blame our bodies for everything.

I wish that more women… were running D.C.

The coolest thing about women is… Our collective spirit – the divine feminine energy that effortlessly pours from us.

My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Write the shit out of it.

My top female role models: My Grandmothers Ruth and Lucille, Eleanor Roosevelt, and my older sister Lindsey – who is a nurse practitioner, mother, wife, runner, and totally rocked a belly button ring before it was cool.

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Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… Giving us space to feel. To just be.


Favorite negativity-busting activity: Asking ANYONE besides myself “How are you doing?”

Fave self-love ritual: Bubble bath. Masturbate. Netflix.

Favorite feel-good food(s): Beer!

Favorie movie or TV show to watch when I’m feeling down: Love and Basketball; Center Stage

Favorite empowering book(s): Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters – A tough important read that rocked me to my core.


My feel-good playlist: A little Kendrick Lamar and a lot of Drake

Advice I would give my…
…4 year old self: Take advantage of nap time
…14 year-old self: Don’t rush to have sex
…24 year old self: Don’t fake orgasms – it helps no one!

5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list: Marry Drake. Create my own television show. Create foundation for young women to make movies about whatever they want. Be half as cool as my Grandma.

My best tip on self love: Breathe. Show up for your feelings. All of them.

Breathe. Show up for your feelings. All of them. - @jesskahnweiler Click To Tweet

When I truly love all of myself… I am connected spiritually to what’s beyond me.

Right now, I am most excited about… The great unknown.

My body is: A gift that keeps on giving.

Three words to describe me: Loud. Honest. HERE.

Current mantra: It’s impossible for you to fuck it up.


WANT more Jessie?
The Skinny on Refinery29

Photo credits: Patrick Gookin

The WANTcast, Episode 009: On Showing Up + Throwing Down with Producer Komal Minhas of Dream, Girl

The WANTcast, Episode 009: On Showing Up + Throwing Down with Producer Komal Minhas of Dream, Girl

Community the WANTcast

Woah-man. This episode is a goodie. And a prime example of things happening exactly the way they’re supposed to, exactly when they’re supposed to.

Last year, I received a message in my inbox about a new documentary raising funds on Kickstarter. To be completely honest, I don’t usually pay super-close attention to Kickstarter…as there is just so much out there, I run the risk of being constantly overwhelmed with things and projects and causes I want to help bring to life.

But this one got under my skin.

A few years back, a documentary called Miss Representation came along and completely shook up (in a good way!) women everywhere. It was POWERFUL. I watched, rewatched, re-rewatched, and waited for more and more documentaries and films like this to start flooding into this huge wonderful gap that had just been discovered.

They didn’t.

There were a few gems along the way (see show notes), but still, I craved a documentary that shone a light on the kinds of women I longed to be like: ambitious, creative, purpose-driven people making a difference in the world. Even as I watched documentaries on other subjects I was interested in, I started to notice a startling pattern: the majority of experts featured, talked about, talking, etc…were men. Mostly white. Mostly older.

Where were the faces and voices of feminine strength, gusto, and diversity? Where were the examples of all ages being recognized for their talents and knowledge, not their demographic or years on this planet?

Apparently, they were all filming Dream, Girl.

Dream, Girl is an upcoming documentary that tells the inspiring stories of female entrepreneurs and CEOs in order to empower the next generation of girl bosses to dream bigger. It’s the spotlight we’ve been searching for, the examples we’ve been craving, and the stories we’ve longed for for far too long.

All this is being produced by Komal Minhas, an Indo-Canadian film producer, writer, and investor. Komal’s company KoMedia Inc. is passionate about telling the stories/improving the lives of women and girls globally – and her latest gig producing and co-founding Dream, Girl with her business partner and DG director (and bona-fide girl boss badass) Erin Bagwell is about to make some serious waves.
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03 - Komal on Set

In this episode, we talk about the sort of feminist renaissance we’re having at the moment and why this point in time matters, going big and making your dream your reality, the health challenge Komal’s been facing in the mist of producing this dream project and how to take care of yourself when things get tough, mentorship, being ballsy – and maybe my favorite part of this episode, making friends as an adult and the power of female friendships (I may or may not have cried a smidge during this part).

She is beautiful, inside and out, and even though this was literally our VERY first time talking, I already feel like I have a new friend. And I feel like that’s part of Komal’s magic – her magnetism, enthusiasm, and inclusive personality combined with a drive you can hear in her voice.


The film is set to release in the spring of 2016, but the amount of momentum behind this film right now is absolutely extraordinary. To some people it might make more sense to run this closer to the film, but I wanted to give you a first look so you can get on the action before it hits big and trust me, IT WILL HIT BIG.
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05 - Komal + Erin Dream, Girl Trailer Launch Party


Play in new window | Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon (just by doing what you already do)

Komal’s website
Dream, Girl
Erin Bagwell
Bous De Jong
Rowan Blanchard
Lenny Letter on endometriosis
Komal’s blog post on hypothyroidism and getting things checked out
Half The Sky
Miss Representation
India’s Daughter
WANTiversary party!

I'm just doing my best, and it's working out the way it needs to. -@KomalMinhas Click To Tweet

If WE don't take care of our body and our health, no one else will. -@KomalMinhas Click To Tweet

You never know if you don't ask. -@KomalMinhas Click To Tweet

Positivity is choosing love over fear. -@KomalMinhas Click To Tweet

Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Komal’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
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*rowan blanchard is 14, not 13. 14. but she said a lot of amazing things at 13. so it counts. so we’re not like 100% wrong.

Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement:


The WANTcast, Episode 008: On Lessons From Rock Bottom + Listening As Service with Benjamin Mathes

The WANTcast, Episode 008: On Lessons From Rock Bottom + Listening As Service with Benjamin Mathes

Community the WANTcast

Yes, you read/saw that right.

Today’s WANTcast guest is...a dude.


Having men as a part of WANT has been in the gameplan from the beginning. But of course, I wanted to do it right. Not just anyone. Not just any time.

It’s a new year. The time is now.

Sometimes the person who needs to be heard the most is sitting right next to you -@bcmathes Click To Tweet

Ben is, without question, a dream guest and the perfect man to kick off this new year of brilliant WANT Women and Men. Not only were we able to kick off jamming about one of my favorite topics – gender and the beauty/strength in our innate differences – but we really went there when it comes to what happens when you hit what feels like rock bottom and where you go from there.
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We also talk service, judgement, how to forgive yourself when forgiveness feels hardest – and, as we get into his AMAZING organization Urban Confessional – why it is that listening is key to changing the world. I’ll just leave this here:

Heads up! We’re giving you a challenge at the end of this pod – comment below or hit us up on social media to add your voice to the mix.

You are going to love this. I am so proud of this conversation.


Play in new window | Download | Support the pod by shopping Amazon like normal (for real!)
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The difference between a boy and a man is accountability. -@bcmathes Click To Tweet

Show Notes:
Benjamin Mathes – website
Urban Confessional – website
Crash Acting – website
Thought Lozenges For Artists

CRASH Journal
Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds
Listen First Project


Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Ben’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
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