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  • She rocks!

    To all the girls out there, Growing up as a girl I’m pretty sure you have heard people telling you “No! You can’t do this! You’re a girl!” or “Don’t do this! You’re a girl!” Am I right? But, why can’t we do what we want? It’s been way too long women being told what we should do or how we should behave. The good thing is, it’s 2022! The time where women have more freedom throughout the time as we fought for it. Today we are going to talk about some inspiring women who rock the world. Many people know motorsport as a man dominating sport and in today’s time we are glad to see more women being involved in this particular industry. This brings us to the W Series, a motorsport championship that was launched back in October 2018. W Series believes in providing equal opportunities for women and eliminates the economic limitations which have traditionally prevented them from progressing to the top echelons of motorsport. Jamie Chadwick winning the W Series 2021 Photo: Meet Jamie Chadwick (A British W Series driver), a two times W Series champion. Jamie won her championship in 2019 and came back as the defending W Series champion in 2021. With hardwork and effort, Jamie successfully secured her second championship title. We can see that women can be just as good as men in motorsport if we were given the chance to compete. I would say Jamie is the perfect example to the younger girls if they ever want to be a racer. Is really great to see the progress women have made throughout the year, breaking stigma and continuing shining in motorsport. So, go get it girls! Other than motorsport what other sport that people see as ‘only man’s sport’? Yes, that’s right! Is Mix Martial Art (MMA). People normally view MMA as a sport which only men are good at and saying women could not fight as well as men. Well I don’t think that’s true. Trust me, women can be as badass as a man. This particular female MMA fighter has quite a name in the industry because she is actually performing so well in the fight! She is Zhang Weili, an Asian girl shining brightly on the world stage of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Zhang first won her first Strawweight Championship 2019 and she was also the first ever Chinese champion in UFC history. Isn’t that amazing? Little do you know, she actually faced setbacks and rough times too. Zhang was defeated by Rose Namajunas (An American MMA fighter) in the same category in the 2021 and lost her champion title. But the most inspiring part of Zhang was the spirit of never giving up. Even though she got defeated, she still chose to rise back up again and take on the other challenges. Zhang reflected on herself after the loss in 2021 and was constantly working on herself to improve her performance and also her mentality. Zhang on the left and Rose on the right Photo: The stories of these empowering women did not happen overnight, they sometimes face difficulties too. So, to all the women who are grinding out there, give yourself a pat on the shoulder because you are doing great! You look absolutely stunning trying to reach your dreams girl! Continue breaking the social stigmas and stereotyping of women because women do have the ability to achieve greater things. Remember to always believe in yourself and one day you will be exactly where you want to be.

  • The Age of Influencers

    The internet has become increasingly developed over time, and a brand-new career known as an influencer has gradually emerged in the public eye. According to a study by Morning Consult, In the United States, 72 percent of Gen Z and millennials follow at least one influencer on social media and 54 percent of Gen Z who have been interviewed stated that they would become influencers if they were given the chance. The glamour of influencers in front of the camera leads people to believe that their lives are perfect and they are often associated with the terms “wealthy” and “good-looking.” The lavish and glorious lifestyle that they portray to their fans on the internet inspire teenagers into seeing them as their role models. However, every career has its own challenges and an influencer is no different. An Influencer is defined as someone who owns a huge number of followers on social media and has the power to affect the behaviours of their followers. You would be considered an influencer regardless of which platform you are popular on. For instance: Tiktok, Instagram or YouTube. Typically, their job entails collaborating with various brands or products and advertising on their behalf in order to receive the promotion charge. When it comes to different businesses, they have different charges. For example, medication and skincare items will be more expensive than clothes because they require more time to try out the products to ensure the quality of the product. As the number of influencers increases, so do the types of influencers, they are classified into 6 categories by influence marketing according to the number of followers, which are Mega, Macro, Micro, Advocates, Referrers, and Loyalists. Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash Most people are aware that influencers may earn from their social media accounts, but many are unclear about how this works. There is no standard answer because they do not have a base salary or a fixed monthly income. Influencers are constantly exploring and broadening their skills by trying new things in order to break through and maintain their marketing value. It's a smart option to do so since they may find their career threatened if the algorithm changes and advertisers move their attention to others. But, the most common way to generate revenue is through monetizing social media. Social media monetization such as affiliate marketing, display advertising, sponsorship and events have benefited both influencers and advertisers, ushering in a new era of influencer marketing.  Influencer marketing has become such an important component of the business strategy and is anticipated to grow to a $5-10 billion sector within the next decade. Brands are constantly on the hunt for potential influencers and allocating more of their marketing budget into social media advertising. Brands would seek influencers who would be a suitable match for their products and pay for the sponsored post. Brands tend to offer them samples of their new products to convey their brand messages and gain exposure from their target audience before the product is launched. Content creators who are active on YouTube will have opportunities to profit more than those who are active on other platforms because they get paid by YouTube based on views. However, YouTubers  do not only generate their profit based on the number of subscribers and views they gain, but also by the engagement and niche content that they get to produce. Hence, the paid membership program known as YouTube Premium also allows content creators to get extra income. The paid membership enables the audience to  watch videos without any ad disturbance. The creators are compensated based on how YouTube Premium subscribers watch their videos. Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash So, why does everybody want to be an influencer? Most teenagers are lured into this career path by the potential to generate money. Often times, their Instagram posts will be compensated by the advertisers once they achieve a certain number of followers and engagements. They can even get free products from brands. On the other hand, an influencer's flexibility makes people envious of their job. They don't have regular office hours, a fixed address, or a boss. They are able to work whenever and wherever they want. They can plan their own tasks based on their capabilities. Adding on, their job tasks are similar to many teenagers' interests and hobbies, such as shooting, filming, photographing, and editing; this is something they would enjoy doing. In addition, teenagers consider an influencer to be a celebrity because they share the same popularity, good looks, and job scope. Many teens begin as influencers and gradually develop into the field. For example, Kon Wen Wei, an 18 years old influencer who has 255k followers on Instagram. She stands out among countless influencers as she is seemingly young compared to other existing influencers. She frequently collaborates with various branded luxury and cosmetics brands such as Aldo, Longchamp, Mac, Shu Uemura, Calvin Klein, and others. She is also a YouTuber who always shares her daily life with her fans. She even wrote her debut single, Teenage Dream, and released it on YouTube last year. Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash Let’s take a look at the reality of an influencer. For instance: Fanny Chia, 20, a Sunway University student with 31.1k Instagram followers. Fanny explained that she didn't set out to be an influencer; and is someone that enjoys taking photographs and sharing her daily life on social media. In April 2020, she began to gain popularity based on her postings and gained 10k followers. At first, she didn't give it much thought. However, eventually, she began to manage her social media accounts on a more regular basis, while interacting with her followers. It was from there that she started receiving advertising projects. After a year, she eventually gained another 20k followers.  Fanny mentioned that she enjoys whatever she is doing now and also hopes to push herself to try posting new content, such as makeup tutorials on platforms like YouTube and Xiao Hong Shu. Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash Moving forward, she aims to upload videos on TikTok weekly. However, due to the whole covid situation, there has been more restrictions when it comes to producing quality content. It takes longer for her to achieve the outcome she desires, hence making it difficult for her to achieve a balance between her work-study life. All in all, the biggest problem that she often encounters is hate comments. She received a lot of criticism because of her personality and good appearance, but she has found out that the best way to deal with it is to focus on the positive aspects of her life and remember those who admire and adore her. Before she became involved in this industry, Fanny believed that being an influencer was a knowledgeable and creative career. However, she soon discovered that there is bad in everything good. And since every influencer has an impact on the general public, their words and actions will influence the general public's imitation. As a result, they must always hold accountability for their words and actions. As more influencers and negative news becomes more prevalent, netizens are becoming increasingly disillusioned and hostile towards influencers. Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash Influencer marketing is undeniably popular in this generation and has significantly impacted our everyday lives. They have a powerful effect on their audience in a variety of ways. This effect extends to our purchase decisions on clothing, household appliances, and vacation locations, as well as our attitudes about a variety of life concerns. This opportunity has enticed many people to express their opinions in such a vast digital world, allowing them to gain popularity and profit. By: Adrena Lee Sin Sian

  • Then and Now, What Has Changed?

    It's no doubt that the life we are living now has changed compared to the past regardless of whether we are talking about minor changes like the passion and love of people towards music and art or major changes like transportation or communication. In any case, we must acknowledge that we live in a different world and that as time passes by, it will continue to evolve, with nothing we can do but appreciate that everything is changing for the better. So what has changed throughout the decades or centuries? We’ll cover the evolution of time with topics ranging from technology, communication, lifestyle and mindsets. Technology According to Aaron Frank, technology is one of the most significant advances in human history over the last decade. If you were to compare phones from ten years ago and the latest iPhone, you could fill in an entire A4 sheet with their differences. Technology has made our lives so much easier, according to Alaoui Mohamed, travelling around the world has never been easier or more comfortable thanks to aeroplanes, ferries and automobiles. Travelling from one place to another in ancient times was only possible with camels or other animals such as horses or donkeys. Photo from: Old Indian Photos Let's talk about the Internet. With faster connections and Wi-fi, watching videos and downloading files has never been easier. Back in the early 2000s, downloading games or songs can take up to a day or more! A lot of people back then have been through the frustration of your device popping the download error notification after downloading your file for almost a day. But in comparison to now, you’ll be irritated if your youtube videos take longer than 30 seconds to load. Besides making our life easier, the improvement of technology has also helped a lot in terms of saving lives in the medical industry. With advanced technology, we can identify a patient's body condition painlessly. With the help of mechanical organ transplants and mechanical prostheses, more people can live a normal life despite lacking some parts of their bodies. Communication In terms of communication, we have cell audio and video calls, messages and social media that can quickly connect you to your friends and family. No more letters or mailings; everything is now just a few mouse clicks away. Here’s an example that can help you see the bigger picture. Everyone knows about the Black Death right? According to Mark Cartwright, the Black Death was a disastrous plague caused by a bacillus bacteria that happened in the 14th century. It spread through Europe in 9 years and killed over 25 million people. Now imagine the Covid-19 pandemic but it took place in the 14th century. Without televisions or online media, we wouldn’t be able to learn about the virus right away, and everyone would go about their lives as if nothing had happened even though the virus had already spread. Photo from: Bloomberg It's already tough to convince people to change their lifestyles and lock themselves in their homes to stay safe. But trying to do this without the help of the internet or any audio and video media is even hard. So what will happen in the end? The Covid-19 virus would have had the potential to wipe out the entire world in a matter of months. Now, let's say you're convinced and everyone stays home. What's next? Without any internet or calls, it's pretty hard to reach out to your friends and relatives if you want to check on their condition. The quickest way is to send mail, but because it’s a lockdown and we expect everyone to stay at home, your mail might not get to them as quickly as you think. Chances are that the mail would only arrive when the pandemic is over. See how the leap that humans made has helped out many people during the pandemic now? Lifestyle What about lifestyle? How different is our current lifestyle compared to the people who live in the past? Let's rewind to the past 100 years, which is the 20th century. What is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the 20th century? Most people would say World War I and II since both these wars were huge marks of history that occurred back then. Before we discuss who would win if another World War was held tomorrow, which is something we would like to prevent from happening, here’s a little throwback to World War II when the United States nuclearized Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. According to Alex Wellerstein, the power of two nuclear bombs had already taken a total of 110,000 lives in Japan and that happened in the 1940s. Now let's take a look into modern times and imagine what would happen if World War III was held tomorrow and who would win? According to Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda, there are approximately 13100 nuclear weapons in early 2021. If unfortunately, World War II happens again, it's safe to say that no one would survive the war. It will eventually escalate into a nuclear war, and you will either die when the bomb explodes or as a result of the radiation. The world we are living in today is peaceful in most places, at least we don't need to go through wars and conflicts. Studying and graduating from college are our life goals instead of fighting on the frontlines. Photo from: Let's move on to a lighter topic, work and studies. With video and audio calls, we can hold meetings or classes virtually. Without needing to head out of our house, we can see and hear the person we want to. It is not only more convenient, but it also allows us to spend more time doing what we want, and time schedules are more flexible. We have more time now since the time used to travel is reduced significantly. Not only that but with the internet, there is no need to waste time by spending hours in the library just to find that specific information. Projects and research are much faster and easier because all we have to do is type the question or keyword into Google and billions of answers will appear in no time! Mindset At present, equality is getting more and more common for everyone. However, in some parts of the world, there are still people being treated unfairly but at least we can see that everyone is given the same opportunity to live their lives. No more slavery, no more men are better than women, no more being gay is a crime. Although they're still some people who like to publicise their toxic opinions against certain communities, these are the people who have been there since the beginning of the world. So if you think about it, we are lucky enough to say that we don't need to start again from zero. We have three waves of feminism that were created to protect women’s rights. The first one happened in the mid-1900s where 300 men and women stood up for gender equality in 1848. This was primarily about women’s voting rights. The second wave of feminism, which occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s, was more concerned with issues of equality and discrimination. The third wave of feminism began in the 1990s, responding to perceived failures of the second wave while also examining issues related to women’s lives on a global scale. We have the Anti-Racist Movement which was held in 1998 in Europe. It's a movement that advocates racial equality among all races. We then have the "Black Lives Matter" movement which started in 2013, protesting against some incidents of police treating black people violently. Besides, there's also the "Stop Asian Hate" movement which happened in the year 2021. Photo from: Teen Vogue Now if we lock back at it, movements that fight for equality towards a certain community that was being treated unfairly just because they were "different" to others will always attract attention that the whole world knows about. We are lucky enough to be living in this year where our ancestors had already done most of the job and we are enjoying their victory for them. I'm not saying that we should be happy and stop here, but with all the hard work our ancestors had paid to create a better future for us, we need to try our very best to do whatever we can to create a world without hate. From the past to the present, a lot of things have changed. Everything is going well and we should be grateful for what we have today. We live in a peaceful world where you can pursue your dreams and do what you want. Although there are still certain changes in this world that need to be done, that doesn't change the fact that we can enjoy our own life the most! By: Soong Eason

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