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Meghan Markle’s Spotify podcast, Archetypes, returned this week after a short break following Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The Duchess of Sussex first launched the podcast in August, but had put a pause on releasing new episodes out of respect for the late monarch who passed away in early September.
Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, returned to the US shortly after the UK’s official period of mourning and she has now released the next instalment.
During the episode titled The Demystification of Dragon Lady, Meghan spoke to comedian Margaret Cho and journalist Lisa Ling about Asian stereotypes and recalled a moment of feeling ‘humbled’ while at a Korean spa with her mother as a teenager.
Describing having to undress in front of others at the spa, she said: ‘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.
‘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 [a public bathhouse in South Korea which includes hot tubs, showers, saunas and massage tables] and shared it with one another.’
With her guests, Meghan also discussed ‘toxic stereotyping of women of East Asian descent’, commenting: ‘[The spa] was a part of the Asian American culture that I knew.
‘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.’
Archetypes is available to stream on Spotify.