Ali Wong’s “Dear Girls”

This year, I finally watched both of Ali Wong’s Netflix specials. While I didn’t find her first special particularly appealing, her second special after having a baby definitely had me laughing out loud. I also appreciated her even more knowing that she is Chinese-Vietnamese American and was born and raised in San Francisco. Being a stand-up comedian is hard, torturous, and oftentimes thankless (and painful and moneyless) work, but when you’re Asian American AND a woman? That’s enough to have anyone rethink the job and take on a safe white-collar 9-5 job instead. Once I saw her movie Always Be My Maybe, I was definitely hooked on her and officially a fan. She can be extremely crass and has a total potty mouth, but I actually think that adds to her unique charm. She’s brutally honest and authentic, and when you are an Asian American female, no one expects or wants that of you, so this becomes even more shocking when you hear her speak. I’ve been listening to the audio version of her book Dear Girls, a book she wrote for her daughters to read when they become adults, during my morning commutes this week, and it’s been such a happy, funny start to my day… quite a departure from listening to all the nonsense of President Dipshit via NPR’s Up First or the New York Times’s The Daily, which just makes my mind fall into a downward spiral given how dysfunctional our government and society are today.

So far, I pretty much agree with all her commentary and advice she’s giving to her daughters: move away from home to find yourselves, travel abroad when you can to understand another culture, another society; don’t follow in the footsteps of Asian American women who only date white men and say they consider Asian men like “brothers or family” because it’s actually internalized racism that they don’t realize.

However, I’m not sure I agree with her that vlogging cannot be a full time job. Does she have any idea how many hours can go into video editing…?!

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