December 17, 2020
Author, director, and tv presenter Dawn O’Porter joins Jameela to discuss their friendship and how they first met, Dawn’s experience having her partner Chris O’Dowd experience a career high while hers was at a low, discovering you are “the girl next door,” loving work and loving being a mother, honest conversations with her sons, and her new book Life In Pieces.
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37 — Dawn O’Porter
Jameela Jamil [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil. Oh, we’re a week away from Christmas. Are you okay? Do you even care? Do you celebrate Christmas? I don’t. I don’t care about any religious background today personally. I also find family really intense, and I don’t like groups of more than five people. So, lockdown was kind of perfect for me. I normally find myself around this time of year just helping out at local shelters or sitting alone, eating noodles, watching Netflix, having a fucking great time. But I’m not sure if that is your vibe. And so, if you are alone at this time of year, I hope that’s somewhat out of choice and that you’re okay. If not, as I’ve said before, we will get through this, we’ll be through this soon, and we’ll get out of this together. And so please hang on, and phone friends, and use Zoom even though we fucking all hate Zoom by now. And if you are spending it with family, I hope that’s okay because that’s a lot, isn’t it? Sometimes they can be a lot, especially this year. The reason I have chosen today’s guest is because I feel like she is the perfect person to just make us all feel like… it’s okay. It’s okay to not find everything easy. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to be reflective of oneself and kind of pick yourself apart in ways that are just kind of helping you construct who you’re going to be next. I’m talking about Dawn O’Porter, who is a wonderful writer and host. And she’s someone I’ve looked up to for the longest time. In fact, when I first ever met my agent, when I was 22 and I was about to become a TV host, she said, you know, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” And I said, “Dawn O’Porter” because she’s this fabulous documentary maker and just she’s so funny, and authentic, and relatable, and interesting, and interested. And I think that’s why so many people love her work. She has had a really, really difficult year. She lost one of her best friends, if not her very best friend, in the world at the beginning of this year–the beginning of lockdown–and then the world just stopped turning. And she ended up writing a book very fucking quickly called Life and Pieces, which is now available. Kind of like a journey–a diary entry journey–of what this year has been for her, and, you know, her husband, and her two small children. How do any of us cope? And I think that it’s really resonated with a lot of people around the world because it’s been fucking hard. And we don’t need to be kind of force-fed toxic positivity at this time of year. And we don’t need to be told that we should be achieving great things, or everything should be amazing, or we shouldn’t feel pressured to come out of this better than we were before. We should just at best come out of this alive. And she’s so, so candid. And I think if you were a parent out there–in particular a mum–she really goes into detail about, you know, all the things that she does. She talks about the struggles of motherhood. She talks about the struggles of her career, and moments where it’s taken huge depths, and the shame associated with that, and how much she hated her old value system of thinking success equals happiness. She talked about struggling when her husband was doing better than her. She talked about how difficult this year has been. She talked about drinking a lot and drinking what she describes as too much–but who knows? And I’m sure she’s not; I’m sure she’s fine. But generally, she’s sort of everyone’s best friend. And I hope that’s how you feel at the end of this episode. I think you’ll feel heard, and seen, and comforted. And you’ll want to go out and buy her book, Life in Pieces, to make you feel less alone at the end of what has been truly the stupidest fucking year of any of our lives. Dawn Bloody Porter. Welcome to I Weigh. How are you?
Dawn O’Porter [00:03:55] No! Dawn O’Porter!
Jameela Jamil [00:03:55] Oh, fuck! I got it wrong. Starting again. We’ll keep that in. Dawn O’bloody Porter. Welcome to I Weigh. How are you? Fuck.
Dawn O’Porter [00:04:05] I’m great. I’m so insulted, but I’m absolutely fine.
Jameela Jamil [00:04:08] I’m bright red.
Dawn O’Porter [00:04:10] It’s the rage. The rage.
Jameela Jamil [00:04:12] I know. I completely understand, especially because it’s such a great name. It’s my favorite version of someone slightly altering their name after marriage that I’ve ever heard. And I didn’t know that your children had taken on the O’Porter surname as well.
Dawn O’Porter [00:04:28] Yeah. So, they’ve got my surname. We invented the surname and then gave it to the boys. We’re so modern.
Jameela Jamil [00:04:33] Oh, I love it so much because your husband is Chris O’Dowd. And as the modern-day feminist as you are, you took a little chunk–you took a little snip of the “O’,” and then you’ve gone in with the rest of “Porter.” And I love it so much. I just forgot.
Dawn O’Porter [00:04:46] That’s all right. Add the apostrophe. I read an article that someone wrote the other day that said what a terrible thing it is to have an O-apostrophe in your name because no forms accept it. Banks don’t like apostrophes. Like, it really makes your life incredibly complicated, and they cited me in this article saying, “I hope she realizes that you made a huge mistake by taking an “O” and an apostrophe. And they’re right. It’s a real pain in my ass. But it’s cute.
Jameela Jamil [00:05:11] Okay. Well, I love it. I love it. I just don’t remember it. But I love it. And I’m really excited to have you here. As I like to remind you at least once a year, we met because I walked up to you in Soho House one day–which sounds very bougie of me. But I was a young TV host, and I walked up to you and was very much so shaking inside as I told you that you were my hero and why I had to become a TV presenter. I had a very accidental career in that I was kind of plucked from obscurity in a pub to do this audition for T4–which is a youth TV program that I did in the UK back in 2009, which is ages ago. And I got given this agent–I didn’t really know what an agent was–and she was like, you know, “Okay, so what do you want to do? What do you want to be?” And I hadn’t really planned on ever being in TV, so I was like, “I guess I’d like to be Dawn Porter, please. Can I please be Dawn Porter? And she was like, “Yeah, sure.” I was like, “I feel like she really makes documentaries that make people laugh but really help people. And I’ve learned a lot from her. So, I think I’d like to be like her? I want to help people–educate people. And I’d like to be Dawn Porter.” So, she was like, “Right, okay. Well, I guess I’ll try and make you Dawn Porter!” And so, then I got to meet you, like, three years later and tell you that. And you were a little bit freaked out. You were very nice to me, but you were a bit freaked out.
Dawn O’Porter [00:06:39] A few reasons why I was freaked out. First, because to me, you were so famous and successful, so it seemed ridiculous. Also, your hands down, one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the earth. And when you approach someone who’s sitting down–just so that you’re aware of this… I was at my computer, working, because I’m really bougie and used to write in Soho House. And I look up, and this absolute goddess–leggy, beautiful, recognized-her-off-the-telly angel–is standing above me and says, “You’re the reason I went into TV.” And I was like, “Uh. Oh, yeah. Okay.” It was a gorgeous moment, and I really appreciated it. But I mean, it’s insane.
Jameela Jamil [00:07:16] Well, that’s very, very sweet. Yeah, you were baffled by me. But also, when we were talking about this yesterday–when I was just reminding you of that–you also mentioned that you were having a bit of a shit time in your life.
Dawn O’Porter [00:07:29] I was. It was weird that you came over at that point because I was actually probably around that time, honestly, just maybe coming out the other side of not working for ages. My TV career had gone completely to shit. I’d been really succ– Really successful–can’t even say it–in my twenties. I think that’s why it all went wrong; I just can’t talk. Really successful in my twenties and made all these documentaries. And then when I was about 29, I moved out to L.A. to make a series for Channel Four, which is great. And then they were like, “Oh, we’re going to give you a second series.” I was like, “Great.” So, I spent all my money on mid-century furniture and signed up to a year in this really cute little apartment in West Hollywood. I was like, “Brilliant. I’m going to live out in L.A. now and have this TV series.” And then the months went by, and the months went by, and the months went by. And after ten months, one of the commissioners at Channel Four called me and he just said, “Are you sitting down?” In my memory–which is way more Hollywood than reality–I remember falling to the ground. And he was like, “We’re not going to give you a second series.” This was kind of the beginning of… Well, actually it wasn’t quite the beginning because that ten months was hard. But a few years of just not being able to get any work in TV at all, living in a country where I only had a visa where I could work with one particular company who didn’t have any work for me, on the other side of the world from my success–as I said earlier. And it just all went really wrong. And I think when I saw you, I had just got my first book sale–which is great. I’ve started to kind of claw out of it again. But there was a good few years in there that were just terrible. So, to have someone come out to me and say– remind me–that I had been on TV and that had been good–it was just quite a shock because by the point you came up to me at Soho House, I had convinced myself that I was utterly shit.
Jameela Jamil [00:09:21] Oh, that’s so annoying. And also, like, I can’t believe that we’ve known each other for this many years and I didn’t know until last night that that’s what was even going on in your life because to me, you have just been this ever-present, successful figure of feminism, and information, and realism in a way. You were kind of part of that new brand or breed of celebrity who were just not going to deal with the facade, and the nonsense, and the unrealistic ideals to live up to. You felt like you were on our side. You felt like us–like you’d snuck in through a window. And obviously, you’re very beautiful, and you’re very charming and charismatic. But you just still felt like you were ours–like you were us–like we were seeing Hollywood, or seeing the world, or seeing the beauty industry, seeing everything through your eyes in a way that felt very relatable. So, I had no idea that you had a dip.
Dawn O’Porter [00:10:19] No. And you know what’s funny? That just reminds me of when I first got called “the girl next door” in an article–and I remember being gutted. I was like, “Aw… I’m not trying to be the girl next door. I thought I was like–”
Jameela Jamil [00:10:36] “In the castle down the road.”
Dawn O’Porter [00:10:38] “And really special.” I don’t know. You’re just like everyone’s best mate. You’re just the girl next door. And I remember kind of going, “No. Dawn. It’s a good thing. Just be happy about it.” The first time you called it… It was a moment. But as I was saying, what’s so interesting–this is what I’ve learned as now a 42-year-old–is talking about the different ways that you equate success. So, when you say those things–even though I didn’t really work physically for a few years, I was still all of the things I’d been before and all of the things that I am now and still had all of that stuff. But I equated all of my success to finances at that time. So, when I wasn’t earning money, I felt like a failure. And that is just such a frustrating, creatively stumping mentality when you equate success to finances, which I don’t do anymore because it’s just too disappointing in this industry. You just go through periods of time of just earning loads of money and doing really well. And then you go through periods of time of not earning much money. That’s just the general life of a freelancer. And the trick is–when you’re going through the times of earning no money–not to consider yourself not to be the thing or as good at as you are when you’re earning money. You’re just not earning much money at that particular moment in time–you’re still good at what you do. And that kind of retrospective look on it, like, “I have a few months of not getting much work now. I don’t beat myself up creatively and go into a dark hole.”
Jameela Jamil [00:12:11] I mean, yeah. This has been a shit year for everyone–for all freelancers. No one’s been able to really work.
Dawn O’Porter [00:12:17] It doesn’t mean you’re bad at your job. Sometimes it just means that you don’t get the work. And you keep plugging away and eventually it will come back.
Jameela Jamil [00:12:24] And I think you can also fall into the horrifying trap of comparison culture from looking at what someone else is doing and forgetting that maybe when you were doing really well, they weren’t. Like, we’re all ebbing and flowing and having our dips all the time.
Dawn O’Porter [00:12:37] Definitely. Also, I think there’s no autobiography that is good where it was just a great story about constant happiness or success.
Jameela Jamil [00:12:46] Yeah, no one wants to read that fucking book.
Dawn O’Porter [00:12:49] No. You want to be the old person, who’s having, you know, tea with your grandkids, talking of your battles, and what you went through, and love, and success, and have these lessons and stories to tell. And this is what you realize: When you’re 30 and something like that happens–especially when it involves fame, and shame, and being embarrassed about not getting any work–you don’t see the bigger picture. The older that I’ve got, the more I’m like–oh God, it’s all so cheesy–“It’s all part of that rich tapestry, isn’t it?” Like, if that happened to me again and the work dried up, I don’t think that I would get as sad as I was then. I think that was my reaction at that age when I thought all I was a paycheck. I have to keep earning. If I wasn’t earning, I wasn’t anything.
Jameela Jamil [00:13:33] And did you used to have an attachment to fame when you were younger? Like, did you want to be sort of a known, prominent figure? Was that something that you cared about when you were younger?
Dawn O’Porter [00:13:43] So I did when I was younger because I got brought up on a tiny island–Guernsey–which is like seven miles by four miles, and it’s just off the coast of France. And not much went down on Guernsey. And so, I wanted to be an actress when I was that age. And so, I would just fantasize about my name in lights and just being really famous, and it was all about being famous. And I thought that’s all I wanted and all I wanted to do. So, I went to drama school, got to drama school, and–within six months of being there–realized that I hated acting. I absolutely hated it. I had no interest in it. So, I just spent those three years getting wasted and not really doing much at all. And so, as I came out of drama school, I went into TV production and then thought I wanted to be a TV presenter. And still, I think in the back of my head, it was about fame, and recognition, and being a somebody, and just being seen. And then I did my shows, and I never really got famous. It was actually very lucky because I was never written about by the tabloids, and it wasn’t particularly interested in me unless they literally watched my shows and know who I am. So, it was very kind of small. I was in a position, before I turned 30, to get stuff made. I could work, but I wasn’t walking down the street, getting recognized–having any of that stuff.
Jameela Jamil [00:15:04] Apart from by me, following you around.
Dawn O’Porter [00:15:09] In my twenties, I think, I kind of experienced that. And then when it all fell apart and when it all starts to come back, I realized the thing that I didn’t want but wasn’t interested to care about was the recognition part. And when I started to put my career back together in my mid-thirties, all I wanted to do was write. All I want to do is write books, which really isn’t about fame. When you write books, you have to have enough of a notoriety to sell your books. But I didn’t care if my face was ever seen. I stopped this kind of needing to be the center of attention. All of that fame part of it went away. I completely shifted to just wanting to be really successful–and by “successful” I meant “I want to get paid to do the job I love,” which is write. So, I’ve gone through a lot with the fame thing. It starts off where I thought that’s what I wanted. And now I’ve got quite a famous husband, and when we’re out about and people are wanting photos with him, I’m just like, “God, I’m so glad it’s not me.”
Jameela Jamil [00:16:06] Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Dawn O’Porter [00:16:07] Sorry. I know it’s you.
Jameela Jamil [00:16:08] Yeah, you fucking bitch. Fucking bitch.
Dawn O’Porter [00:16:15] I look at you, and I just think, “Thank God that’s not me.”
Jameela Jamil [00:16:21] I was saying that my heart was just sinking another inch every time you brought up another thing that’s great about existing in your status. You know, you’ve written columns for such a long time, and I’ve read your writing wherever I can find it and just learned a lot from you. And I remember you, you know, being very open at the time around the fact that when you first met your husband, who is Chris O’Dowd–who’s in lots of wonderful films and TV shows–that his career was kind of really just taking off around the time that you two got together, which was the same time that your career was having a bit of a dip.
Dawn O’Porter [00:16:57] Let’s just set the scene. So, we wake up every morning, and Chris has just done bridesmaids, which like catapulted him into being, like, global superstar, it felt like at the time. So, we’d wake up every morning, and he would just, you know, pick up his phone, and it would be like, “You’re wanted on this, this, this, and this, and this, this.” And I would just wake up in the morning to like, “You’ve just been fired from your column.” And then my agent would be like, “Terribly sorry to tell you, you just also lost this other job.” So, it was just this really odd time. And what’s so disappointing is that I let it consume me to such a degree that I can’t say I massively enjoyed that moment of success for Chris. I’d never been on red carpets–but that’s what mean about semi being well known. Before I met Chris, I’d been on TV for five years, but I’ve never done a red carpet before. That wasn’t my life. And then the first big red carpet I did was the Bridesmaids premiere, which was absolutely massive. And I had my friend’s shoes on that I had to have three insoles in because they were too big. I did my own hair and makeup, and it was awful. And I just thought, “What am I doing here? I’m so, so out of place.” And I was so caught up in my own insecurity and disappointment in myself that I just didn’t enjoy it. And it’s so frustrating because it should have been just the best time ever. And I just felt like this kind of just down… Oh God, it’s so annoying. Anyway, I have this thing now that whenever we go to any event, I just try to have the most fun. I can make up. I’ve got to make up for it. You know when you hear people say, “Celebrity events and awards things–oh, it’s quite boring.” I’m like, “No, I love it. I love it!” I get really stuck in because I feel like I missed such an opportunity when all of that was happening. So, I just look back, and I just think, “Ugh.”
Jameela Jamil [00:18:39] Now that I’m thinking about it, every time I’ve ever seen you at a festival or an event, you are always the smiliest, silliest person there. Even when I turned up in a chicken suit–dressed fully as a chicken–at that big event, you were still somehow even sillier and more mischievous than me. And you remember I wore those diamanté six-inch heels with my chicken suit because I was like– Okay, just for a background…
Dawn O’Porter [00:19:05] I mean, you have to explain.
Jameela Jamil [00:19:10] I underestimated the British public’s sense of humor. And I said that for every thousand dollars I was able to raise–thousand pounds at the time–for comic relief, I’d wear a chicken suit. The public in under 24 hours gave me 30 fucking thousand pounds, so I had to wear this fucking chicken suit for 30 days. And because I have so much–too much integrity, I would now argue–I didn’t take it off for the whole time. It literally disintegrated in my hand. I was somehow able to shimmy and change my knickers every day. But I would wear that every single day to everything I did. I got kicked off a show with Prince Charles that I was supposed to be hosting ’cause he was like, “His Royal Highness is not going to stand next to someone dressed like a giant chicken.”
Dawn O’Porter [00:19:54] It was amazing.
Jameela Jamil [00:19:54] I lost a bunch of work and campaigns because I was like, “I’m really sorry, modeling job, but I have to wear this chicken suit.” And so, I get fired all the time.
Dawn O’Porter [00:20:07] I think I was hosting that event. When you turned up in the chicken suit… You text me before, I think, to say it. And I was just like, “What the fuck is she talking about?” And then when you walked in, I remember just thinking, “Jameela is actually wearing a chicken suit.”
Jameela Jamil [00:20:22] And it was this really fancy event. And I tried to show up by wearing that high stiletto diamante shoes–to sort of try and get away with it–and a diamond handbag. By the way, it was a very big, fluffy, like, full on chicken suit. It was enormous–this suit–and very yellow. And it had these red wings that joined my wrist to my waist. So anytime I would lift my arms, I would have these giant red wings. And I wore it on national television and every event for 30 fucking days.
Dawn O’Porter [00:20:59] It’s absolutely incredible. My other favorite one that you did was when you turned up to the Grammy Awards in a wedding dress.
Jameela Jamil [00:21:04] Oh, my God. Yeah. That’s because no one would dress me. Everyone said I was too fat, and everyone was like, “You’re too fat to be dressed for this event.” And I was only a size 12 at the time–UK 12–which is like a fucking eight in America. And they were just like, “No, sorry.” So, I was like, “Right, well then fuck you. If I’m going to have a moment on the red carpet, I’m going to have my bloody moment myself.” And I went and spent, like, $2,000 on a massive Vivienne Westwood wedding dress.
Dawn O’Porter [00:21:31] It was so funny. I can relive that one as well. I remember seeing you, and I just said to Chris, “Chris, I think Jameela’s wearing a wedding dress.”
Jameela Jamil [00:21:42] I was just trying to make a point.
Dawn O’Porter [00:21:45] Oh, I love you. Honestly, it’s so fun.
Jameela Jamil [00:21:48] I’m still allowed to have fun at size 12 and up. Anyway, yeah. No, it’s so ridiculous. Anyway, what were we talking about? But I love seeing your cheeky little face at everything–at anything that I see you at–because you and Chris are always a bit drunk, and having a fucking brilliant time, and the most fun people to hang out with at anything. And it’s so funny to hear where part of that comes from is knowing that you missed a moment. The amount of fucking years of my life I missed because I was worried about the way that I looked or how I was being perceived by other people. I look back and honestly, Dawn, if there wasn’t picture and film proof of my twenties, I would have never believed it happened ’cause I didn’t remember it. All I remember was just hating myself.
Dawn O’Porter [00:22:29] That’s crazy.
Jameela Jamil [00:22:30] Our value systems are so shit. And getting a second chance in America–I’ve really made it my mission to enjoy everything as much as possible and really set my boundaries properly, reassess the way that I have a relationship with myself, and just have fun with as much of it as I can.
Dawn O’Porter [00:22:49] How fun? You know, I was just thinking about you because when you first got out to L.A. and I saw you quite a lot–I can’t remember what reason you came out here that was kind of the public reason you came out–I remember you saying to me quite sheepishly, “I just really want to be in a comedy. I want to do comedy acting.”
Jameela Jamil [00:23:05] No, I didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be a comedy writer. I wanted to be in comedy.
Dawn O’Porter [00:23:09] Right. Whatever it was you said–you just didn’t say with confidence. You were like, “No, I know. And everyone’s going to think I can’t do that. I can’t do that.” And then suddenly we went out for dinner, I think, the night or a couple of nights after you got your part in the good place. And I was like, “You just came out here, you did the thing, you got the thing, and now look at you. It’s absolutely amazing.” And it’s so inspiring because I think people come out here with a dream, and it either works out or it doesn’t. And I just love the times when it does because a lot of people have trodden the path that you’ve trotted. And I’m very proud of you is what I’m trying to say.
Jameela Jamil [00:23:48] Well, when you were, you know, coming towards the end of that dip around the time that we met you and a publisher, basically, who’d read a couple of your columns–who thought you were a great writer–just had this belief in you that you could write fiction. You’d never written fucking fiction before, you got a book deal, and you just threw yourself in. And now you are such a respected fucking fiction writer who so many people look up to. It’s so mad. But again, that was a huge risk. I would be way too terrified to try and write fiction. I don’t think I have a single ounce of imagination in my brain. I can’t imagine how vulnerable one has to be to put yourself out there like that, where it’s just about your brain. You can’t distract with any other thing. It’s just your ability to tell a story. And it went so well. But I’m so proud of you even just for doing it–for throwing yourself in like that.
Dawn O’Porter [00:24:33] Well, it came at a time when… So, I used to write a column–this weekly column in London–which, when everything had gone wrong, was my lifeline. It was my only job, and I loved it. But then they sacked me. And I was like, “Oh my God. Without that column, I literally have nothing.”
Jameela Jamil [00:24:51] It was a great column, by the way.
Dawn O’Porter [00:24:53] Thanks. And what was really insulting is they didn’t actually replace me for ages. They just gave it to someone different every week. I was like, “Oh, you didn’t even have a better idea. You just…”
Jameela Jamil [00:25:01] Oh, God.
Dawn O’Porter [00:25:01] I know. But I think they’d taken me on as, like, someone who had my own TV series, and I was quite exciting. And then they just realized that I was just never on TV, so not actually publicizing their magazine at all. Anyway, you know, it is what it is. So, I lost that column, and it was only a few months later that I was back in London. We were here, and I said to Chris, “I need to get back to London. I need to try to claw something back because nothing’s going to happen for me in America.” And so, we’re back there, and this lovely lady called Emily just called me out of the blue and said that she’d loved my columns and would I ever consider writing young adult fiction? And I said, “No.” But then we were on the phone for about an hour and a half, and by the end of the hour and a half, I had come up with an idea for a novel. She gave me a two-book deal. And here’s the thing–I didn’t have anything else. So, it was like this lifeline. But I was so scared to write fiction, but I realized by the end of that call that all I’d ever wanted to do was write fiction. That was all I’d ever wanted to do. She said it to me, and I was like, “You’ve offered me the thing that I thought I was going to do in the garden shed when I was 70 and maybe have the, you know, confidence to show some of my manuscripts.” And so that just pulled me out of a really deep fog that I’d been in for a few years. And I wrote the books, and I loved them. And then I, you know, luckily just kept getting to write my books.
Jameela Jamil [00:26:18] Well, you’ve been kind of conjuring up stories since you were a little kid. Like, even if you were the character in those stories, it’s like she’ll be the big, famous actress one day. You always had an active imagination.
Dawn O’Porter [00:26:28] Yeah, the first story I wrote was when I was ten, and it was called Nightmare on Albert Square. And it was based on Dot Cotton from our long running soap, EastEnders. And it’s really, really powerful storytelling. My sister actually got it–it’s on a sheet–framed and gave it to me for my 40th because it was just so beautiful.
Jameela Jamil [00:26:56] You’ve written a book this year that a lot of people are loving, and talking about, and finding very, very helpful. You wrote about lockdown.
Dawn O’Porter [00:27:05] I did.
Jameela Jamil [00:27:05] I don’t know how the fuck you got it out so fast. I’ve never even heard of publishing working that fast. That’s terrifying.
Dawn O’Porter [00:27:11] It was really strange. I’ve got a blog that I keep that I started up at the beginning of the year. And I set up a subscription blog–where people have to pay–because I didn’t care how many people joined, I just didn’t want to, like, throw my personal… I’m quite open on it. I didn’t want to, like, just throw that into the ether of the internet. I wanted to keep it quite contained and just have people read it that are interested in me, which I would recommend to all writers. Find your audience, and don’t put yourself out there to be attacked by people who don’t like you.
Jameela Jamil [00:27:42] Great.
Dawn O’Porter [00:27:43] But, yeah. Sorry.
Jameela Jamil [00:27:45] Thanks for saying that ten years after I started my blog. Thanks. That’s great. That’s great. Great.
Dawn O’Porter [00:27:51] You’re doing great. You’re doing great.
Jameela Jamil [00:27:53] Anything else? Got anything else? To just finish me off here and now.
Dawn O’Porter [00:27:58] You know what? Let me just work up to the big one. It’s coming at the end. So, anyway, I had this blog. And when lockdown started, I couldn’t write books and didn’t have the focus. So, I would write a post every night–just a kind of 500 word post every night–about, basically, how much parenting I was doing and how much I was drinking. It was quite funny. And I would make notes on my phone all day as to what happened and then put the kids to bed, pour some wine, and write this blog and post it. And my readers just loved it. And my publishers were obviously following the blog. And after about two months, they were like, “You know, if you wanted to, we could turn this into a book.” And I said “No” at first because it was quite personal. And I write fiction now. And the idea of doing a nonfiction book just wasn’t what I wanted to do at all. And I just kind of thought, “Fuck it, we’ve almost all been through this mad experience this year. Let’s just open up and share.” So, by the time I got the book deal–probably in May–I had already written 45,000 words. The book was kind of done. So, then I just had to go and piece it together, and add essays, and do other stuff. And so, the publishing process was just very quick. As soon as I gave it to them–the finished manuscript–I had the hard copy in my hand in, like, weeks. They were like, “If we don’t get this out now, there’s going to be 40,000 books about people’s experiences in lockdown.” And so, hats off to HarperCollins because they just somehow bought out a book that I started writing in February. But in March they bought it out. On the 1st of October, it was published. It’s amazing.
Jameela Jamil [00:29:29] I’ve never even heard of that before, honestly. They demand months, and months, and months in advance, normally. And tell us about that book and just… I mean, not going into too much detail because people obviously should buy it themselves. But I think, you know, as much as you detest the idea of being relatable–or used to–I feel as though everyone has found this book to be incredibly relatable. Obviously, you’ve gone through a lot this year, and you went through loss, and you went through parenting and to the point where you had zero help whatsoever. And I think any parent out there who’s having to go through that knows what it’s like to also have two kids under the age of five. You’re also there with your partner. Neither of you are able to work. Neither of you know where your income is coming from. You’re both kind of stuck together in a house with two very small children in a pandemic–having gone through a huge emotional thing at the beginning of the year, the world is falling apart, there’s political unrest, there’s violence in the streets. You know, it’s been mad, and you didn’t sugarcoat any of it. And I think that that’s really cool.
Dawn O’Porter [00:30:35] Yeah, I didn’t sugarcoat any of it because what was the point in writing a book about my experience in 2020 that didn’t have ups and downs? But what was really nice about it–what kept me going–is how the… I mean, one line that I say in the book, which I really stand by, is “So much life happens when nothing is happening.” And that’s what 2020 taught me. Life will be smaller and happier after this experience.
Jameela Jamil [00:30:59] You think?
Dawn O’Porter [00:31:00] For me personally, yes. My need to kind of be connected and out there– Like, I left Twitter this year. I’ve just honed everything down a bit. And it’s just much better. And I know, obviously, that the world will open up and, you know, start working again and, like, things will get bigger. But I’ve definitely kind of shared a lot. And I’m a working mother who’s also on a deadline. You have to come up with ideas for stories. I cannot turn my brain off, so therefore I don’t really go to work 9 to 5. I go physically, but I’m always thinking about my books–always making notes on my phone. I’m always working all the time. I always say, “Hang on a minute, hang on a minute, hang on a minute.” I’m just saying, “I’ve just got to go upstairs and write that down.” That’s what I’m like all the time. And even though I’m always there to pick the kids up, and I cook them all their meals, and I do all this stuff–I’m very there. I’ve always been distracted from the day they were born.
Jameela Jamil [00:31:51] Yeah, you’ve always been one of the busiest people I know. Like, it was, I suppose, like, two years where, like, no one could hang out with you because you were just like, “I’ve got 400 deadlines. I’ve got two small babies.”
Dawn O’Porter [00:32:00] I know. So, it was really nice to knock it out. And I know obviously I wrote a book, but it was very different for writing fiction. But like I said, it was a blog–a diary. I didn’t have to write massive bodies of text and invent a whole world. So, I’ve really quite enjoyed being so much more just present with my kids. I used to have that kind of feeling–and so many working parents relate to this–the fear of my kid getting sick, where I’d have to pick them up for school and spend the day at home. And you know, the fear constantly of something getting in the way of work–the fear of one of them falling over and it becoming about that when I had a meeting at 10:00. And now I’ve got rid of a lot of the feeling that I can control everything–much more chill. But we had to get COVID tests today because one of my five-year-old friends tested positive, and he was in school with her last week. So, we had to go and get COVID tests. And obviously apart from the actual “Oh, God, I hope my kid’s okay,” I didn’t have a panic attack about “This means I can’t work,” which would be what I would usually do. “Oh, God, this is going to mess up the plans.” I just didn’t care. I was just like, “Don’t worry, darling. We’re going to take you for a test, and if you get ill, I’m here to look after you, and nothing’s going to get in the way of that.” That’s been a really nice experience as a parent, rather than being constantly worried everything’s going to take me away from my work, essentially.
Jameela Jamil [00:33:34] But also, I do love the fact that you talk about being a working mom. I do love the fact that you talk about being distracted and having a desire and a wish outside of just being a mom. And that isn’t the case for everyone. But there are some moms out there who do feel that way and who do feel horribly shamed for not having their children be the entire center of their universe. Of course, they are to some degree for many, many parents. But still hanging on to a dream or a passion or needing that outlet for your intellect, I think, is something that we don’t talk about enough for moms. They’re made to feel guilty for wanting to get away from their kids for a minute to go and do something really creative.
Dawn O’Porter [00:34:13] Here’s the truth: We’re not made to feel guilty. We make ourselves feel guilty. It’s all on us. Actually, I found personally–and I know this isn’t the case for everyone–in the world that I exist in, the people around me are very supportive of me working, but I put the guilt on myself half the time.
Jameela Jamil [00:34:34] But that doesn’t come from nowhere, though. I know that there’s so much conditioning. We don’t just shame ourselves. I do believe that there is a global societal shaming of moms. And, you know, we have this deity that you’re supposed to be–this perfect Mother Earth, always in control of everything, and never needing anything more than just your babies. And I think that it seeps in via, like, all of the conditioning out there.
Dawn O’Porter [00:34:57] You’re so right. I mean, I’m married to an actor. And Chris sometimes has to go away and work for a few weeks. It’s so hard for him. He absolutely hates it–hates being away from the kids. And we have a kind of rule that we never do more than two weeks. And he usually, without COVID, would just be on a plane a lot–come backwards and forwards. I can’t take a five-month job somewhere and come back every two weeks. I’m sure there are actresses and people who do, but I just couldn’t and wouldn’t do that. And that’s not ever a conversation that we’ve had. That’s just something that, I guess, is just ingrained in us–that I just couldn’t and wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of taking a five-month job and being away from my kids loads. But there is this presumption–and you see it in the way that the productions deal with us–that Chris is just going to do that, and dads can just go and, you know, commute. And that’s something that is hard for them, too, but it’s just presumed that that’s fine. And I do think the way that men are dealt with in offices where they’re expected to kind of work extra hours and that everything is taken care of at home–you’re totally right. There is just a condition that we all live among that, of course, affects moms in the way that we are.
Jameela Jamil [00:36:12] You’re very lucky that you’ve built a community yourself. You’re not just lucky, you’re very, very emotionally intelligent. You’re also a very, very self-aware person. You’re very analytical of people as soon as you meet them, and I see you do it, and it’s great, and I’m the same. And I think you’ve been very, very protective with your social space for a really long time, in a way that I think is really cool. And I don’t know if a lot of us do that enough–if we are self-preservational enough and careful enough with who we find toxic and who we just can’t be asked to make the time for. And I’m sure that motherhood probably creates more of a magnifying glass as to who is your priority or not. It’s just like, “Oh. I absolutely cannot be fucked with making time for you if you don’t, like, nourish me in some way.”
Dawn O’Porter [00:37:02] No. Also, can I just go back on another thing? And I’m just going to be really honest. When I’m talking about like being a working mom and it being hard, I’ve got no fucking idea how hard it is to be a working mom. I’m a writer. I’m in control of all my own hours. I can work from home if I need to. I have got no idea what it’s like. And part of the reason why I think I don’t ever want to be on TV ever again is I don’t want to work for production where I’m told I have to be somewhere eight in the morning, and I can’t leave until ten at night because I’m home and I can pick my kids up. I’m just always available. I get stressed about deadlines, but I just want to make that really clear that I think my job as a working mom is I’ve really got no idea of the plight of someone who has to go and sit in, you know, an office at certain times.
Jameela Jamil [00:37:52] Yeah. About three or four jobs. Yeah.
Dawn O’Porter [00:37:53] Yeah. Or it’s like whose boss isn’t understanding and, you know, who gets a hard time? So, I just wanted to say that because sometimes when I talk about being a working mom, I–almost as I’m saying it–realize that that’s not what I would term as a struggle in my life. I feel like I’m trying to come up with ideas for stories. People are doing actual jobs and making this work.
Jameela Jamil [00:38:17] No, for sure. For sure. And I always respect anyone who can just, like, recognize that level of ease in their own life. But also, we were just talking about the fact that it’s just nice to hear a woman take pride in her job still, even as a mom, and not feel as though it’s a shameful thing to be able to be not just, like, proud but also just to want more. It’s okay if you want more. If you don’t want more, that’s also fine–there’s nothing wrong with you. But I think we should just allow space for both.
Dawn O’Porter [00:38:44] I think so. I think that’s so right. And I definitely feel like women are so supportive now. The way that we talk to each other has changed in the last ten years. I feel very lucky to be a mom at this point in history where, you know, the vibe is that women should be able to get and do whatever they want. What makes me sad is when I’ve got friends who don’t want to work because there’s nothing they particularly want to do it. It’s more complicated for them, like, to go and sit in a job that they don’t love. And they feel embarrassed about the fact that they’re happy to be home with the kids. Really upsets me. Really upsets me because I’m like, “The whole point of this wasn’t to make women who really enjoy it feel less than.” The whole point was just that if you wanted to do more, you can. I’m a, you know, strident feminist to the end. But it really makes me sad when women–it makes them really happy to be home–feel like they feel embarrassed by it in some way, when honestly, the hardest thing I have to do in my life is raise kids.
Jameela Jamil [00:39:48] Yeah. I also feel like a lot of us had that realization this year of like, “Oh God, you know, I don’t know.” I think I had that realization around, like, March, where the world stopped and I’d been, you know, just devoured by the media. I was having a really shit time. And I just kind of felt like, “I think I thought I was supposed to be a boss bitch, but actually, I think I’m just a, like, almost dead bitch.” You know? Like, I’d really just felt like I’d run. I was running myself into the ground. I hadn’t taken a day off in three years–and not even an hour off. I was working 18-to-20-hour days. I was sleeping 3 to 4 hours a night. I was flying all over the place, trying to deal with the UN, or trying to deal with acting on set, or trying to deal with activism, or this fucking politician, or that fucking celebrity selling a laxative. Like, I was in chaos all the time. And I’ve a little bit been like, “I just kind of want to stay at home with my boyfriend, my friends, and my dog.” And all of a sudden–now that my year is being planned out next year and it looks as though my career will return back to, quote-unquote “normal”–I’m a little bit horrified and a little bit like, “Oh, I don’t know if I still have that same level of ambition that I was sort of programed to believe I was supposed to have as a feminist.” It’s like, “You must go out. And you must grab every opportunity you can.” I still think that if that’s what you want, you should. But it’s also okay to just like…
Dawn O’Porter [00:41:16] I’m really glad you said that because there was a point where you were doing everything. And I was like, “I hope she knows that she doesn’t have to do everything.” But I think it’s really okay to have those massive bursts of huge output and energy–just as long as you know that you don’t need to maintain that.
Jameela Jamil [00:41:36] Well, we get fear mongering, especially as a woman, especially if you’re brown, and if you’re over 30, and if you’re a bit curvier than other actresses or other public figures.
Dawn O’Porter [00:41:47] And if you run around in a chicken suit.
Jameela Jamil [00:41:47] Yeah, if you run around fucking chicken suit… or in a wedding dress. And if you’re gobby–you know–if you’re someone who’s got a big mouth on you and a divisive or controversial personality. It’s like you’re told very much “time is ticking” and “you’ve got a sprint, not marathon.” “I don’t know how you snuck into this room. If you’re going to stay here, it’s not going to be for very long. So, you better just do as much as you can.” And I had so many aspirations within activism, where I was just like, “I need to raise awareness about everything.” So, every single opportunity that came around, where I would use it to be able to talk about something, I was like, “I’m going to take it.” But I just burned out. And I lost my way and my energy and also realized that part of me had been caught up in the kind of “get the bag” rat race. “I’ve got to become this. I’ve got to become that.” I said “CEO,” you know, with a bit more, like, movement in my shoulders than I do now. Whereas now I look at CEO–something I’m incredibly proud of–but also, I look at it as a tremendous burden as well, rather than just like, “Ha ha. Boss bitch.” I don’t want to be a boss bitch anymore. Not for me personally. I’m tired. And I don’t think had this year not happened, I would have had that moment to– I don’t think I would have stopped. I think I would’ve just carried on. And also, you have the expectation of so many people in you–just being like, “You’re the one who’s broken free. You’re going to do it for all of us. So, you’re going to be the role model.” And I think there is nothing more suffocating or terrifying than being a role model.
Dawn O’Porter [00:43:12] Actually–on the role model thing–I actually wrote about this a few years ago because people started calling me a role model. And I was like, “I have done nothing where I want to be called a role model.” I don’t want to be a role model. I don’t. Why is it that women have to be role models? Men don’t need to be. They can just be fucking rock stars. I think it’s, you know, be aspirational, be inspiring, and be all these things, but this idea that you’re a role model means that then if you put a full out of line, then you’ve messed up. I hate that box.
Jameela Jamil [00:43:40] That’s what I love about you, though. You post very, very candid selfies. You talk about drinking too much wine all the time, which is what you say. This is not me projecting onto you. You just always talk about worrying everyone thinks you’re an alcoholic.
Dawn O’Porter [00:43:53] I just think everyone thinks I’m a raging alcoholic. The irony is I drink so much, but I really am not an alcoholic. And I’m sure there’s people listening, thinking, “Yeah that was me.”
Jameela Jamil [00:44:03] I mean, that is the sentence, isn’t it? “I don’t drink because I need it. I just want it. I don’t need it.”
Dawn O’Porter [00:44:11] I don’t. I’m very lucky not to have an addictive personality. But I am an incredibly indulgent person. I’m incredibly indulgent. Wine is just, like, my favorite thing, so ask me again in ten years and we’ll see how that’s going.
Jameela Jamil [00:44:24] Yeah. You won’t have a head anymore. It’ll just turn into a cork–a cork with a fringe. So, what else have you struggled with this year in lockdown?
Dawn O’Porter [00:44:43] Well, I lost a friend at the start, so that was really sad. And so, dealing with grief throughout this was really… I mean, I lost my mum when I was a kid, so I think I always thought I knew what grief was. And when you lose a parent or lose someone at seven years old, you have no fucking idea what grief was. You don’t know what grief is until it hits you as a grown up and it happens to someone that you really love. And so, it was my friend Caroline. And she took her own life on the 15th of February, and it was absolutely brutal. And I kind of think–anyone who’s lost somebody who’s listening to this will know–that you just cannot understand how the world can continue to be the same when that person is gone. And this year meant that it wasn’t. It was so fucking weird. I remember sitting on the plane on the way back from the funeral. It was on one of the last flights out of London, so that was on the 13th of March or something, when it was all just shutting down. And I remember just thinking to myself, “If the world won’t change, I have to change dramatically because I can’t live as I did before without her in this world. I can’t exist as I did before.” And also, almost what happened was the world did change dramatically. I was like, “Oh, okay, so I’ll be fine then.” You think dealing with grief when you can’t leave the house and you got to be with two kids–I could tell myself that that was a really unfortunate situation, or I could tell myself that I’m really lucky to have these two kids to lift me out of this fog, and to keep me up, and to keep me, you know, happy, essentially. And also, I don’t want to fucking see anybody else anyway–the idea of going out and living a normal life. So, I feel like it was almost a weird blessing in terms of my own personal struggle this year. And then COVID has been… You know, it’s a test in marriage, isn’t it?
Jameela Jamil [00:46:42] Fucking hundred percent?
Dawn O’Porter [00:46:44] I mean, we’ve done really well, actually. Chris and I have survived this year. We love each other deeply. We have dinner together every night. We cuddle and–
Jameela Jamil [00:46:54] In this industry, you are known as, like, the dream married couple.
Dawn O’Porter [00:46:58] That’s good. We’ve come out of it. We’re not perfect. And we’ve had moments this year where it was just like, “I cannot be in a house with this person anymore.” I know for a fact he’s felt the same. But then when you come out of that bad day, week, month, whatever it is–you know that’s all normal, and part of marriage, and part of any human relationship. And everything is just so…
Jameela Jamil [00:47:21] Amplified. Magnified, yeah.
Dawn O’Porter [00:47:22] Yes, that’s the word. Exactly. Because of this. And so, I’m very proud of Chris and I for coming through this.
Jameela Jamil [00:47:31] “Phillip and I…”
Dawn O’Porter [00:47:31] “Winston, how could you?” So, I’m really proud of us. And that’s a really nice feeling to end the year on–that my family is intact. My kids adore us, and we adore them, and they’re very happy. And that’s amazing because of what they’ve missed out on with school and blah, blah, blah. And so, I feel like in answer to your question, I’ve had some of the darkest days of my life this year. I truly went to some really, really sad places when Caroline died and still can go there very easily. But I’ve also experienced levels of joy and contentment in my own life, which I always sort of questioned a bit because I was like, “Am I really supposed to be this married woman with kids? Is that me? Wasn’t I supposed to always be the single one who didn’t have kids?” And then suddenly I’m, like, just so 2.4 and like, “How did this happen?” And there’s always been a part of me that kind of fantasizes about the other Dawn, who never did that, wondering if that would have been better. Not that I haven’t been happy; I do love my kids and husband. But you always just think, “God, this is one of the sliding doors situation of your own life.” I just don’t feel like that. I feel so grounded in my family and so, like…
Jameela Jamil [00:48:44] I’ve always found it really interesting because your parents split up when you were one and your mother passed away when you were seven. And so, you’ve kind of been able to–and correct me if I’m wrong here, which I normally am–write your own rule book on parenting because you don’t have such a specific– I know you were raised by wonderful relatives and, like, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. But you’ve been able to kind of write the mother handbook yourself, which very few people ever get to do because they’ve normally had such a, like, overpowering relationship with their parents that they try to then kind of–whether they want to or not–grapple with replicating.
Dawn O’Porter [00:49:20] That’s very true because my auntie, who raised me, was wonderful, but she wasn’t a mother. By the time I moved in with them, when I was ten, they’d already had two kids who had grown up and left the house. We lived with them, and they took care of us, and they did a great job, but it wasn’t parental. So, I’ve never really had an overpowering parent, which I think is really good. I’m the kind of mum who… I speak to my kids like they’re people. If they upset me–if they hurt my feelings–I scream, “You’ve upset me, and you’ve hurt my feelings” at them. And I have done this since they were tiny. Other parents I know would be more like… Speak in a calm voice–say, “You don’t talk to me like that.” I’m like, “You’ve broken my heart! I’m crying because of you! You hurt my feelings!” Then I slam the door. And then what happens is they kind of open the door a few minutes later, and they’re like, “Oh God, I’m really sorry.” My kids are so in touch with emotion. My five-year-old has just turned into the most loving, emotional–but what’s the word I’m looking for? Emotionally intelligent person. I can’t believe what he’s turned into, and I swear it’s because I screamed about my feelings.
Jameela Jamil [00:50:31] Well, you’ve also been talking about things that you want to teach us. And you’ve got two boys. And you are, as you said, you know, a lifelong ride or die feminist. And you wrote in your book this year a chat that you plan to have with your kids someday. Do you want to go through a bit of this with me? It’s very good. I’m going to start with the first one–she starts with this one: “Never tried to finger a girl under a blanket in a room full of people because you think you can get away with it.” It’s so true. And the number two is great. “Always wash your willy before a blowjob, but never tell her your mother told you to do that. In fact, never mention me during sex. Full stop. Ever. Full stop.” I love this list of commandments so much. It’s all about sex. It’s all about body shaming and consent. It’s so good. “Never laugh at her body even if she laughs at yours. Stay strong, walk away. You can do so much better, and she’s not worth it.” “Never express disgust at the smell of her poo, and always crack a window and use a low brush after yours.” Love you so much for saying that!
Dawn O’Porter [00:51:40] You know, I remember dating a guy once when I was very young. And I pooed in his house, and he kept going on about it. And that gave me anxiety about ever pooing at anybody’s house ever again. It was a real thing. I really regret telling you that story. But it’s true. These things that boys can say to girls. And by the way, this is presuming my kids want to be with women. My eldest could go either way at this point–we’re not entirely sure. Whatever–whoever he loves. But it was really a lesson in how to treat the person that you love sensitively. There are certain things, you know, that boy said to me as a teenager that stay with you forever. And the idea that my kids would be responsible for those, like, cruel, scathing remarks just because that boy felt insecure in that moment, especially in bed.
Jameela Jamil [00:52:27] Yeah, they’re scars for us, aren’t they?
Dawn O’Porter [00:52:28] Yes. Terrible. And you carry them with you. I know I’m in a loving relationship with my husband. I still sometimes think about certain things that ex-boyfriends have said to me that really like, “Oh God, that really just… Fuck you!” It’s terrible. And I will have embarrassing chats with them, and I will say the things that I don’t believe generations of mothers have said before, but I think the way that we’re going to kind of have men be better with women is to say the awkward things and embarrassing things to our sons.
Jameela Jamil [00:53:00] Yeah, I’m the biggest believer in that. Like, I always refer to them as sponges, you know, at that age. Kids are just sponges. They’re just going to, like, just soak up not only all of our lessons that we teach them but also all of our own behaviors. I think it’s really important to be aware of how you are behaving in front of your kids–especially your boys maybe–because you have the ability to change them before the internet gets its fucking grubby, little hands on them. You know, you have the power to really influence the way that they respond, the way that they will maybe correct their friends if their friends say something problematic, the way that they will treat little girls. Like, I love the fact that your little boy’s best friend is a little girl. I think that’s lovely. That’s so sweet that that’s his best mate. You know, I love the fact that they’re not, you know, sectioned off in little gender groups the way that we were at my school. I think it’s so important to be open and honest, and I think it’s really cool that you’ve had at least this year. And it sounds like, from the way you’re talking, there will be more years of you having more time with your kids to have these completely appropriate–I’m not going to say inappropriate–and deep, and perhaps slightly cringe at times from what I’m reading from your next line.
Dawn O’Porter [00:54:09] How old does he have to be before I give him the blowjob line?
Jameela Jamil [00:54:11] I mean, judging by the statistics, 11, unfortunately. I made a documentary about it, Dawn. It’s 11.
Dawn O’Porter [00:54:20] My God, that is horrifying.
Jameela Jamil [00:54:22] Let’s leave it on that note.
Dawn O’Porter [00:54:24] Perfect.
Jameela Jamil [00:54:24] Let’s leave it on 11-year-olds getting head.
Dawn O’Porter [00:54:29] Amazing.
Jameela Jamil [00:54:31] I really appreciate just your presence and the presence you have been in my life even from afar and now up close for the last 15 years. Honestly, your documentaries have always meant the world to me. I’m really sad that you don’t make more, and more, and more of them. But I understand why you wouldn’t want to because it’s a very early start and a long day away from children. But I love the voice you are online, and I love the authenticity that you put yourself out with. I think it’s incredibly important and we don’t have enough people yet who do that. And I’m sure that you’re one of the people who has inspired me to stay true to myself, and just be honest, and show the warts and all of everything. And I think it’s really cool. And I think if we all did that a bit more, that we would be a happier and freer gender and society as a whole.
Dawn O’Porter [00:55:23] I’ll take responsibility for the positive progression of female existence. Thank you, Jameela.
Jameela Jamil [00:55:28] It was all thanks to Dawn Porter. You heard it here first. This is breaking news.
Dawn O’Porter [00:55:39] “Dawn O’Porter!” You did it again!
Jameela Jamil [00:55:39] Fuck me! This is racism. I’m being racist. I’m unable to say your white name. I’m so sorry for my racism at the beginning. I’m done with this podcast. I fucking love you even if I don’t know how to say your name right.
Dawn O’Porter [00:55:53] I love you, too.
Jameela Jamil [00:55:54] Please tell us where people can find you and your work.
Dawn O’Porter [00:56:00] Hotpatooties on Instagram. That’s me.
Jameela Jamil [00:56:01] Indeed. Now will you please tell me, Dawn O’Porter, what do you weigh?
Dawn O’Porter [00:56:07] I weigh being a mum, being a writer. I weigh being a wife, and I weigh my amazing charity, Choose Love, which is one of the biggest successes of anything I’ve ever done, and I’m so proud of it. So, I weigh Choose Love.
Jameela Jamil [00:56:24] And you weigh being everyone’s favorite girl-next-door, whether or not you want to be the girl-next-door. Oh, God. Have a great day. Love you lots. Bye.
Dawn O’Porter [00:56:41] Love you, too. Bye.
Jameela Jamil [00:56:42] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I Weigh with Jameela Jamil is produced and researched by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnegan, and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson. And the beautiful music that you’re hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate, review, and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. I really appreciate it, and it amps me up to bring on better, better guests. Lastly, at I Weigh, we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 1-818-660-5543 or email us what you weigh at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s not in pounds and kilos, so please don’t send that; it’s all about your– Just– You know. You’ve been on the Instagram. Anyway. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our listeners. One of you lovely listeners wrote in to tell me that, “I weigh my mental well-being, but I also weigh the fact that privilege is a major contributor to that mental health. I also weigh my career as a PR professional. And most importantly, I weigh the access to learn and be a little bit better every day.”
November 27, 2023
This week, Jameela is joined by writer, broadcaster and feminist organizer Clementine Ford to discuss the historical roots of marriage as a tool of patriarchal control, the illusions surrounding modern matrimony and the modern marketing machinery that sustains its myth.
November 20, 2023
Jameela is joined by beauty culture critic Jessica DeFino in a candid conversation about where her current research and journalism is taking her, after years of covering a multi-billion dollar beauty industry for major women’s magazines & beauty apps in the US.