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Bianca Gonzalez-Intal on the ultimate flex: taking up space, making her mark and empowering women to do the same

“It’s a man’s world” used to be a popular expression. Now it’s a dated phrase used to address a largely patriarchal society. But thanks to the internet and social media, women have taken control of platforms to speak and shape society into a more equitable place. Maintaining an online presence is a double-edged sword though, as women under the public eye are doubly exposed to judgement and trolling.

Bianca Gonzalez is one of the women to rise to the challenge. It may sound strange to think of the decision to be public as brave, but for women it can be a continuous challenge to not be attacked for the most basic of mistakes. She shares that although words can hurt, once you know yourself and feel confident enough to filter what is constructive or not, bashing can be a welcome moral compass.

As a big online presence herself, Bianca acknowledges how social media has changed societal expectations for better and for worse. “I started TV 2004 and wala pang social media. At that time kasi, ang judgement and feedback sayo nasa tabloid. At the end of the show, your producer will tell you. It was in person. It was tangible feedback so I think by the time nauso yung social media I had already known how to filter what I hear. It still hurts when I hear judgement, but way before social media I developed the right—at least right for me—outlook on how to see what people say about me.”

From her blog in the early 2000s, Bianca eventually started her own vlog series, “Paano Ba To,” which dedicates each episode to demystifying life’s common but often undiscussed issues. The topics for her vlog series include everything from developing self- confidence to finding your life’s passions.

The host feels most passionate about addressing colorism and self-confidence in young women. Beauty standards continue to distort girls’ self-worth and force them to feel that they have to settle. This is why Bianca’s all-female collective She Talks Asia plays an important role in motivating women into reaching their potential. She quotes Michelle Obama, “Empowered women empower women.”

Bianca shares how she went from a speaker to a full-fledged member of the collective. “We wanted five partners kasi we’re going to become officially incorporated, I had already had my second child so I felt like mas aligned. It was the right time for me to join because I was in the right place to share.” This only shows the importance of having a sense of community in making women feel permitted to make decisions, or more accurately, feel empowered to do what they want without seeking permission. “In terms of feedback from women who get to be a part of it, they just want to feel like they belong, they want to feel seen.”

As a mother to two daughters, Bianca makes sure they understand hard work and have a strong sense of self. It can be a difficult balance to achieve, especially if you feel that you have fought for your place at the table—but what she wants her audience to understand, her daughters included, is that there’s enough space for everyone. Strong women make room for others to feel empowered enough to claim their space–so that all we need to do is step forward and stay there.