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In many parts of the world, being born a girl is almost like a disadvantage. In this day and age, some countries still automatically reduce women’s chances of living a decent life through discrimination, violence and denial of education. But if there’s one thing history has taught us about girls is that, the key to transforming communities is actually empowered girls.
It’s A Girl Thing (IAGT), a Singapore-founded event created in 2016, is a world-class entertainment meets education festival designed to celebrate the power and uniqueness of girls. Through the support of Globe LIVE under Globe Telecom, the advocacy-based event has recently returned to Manila with another stellar line-up of social stars and celebrities who are driven to inspire, educate and empower teenage girls across the world.
Globe LIVE has co-produced IAGT with Branded, the geniuses behind YouTube FanFest. The event saw over 2,100 teenage girls joining some of their favorite social stars to celebrate being a girl.
Denise Seva, Director for Events and Production at Globe LIVE shared the company’s excitement in bringing It’s a Girl Thing to Filipina fans for the second consecutive year.
“Every day, we see how the young Filipina loves to express and shares her life–her potential and insecurities, hopes and ambitions via social media platforms. By bringing It’s a Girl Thing to them, Globe LIVE helps further enhance their potential and address their insecurities through open interaction with some of the most admired young female online personalities, in the hope of being able to connect and inspire them,” Sava said.
The IAGT event recently held in BGC, Taguig was an experiential festival which included fan meet and greets, workshops and brand experiences aligned with the spirit and themes of the event. Poised to empower and encourage young women, the IAGT event discussed thought-provoking topics such as self-confidence, bullying, health and wellness and body shaming, as well as cultural challenges, opportunities and future aspirations. It’s A Girl Thing indeed easily resonated with the teenage audience in a forum that made them feeling united and inspired while being a part of something worthwhile.
Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded, shared his enthusiasm for it’s a Girl Thing returning to Manila this year. “We are thrilled to be bringing It’s a Girl Thing back to Manila in October with our friends at Globe. It’s a Girl Thing celebrates, empowers and inspires teenage girls and addresses some of the key issues that affect them in today’s digital world. Using Philippines as the gold standard, our aim is to share the It’s a Girl Thing experience with as many teenagers as possible around the world, providing fans with amazing, unforgettable journey of self-discovery.”
Emma Loiuse Fung, COO of Branded, shared a bit of the background on how they came up with this platform.
“It’s A Girl thing started in Singapore in 2016. This is a free event, built for girls to come together and celebrate their gender and everything about it. The highs and the lows and anything in between. What we found was a resounding yes and since then, we have been organizing It’s A Girl Thing event through its 3rd year around Asia,” Fung said. “We couldn’t be more proud to work out this platform and have it passed on to the next generation of girls. We want it to be the platform of inspiration, empowerment and solidarity for young ladies everywhere.”
Fung said that the platform aims to encourage young girls to find their own power. “We want our platform to help them find the power, whatever that may be. Be it their fabulous hair, may it be wonderful and loving family, we want them to really dig deep and find what it is. Know that it’s uniquely there and that we can celebrate it!”
On the other hand, IAGT also hopes to be an open and supportive medium in discussing some of the deeper and more sensitive issues about girls in this age, especially now that they are massively amplified through the social media pressures.
“Whether that’s body image, friendship fall-outs, study pressures, life disappointments, mental health, family, or just have a really larger dreams that produced disappointments, we truly believe that by bringing together with our role models, mentors and supportive friends and having that amazing energy, mentalism, beauty and promise of the young woman of today, would probably make an amazing platform on movement to celebrate on how it is to be a girl.”
The Power Girls
The recent IAGT festival held in Manila featured another inspiring line-up of female warriors from across the globe who simply believe in influencing young women with positive and powerful messages. This year’s lineup included international social stars and celebrities Megan Batoon, Liane V (Valenzuela), Meredith Foster, Asia Jackson, Andreah, Hannah Pangilinan, AC Bonifacio, Renee Dominique, Janina Vela, Eunice Jorge, Dani Barretto, Solenn Heusaff and Anne Gauthier.
Asia Jackson, a half African-American and half Filipino actress and digital creative based in Los Angeles, California, had a vibrant disposition on doing things with purpose. “If you are not purposeful about what you are doing, whatever you’re doing will not connect to anyone. Also, you’re not gonna feel passionate or feel happy about it. So I believe purpose is my biggest philosophy when I’m creating content, and also when I’m living my life.”
Asia has been well-known worldwide for creating the global movement #MagandangMorenx, which challenges colorism and celebrates diversity of beauty in the Philippines. It has garnered several international media coverage in global publications.
“I didn’t see any dark-skinned representation on media and in billboards and sort of things like that and so I created #MagandangMorenx movement to celebrate the diversity of beauty that we have,” Asia shared.
The event also included Megan Batoon as one of its speakers. She is a dancer, host and YouTube content creator who advocates that authenticity and integrity are all vital characteristics in the age of social media. “Everyone that has social media accounts has a voice, that it doesn’t really matter if you have a million followers or one. You’re still being able to say what you think. I’m not perfect, and we all have insecurities. I think, now in 2018, people are so aware and woke that it’s fine to talk about things that we’re not ok with. It’s fine to start talking about mental health issues in active conversations. It all comes down to not filtering who you are to whoever watches it. And I just want everyone to be themselves and hopefully I can be an example of that.”
Meredith Foster, a California-based entrepreneur and Youtube star, spreads messages of self-celebration. “My mission is to tell people to remember who they are. I think that identity is everything in age where social media is constantly telling us who to be, how to dress, how to act and remembering who you are and staying true to that has always been my philosophy.”
Andreah uses her love and talent for music to inspire others. “My philosophy is just to help people get through in difficult times especially being in high school. Each of the songs I wrote has a specific meaning. I hope that this stuff that I produce can help people get to the hard times as music has helped me get through it.”
Liane V, a multi-hyphenate social media superstar and comedian-actress, found her calling in beauty, fashion and empowering young girls. “Mental happiness and being happy with what you do really reflect in everything. You wanna be able to be a voice in inspiring others and people can tell if you’re not happy so I think that you need to be happy in what you do and have a purpose with that.”
Fung expressed that the IAGT team, with its partners in Globe LIVE, hopes to discuss important matters in their platform that can voice out the issues of today’s generation of girls. “This is important because with everything that’s going on with the world, what women really need is that united voice to make sure they are all well represented across the globe.”