Thursday, August 26, 2010

Miss Philippines, Brown and Proud

I've been walking with more of a sway to my hips these past few days.  Hahaha!  Well I walk this way when I'm on my own like I am right now or when no one is looking.  I think it's from watching Miss Universe the other day and the exultation at seeing Miss Philippines in the top 5.  Everyone must agree that Miss Philippines, Venus Raj, is beautiful.  If she had a better answer to the question that she was given, she may have ranked higher.  But nevertheless, being in the top 5 is a great achievement.

One guest on this certain talk show that I happened to switch to, a previous Miss Philippines herself, commented on Venus' unique beauty and added she doesn't even look Filipino.  What a statement!  What is the Filipino or Filipina supposed to look like?  But I do get her point, looking at Venus, you would think she's Indian or Middle Eastern.  She doesn't share the chinky eyes or the whiter (or some say yellowish) complexion of other Asians or Malays.

Her skin is dark, maybe too dark to some.  But I'm so glad that she represents the Philippines.  Maybe more women here will now be proud of their darker complexion instead of idolizing the whiter skinned artistas (actresses) that we often see on television.  How many commercials have I seen that promises to give whiter skin by just using their cream or soap?  There are way too many of these commercials.  An evidence of Filipino's mentality.  If we see someone with darker skin, we associate it with being poor.  The logic behind it, I guess, is that poor people have to work outdoors under the burning sun and do not have the luxury of air-conditioned cars or homes.  So the whitening creams and soap commercials target the poor and middle class.

I used to have an insecurity about my color too.  I lived for 8 years in Australia, in the mid-70s to the early 80s.  My Aussie classmates were fair-skinned, almost paper white, and when we would sit next to each other I would on many occassions see the stark difference between my forearm and my classmate's.  I'm sure they noticed it too, but most were kind enough not to care, especially at our young age.  I have a picture, which I'll try to dig out and scan, of my class back in my elementary years.  I was the only dark-colored girl there!  So I was different.  But I'm glad that that insecurity didn't effect me in the long-run.

Now, fast-forward to 27 years later, I am quite proud of my kayumanggi (brown) complexion.  I'm happy too that I don't sunburn easily like Caucasians.  And I'm proud that someone with the same complexion as me represented our country in the Miss Universe pageant, with head held high and hips swinging gaily. Congratulations Venus!  You make our country, our kababayans proud.  (Something that we all need right now.)

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