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.
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.
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.