she talks asia fearless social media account community

How Fearless Social Media Platform She Talks Asia Puts Women’s Stories Front and Center

The power of talk.

She Talks Asia, this year’s Big Bold Brave Awards winner for Fearless Social Media Account, talks finding your voice and the power of stories.

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In the wise words of Reese Witherspoon, “women’s stories matter—they just matter.” With their conferences, programs, and initiatives putting women’s stories front and center, She Talks Asia embodies Reese’s quote beautifully.

A women empowerment community and advocacy agency, She Talks Asia amplifies the voices of women from different walks of life, sharing their stories and experiences and building community through conversations. From their active digital and social media platforms to their community grassroots programs, they prove that there’s a lot to be gained when you’re willing to listen. By platforming women of all ages, occupations, aspirations, and perspectives, She Talks Asia intends to spark conversations, encourage reflection, and move toward greater equality and empowerment of women.

she talks asia fearless social media account community

She Talks Asia is this year’s Big Bold Brave Awards: Next Level Fearless Social Media Account, nominated alongside fellow platforms and communities that also have something to fight for. The community they’ve spent years building rallied behind them, earning them a well-deserved win and cheering them on to do even bigger, bolder, and braver things.

NYLON Manila chats with She Talks Asia co-founders Lynn Pinugu, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, and Iza Calzado-Wintle about social media, community-building, reflection and conversation through storytelling, and making impact with clear intentions. Read on below!

she talks asia fearless social media account community

Congratulations on winning this year’s Big Bold Brave Awards Fearless Social Media account! We know you’re more than just that, but how does it feel to have your platform earn this title?

Bianca: Of course, we were happy when we found out that we were nominated, alongside other accounts that we follow as well. But I personally have not really seen us as a fearless account. Being recognized as one, if anything, inspires us to go more in that direction. We’re happy, but at the same time more empowered to keep going more in that direction of fearlessness.

Lynn: I think when we map out who we’re going to feature, what we’re going to do for She Talks Asia, the intention is not necessarily to be fearless. The intention is to really understand what are the conversations we need to put out? Who are the people we need to give a platform to? I think it’s important to really push the boundaries in terms of how we can be more fearless.

Iza: To be honest, we were rooting for someone else! But for us to win it, it’s about being reminded of how huge our impact can be. We don’t always know that, in another person’s point of view, we’re fearless in some way. When I shared about my body journey before, maybe that was perceived as fearless. When I talked about losing my mom, it took a lot of courage, but I was also very ready. Sometimes the fear comes from just not being ready. It doesn’t mean you’re not fearless.

she talks asia fearless social media account community

You place emphasis on the value of talking—of women sharing experiences, perspectives, and insight with each other. What do you think is the value of pursuing this collective learning and understanding?

Lynn: We all have a unique perspective, even if our experiences are almost the same—unique reflection. And I think what She Talks does best is we can harness the power of storytelling to build empathy within the community.

Because I do think that a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of conflict, it results from not being able to see or not being able to acknowledge and recognize where another person is coming from, right? Always thinking that your view is the only view, when in fact, it’s a very incomplete view. And to us, that’s why these stories matter.

Because one, it gives you an insight into another person’s life. We also really make it a point to be as diverse and as inclusive as possible, because we know what it’s like to grow up at the time when media had the cookie cutter approach to beauty and representation.

she talks asia fearless social media account community

Is there one instance or moment where you yourself kind of had a shift in perspective during one of your She Talks Asia events or conversations? Like one lesson or moment that really stood out to you, something that you carry with you until now?

Iza: It’s hard! There are so many. I think what we want to always do is make people feel seen. I love that phrase—”I feel seen.” To see and hear stories of women succeeding in life whether they’re succeeding as being a homemaker or a CEO, makes it doable for you. Some I admire even more because they carve out a path for themselves that’s never been taken.

Lynn: We had a mental health workshop for mothers, where a mom brought her mom and shared with me that this was the first time she felt like she finally fully forgave her mother. Sometimes we forget just how healing a conversation could be—opportunities to reflect on your experiences and actually address your emotions.

That moment was such an important reminder that we really need to bring it to more people who won’t necessarily have access to that. It’s so important for us to make sure that women from low-income communities who don’t have the opportunity to go to these conferences would also have the opportunity to hear these stories and tell them, as well.

We know how much social media has been both beneficial and harmful to women (and people in general). As a platform that amplifies women’s stories and struggles, how can we use social media in a way that’s positive, uplifting, and empowering?

Bianca: I think it’s so tricky when someone wants to be on social media and the goal is to inspire, because that’s not on us to decide that the content we come out with is inspiring for other people. That’s up to them.

I think anyone who wants to use their social media for social good must first be clear on their intention to use it. Whether it’s a personal account or an organization account, or a brand, doon kase nangagaling lahat—yung intention. And then how inspiring it is or how empowering it is will follow.

Lynn: For She Talks Asia, we really identified what values we wanted to be known for and guided by. We put up She Talks Asia because we want to build a community where women can support each other—a platform that will allow respectful dialogue between different perspectives, a platform that would feature stories that would build empathy and hopefully, because there’s more empathy, then society will also be more compassionate as a result.

she talks asia fearless social media account community

Iza: I think people are moved by something that is genuine. Personally, when I put out content, you pray that this finds its audience, and especially now when you put it our there you want to check the engagement and the number of views. That’s not the goal. She Talks Asia has never been about how many views, and I think that’s because of the values that we have nga—we’re very clear about the intention behind the content that we put out.

What advice would you give to the young women of this generation about how to find their voice?

Bianca: My most distilled advice would be…just to keep using it. And to know na magkakamali sila, makakallout sila, makakancel sila at some point. But that’s the only way you’ll really find your voice is if you keep using it. And I don’t mean na you always have to post or share publicly. 

It’s using your voice even in your small circles, with your family, your friends, you share your opinion. That’s where you also gain the confidence to keep speaking up. Kasi even though it doesn’t feel like it, kasi it feels like “I’m just one person. My voice doesn’t matter.” No, your voice actually does matter. 

Iza: The best way talaga to learn, is just to do what feels best for you at that time. What I’ve learned is to always take that pause. Sometimes that pause is just a breath. Sometimes the pause is a week before you do something or say something.

You only have a voice if you’re clear about who you are. The same for my craft as an actress. The more I get to know myself, the clearer I am about who I am, the more I can step into another character. The same goes for your voice. The clearer you are about who you are, the more you can tackle issues, the more you can use your platform in a more impactful way. Just keep being true to who you are at that very moment. And I remind myself that whenever I make mistakes, I just have to keep doing better.

Lynn: My advice would be…reflecting and understanding what is stopping you from speaking up. Is it the fear of being judged? Is it the fear of not being accepted or that you’re disappointing someone? Because I think that a large part of finding your voice is also valuing and embracing who you are. And knowing that whatever stage you are in your life, you have something to bring to the table. You have something positive to contribute to the world.

she talks asia fearless social media account community

Finding your voice is also not static. It’s a constant work in progress, because we’re also changing as we get older. It’s also having the humility to listen. Yes, I bring wisdom to the table, but I also have to be willing to seek out and to listen to the wisdom that other people could bring to the table.

What would you like to say to the community that has voted you the winner of Fearless Social Media Account?

Lynn: Our platform wouldn’t exist without the community. We may have started it, but it’s really our community that has helped us grow it. We are thankful for this award, but this award is theirs as much as it is ours.

Iza: A special shout out to our Tribe Council, that community that has been so helpful, especially in the past couple of years. So thank you to our community. And, I think actually, for the award, thank you for inspiring us. Parang ngayon, we’re like oh my gosh, let’s go! What’s next? So, thank you so much.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. Photos from She Talks Asia Facebook page.

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