I launched UIO (You Inside Out) in 2017 exclusively for teenage girls, to give girls a modern and relevant platform to deal with issues that are either exclusive to them or impact them disproportionately.
The engine of the podcast
Research shows that girls are sexualised earlier and more often than boys. Other research corroborates that girls face bigger problems with navigating social media as it relates to body image.
But boys can enjoy the podcasts too. They are just not aimed at them.
In any case, UIO relies on Christian ethics and principles. My faith is at the engine of the podcast. But UIO is not solely for Christian girls. It is for everyone!
Letting teens be teens
A former journalist and longstanding advocate for girls and women, I have been concerned for some time that there is a narrowing gap between being a girl and being a woman. With each UIO podcast, our hope is to widen that gap, and protect the sacred space of the teenage years.
To this end, we aim to highlight the most relevant topics that girls face, listening to them directly through our own research, social media and through the research of other organisations with an interest in girls and teenagers.
To this end, we cover a range of topics on both physical and mental wellbeing. Girls can, of course, suggest topics and put questions to me and the interviewee to be answered on the podcast.
Once we establish the topics for a series of podcasts, we invite female guests with an expertise or strong interest on a specific topic.
For example, for our latest series we invited Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert, to talk about the importance of sleep to the teenage brain and overall wellbeing.
Charlotte Aynsley, a pioneer in internet safety, discussed the biggest issues for girls on the internet and how to stay safe.
And Claire Eastham, renowned blogger and award winning author, discussed her own struggle with social anxiety and how this problem can be tackled.
Often during the podcasts, I share personal experiences, as does the interviewee.
I call it straight talk because so many of the subjects are not dealt with openly and honestly in day to to day life, often leading girls to believe the abnormal is normal and the unreasonable is reasonable.
For example, research shows that more and more teenage girls are sharing explicit images over the internet, yet it is not a subject that is widely talked about from a mental health or criminal perspective.
I Owe You
To this end, UIO is sort of an I Owe You to teenage girls, gathering and sharing as much information as possible on subjects that impact them disproportionately, and offering it in a way that is modern and relevant.
Our ultimate goal is to help girls reclaim and celebrate happier and healthier teenage years.
To listen to the UIO podcast, visit: sonjalewis.com/uio-podcast