This week on Everything is Fine

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Apologies for not being more present since I returned home from tour—turns out I have a walloping case of the Winter Yuck, like just about everyone else I know (am I alone in this or is everyone you know sick too?) Hopefully I’ll be back in action soon, but meanwhile enjoy this brief but fun episode, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Audible, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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43 Thoughts on This week on Everything is Fine
    Lisa E
    17 Jan 2023
    10:49am

    Came home from a trip overseas with all 9 who travelled either sick with a cold or Covid. My first bout with Covid, and have gotten off very easy. Felt like a mild cold with some aches, and on day 5 am feeling perfectly well. EVERYONE around us was sick on the trip. No regrets, though. Traveling is worth it to me. Wishing Kim and all who ail a speedy recovery and a newly robust immune system!

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    cw
    17 Jan 2023
    8:44am

    It’s exhausting coming home from a trip––laundry, grocery shopping, going through the mail etc.––but to do so with a major cold/Winter Yucks puts an added heavy weight of difficulty on the activities. Hope you feel better soon. I did enjoy the podcast even though I could tell you weren’t feeling well. Congrats to Jenn for her new baseball mitt sofa!

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    patty
    17 Jan 2023
    9:30am

    Omg. I am absolutely miserable. I’m on day 5, hubby is on day 12. This stinks. I wish a speedy recovery to all.

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    tamara
    17 Jan 2023
    9:37am

    My mother calls it “the ague” (pronounced ag-yoo) and says only chicken soup, sleep and bufferin (pronounced with all 3 syllables) provides relief, hahah it’s not the worst advice in the world i suppose. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

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    tamara
    18 Jan 2023
    9:14am

    I usually save up episodes of the EIF for the airport or train (Hubs and I are a 2-city couple so i spend a lot of time in transit) but I may have to break my SOP and check this one out. Looks like you’ve got everyone riled up! Of course i’ve been so tied up in my own stuff this week that when the first reviewer referred to “H & M” I thought they were referring the store which of course made all the following comments seem a little wacky lol. Will tune in soon! Hope you’re feeling better!

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      jenn romolini
      18 Jan 2023
      9:43am

      It’s not an especially good one to be honest! Kim’s sick and I just rant a lot to keep things going /nervously use lazy slang and then spend my one wild and precious life arguing about it with anonymous strangers on the internet 🫠

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        tamara
        18 Jan 2023
        1:52pm

        hahaha jen! well. well. The next time you’re on a monday morning acela thinking if you hear one more young master of the universe use the phrase “the scope of our deliverables” one more time you might jump out of the moving train, you may have a renewed appreciation for the sounds of your rantings!!

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    Tanya
    17 Jan 2023
    8:05pm

    I loved this episode, as ever. Sorry you’re feeling so poorly, Kim, and hope you’re on the mend soon. I disagreed with a lot said about H & M, but I enjoy hearing others’ perspectives. One thing in particular, though, was Jenn’s comment about the ghostwriter being sleazy, or something like that. Forgive me if I’m getting the word wrong. I listened several hours ago. Everything I’ve looked up about him shows he’s pretty well-regarded and has won a Pulitzer, fwiw. Is he a sleazeball? Also, this is an interesting article about the questions Harry *should* have been asked in his recent interviews. https://katiecouric.com/culture/what-the-media-should-ask-prince-harry/
    Of course, as Kim and Jenn mentioned, both things can be true–that the RF mistreated them and H & M have played this whole thing wrong. But they’ve told a lot of lies and have been disingenuous. But this isn’t super serious stuff, just a train wreck from which I can’t look away. 

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      jenn romolini
      17 Jan 2023
      9:23pm

      This is true! I got the ghostwriter thing TOTALLY WRONG. So wrong that I plan on correcting in the next episode 🙂

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        Tanya
        18 Jan 2023
        10:01am

        I’ll be listening as I do first thing every Monday. 🙂

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    JB
    17 Jan 2023
    10:09pm

    My Mum likes to say “miasma of fug” which may be redundant but I love it anyway

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    Dawn
    18 Jan 2023
    12:49pm

    Let me say, Kim, that you are my antidote to Winter Yuck because my version of Winter Yuck is boredom that leads me to do unhealthy things if I don’t have fun distractions. It’s not germ-based, it’s sunlight depravation-based, I think. GOACA is my favorite indoor sport, so thank you for it and I hope you feel better soon.

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    Susanna
    18 Jan 2023
    8:56am

    Gosh, Jenn and Kim, you two have taken a lot of unwarranted heat here. Clearly a few listeners are having a bad week. Please don’t let it stop you both from being your smart, funny selves. I look forward to listening to you every Monday morning—it’s a great start to my week!

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    M
    16 Jan 2023
    12:26pm

    I wish people would call it what it is, or not mention it at all. It is a triple pandemic, and no cute name will make it go away: Covid, influenza, RSV, take your pick, with strep for the bonus round.

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      A reviewer
      17 Jan 2023
      7:09pm

      Usually a fan but it’s weird and sexist to call women “basic”. Reminds me
      of shaming women who like pumpkin spice lattes. Being an average person isn’t a personality flaw. And “soft boy” plays right into the hands of toxic masculinity. Last point, is that for many minorities that have lived under British rule or been
      Impacted by it, it’s really important to uncover how they truly regard people of color, as they frequently have them host them in their countries. These POC of the commonwealth care and people of color care about racism.

      This was an off week for this show. If you two want plastic surgery, own it, and don’t feel badly that other people don’t share your values or concerns.

      This felt like “one right way to be feminist or masculine to me”.

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        jenn romolini
        17 Jan 2023
        9:51pm

        lol this is exactly the kind of stupid self-serious shit I hate. 1. I was calling them BOTH basic — is it sexist to call a man basic too? By basic, I meant corny. I’ve seen the documentary and stand by this! 2. I was praising Harry as a soft boy! “Soft boy” is a compliment. I LOVE SOFT BOYS. I was praising and defending them both! 3. I talked about racism being a factor in their struggle and suffering! In fact I even said “racist fucking grandfather!” AND, LAST: I don’t feel badly about my limited plastic surgery, I was marveling over other women — including my hero, my sister — to whom getting it never occurs. I can admire those women while still feeling comfortable with my own decisions. I respect all kinds of women and men and all kinds of masculinity and femininity as I have shown time and again over two years of doing this show. Sheesh.

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          Liz
          17 Jan 2023
          11:51pm

          I love you guys, and for anyone quick to jump down your throats about having strong opinions that don’t align with their own, I highly recommend The Art History Babes podcast episode 173 “Social Media Criticism and Searching for the Worst in Creators.” Geez, people really need to take a breath. It’s ok to have different points of view! Let’s not eat our own!

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            A reviewer
            19 Jan 2023
            1:53am

            It’s not about having differing points of view. It’s about being mindful that what you put into the world has to capacity to shape views. Joe Rogan is a perfect example of this. How we frame people and issues matter. And frankly, no one deserves to be called names and labeled in this way. We’re not talking about people who have committed crimes. As a POC, I am scared to death about the denial of racism and sexism that exists in the media. It’s not a cute, difference of opinion for all of us. This will make a difference between whether I make friends, get a job, and judged. I will be called names by racists. And commentary “You’re acting too white. Okay, Meghan Markle”. When you live in a bubble, you don’t see how your words shape attitudes. When you have a platform, you have to be VERY careful about how POC and women are framed. We don’t get to shake the stereotypes like white men, for example.

            This attitude of “It doesn’t matter to me, so it doesn’t matter”, is wrongheaded. People need to look deeper at the issues. Just the fact that there have been not campaigns against women like Markle and Amber Heard is terrifying.

            Differences of opinion are low stakes when you have nothing to lose. Abortion rights were also just “differences of opinion”. Now Roe is gone.

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              Liz
              19 Jan 2023
              10:11am

              They weren’t calling H&M basic or annoying because of they exposed about the racism of the monarchy. They were simply stating they are at this point over exposed over sharers about the cringe worthy details about their personal lives such as frozen penises or whatever. You have added a WHOLE lot of presumptions about their conversation based on your personal experiences and turned this into a conversation they were not having in order to criticize them for it. If you go into conversations looking for the worst intentions in people, you will always find them. It’s not a fact that calling someone basic is classicist or sexist. It’s your opinion. I think of it as a way of lightly mocking ourselves and each other, and not a danger to society that needs to be analyzed. We don’t need to agree, but if you’re likening someone using the term “basic” to Joe Rogan spreading vaccine lies or anti-choice activism, I think your sense of perspective is way off-base, respectfully.

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                A reviewer
                19 Jan 2023
                9:47pm

                I am not looking for the worst intentions in people. I wasn’t trying to shame or call out anyone.

                What is not being understood is that this issue for a certain segment of society, namely, white people, isn’t very interesting. It is “cringe” or whatever else. For others in this world, it has opened up a dialogue about what it means to be a minority in white spaces.

                I think the way the conversation was framed was insensitive to that. And I get it, if you aren’t a Black woman who has tried their hardest to work in a corporate environment, only to be overlooked or disregarded, you aren’t going to get it.

                I would have just prefered less judgment of a person who has become emblematic of that struggle for many. To hear her dismissed as “basic”, was not a lighthearted goof for everyone.

                It’s time that people become more culturally aware. Just because someone is rich, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be dismissive. I don’t know what the party line is about punching up, but in situations where someone has demonstrated extreme vulnerability, no matter how “cringe”, you aren’t punching up by mocking them.

                We have to get away from flippantly describing people as if their lives don’t matter. It’s not entertainment for me anymore. I just stopped thinking that way once I wanted to be part of solutions based thinking. Once I wanted to leave behind in-group/out-group nonsense and just let people BE.

                And I didn’t liken someone using the term basic to Joe Rogan. You misunderstood the point. I discussed Joe Rogan because he is someone who flippantly says a lot of “regular joe” stuff that can be harmful to some of our ways of thinking.

                Sexism and racism are insidious. They do not scream; they whisper. I’m tired of the whisper. I’m tired of “basic” being thrown around for cool girl status. Can’t we all move on from this?

                And I came with the intent of conversation conducted politely. It turned into insults, which are evidenced by your reply.

                This is not the good look you think it is.

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          Samantha
          18 Jan 2023
          7:16pm

          Jenn, I thought your take on H&M was spot on! They just seem kind of cheesy, and like they had to sell themselves to live the lifestyle they want. Shrug.

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            A reviewer
            19 Jan 2023
            1:58am

            My exact point. “Cheesy” is dismissive. Cheesy is don’t take anything they say seriously because they are “basic”.

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          A reviewer
          18 Jan 2023
          1:14am

          If you notice, I wasn’t aggressive with you, so this rant was unwarranted.

          I know this is your platform with your fans, but you could be more polite and reasoned in your response.

          The definition of “soft boy” is not in the Webster dictionary. It can be defined as a “less masculine” boy or a “fckboy without the cocky attitude” per Bustle. I think you have to be extremely clear when using slang what your intentions are because slang is not static.

          Calling people “basic” in general is not great. It’s not self serious to say that people are growing tired of everyone labeling them and feeling entitled to label. Just let people be people. Maybe labels don’t bother you because of where you are in life, but if you live a life where you constantly receive them, you just want to be left alone.

          That plastic surgery conversation came off as if you felt badly about having spoken about it in front of pragmatic people and weren’t sure what you wanted to say when you were saying it. Maybe if you spoke with clear intentions, people wouldn’t come to the conclusions they do about your words.

          And I never called your opinions “stupid”. I said I found the episode off, and your use of labels less than desirable and you label my opinions.

          Thanks a lot. Seems like “Girls of a certain age” still have a lot to learn. I am a millennial and a person of color and a former fan. I really enjoyed a lot of your content and even recommended it, but not anymore. Not after this. Sorry, I’m not a punching bag for every negative fan feedback or troll reply.

          Good luck.

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            Samantha
            18 Jan 2023
            7:13pm

            Just a quick note that asking women to be polite and “reasoned” is sexist.

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              A reviewer
              19 Jan 2023
              1:32am

              No it isn’t. Why can’t women use reason in polite company? Are women somehow inferior to men? If you are acting in a professional capacity, you do NOT get to flip out in people because you are in a position of power. Not cool. Please check your third wave, POC denying, feminist ideals.

              Guess what? As a POC I always have to be calm or I’m called “angry”. I began this conversation respectfully and instead of focusing on that, you are backing someone who acted way out of bounds. And this is why Black women don’t trust white women. It’s always about the white woman’s viewpoint.

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          A reviewer
          18 Jan 2023
          2:01am

          I had another thought about this. I’m leaving this here to add to the conversation about “basic” for anyone who would like to learn more about my issue with it. Sorry to be self serious: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/basic-class-anxiety

          The other thing I thought of was an interesting podcast that I listened to with Asha Rangappa, a writer and senior lecturer at Yale University’s Global Affairs. She talked about how we accept the opposing side’s erroneous definitions in order to argue against them, and we shouldn’t; we should reject them. I made this mistake when I defended the couple’s right to exist as basic (a pejorative term), but they aren’t basic at all. They’ve done a lot of work, lately and throughout their careers. They’ve achieved a lot more than the mainstream. So basic, doesn’t apply. It certainly doesn’t apply more than any other celebrity, most of them who are off doing “basic” comic book movies. I guess she’s not a “cool girl” or “edgy”, but I’m a little too old to care about that or value it. And I wouldn’t call a man who is about therapy, love of family, knows about implicit bias, and doing mission based work in media literacy, basic. That’s not most men I know.

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            Kiki
            19 Jan 2023
            7:53am

            I have followed Kim F since Lucky, and I appreciate how she shares her journey through life – which sort of allows us to track alongside our own paths. We’re all on different paths, moving at different rates, maybe one person learning something years ago that another is only discovering now – but we’re also all in this together. When I don’t agree with every perspective shared, it sets off dialogues in my own head to challenge and explore my own thinking – and that helps me, too. Podcast conversations that model or even normalize the messiness and uncertainty of all these topics can be important because we must learn to navigate such territory, instead of avoiding it because we’re afraid to make mistakes. We’re living in times that may well require a radical shift in human thinking and behavior, which is sure to be very messy and uncertain. If a common goal in forums like this might be to help one another “get through”, then skills like patience, openness, respect, nuance, diplomacy are needed from all sides.

            I appreciated the article link shared above by A Reviewer — though published in 2014, the article’s observations about class remain relevant today. (I won’t weigh in specifically on H&M because I think we give celebrity culture too much value, and I find it inaccurate to consider as a proxy for real life.) The idea that the term “basic” gets used to judge class markers resonates for me. Trying another take on that term: One could call it “basic” to have the simplistic, singular outlook that “You are what you consume” — which applies to consumption both conspicuous and discreet, depending on the trends of the time. In what other ways can we define, express, share ourselves, beyond appearance and consumption?

            And I recognize the rich irony in contemplating such ideas in this community with origins in a magazine about shopping, which implies a certain class level. Hence, the messy journey from who we were to who we are becoming…? Thank you to Kim and Jenn for providing this platform, and to all the commenters as well. I’m learning alongside you all.

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              Elle
              19 Jan 2023
              1:23pm

              I too love this podcast and am a long time fan of Kim’s. I agree with Kiki. It is also true that race is an enormous part of the H&M story and “basic” comment does serve to also diminish this. If a Black woman is coming to the blog to say that she normally likes the show but felt this episode was off, why is she being treated with such hostility? I find that really upsetting. I’d recommend reading Tressie McMillan Cottom’s profound essays on “blonde” as a racial signifier. White women need to let Black women speak their truth without attacking them. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/19/opinion/the-enduring-invisible-power-of-blond.html

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                Liz
                19 Jan 2023
                2:09pm

                Asking for others to treat you with grace when you did not treat them with any is unreasonable. She literally started her comments by calling Jen sexist and weird for her use of a term which is not generally agreed upon to be offensive without even asking for any clarification about why Jen said what she said. I mean, maybe when Jen or Kim said Harry comes off like an ahole, she was referring to how he blames William and Kate for his decision to dress up as a Nazi instead of a pilot (giant effing eye roll, he was an adult), or the fact that he criticized Kate for balking when Megan asked her, upon first meeting her, to borrow her lip gloss. I mean, I wouldn’t let my biological sister borrow my lip gloss, either. If you go back and listen to their conversation, it was frankly too vague to come to a conclusion as to what they were referring to. She really did not say anything about why she found Megan basic, so it’s unfair to jump to the least generous interpretation of her remarks without knowing what lead her to say that in the first place.

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                Jenn Romolini
                19 Jan 2023
                2:28pm

                The fact is I was careless and imprecise in my language in this last episode. I used a word I don’t even like “basic” and also a term it is increasingly apparent I do not understand “soft boy.” Next I shamefully overreacted to a critical comment without fully understanding its deeper meaning and I am sorry for this (honestly I should not have reacted at all, but if I did it should have been more thoughtfully and respectfully). We are now in a conversation which seems far from what I understood to be the initial comment/criticism and all I will add is that I laud, respect, support, and defer to women of color about most everything and especially about their experiences in this world. I am deeply sorry if my actions in any way suggested otherwise. I appreciate everyone defending us, but the truth is this is my fault: I should not have popped off like that in the comments, it was disrespectful and demeaned this discussion and I regret it.

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                  A reviewer
                  20 Jan 2023
                  3:47am

                  Oh thank you for this! These conversations are hard to have and difficult to have publicly. I was reading about “call in” culture and if we had been friends it would have been an easier conversation to have over phone or something. The internet feels high stakes.

                  Someone above reduced this situation with Meghan to celebrity gossip, but by doing so, they ignore how media has shaped the general public’s perception of Black people since our ancestors were enslaved. It also ignores that a lot of Black women saw themselves in Meghan Markle, trying “extra hard” in white spaces to only face rejection. It is completely triggering. I lived it. I worked really hard in a job where my boss was a white woman i thought I was close with , and when I left for another opportunity, they she didnt give me the costly goodbye parties she had given to others in our department. I was given a cupcake in the employee lounge attended by a couple people who worked that day.

                  I looked forward to the show weekly. I connected with your stories especially where ADHD and relationships were concerned. I appreciate how candid Kim was about her previous marriage, divorce, and illness. You spoke of Charlotte and the challenges of raising a them and you marriage with Alex. Inspired by your ebbs and flows while managing to keep it together. I took your advice to heart. I felt like you two were friends every week—especially in this time where it’s hard to find friends. We’ve been jogging on the beach, walking around my neighborhood, in my car while running so many errands, cooking. I told people on Reddit about the podcast in a women’s subreddit. So I was all in!

                  I left a comment because I just wanted to feel like you two “got” it. I wrote about this to purge myself on my subreddit, but WEB Du Bois talks about double consciousness. How Black people carry their perspectives and the perspectives of white people in their heads to stay safe, to estimate risk… Constantly figuring out how I’m going to be perceived by white people in public spaces. It’s about time white people carry around a double consciousness with regard to other races.

                  Anyway, I ranted here https://www.reddit.com/r/HarryandMeghanNetflix/comments/10gnp01/a_rant_be_careful_about_throwing_labels_at/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

                  But the TLDR version is that some Black women have been trying to fit in and trying to “assimilate” and now to be told we’re still not enough, we’re too “basic”. Too much? Too mainstream? It’s hurtful. Feels like the goalposts keep changing.

                  I know you didn’t mean to communicate THAT. You didn’t even see that. You’ve never had to think that way. I don’t think you are a bad person, you just don’t have the “double consciousness” of carrying your experience while trying to guess at the experience of a Black person.

                  For the record, my aim is never to “cancel” or anything like that. That’s counterproductive. I’m hoping to make the world a little easier for people who look like me by writing and advocating, hoping that other races will connect and dismantle racism. I really want us to be able to see one another.

                  Sorry for rambling. Didn’t take my ADHD meds today.

                  Thank you!

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                    Jenn Romolini
                    20 Jan 2023
                    8:47am

                    I totally see your perspective here and I’m grateful to you for explaining it and I’m sorry I didn’t take a beat initially to better understand. X

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                      Jenny
                      20 Jan 2023
                      10:48am

                      This resolution, where people stayed in it with each other, was very heartening to me.

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                        y.k.
                        24 Jan 2023
                        12:41am

                        so heartening. thanks Jen & Reviewer.

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          mary
          19 Jan 2023
          1:57pm

          Sheesh indeed. Jenn and Kim , thank you for your podcast . As I write this I am so conscious of saying something that will add gasoline. So I will say please continue as you are – as friends do . You can’t please everyone . Your intentions are clear to me. I may not always understand or agree but you certainly have earned and garner the benefit of the doubt. You are sharing honestly from your respective wheelhouses and I appreciate that. MOST importantly I miss the swearing! Enough with people telling you what to say and what is appropriate.I hope you don’t get bogged down in this. Oh and as my irish neighbor used to say in his lovely brogue “fuck the fuckin’fuckers” which I am not directing at anyone btw! (sigh re :defensiveness)-oh maybe the vocabulary police!!!

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            mary
            19 Jan 2023
            2:11pm

            by vocabulary police I mean those that wanted you to stop swearing…
            like I said no gasoline…

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      Samantha
      18 Jan 2023
      7:11pm

      I read this comment a couple days ago, and did not respond. But it has really stuck with me in its snarkiness! Perhaps it wasn’t your intention, but it is really snide.

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      Kim France
      17 Jan 2023
      8:30am

      The reason I didn’t mention my diagnosis—which is neither Covid, the flu, or RSV, actually—was not to be “cute,” but instead to to provide a bit of privacy for myself. I don’t always like sharing every detail of my personal life here, and that’s got to be OK.

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      Rae
      16 Jan 2023
      2:49pm

      M, I assume you are making this comment because you are frustrated by folks talking about the pandemic in the past tense. You are correct, we are in a triple-pandemic, and I have the defeated spirits of my ER doctor husband and ER doctor best friend to prove it. But…there are still lots of other things going around too! Just because someone is coughing and stuffed up doesn’t mean they have Covid or Influenza or RSV or strep. Winter Yuck indeed. It can be frustrating to have Covid and Flu tests come back negative when one feels lousy but if you feel lousy, you feel lousy. Stay home, rest, hydrate — it doesn’t matter what germs are causing the yucks.

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    Viajera
    16 Jan 2023
    12:29pm

    Oh no! Feel better soon!! Maybe you can find a pho place that delivers.

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    Betsy P
    16 Jan 2023
    10:55am

    Feel better Kim, and no, you are not alone in this. Everyone I know has had something this winter.

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    Yen
    16 Jan 2023
    5:45pm

    I really love the Winter Yuck coinage. So perfectly defines the miasma of whatever it is that is taking us all down – covid, flu, RSV – whatever the hell it is it still sucks. winter yuck sucks. Hope you’re getting over it soon, I feel like I’m only barely emerging from whatever it’s been.

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      melsybelsy
      17 Jan 2023
      3:15pm

      I just wanted to shout out the word miasma as it’s not used nearly enough 🙂

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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