Surely you’ve seen THOSE memes.
Yes, those Nancy and Catriona memes. They’ve gone viral over the past few weeks, and surely you’ve had quite a laugh, and hit that share button on your social media platform of choice so your friends could see them, too.
Memes are a load of fun, and they seem to be here to stay. Memes have been part of Senator Nancy Binay’s life ever since she entered politics in 2013.
Most of the memes about her are vicious, and, in fact, dwell on aspects of her person that, in a perfect world, should never be made fun of. Like the color of her skin, or her choice of clothes, her facial expressions, her body shape.
But she doesn’t mind. In fact, she’s quite amused at the creativity of meme-makers.
What’s more, she hasn’t only taken all the negativity thrown her way in stride, she has in fact tried to turn them into something positive, in the hopes of helping other women struggling with the same issues cope.
So, in between juggling her duties in the Senate and as a full-time mom, she has published Make Love Not War, a collaborative project with one of her harshest critics, the “mysterious” Señora Santibañez.
Another book is on the way—The Charcoal Confessions, a collection of 45 tips from the “Uling Princess” herself to survive cyber bullying which she had originally posted last year on her social media accounts.
The two books tackle social media etiquette, and provide helpful advice on how to deal with such issues as online bullying and trolling, and even about life itself.
Her overarching objective is encapsulated in the phrase, “Be Nice”.
She believes that being nice is a crucial element in inclusive development. More than a catch-phrase, it’s a philosophy—it’s not only about being well-mannered in public, it’s about having sympathy and empathy for others.
Taking this advocacy further, a set of stickers on social messaging app, Telegram, have been recently launched. The #BeNice sticker set comprises 27 stickers that embody her advocacy.
The stickers have different themes: (1) Women Empowerment, (2) Everyday Greetings, (3) Kikay Feels, (4) Positive Vibes, and (5) Proud to be Black, that highlight positivity and being comfortable with one’s own skin.
They convey simple and light messages of affirmation and hope, crafted especially for “kawomenan”.
They’re great, especially for those moments when we need more than words in our conversation with friends but emojis don’t really cut it.
With March being International Women’s Month, Binay hopes that though a small step, given the platform’s relatively limited reach, the stickers could contribute to honoring women and reassuring Filipinas, especially the younger generation of digital natives, of their worth.
Send them to a friend. Who knows, she might just be needing that little nudge, that assurance of your presence and support and that everything will be better.
In short, Be Nice!