Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi! My name is Bianca Rosen. I’m a writer, anti-rape advocate, and content creator from the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m also a sister, daughter, girlfriend, friend, and counselor at heart. Four years ago, driven by my own experiences of sexual harassment in high school, I became a sexual assault counselor. I’ve been supporting survivors and advocating for reform in San Francisco’s response to sexual assault ever since. Ultimately, I want to see more survivor-centered policies in cities and counties across the country.
In my free time, I love to wander around the City, trying new restaurants, going to parks, and experiencing everything the Bay has to offer. I love sandwiches (bread and cheese is my main food group), going for walks, the color pink, and snuggling.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Speak from the heart. It will never steer you wrong.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
You are worthy. You are enough as you are, and no one else has to believe that for it to be true.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
I’m lucky to report that the people around me have always believed in me, even when I haven’t. When I doubt myself, I’m a shell of who I am. In those moments, I have to remind myself that I’m the expert in my potential. No one else knows all that I can do, except me.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
We have the power to grow, learn, and practice being whoever we want to be.
Confidence is learned, strength is learned, and leadership is learned.
We don’t have to be born as confident as Beyonce or as well-spoken as Michelle Obama, we can learn.
At the same time, we can unlearn. We can unlearn to live through the validation of our bodies, and we can unlearn that we aren’t good enough.
Have you always had confidence in yourself?
Not at all, I’ve had to teach myself confidence and practice flexing my confidence muscle. It was because of an eating disorder that I was forced to re-examine myself, disrupt old patterns, and build the foundation for lasting confidence. It continues to be a struggle to this day.
What do you love most about yourself?
I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. In the good moments and the bad, I am always 100% myself.
I don’t hesitate to tell people I’m in pain or I need help. At times, I’ve felt this was my weakness, but I’ve realized that it also doubles as my superpower. It allows me to better answer other people’s calls for help and to connect with others on a deeper level.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Recovering from my eating disorder was a particularly painful time. Even though I consider myself to be constantly recovering, facing the fact that I had an issue was the hardest part.
The thing was – my eating disorder was a response to trauma from high school and healing from that took a lot of digging up and rehashing of old wounds.
In the process of going to therapy, journaling, and breaking my old rules, I left the girl I had been behind and started to become the woman I am today.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Life is hard and unjust at times; that is a fact. I can either dwell in that or try to see the good around me. Of course, this is a very privileged thing to say. For so many, merely changing their perspective will not help them survive another day.
For me, it’s a necessity. I think of it this way: I walked the path of fear for a long time – making choices and decisions out of fear. One day, I woke up and knew something had to change. I had to choose love. These days, I ask myself if the choice I’m making is out of fear or out of love and go from there.
It’s not easy, but I’ve learned it’s something I need to do for my mental health.
What motivates you most?
Stories. Hearing people’s stories, connecting with others, and building community drives me to do what I do.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
I’m pretty bad at it if I’m honest. Like most of us these days, I feel bad about myself if I’m not productive at all times. But, I try to put my phone and computer away and have quality time with the people I love. I also really enjoy going on walks as a way to calm down and separate myself from the rest of my day.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I’ll admit, not much these days. When I fall out of touch with myself, I try to get back to journaling and reflecting on what I’m grateful for.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
I had no idea. And I can tell you with certainty that I never saw myself doing anti-rape work. My life experiences happened to bring me here. I will say this – it’s okay not to know what you want to do because your life’s calling has a way of finding you.
Were you scared to start the process?
I’ve been scared since the day I left college. Everything was so cut and dry then; you wake up, go to class, study, try to get good grades. (Clearly, I love structure.) Since graduating, nothing has gone “as planned,” I was not the immediate success I thought I would be and I’m certainly not financially stable.
I’ve realized, there is no plan or standard my life has to live up to. I carry my passions and integrity with me, but generally, I’m just going where life takes me no matter how scary it is.
Bianca Rosen is a writer and anti-rape advocate based in the San Francisco Bay Area