Strong Opinions Loosely Held-logo

Strong Opinions Loosely Held

Media & Entertainment Podcasts >

Is Instagram making us all into Betty Draper 2.0? Can you follow the Kardashians and still be a feminist? Are there women on death row? Is virality a science or a spiritual connection? Refinery 29's executive producer, Elisa Kreisinger talks to today’s culture makers and rule breakers to try to solve the mysteries of our modern popular culture.

Is Instagram making us all into Betty Draper 2.0? Can you follow the Kardashians and still be a feminist? Are there women on death row? Is virality a science or a spiritual connection? Refinery 29's executive producer, Elisa Kreisinger talks to today’s culture makers and rule breakers to try to solve the mysteries of our modern popular culture.
More Information


United States


Is Instagram making us all into Betty Draper 2.0? Can you follow the Kardashians and still be a feminist? Are there women on death row? Is virality a science or a spiritual connection? Refinery 29's executive producer, Elisa Kreisinger talks to today’s culture makers and rule breakers to try to solve the mysteries of our modern popular culture.






S3E5: Mind Behind The Meme: Quinta Brunson

Quinta Brunson became obsessed with comedy as an undergrad at Temple University. She initially felt like the internet wasn't for her until her friend uploaded what would be Instagram's first viral video, Butt Won't Clap. From there she went to BuzzFeed to make memes on a large scale. Quinta tells us what it's like when your face is a meme and how she's crafting a career out of all of it. Follow Quinta: youtube: Instagram: @quintab Twitter:...


S3E4: The Great Firewall of China

Memes in China are silly, they're based on puns, and they're driving the government crazy. Chinese memes are flourishing under the country's censored internet and despite the risks, memes are used to communicate political dissent. Harvard researcher and technologist An Xiao Mina explains how the more censored the internet, the more important the meme and how the internet in US isn't that much different than China's. Share your strong opinions with us: Instagram: @popculturepirate Twitter:...


S3E3: Minds Behind The Meme: Woke Charlotte

Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni run the very popular Every Outfit on Sex and the City Instagram account. But after rewatching SATC for the clothes, they realized how the show focused on the stories of privileged white women. So they created Woke Charlotte - a meme within a meme account that allows Charolette to call out the problematic moments in the iconic show. The duo pair real scenes with re-written dialog from Woke Charlotte so that whenever Carrie, Miranda or Samantha say something...


S3E2: Peaches On Fleek

Peaches, a young women of color, uploads a video of herself to Vine. She's impressed with her eyebrows. They're on fleek. The Vine goes viral. Everyone from Ariana Grande to Kim K starts using the word. IHOP uses it to sell pancakes. Denny’s uses it to sell hash browns. Peaches doesn’t make a cent. She doesn't hear from beauty companies. In an era of influencers, Peaches has to start her own Kickstarter to fund a cosmetic line. Who determines who makes money off of memes? And if memes are...


S3E1: Digital Black Face

Even though Tiffany Pollard's appearance on VH1's Rock Of Love was 12 years ago, GIFs of her grandiose reactions are still used to respond to everything from an email about the broken copier at work to a group text about bad Tinder dates. GIFs that feature the reactions of black women from reality TV shows seem to be especially popular with white and non-black users. Elisa talks with cultural critic Lauren Michelle Jackson and UC Berkeley Center for Technology Fellow, Kate Miltner about why...


Welcome to Season 3!

Welcome to the world of memes. Where nuance mean nothing and images are everything! This season we find out what happened to Peaches Monroee after she coined On Fleek, dive into the reaction GIFs selection on Giphy and talk to meme maker Quinta Brunson. In this trailer, Elisa talks with UC Berkeley Center for Technology Fellow, Kate Miltner fills us in on some history and why memes are pretty, pretty, pretty cool. Special shout out to our Season 3 sponsor, Spotify. We love you and use you...


S2E10: Why Male Bosses Don't Get It

You #LeanIn. You #AskForMore. You #SideHustle. Yet you still feel like an imposter, even though you're pretty sure you know more than your male boss. How do you survive being manterrupted, passed over, and side-eyed at work when even Senator Kamala Harris and Arianna Huffington have to put up with it at the office? Elisa talks to “Feminist Fight Club” author and New York Times journalist, Jessica Bennett about how to combat subtle sexism and why being a bitch is A-OK. Director and Head of...


A Conversation with Aubrey Plaza

Elisa talks with comedian and actress Aubrey Plaza about her latest film and how Instagram has influenced her in new role and in real life. This conversation was recorded in front of a live audience after the LA screening of Plaza's latest film, "Ingrid Goes West".


S2E9: When Your Pop Culture Doesn't Match Your Politics

What do you do when you love the beat but the lyrics aren't quite....liberating? If you're ashamed of your music choices, don't be. Elisa talks with "Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear and Why" author Sady Doyle and "Call Your Girlfriend" podcast host Aminatou Sow about enjoying popular culture in a problematic culture. This is our second to last episode for season 2! We'd love to come back for another season if you'll have us. Let us know by tweeting at my boss...


S2E8: Why Are We Still Not Happy?

The main consumer of self-help products in the US are women living in coastal cities. So how have decades of encouragement to find "our best selves" and "live our best lives" affected us? And why are we still looking for happiness in self help books when the world’s happiest countries don’t sell many of them? Elisa talks with lawyer-turned-journalist Jill Filipovic about her new book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness. In it, Filipovic suggests that our biggest roadblocks could...


S2E7: How HGTV Explains America

HGTV is known for its unique audience that intersects millennials, feminists, queers, conservatives and Christians. That’s because the one thing we can all agree on is homeownership. But while HGTV’s homeowner-focused programming unites us, it also plays a role in dividing us. Elisa talks with “No Place Like Home” author and Georgetown professor, Brian J. McCabe to get to the bottom of how and why HGTV explains America.


S2E6: Selling Squad Goals

Can you sell female friendship after you've put women down? Who did Taylor Swift vote for? Did she vote? Why does she represent our general distrust in well-intentioned white women? Elisa talks to "Stuff Mom Never Told You" podcast host Bridget Todd and BuzzFeed's senior culture writer Anne Helen Petersen to track the evolution of Taylor Swift from putting women down to embracing them. Petersen's book,"Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman" can be found...


S2E5: Teenage Girls Are Magic

Historically young women have set trends: the Beatles, Instagram and Snapchat just to name a few. But these are always discounted as silly, cute, or frivolous. Why do we discount young women but embrace "early adopters"? Elisa talks to Muhlenberg College professor Dr. Francesca Coppa and New York Times journalist Amanda Hess to unpack how teenage girls have all the power in the world and at the same time, no power at all.


S2E4: Little White Lie

How do we come to terms with the lies our families tell us? Are we really an extension of our parents? How do we define our identities if we aren't? This week’s episode is dedicated to finding personal truth, inspired by the film "Little White Lie" by director Lacey Schwartz. The film is a personal documentary about the legacy of family secrets, denial, and the power of telling the truth. Schwartz was accepted to college as a Black student, a decision based solely on a photo she submitted...


S2E3: Please Exit Through the Feminist Gift Shop

Hold onto your pussy hats. Tuck in your Future is Female T-shirts. We are doing a deep dive into the buying and selling of feminism! Beyonce, Emma Watson and Taylor Swift have all come out as feminists while feminist themes sell everything from wireless plans to cigarettes. Are these empty signifiers of "empowerment" or are they helpful reminders that women are actually human? What happens when shopping becomes a political act? Elisa talks to "We Were Feminists Once" author Andi Zeisler...


S2E2: Why the F*$% Are We Still Having Kids?

Having kids seems like the worst career move a woman could make: the US lacks paid parental leave, working moms are less likely to be hired and when they are, they make 4-6% less than women without kids. The motherhood penalty is real. But don't worry, what's lacking in social and political support is made up for in platitudes. After all, it's still the "most important job". Elisa talks to sociologist Dr. Kathleen Gerson, Senators Gellibrand and Heitkamp and "Why Have Kids" author Jessica...


Too good to cut: More with Ashley Ford

There was so much in Elisa's interview with Ashely Ford that we couldn’t let it go to waste. Here’s their full conversation on Ashely's love of Roxanne Gay, her best full time job and how her mentee mindset failed her.


S2E1: Famous on the Internet, Broke IRL

Welcome to Season 2! The creative entrepreneurs we see across social media may have a ton of followers but are they making any money? Should they? How do you maintain your creativity while still supporting yourself? Is selling out such a bad thing? Elisa talks to popular YouTuber and podcaster Gaby Dunn, "Art Thinking" author Amy Whitaker and senior features writer-with-a-huge-following, Ashely C Ford to get answers to these age-old questions.


Celebrity (Activist) Industrial Complex: SOLH @ SxSW

Who's woke and who's just an opportunist trying to stay relevant? How can we tell and where's the line? And who did Taylor Swift vote for? It's our 1 year anniversary and to celebrate, we are airing Elisa's conversation with Medium's Bridget Todd, NPR's Glen Weldon and BuzzFeed's Anne Helen Petersen about celebrity culture and activism at this year's SxSW. Season 2 returns on July 10.


Surviving a Post-Election Thanksgiving: Easing out of the bubble

This election opened deep-seated wounds in ourselves and our country. Add family and the holidays to that open wound and it can be a recipe for disaster. Elisa Kreisinger talks to "Man Enough" author and pioneer of gender violence prevention education in sports culture and the military, Jackson Katz to unpack WTF happened two weeks ago and how we can proceed sharing a table with people whose strong opinions aren't so loosely held. Also, who are the women who voted for Trump? Glad you asked....