Featured Image: AsianBossGirl
“Hi, everyone! My name is Helen. I’m Mel. And I’m Janet. Welcome to ABG, a podcast for the modern day Asian American woman.”
Launched in 2017, hosts Helen Wu, Melody Cheng, and Janet Wang started the podcast AsianBossGirl as a way to discuss topics of interest and share stories of what it is like navigating life as young Asian American women in Los Angeles.
“It’s no secret that Asian women are lacking in almost all media outlets,” AsianBossGirl reads. “As three women working in finance, technology, and media who balance careers, life aspirations, and eventful social lives (we have our fair share of 5 am returns from the club), we hope our perspectives can help, inform, and entertain those girls (and guys) with similar backgrounds or an interest in our backgrounds.”
A spin on the term Asian Baby Girl, Helen, Melody, and Janet reclaim the identity of Asian American women noting how the term ABG is often stereotyped and negatively portrayed. AsianBossGirl highlights the complexities of being a young woman and what it means to be Asian American in twenty-first-century America. Together, these three women share their mistakes and successes through unfiltered and authentic conversations.
Since its creation three years ago, AsianBossGirl has released over 60 episodes and has seen over two million downloads. In fact, they just launched their sixth season last month. Each episode averages 40 minutes to over an hour-long as these three ladies delve into how their Asian identities have impacted their lives. Full of laughter and sincerity, AsianBossGirl doesn’t shy away from the awkward or the complicated. With topics ranging from periods and poops to mastering the art of adulting to dealing with imposter syndrome, AsianBossGirl makes sure to keep it real.
In Episode 50, “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby”, the women examine how sex is not only a loaded subject, but in Asian households, it is also often a taboo one that is rarely discussed. Together Helen, Melody, and Janet disclose their personal experiences with sex education in school, their first times, and even one night stands.
“Do you remember being grossed out at the idea of sex?” Melody asks her friends.
“My parents never gave me the sex talk,” Helen recalls. “It was more like ‘don’t do it’ and ‘it’ implies all of it… It was always like this forbidden fruit. It was just like ‘You can’t talk about it, don’t touch it, none of that.’”
Along with these personal musings are episodes featuring guests and episodes dedicated to answering listener questions. However, the podcast never strays from what it set out to do: invite people into private “girl talk” sessions. And while AsianBossGirl isn’t a visual podcast, one can tell from listening that the friendship between Helen, Melody, and Janet is sincere. Filled with jokes, empathy for each other, and relatable moments, AsianBossGirl has become like an older sister or a best friend to listeners everywhere.
“I’ve only recently stumbled upon your podcast and I’m so shocked I haven’t found you ladies sooner!” user @mii.tsabxx commented under an Instagram post. “Love you all so much and I couldn’t relate more to each and every episode! You ladies are so down to earth yet also so real and fun!”
“This podcast was my first ever and I love it so much!” fangirlaida shares under a five-star review on iTunes. “I’m a Chinese-American girl living in the suburbs without many older Asian Americans to look up to, so learning from the ABG girls has been really cool and helpful. It makes me feel connected and like I’m part of this big family.”
AsianBossGirl strengthens its connections with its listeners outside of the podcast as well. Not only do all three ladies actively share their lives with their audience via Instagram, but they also send out a monthly newsletter, host meet-ups, and speak at live events. Most recently, AsianBossGirl has expanded its endeavors by hosting Zoom parties with fans and more recently uploading vlogs to YouTube.
While there are some Asian-focused podcasts on the airwaves, none seem to be headed solely by women and created for women. AsianBossGirl has created something special and they’ve recognized it. Last month, all three women announced in an episode that they had left their traditional 9-5 jobs in order to focus on and continue to grow the podcast.
As Helen, Melody, and Janet begin this new journey as literal Asian boss girls, they will surely have the continued support and love of their listeners. Now more than ever are roles reversed as the podcast looks to its audience for guidance in its next step, much like how AsianBossGirl helps guide young Asian American women on how to be a boss girl in this weird, lovely, beautiful life.