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Redefining ABG: Why I Love the ‘Asian Boss Girl’ Podcast

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

If you’re a young Asian American female like me , you’ve probably heard the term “Asian Baby Girl (ABG)” being tossed around. A quick Google search of ABG, a term that has its roots in the ‘90s, reveals that Urban Dictionary defines aznbbygirls as girls who like to hang with gangsters and wear thin (slutty) clothing.” The “modern day” ABGs are often superficially defined by their love for milk tea, raves and selfies.

These superficial — sometimes demeaning — definitions of ABGs are what led Melody Cheng, Helen Wu and Janet Wang to start their own podcast to redefine “Asian Baby Girl” to “Asian Boss Girl.”

Cheng, Wu and Wang are women who work in finance, technology and production. This girl boss gang has roots in various places: the Bay Area, Boston and SoCal. They each have a unique take on being a modern-day first-generation Asian American woman, and they do a good job of describing  it. They take a unique spin on the beloved boss girl. The three Asian American women discuss topics including love, life and work.

By day, they take on the traditional role of 9-5 jobs in their respective fields. By night, they are the creators of this podcast. Listening to them is like catching up with distant friends or chatting with your big sisters. 

There’s definitely been a rise in Asian Americans in the media lately. This year’s releases of Crazy Rich Asians, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Searching have all involved an Asian-centric cast. Many young Asian Americans grew up watching Wong Fu Productions and JustKiddingFilms on YouTube, and seeing an increase in Asian representation  in Hollywood in full-blown professional productions is downright inspiring. Still, it isn’t enough.

It’s no secret that Asians, among other minorities, are lacking representation in the media. Recent waves of diversity and inclusivity have led to these movies featuring  an all-Asian cast, consequently breaking the “bamboo ceiling.” That’s what makes this podcast all the more important — because the “struggle of growing up in America is that you’re in a world where the media that gets pushed on to you — there’s not a lot of Asian faces there.”

I love this podcast because they talk about the universal struggles that first-generation Asian Americans share: the struggles of embracing your Asian culture while balancing and assimilating to American culture. I love this podcast because it gives ambitious, career-oriented Asian American females working in Corporate America jobs a voice, and it gives young Asian Americans like me insight on what it’s like navigating through different careers. I love this podcast because it humanizes Asians and our stories. It breaks the mold of the stereotype of Asian females being too quiet and reserved: These women are letting their voices be heard loud and clear.

I grew up rejecting my Asian heritage, and it’s something that I’m learning to accept as I’m growing older. This podcast makes me feel like I’m not alone in this struggle. These three women inspire me to pursue the things that make me happy and to follow my passions even if they go against the typical Asian standards. Packed into their 30-60 minute episodes are stories, laughs and advice from three friends who are experiencing the trials and tribulations of adulthood including, but not limited to, late nights at the bar and how to handle body hair. If there’s anything to be learned from their podcast, it’s that our experiences — despite our backgrounds — are universal. We laugh, we cry, and we’re all just trying to make our way in this world.

You can check out their podcast at: https://www.asianbossgirl.com/ or on iTunes.