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Lakas ng Likas - Who Really Needs It? Not me.
Can I make 3 requests? Re-read the quote of the day and then say to yourself, "I'm beautiful.", to the nearest person to you right now, tell him or her "you are beautiful."
And together say, "WE are all beautiful." Ang sarap ng feeling, di ba?
Then proceed to PinoyExpats' latest issue, which ranks as one of the best issues of the e-zine that has touched on various issues of living outside of our motherland. Tintin is Chief editor for the issue that saw her give birth (which for me, mothering is real beauty), others moving from one continent to another, from one job to another, from one season to another, and in her editorial was able to succinctly capture what real beauty of a Filipino is. She says about PEX's latest ish being
"a reply as a whole to anybody who thinks Filipinos are beautiful only if light-skinned, tall, with a long nose, straight hair, thin. We share in the stories of discrimination." She follows on, saying that the "issue is for you, dear readers, because we want you to know, we at PINOYexpats find Filipinos beatiful, no matter what their size and shape or color."
Growing up, it never really mattered to me that my dark complexion was always being compared to my super fair-skinned elder sister. You could always hear family friends (I'm not sure if you can call them that) acknowledge my sister's fair skin and as a consolation, my aquiline nose.
Yes, growing up I was the darker one. It never really mattered because I was secure with my own color and was proud that I had a pretty fair-skinned sister. But I know the feeling. I know why Filipinos value being fair-skinned, much more than the thought of being second-class citizens for more than 400 years, being called "indios" during the Spanish regime, and "islanders" by the Americans.
The thought that the only ticket to being classified as higher than others, at least in stature, was the skin tone. My own opinion is that media aggravated the situation. From the advent of TV and the entry of Hollywood films to local shores, real beauty was determined by such common standards as being, "fair-skinned, smooth, silky hair, slim waist." From Grace Kelly to Marilyn Monroe, even to our own Filipino actresses, Nida Blanca and Gloria Romero.
But even with the integration, the acceptance of other standards of beauty, there are still some which remained the same.
Can I make my last request? To stand up to the next person who thinks differently, who thinks that skin color is synonymous to success, power and domination.
Tomorrow is NBA All-Star weekend. Just watch the All-Star game and check the roster of cagers playing ball on Sunday to prove that color is never really a barrier to success. In 1951, there wasn't any single dark-skinned player...the reverse is happening year-after-year.
Oh yeah, who's making it a big deal? Before we know it, the US may even have a their first non fair-skinned President in Democrat Barack Obama.