#BreakTheBias with over 300 million users in the metaverse on a 3D avatar platform
Within the metaverse, where identity and self-expression are central to the experience, the International Women's Day #BreakTheBias theme helps shine a spotlight on the need for gender equality and provides an important and engaging rallying call-to-action for positive change.
3D avatar platform ZEPETO collaborates on the #BreakTheBias theme and has launched a raft of action across its platform to help raise awareness among its audience of over 300 million users.
ZEPETO’s users, of which the majority are Gen Z women, can choose and wear IWD #BreakTheBias themed items. They are also invited to stand against biases in the IWD photobooth and share their #BreakTheBias pose to their social feeds.
Forging gender equality in the metaverse
ZEPETO is where users socialize, play and create in any way imaginable so it provides a perfect platform to help raise awareness about women's equality, both in real life (IRL) and in the metaverse.
A hugely popular virtual social platform, users interact, play and create content as 3D avatars.
As an open-ecosystem, 1.7 million users, most of whom are women, have registered to be official platform creators through ZEPETO Studio – where they can design, create and sell millions of their own unique virtual items and spaces. For many of these female creators, ZEPETO is empowering them to create and scale their own fashion lines designed for the metaverse.
What does #BreakTheBias mean to women across the metaverse
Let's hear from five women creators – from artists and designers to developers and editors – to understand what #BreakTheBias means to them and to find out how they’re elevating and celebrating other women in the metaverse.
Monica Louise (@monica):
"Be yourself. Nothing can ever beat that"
Monica Louise is a metaverse entrepreneur, designer, developer, and creator better known as ‘Monica Quin’. She also identifies as a daughter, sister, wife, and soon-to-be mom.
On her ZEPETO platform, she is open about the challenges she faces as a woman, sharing both the good and bad in order to help others who may be experiencing similar situations. Monica is especially against body shaming, as she has experienced such bias in her own life. “I’ve been all sizes you can think of – from a teenage model, to a busy early 20s career woman struggling to find time to work out, to my current life stage of getting married, diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects a woman's hormone levels, and finding out I’ll struggle to have a baby. I have been body shamed a lot, from random people calling me fat or reacting wildly to how I gained so much weight compared to my extra small model figure before, to elders questioning why I don't have a child yet, without knowing that I have health issues.”
These external pressures and labels made Monica begin to ask herself “What's the point of being a woman if I can’t look good according to society's standards and can't bear a child?” But on ZEPETO, she quickly realized she isn’t alone. “I am not the only one going through these things. And while the negative comments were painful, affecting me mentally and emotionally, they also made me realize that I can help change things by talking openly about these topics to bring awareness to more people. I can be a voice for others who are in the same exact position I am.”
For women overwhelmed by the prospect of building a career in the metaverse or becoming creators, Monica recommends just being one's authentic self. “It's true what they say, that you can be anyone you want on the internet or in the metaverse, but the best way is to just be yourself. Nothing can ever beat that.”
"Never give up! Know your worth"
As a designer of virtual maps that have amassed over 11 million visits, 20-year-old US-based artist Hannah works to ensure negativity has no place on her platform – “I want everyone to feel safe and welcome on my page, where discrimination and prejudice will never be tolerated.”
In this way, she makes a conscious effort to set a positive example for young girls, showing them that women can be successful in the gaming and metaverse community. “As the only female top map creator on ZEPETO, I work hard to end the bias against women in gaming. Positive female representation in the metaverse is important to inspire young girls!”
When asked what she’d say to other women looking to establish a presence in the metaverse, Hannah says “Things are changing fast in the industry, and it's looking better every day. Never give up! Know your worth, and don't let the hate get to you.”
"Regardless of race, financial status or age, as women, we are family"
Shannon, a 3D item creator and photo/video editor, appreciates ZEPETO as an extended family and creative outlet for her love of music, art, fashion, dance, and more. When asked what advice she’d give other women looking to become metaverse creators, she says “Create good things that you enjoy, even if no one else is. Try something you normally wouldn't. And if things aren't coming out quite the way you'd like, be patient with yourself and don't compare yourself to others. Just have fun!”
Shannon believes it’s her job to give back by encouraging kindness among the women in her ZEPETO community and looking for opportunities to build other women and girls up. “Regardless of race, financial status or age, as women, we are family. Kindness goes a long way. It takes strength of character. And although not always easy to do, it's truly important. Especially for us women. It's all of our responsibility to love.”
Despite her positivity, Shannon isn’t immune to bias. “At times I’ve had problems being accepted by anyone. I'm Black, but I'm very mixed. I love carpentry and fashion. I'm a violinist that loves rock, opera, dubstep, indie, rap and everything in-between. My fashion changes depending on my mood and I love art. Some of these things may contradict each other, and sometimes people feel that black women can't like certain things, but they’re all me. I refuse to be put in a box. And if that makes other people uncomfortable, hopefully in time they'll understand. Breaking the bias means stopping prejudging and labeling. We need to allow each other to be our authentic selves.”
Kathrine Phoukeo (@kathrine):
"You're not alone! We can fight biases"
Kathrine, an item creator and video editor on ZEPETO who has amassed over 422K followers on the platform, strives to be a good role model who girls can look up to by spreading positive messages through her ZEPETO and social media content.
“I’m a feminist and I support the fight for equality between men and women through my daily life and digital presence. #BreakTheBias is important to me because inequality for women still exists. As women, we all experience sexism and unfair treatment in our everyday lives and on social media. I’m actively fighting against double standards, wage inequality, and sexism. I learned to speak up on social media, and I hope I become an inspiration for other girls to do the same through my digital presence.”
Jeanique Adams (@ajenjen):
"Stand your ground, stand tall and be proud"
To Jen, a 25-year-old ZEPETO creator from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, breaking the bias starts at home. She fights daily against the stigma in her local community that women are inferior to men and only exist for a specific purpose.
“I grew up and still live in a household where my grandmother believes that men must be taken care of and shouldn’t cook or clean. Whenever I hear my brother (who also lives in the home) start to classify women, I make sure to set the record straight and ensure he understands he should be just as much a part of the chores and cooking.”
She says people should try to uplift women in daily lives, in even little ways. “I remind my female friends and family every day how beautiful and loved they are, and how much their presence and input is valuable and valid. That they are worth something.”
Want to hear more about how these women creators #BreakTheBias and foster inclusivity in their lives and communities?
Download ZEPETO to follow them and tune into their #BreakTheBias LIVE sessions on March 8 beginning at 4:30pm ET.
A haven for women in gaming
In addition to championing and elevating female creators, ZEPETO strives to partner with organizations who do the same. One such example is the platform’s collaboration with the*gameHERs to create space in ZEPETO that will act as a haven for all women in gaming. As a women-led media company and community dedicated to amplifying and centering the voices of women and femme-identifying folks who game, Verta Maloney, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, says the*gameHERs empower women daily by creating safe and sexist-free space all women in the industry – from the casual players and hardcore gamers to the techies, streamers, designers, cosplayers, developers and programmers.
To Verta and the*gameHERS, #BreakTheBias means “creating a world where being a woman is part of who you are, not all of who you are. Being a woman is amazing, and so is being an entrepreneur, a gamer, a mother, a friend, a thought leader, a student. To #BreakTheBias means to honor women by letting us be whoever and whatever we decide we want to be.” For other women interested in becoming metaverse creators, she says “Take the first step to get out there. And remember, there is no other you in the metaverse. Message someone you admire, join a group to chat or learn more, be afraid – and then do it anyway, and have fun!”
Read more about ZEPETO and its further partnerships with brands like Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Disney, Nike, BLACKPINK, and Universal Pictures, or to become a female metaverse creator.