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RT Player series The Talk turns its focus to IVF, surrogacy and body image


RT Player has today released two new episodes in its series The Talk, looking at the very topical subjects of body image, IVF and surrogacy. The series, an RT Player Original, which debuted last year with an insightful look at experiences of racism, discusses real life issues from a personal perspective. Two people have the talk' - an open and honest conversation about an issue that's close to their hearts.

In the body image episode, four young women discuss how they feel about their bodies. From childhood diets to dating and bullying, this is an honest and emotional insight into the impact of body image on our lives today. First on the agenda is the topic of growing up. Curvy model Jessica Cinelli recalls a desire to diet at the age of eight, while comedian and content creator Justine Stafford details the school bullying that spurred her to lose more than half her body weight in three months.

Beauty content creator Jen Morris also describes her wish to lose weight as a child. I vividly remember when I was young, thinking, like, if I could just get a little bit sick. Like, if I could get some kind of disease, that I would be sick enough that I wouldn't die, but that I would be skinny. Because that's all I cared about - trying to be small and be like all the girls and everyone I was seeing. And like, I'm not going to say it's something I thought about once, I thought about it often.

Plus size model and blogger Brenda Mangwandi discusses the worst things that have been said to her, describing an ex-boyfriend who constantly compared her to a slimmer friend. She goes on to say: The peak of it was when he said, I am tired of defending dating you to my friends because they are saying, why am I with this fat person'.

Jen mentions the embarrassment of being cornered on a train by an elderly woman who recommended a diet to her, saying When you're bigger, people just feel like they can tell you anything. Because they feel like they are helping you. She goes on to advise I just feel like you should never comment on someone's body Just don't say it. It's none of your business, you know, it's not your body. Just back off.

Social Media is the next topic on the table. Jen talks about her work as a beauty content creator and explains that no matter how hard she works in her industry, she feels she will never reach the success of her slimmer colleagues. Brenda describes being accused of promoting obesity after winning a beauty pageant. But rather than letting this discourage her, she decided to use her platform to promote a positive body image and to inspire others. Justine also used her platform to shine a light on her experiences. After writing an article for World Mental Health Day, she was inundated with messages from readers and acquaintances who had gone through similar experiences. She never regretted her decision to open up, saying If I'd have known that so many people at that time, unfortunately, were going through so many similar things, the difference it would have made to me. We are far more open about talking about these things that you can feel not so alone going through it.

Also on the agenda is the word fat'. Jessica talks about the power that this word held over her for so many years. She has since taken the power out of the word, saying: I call myself fat all the time now. I'm like - I'm fat - and what?! Jessica goes on to describe how her struggles with weight curbed her enjoyment of life for many years. But after having her son, she gained a new-found gratitude for her body and the realisation that life is for living.

The second new episode of The Talk looks at the highs and lows and the costs and legal issues around IVF and surrogacy, giving first-hand accounts and an honest and enlightening insight into the realities.

We meet Lucy Fallon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. Lucy and her husband Cormac had always wanted a family and surrogacy made their dream a reality. Lucy explains When you're in a position where you've dreamt about it for so long, you've watched all your friends and family, you've gone to every christening you can possibly go to and you're at the stage where - look - it's your last option. Lucy and Cormac went on to have twins Luchia and Lauren through surrogacy.

Sara Byrne has cystic fibrosis and underwent a lung transplant. Before getting engaged to husband Padraig, she was advised against carrying a child herself. We made the decision that we had to go down the surrogacy road because I just couldn't do that to my child that maybe to put myself at risk - that if I was going to be a Mammy, I wanted to be around for a long time. She details the ups and downs of their journey to pursue surrogacy in the Ukraine, saying: The minute that Alice was born, all of the years of turmoil and grief and pain - I would do it again in the morning.'

Ranae von Meding and her wife Audrey decided to grow their family in 2015. They used Reciprocal IVF so that they could use Audrey's eggs and Ranae could carry their babies. But they had no idea of the legal battles that they would face after their babies were born.

Gear id Kenny Moore and his husband Seamus always knew they wanted to be parents. The road to having a family was not without its bumps but they went on to have twins Sean and Mary and youngest daughter Anne through surrogacy. Gear id recounts his delight at the reaction to his twins when he introduced them to the rural community where he grew up.

Everybody just wanted to meet these babies. And you could tell there was like a - just a feeling amongst people that like, this is special. And our country has jumped forward thirty years in like a five-year period. And like again, nobody cared about the IVF or the surrogacy All t
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