21-year-old Phoebe Gates is a social media influencer and reproductive rights activist in her own right. Bill Gates’ youngest daughter is often in the limelight because of her extravagant lifestyle. On Instagram, she is often seen attending posh parties or vacationing at exotic locations with friends. Her pictures with her Dad at high-profile events awe her followers. But she is also seen voicing important issues like women’s reproductive rights, period stigma, sustainable fashion, and climate change. Phoebe has also been seen confidently sharing about her therapy sessions urging people to book a session too.
With a huge follower base on both TikTok and Instagram, Phoebe is proactive on social media to raise awareness about causes close to her heart. Being the daughter of the Microsoft founder and the eighth richest man in the world of course has its privilege and she is quite aware of that. ‘OK, I’m my parents’ daughter, that gives me immense privilege, but it’s not what I’m defined by,’ Phoebe had said.
She strongly disapproved of the abortion ban by the US government earlier this year. Phoebe boldly remarked, ‘American women lost the right to safe reproductive care a year ago. This decision awakened a whole generation.’ She went on to say, ‘The landscape of American abortion access continues to shift rapidly. Here is a non-exhaustive list of resources for you to stay up to date and involved.’ And she had included a list on her Instagram profile for people to volunteer and support organizations that safeguard American women’s reproductive rights.
She has also been very vocal in spreading awareness about climate change and other social issues. About period stigmas, she had remarked, ‘I’ve struggled with shame and embarrassment surrounding this topic and I’m not alone…Many women and girls around the world experience period poverty and stigma. The more we normalize conversation around menstruation, the more we protect women and girls around the world.’
On social media, she shared some real facts about how menstruation takes a toll on women’s success and growth in several countries.
Incidentally, Bill Gates has always supported several causes from social, health, educational developments to actively trying to reduce poverty through his foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was reported as the second-largest charitable foundation in the world in 2020. Phoebe Gates is a fine example of how one can use one’s position and power to help spread awareness on crucial matters through social media. No doubt, she is an ‘Influencer’ in the correct sense.
By Ishita Ganguly