Embracing the New Me and My Definition of Real Beauty

Thank you Dove for sponsoring this post. How do you define #RealBeauty?

Baby Angela RicardoPIN IT!

Growing up in the Philippines as an interracial kid was definitely challenging. I looked different. I stood out like a sore thumb. Things would have been more different if my Filipino traits were more prominent than the other. I’ve been teased, made fun of, and yes, even bullied. Back then, I hardly saw my “looks” across the media (magazine, commercials, etc.) and as much as I wanted to shrug it off, it made me wonder where and how I fit in.

Ever since seeing Dove’s #RealBeauty campaign, I knew right away it is what our society had been missing all along. The message, empowerment and overall definition of “What Real Beauty Should Be” is what everyone should see, witness, and grow-up to. Not some false idealism that makes us want to be someone who we are not.

beshyPIN IT!

Together with creative director Shonda Rhimes (along with an all-female crew), Dove is changing the power of storytelling we deliver into hands of real women. The second film by Dove Real Beauty Productions features Kylee Howell who shared such a powerful message regarding non-conformity and how she overcame the narrow definition of beauty imposed on her and the women in her community. Watch Kylee’s story and see for yourself how she empowers others to find their real beauty – clvr.li/dovemkyt

Watching Kylee reminded me of my best friend and her partner. Both of them had been my friends ever since we were in first-year high school. Having them by my side played a huge role in my life (especially now) for making me love, accept and be content with who I am. They have such a strong relationship that they don’t let negative stereotypes get in between them. As our friendship grows through the years, they made me realize that each of us has our own battles. In fact, many gay/lesbian women cannot relate to the standards of beauty and femininity that society promotes. And believe it or not, as much as 69% of women agree that they don’t see themselves reflected in advertisements, movies, television.

four monthsPIN IT!

Now that I am expecting, I would want our little one to grow up and learn that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to look beautiful. I personally have been too hard on myself already. I finally have come to terms that I have been giving myself a hard time. That the majority of my stress and anxiety in the past were mostly self-inflicted. Little by little I finally got over my insecurities. So yes, I look different. I also dress and talk or pronounce my words differently … all of which contribute to what makes me unique and beautiful. I am beautiful just the way I am.

Now that you know my story let me ask you this question “What does real beauty mean to you?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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  • Misty Dawn Nelson

    Thanks for sharing about what real beauty is by Dove. Your story is absolutely a great read. I agree that there is no right or wrong way to look beautiful.

  • Brittany

    I love this so much. I have little boys but it’s important for me to. I want them to know the they’re handsome and don’t need anyone or anything to feel that way.

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    You look absolutely gorgeous! Motherhood looks so good on you. This is my definition of real beauty – real life women!

  • Robin rue

    There is definitely no right or wrong way to look beautiful. It’s sad that so many people in our society think that people have to look a certain way to look good.

  • Heather Brummett

    I love this. There is no one way. And our society does make us feel like we are all not good enough. As women we have to learn to life one another up and know that each of us is beautiful and unique. I love this Dove campaign! And hope all women can know their worth and beauty!

  • Andrea

    It is so important to find your own beauty and feel comfortable in your own skin. it is so important. and i have to admit this is so amazing that you are embracing this magical beautiful time you are in right now.

  • Jessica Joachim

    What a wonderful post! As the mom to a daughter, I try every day to make sure she learns that she is beautiful and that we have to love ourselves no matter what.

  • Crystal Green

    You are already beautiful for sure!! I can’t see why you’d be the least bit worried about it. I’m confident you’ll remain beautiful the rest of your life.

    Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s far more important to be beautiful on the inside than the out.

    In fact, that was proven today. My daughter told someone she was trying to remain beautiful. The woman told her that she was already beautiful inside.

  • lisa

    I really liked your article. Real beauty comes from within. People shouldn’t judge people by what they look like on the outside.

  • Charlene

    Yes! I love this campaign! It’s so important there everybody feels beautiful in their own skin and that they belong. I’m glad you’re learning to accept abs be content with who you are!

  • Cindy (Prime Beauty)

    I’m so glad Dove is doing these campaigns. Beauty is different things to different people and definitely should not be limited to looks!

  • Ruth I.

    I agree with you on this. It’s so awesome that Dove made a campaign like this and would help people find and realize real beauty.

  • Kat Centeno

    Beautiful photo. I am a Dove user myself. I love how my skin feels after using it. Plus, I am lazy with moisturizer so I get the needed moisturizing from the soap.

  • Claudia Krusch

    Dove has some amazing campaigns for women. I have been using their products for years and I love them. This is a beautiful photo of you.

  • Danielle

    Girl, so many people need to realize that beauty comes from the inside. Such an amazing post and you are so beautiful <3


  • Latasha Peterson

    Such awesome photos! 🙂 Congrats on your new arrival! You look amazing!

  • Joely Smith

    I can only imagine how hard it was for you growing up. I know a lot of people of different races faced the same thing in the USA especially regarding the women shown on magazine covers back in the day. I am so glad we have far more diversity in American now. You are simply STUNNING just gorgeous and that photo of you WOW you look like a woman on a professional Dove commercial! I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to use your image for marketing!

  • OurFamilyWorld

    I love that Dove is doing this campaign. Real beauty comes from within, but it’s sad that most people don’t see this.

  • Karen Morse

    I think at some point we’ve all had issues with the way we look. I think it’s really nice that Dove is spearheading a campaign that’s all about self love. It’s such a beautiful thing to do for women.

  • Carol Cassara

    I’ve had my fair share of insecurities because of people and I think it’s really nice that Dove is doing this for women. We have to learn how to embrace our looks and what we’re born with. The moment we do is the moment we realize that we’re beautiful

  • ricci

    I love this post!! Real beauty to me is being comfortable in your own skin!!

  • Emily Morton

    I totally understand how hard it is to get used to the “new” you when you’re pregnant. I’m currently 26 weeks pregnant and honestly having some super big issues.

  • reesa

    I really love this post. Beauty can be different things to everyone. Dove is such a wonderful brand and they always promote this!

  • AnnMarie John

    Dove is a loved brand and I think it’s awesome that they’re promoting self love. It’s really important for women to accept themselves and see how beautiful they truly are.

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    There are times that we feel insecure of our looks. My husband always said that women are more critical of other women, and that society has a huge influence on how we define “beauty.” I have come to terms with my body, and I am now more confident in my own skin. My daily mantra – “I am not old, I am experienced. I am beautiful, I am loved, I am enough.”

  • Rachel Catherine

    This is a beautiful post. It’s really hard when your body changes from the standard of beauty. Having kids was hard on me for this.

  • Farrah less G.

    You are such a beautiful Mom-to-be, I’m glad you be able to keep that clear and glowing skin. No matter what skin complexion we have, losing or gain weight what important is we should embrace yourself flaws what matters most is how beautiful you are inside.

  • Amber Nelson

    What a beautiful picture! I think pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. I am a big fan of Dove! That’s all we use at our house.

  • Terri Steffes

    To me true beauty shines from within through a genuine smile and direct eye contact that tells me you are listening!


    You’re so right, there is no right or wrong way to be beautiful! Although let’s face it, you are stunning – Inside and out!