Women have long fought for equality and while the road has often been filled with ups and downs, stories of women finding strength within themselves and using it to help other women find theirs has always been at the forefront of the journey toward women empowerment.
Last Women’s Month, YouTube celebrated women content creators who were able to break the bias and chart their own journeys of equality in an online event titled Breaking the Bias: Online and beyond held on March 30, 2022.
Helen on Fleek
Breaking biases online and offline
“Growing up, the beauty standard was all about being sexy and in order to be sexy, you needed to go on a diet,” says Helen Payawal of Helen On Fleek . “As a plus-size woman, I did not fit those standards.”
Helen is a beauty and lifestyle content creator who runs her own clothing and swimwear line. When she became a content creator, she revealed that she often came across comments about her size and how “it’s embarrassing” seeing a person like her wearing swimsuits.
That didn’t stop her from doing what she loves–vlogging and traveling–and if that didn’t stop her, her “curvybabes” shouldn’t either.
“A lot of us felt insecure growing up. But there’s this one quote that a friend shared to me that I will never forget —‘Be someone who you needed when you were younger,’” she says. “I want to be someone who can inspire my fellow plus-size women that once you get over the shyness and what people would think about you because you are different, you will be limitless. At the end of the day, it’s your happiness that matters.”
Building a world of strong, confident women
As a Muslim Filipina, Egypa Balindong felt that while being a woman is struggle enough, being a young Muslim woman and a minority is an even bigger struggle.
“People will always question your talent, capacity, and credibility and they will discredit your achievements just because you’re a woman,” she says.
She was able to turn these challenges into opportunities as the filmmaker used her YouTube channel to show her life as a Maranao, as a Muslim, and most of all, as an empowered woman.
“I had to be brave enough to educate people about my culture and religion,” she says. “By simply sharing my daily life with my friends and family, I was able to make people see that we are not different.”
The world has come a long way but there is still more that needs to be done, especially when it comes to creating a world where women are empowered.