Today is International Women’s Day, and in a world of pay gaps, patriarchy and playboys, it’s meant so much to me to have a sisterhood I can lean on.
When it comes to my idols, I’ve chosen to be inspired by other women. Sure, I appreciate and respect the success of men, but unlike previous generations who may have put men on the ultimate pedestal, I see myself and my friends aware that we too can make it to the top, and share the success with them.
Last year online sensation Lilly Singh, also known as iiSuperwomanii, was named the highest paid female Youtube star in the world.
Now she’s beaten quite a lot of odds, because not only is she female, but she is a South Asian female sharing her craft in an industry that it still not as diverse as some would hope it is.
As I’m writing this I’ve got another tab open, getting ready to register to purchase her book, ‘How To Be A Bawse’.
That’s right, not a BOSS, but a BAWSE – “a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side”.
Because that’s what she is, and I think that’s what all us women should strive to be. Whether it’s in our professional or personal lives, we need to be making decisions that we can own, knowing the reasons we’ve made them, without others making us feel guilty for doing so.
I was privileged to interview Lilly myself back in 2015, when I was working for Daily Mail Australia and MailOnline India. You can read the articles that were the results of the super awesome interview HERE and HERE.
The viral superstar, who has a good 11 MILLION followers on Youtube alone, goes for an “observational comedy” approach where she bases her characters on her parents, and people she knows.
“I know one of the reasons I first started making Youtube videos was because no one looks like me,” she said to me at the time.
“There is no other South-Asian girl doing what I do and I think it’s important to be represented so I definitely hope that’s the case and I hope people see my videos and think ‘we should do the same thing’.”
Touching on racism, she also said: “The best way I battle that (racism) is by being successful. I just work really, really hard.
“Now I’m on billboards and my parent characters are also on billboards which is very cool. You have a character who is wearing a scarf on her head on a billboard in LA, New York, Sydney and Melbourne. That’s how I would face barriers being thrown at me.
“It’s not about openly addressing it, it’s about saying, ‘Hey I’m just doing what I’m doing and I happen to be brown’.”
Well said, sister!
One of my friends just watched Lilly at a Girl Boss Rally in the US, and she instantly messaged me, “Just was in a talk by Lilly Singh and thought of you!! She’s so cool! I get it now”.
And I was like, “I know, right?!”.
Lilly is only one example of a successful woman, pushing those boundaries in so many ways. At the moment, she’s a massive inspiration for me, which is why I’ve chosen to write about her in this post.
Happy International Women’s Day everyone and let’s make it a day to appreciate women everyday, not just once a year in March.