Let's hear it for the girls

Lilly Singh will talk about women’s “unique challenges”, such as periods, bra shoppping and stretch marks, at It’s A Girl Thing.
Lilly Singh will talk about women’s “unique challenges”, such as periods, bra shoppping and stretch marks, at It’s A Girl Thing.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LILLY SINGH

YouTube's Superwoman Lilly Singh is in Singapore to speak at a female empowerment festival

Lilly Singh is one of the most successful YouTube celebrities on the planet, with 10 million followers on the video-sharing platform. She also made an estimated US$2.5 million (S$3.4 million) last year, reported Forbes.

Better known as Superwoman on YouTube, fans love her zany comedy sketches, in which she mostly plays all the characters, including her traditional Punjabi parents. However, a new video released at the end of the month will feature a special guest: United States First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mrs Obama, who is a fierce advocate for women's rights, is one of the supporters of Singh's #GirlLove campaign on her main YouTube channel. The movement aims to reverse the culture of bullying and hatred among girls.

Preferring to leave a bit of mystery about the special episode, Singh says: "We sing some Beyonce songs together for a bit too."

Singh, 27, is in town to speak during a female empowerment festival, It's A Girl Thing, taking place at the Marina Bay Sands today.

  • BOOK IT/ IT’S A GIRL THING

  • WHERE: Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue

    WHEN: Today, 4 to 7pm

    ADMISSION: $72 and $92. Those aged 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult

    INFO: www.itsagirlthing.live

The motormouth comedienne talks quickly and animatedly with The Straits Times, showing no signs that she had just got off a more than 30-hour flight from Los Angeles, where she is based.

She says she plans to talk about periods, bra shopping and stretch marks in a three-hour event that also includes performances by 13 other international and local female social media stars, including home-grown singer-songwriter Daphne Khoo and make-up tutorial specialist Claire Marshall, who is based in Los Angeles. Tickets cost $72 and $92.

"These are some of the unique challenges females experience and we gotta stick together to get through them."

Aimed at inspiring young women and dealing with issues such as bullying and self-worth, the festival is organised by events marketing agency Branded.

For Singh, who is from a Punjabi family and born in Canada, the festival "perfectly aligns" with what she is doing with her #GirlLove campaign. She says that people can be especially vicious on the Internet - she herself has received countless flames and has been trolled.

"For every girl, at some point in her life, she has either been the offender or victim of girl-on-girl hate."

The multi-hyphenate entertainer is an actress, rapper and comedienne - and now she can add writer to the list.

In the works is her debut book titled How To Be A Bawse, blurbed as "a guide to conquering life". (Bawse is a play on the word "boss".)

An event such as this is one way she hopes to use her social media influence to "help the world in some way".

After a recent trip to Kenya, she plans to sell bead bracelets made by 1,400 women to earn income to send their daughters to school and attain scholarships.

She hopes to inspire festivalgoers to commit to social causes too.

"I hope for them to think that there is no problem too big to fix and you can do something directly to positively help, whether it's writing a tweet or going for an event."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'Let's hear it for the girls'. Print Edition | Subscribe