Podcast Host. Media Entrepreneur. Proud Taiwanese American.
I am a co-founder and co-host of the podcast, AsianBossGirl (ABG): a podcast for the modern day Asian American woman. It is no secret that Asian women are lacking in almost all media outlets, and those who are present mostly represent the fashion, beauty, or blogging industries.
ABG started while my girlfriends and I were balancing jobs in finance, technology, & media with corporate careers spanning over a decade. Through the podcast, we share our experiences and explore topics as 20/30-something Asian American women working, dating, and living in Los Angeles.
My passion for working within media and Asian representation began (if I had to take it waaay back) when I was 16 watching Wong Fu Production videos on YouTube. However, my actual hands-on work started at my marketing and programming internship at the San Diego Asian Film Festival where I was exposed to the world of independent films and digital media. After my time there, I started working closely with Asian American YouTubers/musicians doing freelance producing and tour management. Doing work within the Asian American community was so inspiring and I felt like I found my calling. However, the reality of this working in this industry straight out of college was that it didn’t pay the bills and I needed more stability in my life.
Being raised by parents with traditional Asian values, I was influenced and moved to a corporate social media and studio production job (stable pay & health insurance). The calling to work with the community was still there and I found myself taking on mini projects with API creators on the weekends to fulfill that itch. It was during this time, I started AsianBossGirl with my two close friends Helen Wu & Janet Wang…and the rest was history 🙂
How does being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American and/or community ally play a role in your life?
Being Taiwanese American plays such a significant role in my life and one that I truly cherish. My mother immigrated to the US (Hawaii specifically) from Taiwan when she was 14. Moving to a state where there were predominantly Asians and Asian Americans allowed my mom to fit in and not feel discriminated against because of her race. Due to that, I was raised in a very proud Taiwanese household. I never felt ashamed of my language, the food we ate, and for being who I am (which I feel incredibly grateful for). As a family, we were lucky enough to go to Taiwan every year and that experience just created this strong sense of love for the motherland. To this day, whenever I hear Taiwanese being spoken, my ears just tingle because the language reminds me of my Ah Ma and Ah Gong.
This strong sense of Taiwanese American identity helped me find my place in college where I found my home in the Taiwanese American Student Association and lead me to my work at the Asian American Film Festival. This identity served as comfort when I moved to LA for the first time not knowing anyone, but wanting to continue my work in media creating equal opportunities for representation. I remember feeling so alone and lost in a new city which led me to the Taiwanese American Citizen League’s Leadership Identity Development (TACL LID) camp, where I served as a camp counselor for the first time. This experience showed that wherever I go, the Taiwanese community will be there for me.
Now, as I continue on this journey of Asian American representation with my career, I clutch my Taiwanese American identity strongly and am constantly reminded of why it’s so important to me.
WATCH OUR CONVERSATION WITH MELODY!
If you could teach future generations 1 thing about being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American or Taiwan, what would it be?
I believe that identity is one’s own personal strength and something that makes you stand out. With that, I would heavily lean in to your Taiwanese American identity and be curious about it. Take time to learn about your family history in Taiwan (where did your parents grow up? how does this affect you?) and see how that plays a pivotal role in who you are. Honor this and think about how you want to pass this down to the next generation.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
The future of Taiwanese America would be a place where we can all feel connected and a sense of home wherever we are: a place or community we can rely on when we really need it and a place with open arms.
Favorite memory of Taiwan/Taiwanese America?
So many! My family is huge on food so a favorite memory is probably walking through the different night markets. We would try to hit as many stalls as we can and share a small order of buns/noodles/soup (you name it). For me, it was time for us to be together and soak in the culture of our motherland.
Favorite Taiwanese food?
Freshly fried stinky tofu with that garlic soy sauce + pickled veggies! Yum!