Holiday Dinner Blues | Crooked Media
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December 15, 2022
Dare We Say
Holiday Dinner Blues

In This Episode


Yasmine Hamady: Hello, hello, hello! 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That was pretty. 


Yasmine Hamady: Thank you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Hi. 


Yasmine Hamady: Hi you guys. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Hi, guys. 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m Yasmine. 


Josie Totah: Hi. 


Yasmine Hamady: Hi, Josie. 


Josie Totah: Hi. That’s me. 


Yasmine Hamady: Hi, Alycia. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Hey. I’m Alycia? 


Yasmine Hamady: [laugh] Hey, I’m Alycia. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I like, why did I question myself? Do I know who I am? Probably not.


Yasmine Hamady: What is your name? Where are you right now? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Couldn’t tell you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Concussed. Literally. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: The Nile River. Um. I’m Alycia Pascual-Peña.


Yasmine Hamady: And I’m Yasmine Hamady.


Josie Totah: And I’m Josanna Totah. And this is Dare We Say. 


Yasmine Hamady: Dare we say, say we dare. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Wow. 


Josie Totah: How are how are you doing? How are you doing Yas?


Yasmine Hamady: Um. Okay. I’m not going to lie. Since 2020, since the panorama, the Panda Express, the Pentagon–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Paranormal activity. 


Yasmine Hamady: The paranormal activity, I’ve been getting high before bed every single night. Like there has not been one– 


Josie Totah: Yeah you have been. 


Yasmine Hamady: No like you guys– 


Josie Totah: Honestly. Like you could get a medal for that. 


Yasmine Hamady: No like actually. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s called consistency. That’s discipline. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s called consistency. If there’s one thing consistent in my life, it was my my bedtime routine– 


Josie Totah: Addiction. [banter indistinct] 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay. I mean, you’re not wrong. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: I [?]–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We witnessed it firsthand. You were very pleasant. 


Yasmine Hamady: I know you guys did. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Very pleasant, very lovely. 


Yasmine Hamady: I was very chill when I was– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –high, like I feel like I’m very, like, low key. I don’t talk as much, which that’s when, you know, like, oh Yas is gone. Like, there was that– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re not lying. You would just come and like, literally float into my room. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like not walk. Or like run, just float to then lay.


Yasmine Hamady: I just remember, like, there’s so many times where, like, I’d be snacking and Josie would, like, come snack with me and like, Josie would not be high, but I would be high, and we’d just snack together in silence. And I feel like that was so normal for me. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I think that’s love. 


Yasmine Hamady: But I feel like you were like, what the fuck is happening? I just want my Oreos at like one a.m. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: The Oreos. 


Yasmine Hamady: So I’m one week free. Basically what happened was um I lost my pen and I was– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So this wasn’t a choice you made. 


Yasmine Hamady: No this was literally not a– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Okay. 


Yasmine Hamady: –choice. My therapist has been telling me like, okay, so it’s part of your routine. I was like, it’s a ritual. She was like, well, I don’t know about that I because like, I’m like so like, okay, I just want everything to be so eat, pray, love. Like, smoking weed before night is a part of my ritual when it’s like, no, that’s not. You’re just dependent on a fucking drug. And I am a week free. I’ve been sleeping fine, but I wake up earlier, I’m dreaming more. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mmm. 


Yasmine Hamady: I do feel a little bit more anxious during the day. And like at night I’m like, I don’t know what to do because usually at like 9:30, I would get high and now I’m like 9:30 in bed with I’m like, okay, I don’t know what, usually I get high and like laugh on TikTok for an hour and now I’m not doing that. So I’m like, what do I do with my life? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. You feel like it’s forcing you to be more present? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. It’s forcing me to be more serious. Like I [laugh] like, I feel like I haven’t laughed as much like–. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, no. [laughing]


Josie Totah: It’s grounding you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: It is. 


Josie Totah: I love that. I’m. I’m very proud of you. I think that that takes a lot, because when you get dependent on something or anything, obviously, even if you’re not, like, actually addicted to it, if it’s like a habitual it’s difficult to like get out of. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: So I commend you for that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Thank you, guys. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Agreed. 


Yasmine Hamady: You guys should honestly gift me another like a weed pen– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –No, no. 


Yasmine Hamady: –for not smoking anymore. [laughing]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um I think–


Yasmine Hamady: No, because, here’s the thing–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But how long do you think you’re going to go? 


Yasmine Hamady: I don’t know. And that’s the great thing about what like I’m going through right now is that this wasn’t planned. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: This wasn’t like, okay, every day I’m like, six months, six days strong, seven days strong. It’s just kind of like, oh, well, like, I have free will, if I wanted to go get a pen like, I could go get one right after this recording. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: But I just, I’m like, I don’t really need to. And I’m feeling like I don’t really want to right now. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: So I’m chilling. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I think that’s awesome like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You took ownership in that, like, space of your life.


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You were just saying, I don’t want to engage in using it right now. 


Yasmine Hamady: Well. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Which I think is cool. 


Yasmine Hamady: Um. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And if you decide to start smoking in a little bit, cool. But it’s just you know. 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m like, well I needed a toler– tolerance break anyways, so I guess like two birds with one stone so– [laughing] 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I can not. 


Yasmine Hamady: Josie you’re wearing a nude top. And I was like okay she– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I am going to say when we both looked– 


Yasmine Hamady: We both were like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –we both had the same face. 


Yasmine Hamady: –Oh shit. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Because when you raised your arms, it looks like– 


Yasmine Hamady: I was like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –you had no shirt on. 


Yasmine Hamady: –her tits are going to come out into the camera. You look nude. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. So basically I’m on just a weekend trip in London, which for those that don’t know, it is an extremely cold place. And I’m like, just turtle necking up. I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve been to so many coffee shops, I’ve shopped so much, I’ve thrifted so much. One thing that I want to say that’s just like a little PSA is I was at a cafe the other day, and it just it really struck a nerve in me and something that I think is a societal issue that we have, which is that if you are in a cafe and you see a person sitting down and there are plenty of seats for you to sit down. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh god. 


Josie Totah: What on God’s green earth compels you to sit directly next to the only fucking person– 


Yasmine Hamady: Wait. [laughing] 


Josie Totah: –that is sitting down? I’m talking like a cafe bar situation where, like it’s like a bar. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes yes yes. 


Josie Totah: And you like go and sit. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: This fucking man came up to me, sat directly next to me, I’m like, are you aware that this is, this isn’t 2008. Okay. I, we don’t need to sit on each other anymore. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I’m dead. 


Josie Totah: There’s been COVID. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It’s a social taboo, but they wanted to be next to you. 


Yasmine Hamady: No Alycia. I’m on Josie’s–


Josie Totah: No, no. 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m on Josie’s–


Josie Totah: Not only he not only did he–


Yasmine Hamady: I’m on Josie’s side. 


Josie Totah: –come next to me.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I’m on your side too but it’s like I– 


Josie Totah: This this man, this man came next to me. He was like male fucking Nancy Drew. 


Yasmine Hamady: Please. [laughing] 


Josie Totah: Pulls out a map, he pulls out a map of London, and then there he’s, like, drawing on it. Like, he’s, like, trying to find the hidden treasure. [laugh] 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay–


Josie Totah: Um. 


Yasmine Hamady: –Nicolas Cage. 


Josie Totah: And then he has the audacity, he has the audacity to cough. Not once, multiple times– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh no. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Did you do your thing?


Josie Totah: Which I when someone. I am someone who– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: She does that when people cough. 


Josie Totah: I get it, I cough, you cough, we all cough. But I kind of did a little zhuzh [Alcyia shouting] to like, make him–


Yasmine Hamady: Josie. 


Josie Totah: –uncomfortable. 


Yasmine Hamady: Josie, Alycia– 


Josie Totah: I do. 


Yasmine Hamady: –literally just said that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Did you–


Yasmine Hamady: She was like [?]–


Josie Totah: I do it when Alycia does it. Now I cough, okay? But when other people do it, it’s just a little un it’s so uncouth, you know, it’s just less– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh how dare I– 


Josie Totah: –sheek. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –do this human behavior of coughing, but anytime anyone coughs, I’ve just gotten used to it. Josie does this. [mimes something not audible]


Josie Totah: They can’t see you, babe. She shivers. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, yeah. 


Josie Totah: She’s shivering right now. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. I forgot. [?]


Yasmine Hamady: This is a podcast. This is not a TV show. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes, you’re right. You’re right. Okay. Got it. Oh I know where I’m at now.


Josie Totah: Uh but she’s shivering, and I do. And I do kind of shiver. And I get it. I get it. It’s flu season, you know, it’s London. Okay so he coughs multiple times. When he sneezes I’m like, that’s it. I’m calling the fucking Uber. I’m fucking out of here. 


Yasmine Hamady: Please. 


Josie Totah: But I don’t know. I just found that really interesting. Like in an age where we’ve been through the pandemic, like, I want less community, I want– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god. 


Josie Totah: –less closeness. [laughing] I think we should just respect each other’s boundaries and not fucking sit next to each other at a god darn cafe. I was trying to, like, not swear with the word God, but I think it kind of was counterintuitive, but I ended it in a negative way. [laughter] But anyway. 


Yasmine Hamady: Wait Josie. 


Josie Totah: So that’s that’s– 


Yasmine Hamady: Did you just get up and leave? 


Josie Totah: –my update. Yeah? 


Yasmine Hamady: Did you get up and leave? 


Josie Totah: I got up and fucking left. I paid that bill and I walked out. 


Yasmine Hamady: As you should. 


Josie Totah: And I’m not going to stand for this. 


Yasmine Hamady: I, this is– 


Josie Totah: I’m not going to stand for this. 


Yasmine Hamady: –that’s a this is a protest. This is a protest.


Josie Totah: What strange [?] you have. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: It is a protest. And I don’t know, it’s just. It gives me anxiety. Like, I just like everyone is ill right now. Like the other day, my Uber driver was coughing, but he had a mask on, so I just assumed he had covid, [laughter] um which, like, I was okay with, you know because– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Josie Totah: –like he can’t–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um. 


Josie Totah: –afford to have a day off, probably. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm hmm. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s fair. 


Josie Totah: Um. I could, you know, so I kind of just let him rock and enjoyed it. But–


Yasmine Hamady: Wait speaking of–


Josie Totah: I mean, these are the things you have to do in a post-COVID world. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah speaking of let him rock. 


Josie Totah: PCW. 


Yasmine Hamady: Remember that Lil Wayne, Kevin Rudolph song, Let It Rock. Anyways, I think I think we’re. I think that was a good update– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah 


Yasmine Hamady: –of everything. 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Today we’re going to be talking about something super real and relevant, the relationship between body image and the holidays. If you’re getting a bit nervous heading into the events of this season, this one’s for you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh, God, this one’s for me. [music break] Hey, don’t forget to follow us at @darewesay on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel at We’ll be right back. 




Josie Totah: Before we get into it, we just want to start by saying um we want to give a lovely little trigger warning. We’re going to be speaking very candidly about body image and the way people comment on diet, weight, and eating. And obviously, we know this conversation is not one for everyone to hear just on a casual day. And that’s okay. No worries. Please. You know, put yourself first, know your limits, and you can skip to a later part of the episode if this might be uncomfortable for you. 


Yasmine Hamady: I just want to preface this by saying Josie is not an expert, Alycia is not an expert, and I most certainly am not an expert in diet culture, in um eating disorders and weight loss and um societal pressures. But we these are just our own experiences and our personal stories that we want to talk about and share with you, whether you relate to it, whether you know someone who relates to it, whether you have no fucking clue, this one’s for you. Um. I’m not going to lie to you. My eye has been twitching since I woke up this morning. I have been really nervous about this conversation because the holidays are a very stressful time specifically with my relationship with my body, the relationship with how people view me, the relationship with how I view myself. Like just last night I was showering and I made sure to steam the whole my whole room. And I, I turned off the lights, so I wouldn’t have to look at myself in the mirror while I put moisturizer on. And I’m not trying to say this is like, oh, poor me. 


Josie Totah: That’s awful. 


Yasmine Hamady: But like genuinely doing–.


Josie Totah: That’s awful.


Yasmine Hamady: No, I mean, it’s awful, but it’s also the truth. And I’m not trying to be like, feel bad for me because it is what it is, but I didn’t want to look at myself because I feel like when the days get shorter when I’m not like as sun kissed, when like I, it’s cold outside. So I don’t want to go to the gym. When I want to eat comfort food, I want to have mac and cheese because I don’t fucking feel like cooking. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: My body gets less toned, my body gets lighter and it’s hard to look at myself and I just feel like, have you guys felt like that too? What is your relationship with your body during the holiday season specifically? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Hmm. Well– 


Josie Totah: Well, I’m very proud of you for sharing that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh thank you. 


Josie Totah: And I’m, I’m really sorry that that has been the I’m just I love you so much and I’m sorry that like that you’ve had that experience and that I just I love you and you’re I just fucking love you. I just wanted to say that.


Yasmine Hamady: I love you no and like, this is–


Josie Totah: And I’m proud of you for saying that–


Yasmine Hamady: Thank you. 


Josie Totah: –because I know you’re not alone. And I know that’s not a unique experience. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Because obviously. I think we all can kind of relate to having body issues no matter what size– 


Yasmine Hamady: Right. 


Josie Totah: –we are. Obviously with privilege comes with that, correct? You know, is involved in that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: You know, like, for instance, I’m a smaller person, but I definitely have always struggled, especially since like my transition even more so then, with my body image, my relationship to my body than before, because it wasn’t really a thing that society had kind of placed on me until I stepped into my truth and who I who I am. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Um. And I totally agree with you. I think this time can be really, really difficult and super triggering. And I was really grateful growing up with a mom who like, we didn’t have any mirrors in our house. I think we had one mirror in our house. When I was like 14, and I didn’t even think about that until like recently. And honestly, I thought that was like pretty cool because I never put any, like, emphasis on how I looked physically. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mmm yeah. 


Josie Totah: But it wasn’t until I got into high school and it was like that episode of Mean Girls where like, all of the girls would be in one room and they would look at each other in the mirror and be like, ugh, my calves are too big or oh my stomach or this pudge, that that even started to become something in my own head. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Especially because I’ve always been told that I was underweight um growing up. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mm hmm. 


Josie Totah: Um. And I’m wary when, like, being participatory in these conversations, because I think that even when I hear stories of girls who are like, or like oh my god, I was underweight like I was bullied for being underweight. It’s like, it’s hard for me to have sympathy, even though I know that’s awful that anyone– 


Yasmine Hamady: –Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –faced any type of– 


Yasmine Hamady: –Sure. 


Josie Totah: –bullying because, like, their bullying had to do with something that was of privilege. You know, it’s like I was bullied for being too pale kind of thing. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And but I definitely think anyone can can relate to struggling with that. And I certainly did. And honestly, even just recently, like I had the flu and like not being able to literally eat food because it made me sick like I had the stomach flu started triggering like that old way of thinking of like thinking that food is bad and then having to–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yes! Yes!


Josie Totah: –like reintroduce food back into my life even just these past few weeks was so– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –and obviously being on camera every day and having to wear like, I mean, the show that I’m on right now, we’re wearing corsets. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yep. 


Josie Totah: And literally, if we eat more, we are uncomfortable. 


Yasmine Hamady: Mmmm. 


Josie Totah: And do a worse job at our jobs. So, like, I think it’s in everything. And I think I come from a very privileged standpoint, having been being a smaller person and all of that. But I think it’s everywhere. I think it’s in all the media I think it’s– 


Yasmine Hamady: Ugh. 


Josie Totah: And no matter what your lifestyle is, I don’t think it cares. Rich, poor, you know, doctor or student like you’re going to struggle with your body image because of society. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100% thank you for I think we could touch on media and um society later on in the conversation. But Josie, thank you so much for sharing that experience with us. And you’re beautiful and I love you. And although sure, as you said, it’s a privilege because you are a smaller person, that doesn’t that doesn’t take away the feeling that it gives you. That doesn’t take away the gravity that it holds. So just acknowledge that. And I love you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I think. Interestingly enough. Growing up because weight and body image was always a topic of conversation at home. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Being a Latina and being a Black woman, um we were always talking about body image. Like I very much was raised with the idea that the world is your runway and like you always want to look good and stuff, um and there are even Spanish words that don’t even exist in English to refer to a woman’s body, like, for example, the word cuerpaso. I’ve heard that word since I was a young girl, which now I understand the gravity of how problematic that was. Um. And when a person says like, if you don’t speak Spanish, when a person says like pero mira que cuerpazo means like, but look what body she has, like cuerpaso specifically that one word encompasses a lot. It means like the– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –way in which a woman’s body sitting. 


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s what that one word means. Like, you know, like. Like. Wow. Like it’s. And it’s a compliment, but as I was 13, 14, 15, 16. Now I understand that that left implications that I didn’t understand in the moment because it gave people the liberty or what I thought was normal at the time to just speak and have agency over my body. 


Yasmine Hamady: Sure. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Even when I didn’t want to talk about it. You know what I mean? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes, I do. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So um but I think because of that, I rebelled against a lot of like body image things really aggressively. And I’m grateful for that part of my story because I feel like being Black and being Latina, people always wanted to talk about my body, whether it was like, oh, you’re too big because I was curvy, or now oh you’re slim thick, or whatever it may be. Um. And even just unfortunately, things that are very embedded in my culture as a Dominican, like even now on TikTok right now, which is crazy because I’m literally just having this revelation in the moment. There’s this whole TikTok trend where like girls are like holding a Dominican flag and being like, I’m sorry. And it’s because like they weren’t born with the natural BBL that like supposedly all Dominicans are supposed to have. 


Yasmine Hamady: Ugh oh my god. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And it’s actually a trend right now, which is insane to say. But um all of that goes to say, I think because of that, I rebelled and I was like, I want to be in sweats. I want to be in big shirts. I dressed as– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. Yeah.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I don’t like this term, but quote unquote, “tomboy”, like for a lot of like my high school years. Um. But now as an adult, um I’ve had to think about my body in ways I never really cared about because of what I do. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know what I mean? And I don’t know. Like, I don’t know. I hope this is all making sense. 


Yasmine Hamady: No it is. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Because I grew up being a model, which I, I’ve talked about. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah you were a child model, which is there’s so much pressure in that because you have to be you have a standard at such a young age. And I also feel like when you say cuerpaso, is that the–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. Good job.


Yasmine Hamady: I feel like it’s also like at a young age, you are conditioned and also like I feel like almost sexualized– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –as such a young child. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. Absolutely. Um. And it’s just. Now, whether I like it or not, because I feel like by being an actress or being a model. I think about my body in ways I didn’t think about them in the past, even though I’ve always– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –been um like I’ve always been, unfortunately, have to be hyper aware of my body. Like even when I was younger and like, they didn’t know what height I was going to be. Right? And I was going from child modeling, trying to transition to adult modeling. Like, I will never forget sitting in an agency room in New York in this cramped office, getting my measurements done, um you know, with shorts and a bra in front of an entire room, and them doing my measurements and being like, oh, you’re going to be a plus size model even if you reach the height. 


Yasmine Hamady: See. Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know what I mean? 


Yasmine Hamady: This is not an easy conversation. And I think like we we wanted to have this specifically during the holidays, too, because you brought up something very important and that’s family. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Family. 


Yasmine Hamady: And that’s also like with the media, like Josie brought up the media and like society, like diet, culture, the new year, you better lose that weight. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm hmm. 


Yasmine Hamady: Like whether that’s on a commercial like you have like Jenny Craig. I lost 30 pounds here, which also, by the way, when I was 15, I used to eat Jenny Craig for lunch every day. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm. That’s awful.


Josie Totah: That is insane. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s awful.


Yasmine Hamady: That is insane. And that’s and this is nothing to do with my– 


Josie Totah: –And awful. 


Yasmine Hamady: –parents because my parents are my best friends, my biggest supporters, my biggest like like cheerleaders in my life. But also when you grow up in an Arab household, Josie, I feel like maybe you can relate to this too. And also Alycia, too. In like a POC household, appearance is everything specifically during the holiday times, because that’s when you’re seeing the whole– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –family. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s when you’re seeing the distant cousin that you haven’t seen in a year. And you have to make sure, oh, do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a girlfriend now? Obviously not a girlfriend cause you’re not gay [trails into a whisper]. But like, that’s not what my family says. But, like, I feel like you have to show that, oh, your hair grew longer, more feminine. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: You are still tan even though you haven’t seen the sun in a year. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, and I don’t think we talk about it enough. Like, I think there’s so many reasons that people have mixed emotions about the holidays, but that is one. Is like the carelessness that we have when it comes to speaking about people’s bodies and where they’re at in life. When you don’t– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –See the full picture, it’s so– 


Josie Totah: –Definitely. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It’s so easy for us as families to sit at a table and feel an entitlement, like in a jurisdiction– 


Yasmine Hamady: But to have an opinion– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –and space. 


Yasmine Hamady: –on someone and their weight. Like, I remember like even just like this Thanksgiving, my Siti, my own grandmother wore like three spandexes if she was going to see some people that she didn’t see before. Grandmother, three like spandex um under what’s that? 


Unknown Producer: Spanx. 


Yasmine Hamady: Spanx excuse me. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Spanx yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Spanx to tighten her up. My mother got up at 6 a.m. to get ready. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: So she looks good. I remember like stressing. I was sweating. I was like, I’m seeing all these people that I haven’t seen before and like, I need to make sure that I’m like my tip top. I’m wearing heels, I’m showing off. Like, I’m making sure that, like, I was dieting beforehand [?] like that’s unhealthy. And then also I the–


Josie Totah: Right. 


Yasmine Hamady: –comments I get and I’m sure you guys get, you look so good. You look so skinny. You look so good. What’s your secret? How often do you work out? You look skinny. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm hmm. 


Josie Totah: It’s like almost like it’s a rite of passage with dinner. It’s like just as biscuits and gravy have become the norm at Thanksgiving and Christmas trees are the center of Christmas. Commenting on one’s body is like– 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah.  


Josie Totah: –a family tradition. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Josie Totah: And I mean, I can’t even count the amount of times my mom has looked at me and other friends of mine that are smaller and have been like, you look like you need a sandwich. Like every time I see you, I just want to feed you a sandwich. And like–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I don’t think people and obviously, I you know [?] my family members who have said this I think have learned because I don’t think they understand the impact of what they’re saying and how– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –what you’re saying may sound like a compliment to you can actually come off as not only an offensive remark, but can be extremely triggering. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s the part. 


Josie Totah: Like commenting on anyone’s body and saying you look so beautiful. You’re so small. Could be reaffirming an eating disorder. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Which is like obviously counterintuitive to what any family member would want to do to someone. And I, I can’t even remember the last time that a comment like that hasn’t been said to me, um and which is just so weird because obviously family loves each other. But I think it happens. It happens all the time. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And I think we just want to empower you guys as well as ourselves to like militar– not weaponize ourselves. 


Yasmine Hamady: Militarize. 


Josie Totah: With like how we can deal with– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –how we can deal with these things and go about them in a way that like isn’t going to cause like family World War Three. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Because, I mean, if you know me or Yas, an Arab an Arab dinner can easily go– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh.  


Josie Totah: –that way really quickly. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s it’s constantly walking on eggshells like you like they say to you like you look– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –so skinny, and you’re like, that’s triggering. They’ll be like, well, that’s your own fucking fault and your own fucking trauma, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, okay, never mind. I don’t know why, why I said anything. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, I’ve definitely– 


Josie Totah: Yeah, literally.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I’ve definitely been met with what’s a trigger like like like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah wait wait wait guys what’s a trigger? [said sarcastically]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –ask them. I have family members be being like, that’s not a real thing. We talk to each other how we talk to each other. But, you know, it’s it’s very much like what you guys are saying. It’s unfortunate because I think, like, it’s indoctrination, like we have to talk about it with with family members because they’re ignorant to understanding the gravity of the comments that like we make to each other about people’s bodies have like, you know, I. I pray to God, so she’s comfortable with me discussing this. But um, you know, I think I think it’s important. Like so my mom specifically, like she had cancer and she has no thyroid. So what that means in very short terms is she has no hormones regulating or she has noth– no gland in her body regulating her hormones. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Right. And it makes me so sad to think that some of the last words that family members of ours have said to her before they’ve passed were things about her body, because at family gatherings, it’s like what you do, right? Like, you know, and I it sounds like this is similar in your household and POC households, I think just households over the holidays is to say, like, you look so great or like, are you not doing anything to keep the weight off? When like people don’t ever take into consideration how difficult that is for my mom and how she does eat clean and how she does work out. But like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. She’s a healthy woman.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: There are medical conditions. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know, like like there are medical conditions that um hinder her ability to get fit like other people. Right? So I think like something that Josie said that I very much agree with. How do we start like you know, normalizing, holding people accountable in our family. And it can be in a loving way. But how do we say like, hey, can you not talk to my kids about their body? Or, hey, if you want to compliment somebody here at the dinner table today, can we make it about something that has nothing to do with aesthetics? Um.


Josie Totah: Or turn it around on them and be like. Well, well if you want to talk about weight, why don’t we talk about yours? [laugh] Like–


Yasmine Hamady: No, no, that’s– 


Josie Totah: You know? 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s that’s the funny you said that, Josie. Because, like, my, it’s so funny, like, my mom and dad, and I like, and this is funny. Like, they’re always comfortable with me saying this. But like, we went out to dinner and I was like, we’re, we’re ordering drinks my mom was like, I’ll have a Negroni and I’m like, okay, I’m out. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: [indistinct]


Yasmine Hamady: It’s [?] prosecco in it, which is also like a double entendre. But um my dad was like, uh, could I get a Coke, please? Easy on the ice. And then I was like, Oh, can I also get a Coke, please? Um. But with extra ice. And my dad looks at me and this is like literally in October and he goes, are you sure you don’t want a Diet Coke? And I look at him and I said, are you sure you don’t want a fucking Diet Coke? I didn’t say fucking, but he was like, that’s fair. Do you know what? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s fair. And I was like, good. And I think it’s like, but that also takes courage, and that’s a privilege to be able to, like, kind of like, give it back, which is also like in the Arab world, you never talk back to your parents. And like also there’s–


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –just respect. But also I you are going to put me down. I’m going to say, well, okay then you’re coming down with me like you’re going to come down– 


Josie Totah: Well. I think there’s ways to do it in ways that will not cause a catastrophic bomb at the dinner table. 


Yasmine Hamady: And that’s not an Arab joke. 


Josie Totah: And I say that as as someone who has caused many a bomb. Um. And I think I think that we should totally normalize being like actually that wasn’t an inappropriate comment. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And can we discuss something else? Or why is my weight so important to you? I think is okay to say I think there are ways to do it um and I think even sometimes isolating yourself from the situation. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Mm hmm. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Could mean stepping out for a–


Yasmine Hamady: –Protect your peace. 


Josie Totah: –second like I think it’s okay. I think you deserve that. But. How do you guys talk to yourselves during this time? Like when you feel like that little voice inside your head is making you look at yourself differently or compare yourself subconsciously to other people. How do you guys like wrangle with those emotions and sort of talk yourself off a ledge? 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m not going to lie um. Getting a little emotional um for me, I think the thing that holds me grounded is that I talked to my sister Catarina before [starting to cry] beforehand um with this conversation because we had like a very deep conversation prior to Thanksgiving this year. And she’s just recovered from a variety of eating disorders. And um we just had to sit with each other in the bathroom and like hold each other’s hand and say, like what we’re looking at in the mirror. That’s our body dysmorphia. That’s literally a mental illness, whether it’s conditioned or it’s a part of our chemistry, we fucking have it and it doesn’t matter. We can’t feel shame with eating and we have to tell each other that. And it’s insane to like, look at my little sister and I have to ask her, is it okay if I eat this biscuit? I have literally I literally had to ask my little sister this year, I’m not going to gain weight right? And then she said to me, but why does it matter if you gain weight? And also, what the fuck is a biscuit going to do? And then later on she has a coke and she’s like, Yasmine like, tell me, like, I didn’t get bigger after drinking this coke, right? No, you didn’t. And it’s having someone constantly there. And it’s a privilege to have someone there in your corner, in your family. It is a privilege. And I’m grateful that I have my little sister. But if you can find that person or and within yourself and say what you’re hearing externally or what your brain is telling you is a fucking lie. It’s a leech. And society will tell you you’re too big. Society will tell you you’re too small. Your, society with tell you you are too tall too too short. No matter what, you’re fucked. So do what you want to make you happy in that moment. And if someone puts you down, like Josie said, really I like my bathroom was my safe space with my little sister. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: So I think removing yourself. Okay. Sorry for getting emotional, um. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Don’t apologize. 


Josie Totah: Don’t be sorry oh my gosh.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: At all. We’re really proud of you. 


Yasmine Hamady: And but like this is all to the little girls, little boys, little individuals who um feel like no matter what they do, they’re too big, too small. You’re enough. That’s the– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –bottom line, is that you’re enough and that you’re beautiful and know it no matter what you do, you’re going to be damned in someone’s eyes so they can go fuck themselves, quite frankly, in the kindest of terms. 


Josie Totah: They can. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I also think normalizing that Christmas food and Hanukkah food, you know, Kwanzaa food, Ramadan like not no holiday food is bad for you. There is no such thing as holiday food being unhealthy or bad for you. Like food is food and food is also fuel. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And like we should de-stigmatize like our fear with, like, eating too much or, you know, eating the wrong food or the bad food because there’s it’s virtually impossible for you to ruin your entire BMI, your entire body capacity and structure in one evening or a few evenings or a couple weeks of eating one way. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Like, it’s not going to break you down. It’s not going to turn you into a completely different person, bigger or smaller. It’s just food. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And we should normalize eating it and and and lessen like this this fear, because I think this type of food has been villainized in a lot of ways. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: As something that, like, we should be afraid of or we should not go for seconds or thirds for– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: That we shouldn’t even touch. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I think it’s also really important to note that like our bodies are so uniquely different. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No person’s body is like another person’s. I–


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know, like, for example, like me with my lupus, me with my RA, whatever it may be, like what I need and what’s going to nourish me is going to look different. I may need more protein, like, what’s your blood type and stuff? I just feel like, you know, I never want to be the word police. I never want to, like, be like, oh, we need to be more PC. But I think that there is a way that we need to have a radical sense of compassion when we’re having conversations about like food with people that we just haven’t been taught to have as a society, as a community. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I don’t think you personally or at least I’m going to speak for myself. I don’t speak for the people. I personally will never look at somebody and go, oh, you look so skinny oh or you look so great. 


Yasmine Hamady: How many times have– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Or– 


Yasmine Hamady: –I asked you, do I look skinny? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And I– 


Yasmine Hamady: How many times have I asked you? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And how do I look at you? I’m like, You look great. You’re beautiful. Like, it’s, you know, to answer the question from before, like, how do you speak to yourself? Because we all deal with insecurities. There are times where I feel like mm I’m a I’m a little bit bigger than other actresses or, you know, I do have curves. I have a little pansa as we say in Spanish. Um. But I’ve learned to center myself when I think feelings like that get overwhelming and go, my body is my temple, and I thank you for serving me each day. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh!


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And thank you for– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, yeah yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I’m thank, thank you. Whatever you believe in, it doesn’t have to be God. But thank you, Lord, for allowing me the ability to move my legs today, to move my arms, to go get coffee with my friend like and go at the end of the day, in my opinion, this is a sack of meat. This is an avatar. 


Yasmine Hamady: Not the avatar. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like like this–


Yasmine Hamady: –Sack of meat. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like my soul and my spirit is in here. 


Josie Totah: You are Zoe Saldaña. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah [laugh]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Exactly. Thank you so much. Please book me to play your daughter in um Avatar 25. Pero um. [laugh] Like when it all gets super overwhelming because body image is a real thing. Let’s not sit here and gaslight people like it’s a real thing. We all have our insecurities. It’s hard, um you know, people talk about body image in ways they shouldn’t, but for me that’s what’s really helpful, is for me to go my–


Josie Totah: I agree. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –my spirit and my soul– 


Josie Totah: And we do that as friends. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I feel like we’ve had that conversation–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –As friends, like when we talk about like moving forward. Like I remember distinctly a conversation that Alycia and I had with um two of our amazing friends, Allie and Noel, when we were in, I don’t know where we were, I think we were in Santa Barbara and we were at a winery and we all made the conscious decision. We were like, we let’s all vow to never compliment each other in the form of skinny or thick or– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –when it comes to our bodies again, we were like, let’s change our vocabulary and change our compliments. Because I think you can, I mean, you can speak up to your family, you can tell them no. You could kind of say something bad and get in a fight. But you can start with your own world. 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree. 


Josie Totah: You know. And in assessing with your friend groups like how do we all speak to each other and how do we all look at each other instead of like, oh my God, you look so skinny in that dress. Like, that dress looks beautiful on you. Like it’s little things like that that actually genuinely do make a difference. And it just changes our vernacular and in our vernacular will change our actions and how we subconsciously view ourselves. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I agree.


Yasmine Hamady: And I think going forward, I think this was a perfect place to end of when you listening to this when you listen to this episode, say five things that you’re grateful for about yourself and truly mean it. Look in the mirror and say thank you stomach for protecting my my intestines and my guts. Thank you. [laughter] No, no. It’s true like little shit like that. Like. Thank you– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No, but you’re right. 


Yasmine Hamady: No, like, thank you eyes. 


Josie Totah: I agree. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Also– 


Yasmine Hamady: You could be lying to yourself. I lie to myself every day. But it’s better that it’s better to say it than not say it at all. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: We’re all on the road. It’s all the climb. And– 


Yasmine Hamady: I love Miley Cyrus’s song. 


Josie Totah: We love you all. 


Yasmine Hamady: We love you. [music break]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: [guitar strumming] Hi, y’all. Come on in for another cafecito. [liquid pouring] Listen, if you are ride or dying for your man, you probably going to die. So let’s just talk about it. I don’t think that we discuss enough the chokehold, that this false narrative of being a ride or die girl has on women. Like, why are we taught this false narrative that we need to stick beside a man regardless of what they do? Because men definitely don’t have that sentiment towards us. Like, we grow up listening to music and watching movies that feed us this falsehood, that loving a man is mutually exclusive with having to endure a ridiculous amount of pain and obstacles. And I’m over it. Look, it’s different from deciding that you want to grow and overcome adversity with someone versus allowing for someone to treat you any which way and you staying. So I encourage you to kill that little ride or die girl that you have built up for yourself in your brain. Listen, it is not unloyal or fake to set boundaries and have standards. That’s a great thing. And it’s important to know that you need to leave when your energy isn’t being reciprocated and you’re not being cherished. But most importantly, love and cherish yourself enough to know that you deserve to be in spaces where you’re empowered and celebrated. Your love don’t need to be tested. This ain’t no game. Okay, bye. You can leave now. [music break]


Yasmine Hamady: I’m having a– do you have a sweet tooth or a savory tooth? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I love breakfast at any time. 


Josie Totah: I have every tooth.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, I have every tooth. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know me. 


Josie Totah: I have everyone knows, though. I have a sweet tooth. Even in my worst days where I I I always [?] dessert.


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, I– 


Josie Totah: I always have dessert. 


Yasmine Hamady: –the dessert, Alycia’s a brunch girl. 


Josie Totah: That is one thing about me that is true. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, my gosh. That is a thing that Josie and I like violently disagree on. It’s probably one of the only things that we feel that um opposition about– 


Yasmine Hamady: What is– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Is brunch. 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay. So next Ick and Yum, brunch I guess? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: She thinks it’s the worst thing ever. I went to brunch with her at Beauty and Essex. It was–


Josie Totah: I don’t think there’s any reason to do brunch.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: See? I would have paid to, like, see her reaction.


Yasmine Hamady: Okay so next Ick and Yum, you guys. 


Josie Totah: It’s like just sleep in and go to lunch. Like I–


Yasmine Hamady: I will be– 


Josie Totah: I don’t understand it. 


Yasmine Hamady: –the judge and we’ll have an Ick and Yum on brunch. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Thank you for listening. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But, guys. Thank you for listening. Please love yourself. Be kind to yourself during this time. Nourish yourself. Um. We love you. Happy holidays, y’all. [music break]


Josie Totah: Dare We Say is a Crooked Media production. 


Yasmine Hamady: Caroline Reston is our showrunner, producer and mommy. And Ari Schwartz is our producer and show daddy, Fiona Pestana is our associate producer and Sandy Girard is the Almighty Executive producer. 


Josie Totah: It’s hosted and produced by me, Josie Totah. 


Yasmine Hamady: And me Yasmine Hamady.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And me Alycia Pascual-Peña. Our engineer and editor is Jordan Cantor. And Brian Vasquez is our theme music composer. Our video producers are Matt DeGroot, Narineh Melkonian, and Delon Villanueva and Mia Kellman. 


Josie Totah: Lastly, thank you to Jordan Silver, Gabriela Leverette, Jesse McLean, Caroline Heywood, Shaina Hortsmann, Deisi Cruz, Danielle Jensen, and Ewa Okulate for marketing the show and making us look so damn good.