Being Superwoman: YouTube star Lilly Singh becomes UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
YouTube sensation and author Lilly Singh says, “I don’t want it to be just a title.” At an event in the Capital, she spoke about her inspirations and how she became a Superwoman.hollywood Updated: Jul 20, 2017 11:54 IST
What does it take to be a superwoman? Ask Canadian YouTube sensation, actor and author Lilly Singh alias Superwoman who feels that becoming one isn’t easy! “Everything about Superwoman was me driving myself to work really hard and not having a boss. My success was truly in my own hands. This is why, I am an advocate for youth not making excuses on working hard,” she says.
Lilly was in the Capital, on Saturday, for an event where she was officially appointed as UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador. Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, a UNICEF representative, announced Lilly’s collaboration with UNICEF by presenting her a t-shirt, which she accepted with her signature gimmicks.
During the panel discussion, moderated by professor Ghazala Amin, there was Khyati Chauhan, a student of Delhi’s Ahlcon Public School, who got a chance to ask Lilly a question. Even Lilly asked a question to Chauhan.
Lilly who has recently returned from Madhya Pradesh — where she worked with adolescents and youngsters on the issue of growing up in challenging circumstances — is full of admiration for today’s youth. “The children are so proactive. This is something a lot of people, even in my part of the world could really learn from,” she said adding, “A lot of times when we talk about children, we get caught up on male or female, and forget people of different genders or those with disabilities. One thing I have always promoted in my videos is One Love.”
Having become a goodwill ambassador, what will she endeavour to highlight in her videos? “I don’t want it to be just a title... I will continue promoting things in my videos through comedy. Also, particular to my trip to India, I have decided to make a few videos in Hindi or at least have subtitles,” she says.
The thought, probably, came to her from her interactions with the children, which transgressed the boundaries of language. “I am not 100 per cent fluent in Hindi, and the children I met were not 100 per cent fluent in English... there are some languages that are universal. It’s the passion these kids have that touched my heart,” she says.
When asked what happiness truly means and a message that she would love to give to the parents, Lilly said, “You should love what you do, and you should fight for your happiness. A lot of happiness will come from your kids truly being happy and it has to start with the old generation. Your daughters and sons can only learn the value of happiness through you. It’s time to stand up for what your kids want and not what the society wants.”
Her thoughts on the gender bias and preference to male child, in our society? Lilly feels that the youth needs to question the age-old cultural practices. “Inequality exists in a lot of countries around the world. I think it’s culturally embedded and if you look at some of our traditions, they teach girls from a young age that you are not equal. As youth, we should question those things,” she said.
Her advice to youngsters on dealing with negative comments was to focus on the positives: “You’ll never be able to control other people but you can always control your reaction to them.”
Her biggest inspirations in life are her mother, Malwinder Singh, and former WWE wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson. “My mother came from Punjab to Canada and set up a life. [She] had to learn a brand new culture and life, and has done exceptionally well. She was brave enough to let me follow my dreams. And professionally, it’s Dwayne Johnson. I idolised him. I am lucky enough to grow up and become friends with him. He has proven to me that you can be so successful and so famous and still have the best heart possible.”
She has shot a video with Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra — also a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF — on How To Be A Wing Woman. This video broke the stereotype of there being wing men, who help their male friends in clubs to approach women. “She [Priyanka] said that I don’t want to do anything that people would expect Indian women to do. Let’s make a video of us going to a club and having a good time and hitting on [a] guy. Because all of these things would upset someone, somewhere. We wanted to make a video on what women actually do and what they actually talk about.”
And a reference to Bollywood compels one to ask if we will get to see her in a Hindi movie anytime soon. “As soon as I learn proper Hindi, and have a run in the saree, I would love to be in a Bollywood movie! So if anyone knows any directors, let them know,” she quips.
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First Published: Jul 15, 2017 21:20 IST