I was deep in thought when I saw this passage in the little devotional calendar on my table — FEEL THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
There are so many times in the past when I felt like crap, felt like the ugliest person there is in the whole wide world, and more often than not I would wallow in self-pity and asked God why on earth he made me this way.
Is physical attributes the ultimate manifestation of beauty?
While growing up, I was made to believe that I am not beautiful because I am dark. I avoided dark colored clothes like the plague because people would tell me “ay ano ka ba, ang itim mo na nga naka ganyan ka pa ng kulay.”
In this country where the majority of people are “brown” (a US President once called the Filipinos his “little brown brothers”) it is hard to fathom where our penchant for whitening products came from. Visit any supermarket and drugstore in the country and you will see a wide array of these products, promising a white glowing skin in just seven days; saying that you’ll be prettier and more attractive if you have a fairer skin.
In the heart of a teenager, the only way to have admirers or suitors is to become fairer. I made that my mission in life till kingdom come. Believe me I tried all the whitening products you can imagine until I realized the futility of my efforts when after using those products for years my skin color did not change dramatically and no suitors came to profess their undying love and devotion.
Many say that BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.
How will I ever say I am beautiful when I myself don’t believe in what I am saying? I finally became comfortable in my color and accepted my physical attributes after a long hard look with what I really have as a person. Physical attribute is important alright, but it is not what defines me.
Honestly, the complements I got on how beautiful my skin is from several US military counterparts when I was a 2nd Lieutenant serving somewhere in Palayan City in 2000 made the big difference. This was complemented by my recent sojourn to the US last year. So why bother being “white” or fair when so many are dying to have my color? Remember, the Filipinas who won beauty titles in international beauty pageants are the “kayumanggi”.
I also remind myself every once in a while that no matter how other people describe me; I should just take it as a complement and never let it affect me. After all, everybody is entitled to their own wrong opinion.
I also laughed so hard when I watched this conversation between Vice Ganda and Lucy Torres:
Lucy Torres: Lahat naman tayo maganda, wala namang ginawa ang Panginoon na pangit.
Vice Ganda: Eh sinong gumawa sa akin?
See? We sometimes love to make fun of ourselves and use our “itsura” as our way to make people laugh. It even became a source of income for others.
So, what am I trying to say now?
I don’t know. I am just trying to enhance my writing skills 🙂