After a short hiatus in light of Queen Elizabeth II's death, Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast returned to Spotify yesterday for its fourth episode. The podcast, which has been releasing new episodes every Tuesday since it first launched in August 2022, was put on pause in September out of respect for Her Majesty, but made a comeback on 4 October.
In the episode – which was titled The Demystification of Dragon Lady and centred around Asian stereotypes – the Duchess of Sussex spoke to Margaret Cho and Lisa Ling, who both shared their experiences of the archetypes that try to limit and define Asian women.
At the beginning of the episode, Meghan opened up about her experience of growing up in Los Angeles, which she says was "full of culture that you could see, feel, hear and taste on a daily basis."
The 41-year-old went on to say that she had a "real love" of getting to know other cultures, recalling a time she went to a Korean spa with her mother as a teenager and experienced "adolescent embarrassment" at having to strip down in front of other women, as per the custom in Korean spas.
"It's a very humbling experience for a girl going through puberty because you enter a room with women from ages nine to maybe 90, all walking around naked and waiting to get a body scrub on one of these tables that are all lined up in a row. All I wanted was a bathing suit."
Meghan continued: "Once I was over that adolescent embarrassment, my mom and I, we would go upstairs we would sit in a room and we would have a steaming bowl of the most delicious noodles and we’d look around at all of these other women.
"These beautiful Korean women who had embraced the generational tradition of the jimjilbang [public bathhouse in South Korea, furnished with hot tubs, showers, saunas and massage tables] and shared it with one another."
Elsewhere in the episode, Meghan and her podcast guests took a deep-dive into the Asian stereotypes we see today. "That was a part of the Asian American culture that I knew," she said, referencing the Korean spa. "I hadn’t known all the stigmas and archetypes that so many women of Asian descent specifically had faced until many, many years later. Those terms, ideas, and stereotypes they just - they weren’t familiar to me. Like the ones we see in so many movies and throughout pop culture."
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