Mind Your Own Body

Amidst all the Jelena posts, I was quietly drinking my bulletproof coffee and trying to go on a fast, I stumbled upon another Facebook post. The first line got me…

“Why do people feel the need or feel like they have the right to tell me I’m fat?”

A few more relatable rants until this part…

“I can’t be in my closet and say ‘Oh! Nice dress, I’ll wear this”. Instead, I’m always like ‘Nice, kaso sabihin nila ang taba ko”, or ‘Nice, kaso iju-judge nila ako’. So dapat magpapayat muna ako before I can happily choose what to wear and happily wear it?”

And that hit me hard.

Growing up, I was always a people-pleaser, someone who does not know how to say no and I know it might be off-topic but I am saying that to emphasize the impact of these traits on how someone sees themselves… and even if you grew up differently, I bet, even once in your life, you have been body-shamed.

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I have always had a small figure. I was a skinny child in my grade school days and I never really paid attention to my body as my Harry Potter books got me busy. Come High School, I may be timid but I wore what I please. First day of school, I wore a sheer halter dress and at 15, my mom let me wore a g-string. No biggie. Although I knew that in a conservative private school in the province, I would be the talk of the town for wearing such a “bold” outfit when everyone was in their shirts or pants. Bottom line is I OWNED MY BODY. 

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Carefree, high school days (2005)
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That was me wearing the blue shorts!
…not until I saw how the boys in our school make fun of a classmate for being “chubby” and for slowly realizing that for you to be a campus heartthrob, you have to be not just good-looking, you have to be thin too. I was a volleyball player back then, and I had the metabolism of a teenager but strangely enough, I started to watch what I ate. I remember me and my bestfriends would have lunch together and we would share on a chicken sandwich and unconsciously rant about how “fat” we were when in reality, we weighed 100 pounds, at most. Come to think of it, we were just brats who complained even if we have nothing to complain about. I was never really that pressured about my weight because as I’ve said, I had a metabolism that anyone would kill for.

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Come college, fastfood was life.
It was 2008 when I moved to Manila for college and gone were the days when homecooked meals were prepared for you. Fastfood meals were the most convenient and anyone could vouch that stress-eating is real, especially when finals and class presentations come your way. The only workout I did was to lift my spoon and fork lol. To add to that, date nights also consisted of food and so from 45 kilos, I gained 3, 4, 5 kilos and everytime I went back home to visit, I was always greeted the same way, “tumataba ka”, “uy nagkakalaman ka”, or “lumalapad ka ah”! I did not mind at first but man, when these comments just won’t stop… it starts to get to you. It’s as if you are defined by how you weigh. It’s the constant reminder in a tone where it seems it’s unacceptable to gain weight?

Take the comment on this photo taken 7 years ago as an example:

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2011, when I started to be continuously body-shamed
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Comments like these put SO much pressure on me looking good. I also remember being in a school team where someone made fun of me when I did floor exercises because I “looked heavy” and that time when a certain person saw me eating at the cafeteria and took away my plate with a “why are you even eating?” comment. I was never bullied my entire life so hearing things like this slowly has taken its toll on me. I was, at most, at 125 pounds then.

Since then, I hated wearing fitted clothes or any top that had no sleeves. There was a time that I just did not want to deal and hated going out. I hated looking at the mirror. “I have nothing to wear” became an everyday dilemma. I felt guilt every single time I eat. I knew in that moment, I did not own my body anymore. My body is owned by the picture-perfect people on social media, the judgmental stares and the passive-aggressive (and mostly unsolicited) comments about my weight, my arms, or my double chin.

I’ve come along way from college and as much as I wish to end this blog with me being a body-shaming survivor, I honestly think I still can’t say that. The photos below were those times that I tried so hard to lose weight… and I did. Only to gain them back again.

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NYC, 2014
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Boracay, 2014
I currently have a love/hate relationship with my body. There are good days, but mostly bad. I gain some weight, I lose some. It is a very exhausting part of my life and mainly the reason why I’ve tried to work out even when I don’t want to, starve myself despite the headaches, then binge-eat at times and try every diet possible out there but I still look in the mirror and see someone who is never good enough. It’s the constant “ang taba mo ngayon” being the new “hello”. It’s the constant pressure to look good especially when you see all this beautiful people around you and believe me, I know that beauty is skin deep but until we learn how to redefine beauty in our culture by accepting beauty at all different shapes and sizes and people learning how to filter thoughts in their head and thinking about what and how to say it, there will always be people feeling bad about themselves.

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Slowly trying to be a bit kinder to myself this 2018
So next time you make age, gender, weight or skin be the intro for your small talk… why not bring some positivity to the conversation? Maybe next time when we are with our family or friends, let’s try to not give in to the body shame talk. Let’s stay positive, appreciate others’ bodies for all of the awesome things it can do. Tell others how awesome they are and how great that dress looks on them, or how glowing and young they look. It’s about damn time we lift each other up, girls!

And if you are still having one of those days, remember that we are smart and well-educated women who are kicking ass in this arena called life. We’re raising humans, running businesses and charities, and contributing on a larger scale than the women who came before us. Our bodies weren’t meant to look like they once did when we were in high school. Our bodies are designed to change and morph with age and babies so let’s all be kind to ourselves and eat that damn cake 😉

 

All my love! ♥

Of Drag Queens and Pride Month

I have always wanted to write about this one show that I have been obsessed with, and girl, when I feel the urge to write about something, it pretty much means I have strong feelings about it. It either made me cry, made me sleep thinking about it or it simply touched me. (Disclaimer: things may get a bit personal at the end of this post).

Successful shows pretty much have the same formula. Aside from the big shot cast; the drama, level of relatability, deeply felt characters and good cliff hangers usually lead to high ratings. This show had all these… and much more. It was one boring day when I was browsing Netflix and stumbled upon this show and ever since that day, I got hooked. I saw it’s thumbnail and I had absolutely no clue who this woman was on the cover. Man, I was in for a surprise when I pressed play.

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Yaasss!!! It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race!

And that woman on the cover? She’s a man.

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I have an obsessive personality: When I’m into something, I need all of it. Why eat one slice of pizza when you can have five pizzas, you know? This is what has happened with Drag Race.

First things first, I had no idea about drag. Two minutes in the show, I was honestly confused about what this show was all about and seriously took the title literally and thought it was about racing cars lol so when I finally pieced it all together, it made me feel super excited. I have watched reality shows from Project Runway to Masterchef and all that but this was a whole ‘nother level! One episode down and I could not stop watching.

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Before I talk about why I love RuPaul’s Drag Race, let me give you a quick background about the show. The show documents RuPaul in the search for America’s next drag superstar. RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. RuPaul’s Drag Race also has a panel of judges and guest judges who critique contestants’ progress throughout the competition. My queen Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Lady Gaga made an appearance too!

CHARISMA

Boy, these ladies have such beautiful faces with or without the big wigs and heavy makeup. They just make you wanna stare at them ALL.DAY.LONG. And their transformations? Better be ready to pick your jaw up from the floor.

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Riiiiight???!

UNIQUENESS

All these queens come in the competition with such big and different personalities. Black, white, asian, thick, slim, there are queens of every race, creed, culture and background imaginable which is such an amazing celebration of LGBT identities and diversity. Drag itself is diverse as well. There isn’t just one singular type of drag: there are comedy queens, pageant queens, artsy queens and so much more so just imagine mixing all these queens together in one show!!!

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NERVE

…and the shade of it all. These queens are, in the words of the great Jaclyn Jose, “bitch ka lang, ako super bitch!” level!!! Their fights are so amusing and hilarious. I swear, you have never seen anything like multiple drag queens arguing. They’re super sassy and turn fights into the most entertaining ones.

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TALENT

For all those who don’t know much about drag like me, drag queens are men that use makeup, hair and outfits to transform themselves as women. Omg I even saw them put all kinds of glue on their brows so if you thought contouring was hard, imagine doing drag makeup.

But nope, these aren’t just men putting makeup on and walking in 5-inch heels. These are incredibly talented people who do crazy challenges from being impersonators to comedians to lip-syncing and dancing. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE AND THEIR TALENTS ARE OFF THE CHARTS.

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They may be born males but they all have C.U.N.T.s (get it, get it?)!!! 😜

I guess the bottom line of this blog is how this show is a great platform to entertain and preach messages of acceptance and love. A big part of this show, almost as big as the competition itself, is the personal stories of each contestant. Queens discuss coming out, family reactions, past tragedies and their journeys, each with hardships. Season 5’s Roxxy Andrews broke down discussing how, as a child, he and his sister were abandoned by their mother at a bus stop. Trinity K. Bonet from season 6 came out as HIV-positive. And, rather than defining them, these and other admissions become just one more reason that they all support each other through. I mean..

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We’re dealing with people who have been shunned by society and have made a life regardless of what anyone else thinks of them have decided. It shows the strength and resilience of the human spirit, which each of us watching relates to. And I root for them. I think that’s what’s so captivating about it, seeing how these beautiful creatures have managed to prevail despite how cruel our world may be.

It’s got more heart than any other show on TV—reality or otherwise.

And I think this is why I have such strong feelings about it.

Growing up, I have witnessed family and friends go through such a hard time coming out of the closet and it boggles me… WHY. Why do these lovely people have to experience fear and anxiety and shame when they are just being themselves? I saw the hesitant look of a cousin when all his partner wants is to hold his hand in the mall, I saw the pain in a friend’s eyes when she is forced by her own family to a place of healing to be “free” from this “disease”, I saw how an uncle continuously try to go day by day trying to hide who he really is, I saw a co-worker’s hope go down the drain day by day when he can’t seem to find the love he deserves, I can feel the fear that my sister tried to hide when she realized that her life was not “normal” and when things like these happen…

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Like, I literally feel as if I was the one experiencing it. We are our Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters, all equal in His eyes. We are family and didn’t Lilo once said, “family means no one gets left behind”? So if the straight ones can show love to whoever they please, why can’t our gay brothers and sisters do just that?

This is why in any way that I can, I try to affirm everyone that I can reach, be it personally or in social media. I remember that there’s this acquaintance of mine who came from the same province as I did, we really haven’t talked personally but I always make it a point to leave comments or messages whenever he is on drag or when I simply see him so confident by just being himself. So if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry if I come off as feeling close. Hahaha! But I just wanna say that I am just so damn proud of you!

I am a very strong LGBT advocate and I want nothing but love and acceptance for all our brothers and sisters. I believe in equality and I think my personal goal is to shine a light on those who don’t get paid much attention, or get paid the wrong kind of attention. I pray for the day when we all try to be kind to ourselves and to one another and throw kindness around like confetti ♥ I hope we all believe that it’s possible to find love for others—and ourselves—despite all of the crap and the pain and the heartbreak we go through in life. Sometimes we put ourselves through all of that, creating obstacles that stand in our way simply because it’s easiest to set ourselves up for failure. That’s exactly what we should avoid—whether you’re in a dress or a suit. Loving yourself has to come first; once you’ve got that down, you can accomplish anything—such as looking at the bright, beautiful world around you and telling those who stand in your way to fuck right off.

Whew. That was a lot for one post! I KNEW I’d get emotional!!!

So to end this blog, I would leave you with this beautiful question from Mother RuPaul:

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Can I get an amen??? 😊

 

 

All my love! ♥

 

KKOT Lip Balm Review

I’m a sucker for cute things. Buying anything cute is a guilty pleasure of mine so when I get my hands on something adorable plus it works, I’m sold.

I have been seeing transparent lip balms all over social media but really didn’t know where to get them. I think the lip fairies heard me cause a few days ago, Beauty N Seoul, an online shop in Instagram reached out to me and sent me one to review!

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Say hello to the KKOT tinted lip balm! I honestly haven’t heard of this brand but knowing that it’s from Korea somehow made my doubts go away. I love Korean makeup, especially their skin care products!

Now let’s talk about what I think about this famous lip balm.

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The packaging is pretty straight-forward as it’s clear and made out of plastic. I like how they look coordinated because everything is transparent! I think they made it this way to highlight the star of the show which is the dried flower inside. Yep, there’s a flower inside the lip balm!!! Soooooo cool. I think this is the first lip product that I have seen with a real flower inside so plus points for that! Plus, don’t you think that if Belle in Beauty and the Beast had a lip balm, this would be exactly it?

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According to the box that my lip balm came with, this product is said to be a nutrient-filled lip balm which contains squalene, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and tocopherol. I have done some digging and the Korean brand KKOT Essence Lip Tint Balm claims to use Japanese formulation for the products. It smells and tastes like the strawberry-flavored Lipps candy too (super yum! Not that you can eat your lip balms lol)!

IMG_7736.JPGThis is me with bare lips. My main concern with my lips is that they’re pretty dry and super pale so aside from K-Palette’s 2-way eyebrow pens, lip balms and lip tints are my go-to makeup products!

IMG_7734.JPGTa-da!!! After applying the lip balm, my lips instantly felt moisturized and has a subtle tint to it which I looooove. I’m all up for anything that makes my dry and pale lips feel and look better!

One thing that I noticed is that the moisture doesn’t seem to last that long. Not really a red flag for me. Some people would even prefer that cause no one really wants their lips to look like they just had a plateful of lechon or anything oily for the rest of the day, right? 😛

With its cute packaging, moisturizing properties and subtle tint; I’m pretty sure this lip balm wouldn’t leave my bag starting today!

 

WHERE TO GET THEM:

Beauty n Seoul (@beautynstyleinseoul)

+639568057878

bsinseoul@gmail.com

PRICE: PHP550

Glow Up: 1 Brand, 5 Easy Steps!

Guilty pleasure: I love taking selfies. And snaps. And being on IG stories.

It may be an interesting or a “meh” day but if you follow me, you”ll be seeing a lot of my face (huhu sorry!) in my social media accounts and I have been asked a lot of times what I put on my face or make-up I use.

Confession #1: I know little about makeup. I love buying them but I only get the products that I actually know how to use. I cannot, for the life of me, learn how to put eyeshadow. Or contour. Or do those perfect winged eyeliners. I can only do basic everyday makeup which is okay because I may not be confident in a lot of things but when it comes to my skin, I think I got this. Heehee.

A little flashback. My mama and Tita actually encouraged me to start using face moisturizers when I was in high school. I loved using them because I have pretty dry skin back then. I used Myra-E, Garnier, Ponds… brands that a teenager with a 250-peso allowance could afford lol. I was pretty contented with just washing my face with water and just using moisturizers.

Luckily, I am not prone to breakouts. In a year, I can count in my one hand the times that an annoying pimple shows up. It’s so uncommon for me, that when I did have the worst pimple of my life, it left a big post-acne red mark on my face (months before my wedding *gasp*). I was so scared because it had been months but it just.did.not.go.away! I actually went to a dermatologist out of panic and she just laughed, telling me that all I needed was a good peel. I eventually learned that if I just left it alone, it would probably have went away on it’s own. I may not be prone to breakouts but I do have combination skin (oily T-zone, the rest is dry) and also an uneven skin tone (especially on the area of my left cheek). This actually annoys me the most because… who wants uneven skin tone???

I read somewhere that beautiful skin is a lifelong process, the choices we make today will affect the skin we’ll have years from now when we do not have that youthful glow anymore. As I got older (and wiser), I started to research more and experiment more and do more for my skin. Self-care is self-love!

So without further yapping, here is the skincare routine (and brand) that I swear by!

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The Body Shop Drops Of Light Range (L-R: brightening serum, toner, moisturizer, sunscreen and foam wash)

I have been using the Vitamin E range and LOVED it before I discovered this line. I swore I won’t try any other product anymore but it was months before our wedding and as the Vitamin E line made my skin so soft and supple and healthy and everything lovely, I thought I needed something to make me glow, radiate and basically be the star on my wedding day.  😛 I think this is perfect for those who need brightening, luminosity, and dark spot correction. According to The Body Shop, this range is infused with Red Algae extract which helps in brightening the skin and Vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant.

Anyway, I do not want to bore you with the science behind this as I know so little about that so here’s my easy peasy 5-step skincare routine!

Drops of Light Pure Clarifying Foam Wash (P895, 125 ml)

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I love how this smells! It is not too strong but it’s fresh and crisp so it’s a good pick-me-upper! It also has a pretty thick consistency so I think it’s best to mix it with water once you squeeze a pea-size amount on your hands. Another thing that I love about this is that it does not make my skin feel dry after washing it unlike the usual facial wash that I have tried. I don’t wash my face with this in the morning though. I use this at night because that’s when I feel like I need a thorough cleansing after being out all day. So in the morning, I just wash my face with plain water and move on to the next step.

Drops of Light Pure Translucency Essence Lotion (P1,295, 160 ml)

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I know… all those fancy words but it basically is just a toner. This has a very cooling gel-to-water texture. When you squeeze it in your hand, it seems kinda thick but once you put it all over your face it turns watery. After washing your face, you can squeeze a tiny amount of this on a cotton pad or just your hand, apply on clean skin and just allow it to sink in. I honestly had no idea about toners and why we need them but I read somewhere that it also boosts hydration and activates skin for the next step. So think of it as a primer.

Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Serum (P1,895, 30 ml)

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Aside from toners, serums were a puzzle to me. I was perfectly happy with my cleanse-tone-moisturize regimen but after reading so much about how serums are a big deal, I decided to give it a try. From what I understand, serums are kinda like moisturizers but they penetrate deeper to our skin so they can deliver the potent or active ingredients that they have. As I’ve said, I have combination skin and this serum makes my skin feel more hydrated and healthy.  This is very lightweight, fast‑absorbing and non‑sticky.  Perfect for Manila weather! After using this for 6 months, I noticed that my yellowness have been reduced and my skin looks brighter and more translucent. At night, I end my regimen with this.

Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Day Cream (P1,095, 50 ml)

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Ahhhh moisturizers. My first love. I swear I could not go on my day without them! For those days that I actually feel the need to use some foundation, this pretty thing right here actually makes applying my foundation a lot easier. Plus, it literally makes your skin glow! It has a tiiiny bit of shimmer so if you don’t want that, I recommend my other favorite: The Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream.

Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 PA++++ (P1,095, 40 ml)

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If there’s one thing I wish I’ve done sooner, it’s this: learning the value of putting on sunscreen. I have just incorporated this to my routine and I have never felt more confident braving the sun. This bad ass seems to have it all; it’s a moisturizer, anti-oxidant and sunscreen all rolled into one amazing tube. If I feel extra lazy or my t-zone seems to be extra oily, I skip the moisturizer and just go ahead with this one.

So there, I think that’s pretty much it!

OH AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! Lots and lots and lots of it! I cannot stress this enough. All of the things we put on our faces is for nothing if we do not hydrate ourselves from the inside.

This range might be pricey but I hands-down swear they’re worth it. I purchased them early January of this year and I still haven’t bought a new set (Thank God!). With good skin, I am able to go out with just my eyebrows and cheek tint on so whoever said that kilay is life, really does not know how skincare is lifer lol. And hey, good skin means you can finally say you just “woke up like this”, right? 😉

 

All my love! ♥