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Self Evident: Asian America's Stories

Dec 7, 2021

Daphne Chen always held a special place in her heart for the Taiwanese girl group S.H.E. Growing up in Ohio, she’d listen to their greatest hits before falling asleep, clinging to their pop songs as one of her only genuine links to the island and the culture her family had left far behind.

So years later, when Daphne realized that those greatest hits were actually covers of American pop songs by Destiny’s Child and the Legally Blonde soundtrack, she suddenly had a lot of questions... not just about S.H.E., but about why idolizing a Taiwanese girl group was so important to young Daphne in the first place.

In this episode, we're sharing three conversations about the need to see and hear ourselves in popular culture — and the limitations of what pop culture can do to meet those needs.

After Cathy chats with Daphne about their Asian teen idols in music, our intern Alex Chun calls up his favorite OnlyFans star, Cody Seiya, to unpack how watching queer porn has played such an outsized role in their own understanding of intimacy.

Then, producer Harsha Nahata meets with two Indian diaspora culture writers to compare how — even with their differing upbringings and vastly different relationships to Bollywood movies — they began to question the role and the power of the Bollywood industry.


  • Produced by Julia Shu, Harsha Nahata, and Alex Chun
  • Edited by James Boo and Julia Shu
  • Sound mix by Timothy Lou Ly
  • Music by Blue Dot Sessions and Epidemic Sound
  • Self Evident theme music by Dorian Love
  • Our Executive Producer is Ken Ikeda

Self Evident is a Studiotobe production, made with support from our listener community. This episode was made with support from PRX and the Google Podcast Creator Program.

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