Dear Asian Girl
By Dear Asian Youth
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Dear Asian Girl Nov 23, 2023
RepresentASIAN Matters! Behind the Binding
To what extent does seeing ourselves reflected in the media we consume have an effect on our lives? Join our co-hosts Isabel and Naina as they unravel the threads of this question in the world of literature, while also delving into the trade secrets of the publishing industry, the factors that affect a book's marketability, and many more!
RepresentASIAN Matters! Beauty Standards and Body Image in an Age of Materialism
Buckle in, it's a long one. Sit down with Abi, Eden, and Meghna as they talk all things beauty. In this episode, they address East, South East, South, West, Central, AND North Asian beauty standards, particularly picking up on the distinct lack of attention towards these latter three regions of Asia. From plastic surgery, to 'glass' skin, to colourism, to henna 'trends', to body hair, join our cohosts as they lament the present-day consequences of colonialism and the patriarchy. Sigh.
And stay tuned 'til the end to hear all about body neutrality, a new approach to body positivity that detaches the body as a functional system from the body as an aesthetic tool!
Let's Chat: Artistic Outlets and Our Struggle With Identity
In this newest off-season episode of Dear Asian Girl, all five of our co-hosts, Abi, Eden, Isabel, Meghna, and Naina dive into an insightful discussion about their personal struggles with identity and how they use different artistic outlets to resolve these internal conflicts. Join them as they explore various forms of creative expression, from literature and comics to poetry and creative writing, providing a sneak-peek into topics they hope to discuss in the up-coming Season 7!
Listen in on the second half of the episode as well to learn more about how Dear Asian Girl plans to pursue its mission of inclusivity and empowerment through a crucial change and a call to action. And make sure to have your creativity caps on! They'll be asking for your input and ideas!
Rice, Spice, and Everything Nice
Take a food tour around the world!
In this episode, Eden, Meghna, and Abi launch into a delicious journey. Traveling from restaurants all over, the co-hosts (and researcher Mei) tell you about the importance of rice and spice to Asian cuisine, and their favorite places to chow amidst Asian enclaves in cities everywhere.
Stay tuned for the rest of the episode where Abi interviews siblings Yenvy and Quynh-Vy Pham who are the minds behind Phở Bắc—a chain of Vietnamese eateries in Seattle ranging from a cafe to a traditional soup shop.
Agriculture Rooted In Justice
Trigger Warning: Brief mention of eating disorders
In this episode, Isabel and Naina dive into the realities and experiences of BIPOC individuals and communities in the field of agriculture. The first segment is a discussion with Chhaya Kolavalli who has a PhD in applied anthropology specializing in equitable city development, race and sexism, and urban agriculture. She shares her research on the harmful presence of white-led local food movements in Kansas City, Missouri, and dives into the complex relationship BIPOC communities may have with soil. The second segment is a conversation with Colin and Kumiko of Jambican Studio Gardens in Ottawa, Canada. Together, they share about the process of fermentation in the cultivation of Japanese crops and foods, their views on the values and life lessons farming has to offer, as well as their perspective on agricultural industries in Canada.
Eating With Your Eyes: The White Gaze on Asian Food
In this episode, Meghna and Eden sit down to unpack the lore behind their own and others' Asian lunchboxes. From the lunchtime anxiety of growing up in primarily white spaces to the disparity of diversity in free meals for kids, the two co-hosts look far and wide to understand how Asian food is perceived through the white gaze.
Later in the episode, hear more from the rest of the team (researchers Mei and Anika) and the foods we love and bittersweetly hate.
Take a Trip Down Culinary Memory Lane
This episode is a deep dive into the complex relationship between memory and food. Naina and Isabel interview Professor Nhung Tuyet Tran who is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto where she teaches a course on gender, religious, and regional histories in the Indian Ocean world through the prism of food. Professor Tran shares her insights on how individuals versus the collective hold memory of food through sharing her childhood stories and knowledge of Southeast Asian history. Listeners will also hear from hyperrealistic artist Sarasvathy TK who shares how she personally celebrates and cherishes her memories of food through her process of cooking, photographing, and painting South Indian cultural dishes.
Tea Time with Us Two Tea
In this episode, Naina and Isabel savor warm cups of tea and join in conversation with Maggie Xue the founder of Us Two Tea, a tea company that encourages the next generation of Asians to have pride in their culture and cherish the joyful moments shared with one another over tea. Maggie shares her experiences starting a company, sourcing high quality tea in Taiwan, and how she uses Us Two Tea to support the Asian community. Maggie introduces the various healing properties of different teas and the co-hosts share their thoughts on coffee versus tea culture.
Toasts to the New Hosts: Getting to Know Eden and Meghna
In the first episode of season 6, Abi introduces the new co-hosts, Eden and Meghna, to the Dear Asian Girl family. From discussing their personal passions, family recipes, and even their Asian foodie hot takes, listen in as they explore the beginnings of DAG’s food journey for the rest of an all new season!
Dating in 2022
In this episode, Genesis talks with Chris and Pri about what it is like dating now in 2022. What were their expectations as a kid, what's it like now? All these are answered in this episode.
Pri is a current senior at Berklee College of Music and she just released her latest single "Prove I'm Lying" that's out now on all streaming platforms. You can find her single through this link here. You can also find her on Instagram: @prioffixial
In this off-season episode, Genesis and Abi talk about the importance of food in Asian cultures. From translating familial love to understanding food as a piece of history with cultural weight, this episode covers the many facets of how culinary and culture combine. Later on, listen to anecdotes from the rest of the Dear Asian Girl team about what food they love the most from their respective cultural backgrounds and why!
Our Masked Maladies
CW: Mental illness, suicide, trauma.
In this episode, Isabel and Naina talk to Diana Chao, a Dear Asian Youth Changemaker Awardee who was recognized for her mental health advocacy work as the founder of Letters to Strangers. Listen to hear about Diana's experience as a first generation Bouyei Chinese American, her mental health journey including dealing with psychosomatic symptoms, and her perspectives on healthcare systems, the role of epigenetics in mental health, etc.
Dear Desi Girls: Part Two
In this episode, Isabel and Naina meet with Rhea Shetty to continue their conversation on South Asian representation, specifically from the perspective of a South Asian creator on Tiktok. Rhea shares her experiences and relationship with her South Indian identity, how her personal expression is influenced by South Asian and Western styles, and how she navigates creating content to discuss issues important to her.
Dear Desi Girls
On this episode, Naina and Isabel are joined by Mohuya Khan. She is a first-generation Bangladeshi American and founder of the Labyrinthave clothing brand which combines storytelling and art to empower the Desi community. She's also a co-host of the Difficult-ish podcast where she discusses a range of topics from a South Asian perspective such as mental health, cultural appropriation, etc. In this interview, Mohuya talks about representation during her upbringing, and her journey becoming the representation she never had for herself.
Reading in H Mart
CW: Cancer In Dear Asian Girl’s first offseason episode, our co-hosts Naina and Isabel sit down with a DAY book club co-lead to review Michelle Zauner’s memoir, “Crying in H-Mart” which dives into the musician’s memory and experiences of losing her mother to cancer. Our co-hosts discuss everything from how food can be seen as a source of comfort and connection in times of loss, and the role that Zauner's memoir has played in Asian American literary representation.
A World Connected | Decolonizing Monuments: A New Generation of Remembrance
In this episode, Eryn discussed monuments and the Filipina diaspora with our guests Jaclyn Reyes and Xenia Diente. They talk about Monument Lab, a non-profit art and history studio, and the Re:Generation project. They go on to discuss Tandang Sora’s legacy, the reasons to build her a monument, and ponderings regarding if monuments should be built to be long lasting and how the implementation of monuments to honor legacies of historical figures should be approached. Listen for insights on healing relationships with history, especially healing from colonialism.
A World Connected | An Ocean Apart: Growing Up Away From Your Culture
On this episode, Eryn sits down with Kimberly McKee, a Korean adoptee and author of "Disrupting Kinship," and Grace Ping Hua Newton, a Chinese adoptee and author of "Red Thread Broken", to discuss their experiences as Asian adoptees in white dominated cultures. Listen for stories on reconnecting with their birth culture, journeys of self-empowerment, and upcoming plans for their future projects!
A World Connected | A Third Space: Stories from an ABC
In this episode, Naina and Eryn meet with Janette Wu, the author of her memoir, "Letters to Home" to discuss her experiences as an American born Chinese (ABC). They unpack topics such as the different love languages seen in Western versus Asian families, the expectations placed upon the eldest daughter in family dynamics, what a "collective beehive" and "survival mentality" looks like, and more!
A World Connected | Romance in Different Lights: Literature and Asian Love
In this week's episode, Abi and Genesis talk to Patricia Park, an author with an acclaimed debut novel, Re Jane, about depictions of romance within Asian culture. They talk about it through Park's novel and how Park utilizes her novel to showcase familial love but also interracial love and the potential for fetishization and a power dynamic. They also talk about novels in films, movies, and more and how romance is one of the main depictions/stories of Asians in westernized media.
A World Connected | Education: Our Human Right to Mobility
In the first episode of Dear Asian Girl's "A World Connected," Naina and Eryn talk with Dahee Lee, the Youth Organizer at the MinKwon Center for Community Action. As a youth organizer, Dahee combines her passions of education and social justice in order to help undocumented immigrant youth in New York City, and this episode dives into how one's relationship to citizenship directly affects the social mobility one is granted. Listen to hear a breakdown of America's relationship with its undocumented immigrants, the challenges COVID-19 has brought upon undocumented families, elitism in New York City's education system, and more.
Dear Asian Girl: Gather Round
In this episode of Dear Asian Girl, Abi, Anika, Mei, and Genesis gather around the campfire to talk about folktales from their region.
Dear Asian Girl: Letters to Our Future Selves
In this episode, Naina, Abi, and Genesis read personal letters written for their future selves where they describe relevant experiences they're currently undergoing, and have heartfelt mental health checks while contemplating what the future entails. Listen to hear advice they give for themselves, questions they ask about the future, as well as thoughtful reflections over their present-day lives!
Dear Asian Girl : Ask Your Asian Sisters
In this episode, Naina and Izzie share advice and experiences related to navigating their identity, knowing their worth, and other topics you listeners wanted to hear about! Listen for some friendship storytimes, rants about social life struggles, and laughs over shared interests!
Dear Asian Girl: Sitting Down with the Chapter Director
Genesis sits down with Nikhitha Balijepalli, the Chapter Director of Dear Asian Youth, to sit down and talk about the Chapter program at Dear Asian Youth. They talk about how it got started, some of the cool events that the chapter leads do and have done in the past, and how to get involved. Currently, the chapter program applications are closed but check @dearasianyouth for future updates. If you want more information you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions that you might have and or information.
Dear Asian Girl : Meet the New Voices of DAG
Dear Asian Girl introduces our freshly onboarded hosts and researchers to the podcast! Alongside assistant director, Sunna, and podcast manager, Annette, meet the two new co-hosts, Izzie and Abigail, who will be joining Genesis and Naina, as well as Ellie, Eryn, Anika, Kim, and Mei who are all the podcast researchers helping behind the scenes. Get excited for season 5 with this team!
Protect Our AAPI Community: The "Hidden Hijabi" Trope
Alina sits down with Pashmina, a rising freshman at NYU studying journalism, to talk all things relating to negative tropes in film regarding Muslims, specifically women practicing the Hijab. The two, passionate about film, tackle this subject through their creative and personal lenses, both as Muslim women and film creatives. Pashmina starts by discussing herself and her journey with filmmaking and expresses her experience as one of the only Hijabi women at her boarding school in Princeton, NJ. They discuss all things relating to anti-hijabi tropes in film, as well as films relation to politics.
Protect Our AAPI Community: Deep From Within: Internalized Sexism
For the last episode of season 4, Alina and Gen discuss internalized sexism: where it derives from, how it's shown in our everyday lives and communities, and how internalized sexism manifests into our everyday world. They dive deep into how cultural factors, television and cinema, everyday language, and more influences their perspective of internalized sexism.
Protect Our AAPI Community: History of Asian American Hate
In this episode, Naina interviews Professor Melissa Borja about racism towards ESEA Americans throughout history due to the myths of "Yellow Peril" and the "Model Minority". They discuss immigration laws, the effects of World War II and the Cold War, and how other historical events connect to Asian hate during the current COVID-19 pandemic. They end with how to approach the issue of Asian American racism with the knowledge of historical contexts.
Color of Success by Ellen D. Wu
The Good Immigrants by Madeline Y. Hsu
Empire of Care by Catherine Ceniza Choy
Politics is for Power by Eitan D. Hersh
The Gift of Freedom by Mimi Thi Nguyen
Dear Asian Girl: Happy One Year Anniversary DAG!
Our hosts have been with DAG for a whole year now, speaking on issues that pertain to Asian girls, but also sharing their stories of being Asian girls. Staying true to their mission of creating a podcast by Asian girls, for Asian girls, our hosts, Naina Giri, Genesis Magpayo, and Alina Rahim, share their first impressions of each other in giggly reminiscence. Our podcast leadership also joins this episode with delightful insight into the organization and work behind the scenes. Our podcast manager, Annette Le, along with the two directors, Sunna Mai and Mya Sato, shares their experiences of running a podcast and many entertaining origin stories. Their amiable natures help their hard work shine through in this episode.
Protect Our AAPI Community: Educate Your Son
*TW: sexual violence, assault, and domestic abuse*
In this episode of "Protect Our AAPI Community", Alina sits down with Kacey Lee, a social media director and organizer at Space to Speak. The two talk about the need for anti-violence work as well as how to lower sexual assault rates in the Asian community. Kacey discusses her work with Space to Speak, an organization striving to create a safe space for survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and violence in all forms, as well as the importance of "educating our sons" rather than "protecting our daughters". The episode also covers the origin and patterns of "#notallmen" alongside "#yesallwomen" and "#metoo". For more resources check out the list provided by Kacey below alongside her socials.
- Kacey Lee, Instagram (@kceylee)
Protect our AAPI community: Asians & the White Gaze
In this episode, Naina and Gen are joined by their fellow Dear Asian Youth members, Marcella and Mya, to discuss Asians viewed through the perspective of the white gaze. They discuss topics such as Asian characters in Western media, notions of masculinity and femininity placed upon different Asians, and how factors like colorism, colonization, and more play a role in these conversations.
Protect our AAPI Community: Dismantling the Binary
In this episode, Naina interviews Jensen Reyes, a multi disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. They identify as a second generation Filipinx American as well as transgender nonbinary. They discuss the intersectionality of their racial and gender identities, including experiences with American and Asian notions of gender. Jensen also speaks on his experiences with fetishization, his journey with self-expression, and finding community with fellow queer people of color.
Sitting Down With The Social Media Directors
In this episode, the two Dear Asian Youth social media co-directors, Namrata and Mya, shine a more personal light on their responsibilities in DAY, their aspirations for the future, their day-to-day struggles with productivity and student life, as well as so much more -- all put together with a dash of humor!
Herstory: Asians Girl, Make it 2021
In this episode, we have our four co-hosts, Genesis, Alina, Melissa and Naina, all together in one episode reflecting on their past experiences in 2020/2021, and sharing their hopes for the future. They discuss looking forward to potential diversity in their college lives, navigating through their Asian identities in racially homogenous areas, and more.
Herstory: The Therapy Behind Art
In this episode, Genesis talks with Love Ablan. Love Ablan is a multidisciplinary artist that does photography, film, art, and is also a storyteller and meditation teacher. Genesis and Love dive deep into the life experiences that shaped her to create the art she’s creating now, the pressures she put upon herself when first starting into art, and how important it is to have representation in the arts as well as how art heals. You can find her at lovelovesyou.com and @loveablan on Twitter and Instagram.
Herstory: Let's Talk Asian's Women Issues
In this episode Alina and Gen talk with Emma Tang from @intersectional.abc about utilizing her platform to maintain an intersectional environment. They discuss everything from social media activism to anti-Asian-based hate crimes. Emma explains her journey with her instagram account and how it can be difficult to maintain an informed background on all issues. She discusses social media activism and performative activism, and explains how sometimes we all can be “performative”. She explains how to tackle performative activism and create intersectionality in the Asian community.
Herstory: State of the Art Asian Creativity
In this episode, Alina and Gen talk to Afshan from @lifesforliving, on what guided her to utilize social media to share her cultural identity. Afshan discusses her experience growing up in a close-minded area to her college experience in a diverse and mixed city, where she discovered her passion for marketing while also talking about the positive and negative aspects of social media and how to deal with internet trolls. Afshan explains the importance of coming from an educated and informed background when sharing any information on social media.
Herstory: Asian Women: Rewriting the Narrative
In this episode, Naina and Melissa are joined by Graci Kim. Graci Kim is a Korean author coming out with her new book, ‘The Last Falling Star’. Together, they discuss Graci’s experiences growing up as Asian in New Zealand, growing as an author to accept her Asian identity more, and how being Asian has impacted her writing.
Herstory: The Asian Music Dial
In this episode Gen and Christine Lam aka Faerie talk about her story getting into the music industry, the problem with the formulaic artist in these record labels, why the music industry lacks Asian representation, and the rise of Tik Tok to find your music stardom! You can listen to Faerie's music such as her latest EP, 2 am, here https://open.spotify.com/artist/4kGFQZ0RuDoBFSBYzF0qJl?si=9EdxRhzbR0K5Wmc2kyIfeA
Herstory: Hidden Figures in STEM
In this episode, Naina and Melissa talk with Magnolia Printz to discuss the disparities in the STEM field from the perspective of Asian women. They touch on topics like pressures to sacrifice femininity for professionalism, balancing work and personal life/duties/care, and issues like medical racism, xenophobic microaggressions, and double standards within gender.
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Idolization
In this episode, Melissa and Naina discuss with Helen Li, a member of grassroots podcast “Fresh Off the Vote”, about idolizing politicians. They touch on how consumerism and capitalism feeds into idolization, how idolizing leaves little room for accountability, and the difference between support vs. idolization.
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Elections
In this episode, Melissa and Naina are joined by Ngan Le to talk about voter suppression in the Asian American community. They highlight the apoliticism among Asians, struggles Asian or other minority groups in America face while voting, and more.
Dear Asian Girl: Sitting Down at the Directors' Table
This week's episode are the voices behind Dear Asian Youth as they talk about themselves, first impressions of each other, and dating stories.
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Identity
In this episode Julie from the Asian American Feminist Collective and Genesis sit down and talk about her knowledge on the political history of the AAPI, shifting to topics about finding your political ideology while growing up and her advice on how to find your voice.
BOOKLIST FROM AAFC: https://www.asianamfeminism.org/resources
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Ignorance
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Equal Opportunity
Alina and Genesis talk to Anu Thirunarayanan about how affirmative action started, the pros and cons of affirmative action, how it afffects the Asian community, and how it relates back to the Asian community’s internalized racism and anti-blackness
Dear Asian Girl: The POWER of Accountability
In this episode Alina and Gen talk to Akshadha Lagisetti from AYCE about her political experience in Georgia working for Elizabeth Warren and her local community, holding our government accountable, the difference ever since Trump’s administration on government accountability, and different types of way to keep our government officials in check.
Dear Asian Girl: Asian in Filmmaking
In this episode, Alina talks about the film industry and the stereotypes perpetuated through media to show diversity through the camera, theater vs film, why the Oscars committee and other awards ceremonies need to be diversified, and more with Maddy Manning Bi, a fellow DAY member with experience in the industry.
Dear Asian Girl: Adopting into the Asian Identity
In today's episode Genesis is joined with Ami Nafzger. Ami is founder of GOAL in Korea, an organization in Korea to help adoptees. Genesis and Ami talk about her experience being an adoptee, the adoptee process in Korea and China, and the struggles of being an adoptee.