From being ridiculed online to being hailed as a brand ambassador, Zoe Gabriel wants you to celebrate the International Women’s Day with compassion.
Earlier this year, Singapore-based Filipina teenager Zoe Gabriel got undeserved online criticism for her innocent post celebrating a Charles & Keith bag she received from her father and calling it her first luxury item. While the snooty some were quick to judge, the rest of the Internet quickly rallied to her defense. Ultimately, Zoe’s case has taught all of us a lesson on empathy, humility, kindness, and on just letting people be happy on their own terms. And as it turns out, goodness still triumphed over hatred as Zoe was officially announced as one of the ambassadors of Charles & Keith just in time for the International Women’s Day.
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CELEBRATE WITH COMPASSION
Earlier this week, Charles & Keith launched its campaign in line with the International Women’s Day today, where they released a new edition of one of their products and tapped relevant female talents as its faces. Much to the delight of the online community (who’s also been rallying for it to happen), included in the lineup of the inspiring women in the campaign is Zoe Gabriel, who is now the brand’s community ambassador.
“We are like fields of poppy and lakes of lotus—diverse and bold in our differences, beautiful in our own ways,” shares the 17-year-old about what equity means for her. “This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate with compassion. Let us celebrate with equality through equity, the way flowers do.”
This year, Charles & Keith supports the UN Women’s Storytelling for Gender Equality programme where they forward experiences and narratives that will help contribute to the “creation of positive social norms” and a safe environment for women. Zoe’s story of being a Gen Z content creator who became a victim of online hate and powered through it proves to be relevant and resonant. It is a compelling example of how in terms of cultivating a healthy online space for young women, we still have a long way to go.
“With the concerted efforts around International Women’s Day, CHARLES & KEITH hopes to create meaningful conversations, raise awareness on discrimination, and take steps towards building a fair and equal society,” the brand states, as it undertakes a goal of building a network of feminist storytelling advocates in the Asia Pacific region. In this powerful campaign, Zoe is joined by models and executives including Isabel Kviman, Siobhan Gong, Yuri Saito, and Auste Miglinskaite, among others.
In an interview, Zoe Gabriel, who is now followed by thousands on different social platforms, shares an important message to the netizens that’s always worth thinking about: “As much as possible, strive to be kind because ultimately, you’re still going to be talking to real people on the internet,” she says. “You just can’t see them but they do still have real feelings and we should just be careful and be kind.”
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